Gearbox have strenuously denied that they're working on Borderlands 3 over these last few months, but an interesting new rumour alleges that they've actually outsourced a "pre-sequel" (ugh) to 2K Australia. Apparently we'll soon be scampering around Hyperion's moonbase, conserving oxygen and abusing the low gravity later this year on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Maybe. Though outlandish, the report definitely has the ring of truth to it.
GamePointsNow claims that the next Borderlands title is set somewhere between Borderlands 1 and 2, casting players as Hyperion lieutenants working for Handsome Jack. Or, more accurately, just Jack. As a humble programmer before his rise to prominence and face surgery, he's on the trail of a mysterious artefact.
The rumoured four character classes include a few familiar faces: Athena The Gladiator, Wilhelm The Enforcer, Nisha The Lawbringer and Fragtrap. You'll recognise the first two from Borderlands' General Knoxx expansion and Borderlands 2, while Fragtrap is reportedly a weaponised military Claptrap model.
Moon combat promises to be very different from standard Borderlands fare, with low gravity and limited oxygen. Both of these new mechanics apparently add an extra layer of depth to the game, as you'll be able to blow enemies clean off the moon's surface or shatter their masks to disable them. We're not sure how well the latter system will work - it's perhaps the least believable part of the - but would help the game to stand out from its predecessors.
Other rumoured features include Cryo weapons and deployable drones. The report is definitely an interesting read at the very least.
Take this all with ruddy great fistfuls of salt, but the smart money is on this being a broken embargo rather than a scurrilous rumour. Though we've received no word on the prequel, some interesting comments suggest that the report is on the up-and-up (and some of the larger sites appear to be taking the opportunity to run the info without breaking embargo themselves). Either way, we're bound to find out the truth soon enough if the game is indeed slated for last-gen consoles.