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Borderlands 3 has an insane amount of gun possibilities

One billion guns. It's the promise Gearbox has been making ever since Borderlands 3 was announced back in March. But how exactly is the studio making it happen? How can this game possibly have room for so many different weapons?

As part of IGN's month-long coverage of Borderlands 3, the website got to talk with some developers at Gearbox about that insane claim. Along the way, we also learned that Gearbox even drew some inspiration from a classic Nintendo 64 title when it came time to create some of the new toys found in the latest installment of Borderlands.

"Technically and aesthetically," said combat designer Grant Kao, "we have enough combinations in the game to create over a billion diverse guns with different firing styles, different statistics, and different mechanics that players can interact with."

Lead concept artist Kevin Duc added to that with more information about how Borderlands 3 can keep all of those guns looking unique.

"Obviously we can't make a billion different pieces. We can't make a million different pieces," Duc said. "So what we did was, we would design each weapon with about... maybe 35 parts."

According to Gearbox, there are between 1,500 and 1,700 interchangeable gun parts designed in total. So when a weapon is created, it's not only randomly generating stats; it's also pulling 35 of those unique gun parts together.

When you calculate every possible combination, that means there are a billion potential weapon rolls out there. So no, it's not as though the studio designed a billion individual guns for Borderlands 3. But it'll sure be difficult to get a weapon that looks and fires like another one you already have. And that'll undoubtedly drive players to keep searching for that perfect gun.

To wrap things up, we finally learned how in the world Gearbox game up with the idea for those walking turrets. They're apparently inspired by the laptop gun found in Rare's 2000 Nintendo 64 title Perfect Dark. This was one of Perfect Dark's coolest guns; a laptop that turned into a turret players could attach to walls. Of course, the walking was added later to the Borderlands 3 turret because — according to lead 3D weapons artist Jimmy Barnett — it looked cool.

Can we get a walking turret that shoots rockets, though? Someone needs to answer this very important question.

Borderlands 3 launches on Sept. 13, 2019 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.