Border Break, despite the deceptive name, wasn’t really about fake letterboxing in games allowing the full-screen view to be partially obscured, and it wasn’t about writing code on your C64 to display sprites outside the usual bounds of the display (okay I’ll stop now.) It emerged in the arcades of the late 00s (long after the arcade “scene” around my area was pretty much dead) and allowed players to suit up and team up in networked multiplayer battles with their mechanised weapon of choice. Open environments, nimble movement and quick weapon switching helped create a lively experience, and the cabinet featured a mouse or trackball-style device on one side and a joystick on the other side (not to mention a separate panel to issue commands to others.) Additionally, it utilised the data cards that were popular in arcade games of that time, allowing users to store data after each play session. Personally I didn’t think I’d read news of Border Break returning… well, ever, but here we are.
Border Break returning – the details
An announcement of Border Break returning was revealed by Sega earlier this week. The new game will be a free-to-play release arriving on PS4 later this year, although at the moment it’s only been confirmed for release in Japan. The trailer shows off high-speed battles on the ground and in the air, objective-based gameplay, character customisation, some decent arenas and the selection of human characters that you’d expect from a game like this. At first the notion of free-to-play multiplayer gaming sent alarm bells ringing and there’s every chance that it could suffer the same fate of other F2P failures… however, the likes of Let It Die have proven that free-to-play console gaming can be done in a way that doesn’t make you feel like you have to take a shower afterwards.
Border Break returning – only in Japan
News of Border Break returning is all very nice, but since the game is only confirmed for release in Japan at present, I don’t plan on covering the news extensively. If things change and the west get a chance to try the game…well, that would be great, but at the moment we’ll have to wait and see how it fares in the east.