Gearbox Software created a weekly podcast called Echoes from the Borderlands. The show is centered around the Borderlands franchise and features familiar faces from the game studio. Season 1 contained 10 episodes with each clocking in around the 1 hour mark. I have listened to every episode and created breakdowns of the things they spoke about. This is my review of Echoes from the Borderlands Season 1.
Echoes from the Borderlands is as much about the Borderlands franchise as it is about the passionate developers that are behind it. This podcast series is not just about how the Borderlands games came to be but also about the journey and efforts the developers had to go to.
In each episode, they talk about a different game in the franchise or an aspect of the development process. They have great guests on the show who know their craft and if you have been following Gearbox Software for a while, you will definitely see a lot of familiar faces. I was even surprised by some of the guests as some of them don’t work at Gearbox Software anymore but they still showed up to talk about their mark on the games.
Echoes from the Borderlands starts out with a banger. You got the president of Gearbox Entertainment and former Chief Creative Champion and they dive in deep on the origin of the Borderlands franchise. You got an unfiltered Randy Pitchford that tells it like it is. The host, Joel, does a great job following along with follow-up questions even as the conversation moves in unexpected directions.
This conversational style of interviewing doesn’t always flow as naturally in every episode and you can clearly hear the nodge; tell that one story we talked about before the recording started. But this is mostly during the side quests episodes where they have multiple guests and tackle multiple aspects of a topic. The host is giving everyone their moment to talk and you do get great stories from the developers but the conversational flow jumps a bit around. I did love how other guests jumped in on the other person’s topic as it also had an impact on their work or them as individuals.
It’s great to see the developers light up as they passionately talk about the things they do.
The side-quest episodes felt like they were set up as a side dish but actually contained a bigger peek behind the curtain. I think they could have been framed more as a Deep Dive into a specific topic.
The trivia and the Marcus impressions at the end of each episode are fun. The trivia is something that fans can participate in.
I really enjoyed Echoes From The Borderlands and would love to see another season. It had a wide variety of topics that went beyond just scratching the surface. The host clearly listened to the community as he asked questions we had been wondering about.
This is a show for the fans and if you listen carefully you can pick up on some interesting details beyond the “main headline” a media outlet would spitout a clickbait article about.
There is often negativity online about games but listening to this podcast, you can hear that they take a lot of things into consideration while making these games. They listened to the community and adjusted things based on that feedback. They might not be able to fix things on the current game due to how the systems are designed but they can take that feedback along to the next game.
The developers are also a fan of the franchise.