This morning we ran some rudderless speculation concerning Gearbox's Borderlands which seemed to completely reignite (or just ignite) a lot of interest in the highly customizable Dune-esque shooter. According to the gossip, Borderlands had a complete artistic makeover that was suggested to be some form of cel-shading. Gearbox has finally responded to the talk with an official statement.
"Heh! No, Borderlands is not cel-shaded -- it's a gritty and serious world after all," said a spokesperson. "But since the game was first unveiled we have made big advancements with the art direction and the technology to support the art and have produced some pretty impressive, even shocking results.
"We weren't expecting a story about this to break this week, but I'll tell you that the website will soon be getting new content that will expose how far we've gone with the art. If the story you guys broke today makes too much noise for us to deal with we may decide to speed up when we update the site with media."
Gearbox also explained that PC Gamer has a cover story on Borderlands due in the next issue, and that the game will be shown live at E3. We were also informed that although many people have figured out what's going on with the game, the studio is not quite ready for the full story to come out.
Still, changing the art direction is probably the slickest move I've seen a developer pull in a long time. The U-turn that gamers have performed for this game is astounding, going from barely caring at all to suddenly being incredibly intrigued. Well played, Gearbox. Well played indeed.