Gearbox has revealed its next game and it’s going to surprise a lot of people. Instead of Borderlands 3, a new Duke Nukem, or a fresh Brothers in Arms, the publisher is working on a very early in development game online multiplayer FPS code name Project 1v1. The game is referred to as “top secret,” but the company has sent out a mass email inviting players to register for Project 1v1‘s upcoming closed technical test. Those who register will get a chance to try Project 1v1 on PC later this summer.
Project 1v1, for the time being, does remain mysterious if no longer top secret. While the title of the game itself does self-describe, Gearbox does go at least one step further. In the email that Gearbox sent out, Project 1v1 is described as a “first-person combat game,” while the game’s new website slightly alters that description to “competitive first-person shooter.” Considering first-person shooting is Gearbox’s wheelhouse, taking the next step and bringing that action to competitive online multiplayer isn’t too surprising.
The next revelation also won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone following trends in the industry lately, from Fortnite to Valve’s new game Artifact. Project 1v1 will have “the meta-game strategy of a collectible card game.” A more likely direct comparison might be Paragon, the third-person shooter MOBA that uses a meta card system for buffs and powers. Additional details on how cards in Project 1v1 will work will likely come with the start of the closed technical test, but it’s a safe bet to make that it’s likely deeply tied to microtransactions.
What comes next will be Gearbox officially announcing the dates of the closed technical test as we get closer to it. Early details regarding what will be included in the test have already been made available, but a bit of clarification is necessary first. Gearbox is specifically avoiding using the word beta, which implies Project 1v1 is in a very early stages of development. The goal of the test is push Project 1v1‘s online infrastructure first. The focus of the test is not to ensure everyone gets to play, though obviously marketing is in consideration given this reveal.
Three modes will be available in Project 1v1‘s closed technical test: Ranked, Challenge, and Arena. Ranked mode matches players based on skill level, rewarding players with “experience and crates containing new cards.” Challenge lets players invite a friend to an unranked match, notably not mentioning matchmaking. And Arena is perhaps the most interesting mode, letting players challenge the current “Arena champion” and potentially take their place.
What exactly Project 1v1 is remains mysterious. The 1v1 focus demands a comparison to online multiplayer arena shooters like Quake, which thrive on competitive 1v1. But the addition of the meta card system points in a different direction, a more MOBA-esque direction. Project 1v1 could be more of a follow-up to Battleborn than Borderlands, with more slowed-down, deliberate pacing and unique abilities for different characters. It’s going to be fun to find out more.
Project 1v1 is launching its closed technical test later this summer on PC, which players can register for on the official website.