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Unused Borderlands 3 box art tried so hard to make the Psycho shoot himself a third time

(Image credit: Gearbox Softworks)

Borderlands 3 (opens in new tab)'s box art is a delightfully extra way to present a game that's clearly drunk on itself, but it wasn't always the glamorous, almost dogmatic scene we see today. As Gearbox revealed at a San Diego Comic-Con display titled the Museum of Mayhem, Borderlands 3's box art went through several iterations, many of them every bit as ridiculous and meme-y as you'd imagine. 

Before Borderlands 3 was even announced, people were already joking about its box art. The original Borderlands box art featured a Psycho shooting himself with a finger gun, Borderlands 2 had a Psycho shooting himself twice, so clearly Borderlands 3 needed to find a way to depict a Psycho shooting himself with three guns at once - or so the joke went. It turns out that's no laughing matter; Gearbox artists took a very serious stab at working the number three into the classic Psycho splatter motif, with varying degrees of success. ResetEra user Vestan (opens in new tab) shared some good-quality images of 13 unused Borderlands 3 box art drafts shown at the Museum of Mayhem, and about half of them are some variant of "Psycho shoots himself again." 

(Image credit: Gearbox Softworks)

We've got three fingers under the chin, three fingers to the back of the head somehow, and even a dang gun for a head because why not? But as much as I love the riff on "trust nobody, not even yourself," I'm partial to the above art which uses the Psycho's foot as a stand-in for the phantom third finger gun. Picture it: the Psycho arrives on set for the box art photoshoot. He puts one finger gun under his chin, then another, but then he pauses, confused. What now? His eyes dart around in confusion, but then inspiration strikes. He squats down, wrestles his most flexible leg free, and slowly brings his foot up to his chin. The trifecta is finally complete. 

I do love the final box art, but I certainly wouldn't have complained if we'd gotten the foot gun version. That said, mostly I'm just glad we didn't wind up with this horrifying infant Psycho: 

(Image credit: Gearbox Softworks)

Box art aside, Borderlands 3 has also had some great trailers - watch the latest one here (opens in new tab)

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.