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Deals photo

Dying Light 20% off, Borderlands and Dark Souls series on sale

Weekend deals, yo
Jan 25
// Dealzon
Next week Tuesday Dying Light will make it debut on the PC, Xbox One, and PS4. Originally pre-orders came with the "Play as Night Hunter" mode as a bonus, but it's now free to everyone. Kudos to angry mob effect. Current PC d...
Borderlands Pre-Sequel photo
Borderlands Pre-Sequel

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's new downloadable character is out this Tuesday

Gearbox hints about the upcoming story DLC too
Jan 25
// Darren Nakamura
The inaugural PAX South is wrapping up today, and Gearbox's panel just ended. We heard about the plans with Homeworld earlier, but the studio's cash cow for the past several years has been the Borderlands series, so of course...
Borderlands photo

Good lord, this $400 Borderlands edition has a Claptrap that's controlled with a mobile app

That's damn expensive and damn cool
Jan 20
// Brett Makedonski
Most high-end special editions of games come with the same sort of tchotchkes -- maybe a figurine, an art book -- that sort of stuff. 2K is raising the bar when it comes to limited editions, both in terms of content and pric...
Borderlands bundle photo
Borderlands 2 and Pre-Sequel with cross-saves
Rumors have circulated for months that Gearbox Software's Borderlands would be the recipient of some sort of upgraded port to current consoles. In fact, speculation was so strong that it was more a matter of what titles...

Borderlands photo

These are the most popular Borderlands characters

As decided by the fans
Jan 08
// Mike Cosimano
Per the official Borderlands Twitter account, Krieg, Claptrap, and Tiny Tina are the series' most popular characters amongst Borderlands fans. There's no clear indication which character received the most votes, but I wager C...
Borderlands Remaster photo
Borderlands Remaster

Australian Classification Board listing points to Borderlands collection on current generation consoles

You all saw it coming
Dec 11
// Darren Nakamura
It seems like every post about Borderlands has the same comments in it: a scathing remark about Aliens: Colonial Marines, a proclamation to wait for the Game of the Year Edition, and a prediction that 2K and Gearbox will...
Borderlands photo

Bonus mission for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel ties into Tales

Help Dr. Nakayama with a secret project
Dec 09
// Darren Nakamura
[Update]: In an email to Destructoid, 2K has confirmed that the Handsome AI bonus mission will be included for free as part of the update adding Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, not part of the Holodome Onslaught DLC pack that ret...
Borderlands Pre-Sequel photo
Borderlands Pre-Sequel

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's second piece of DLC is out December 16

Welcome to the Holodome
Dec 04
// Darren Nakamura
2K Games announced today the second DLC pack for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and as with the first pack, it is commendable in some ways but disappointing in others. In The Holodome Onslaught, Axton and Gaige join the crew in...
Borderlands photo

Catch a jaunty tune (and an elbow to the grill) in this Tales from the Borderlands trailer

Episode One: Zer0 Sum
Nov 25
// Brett Makedonski
Telltale titles and Borderlands are almost polar opposites. One has you constantly making tough, game-altering decisions. The other only asks that you decide between shooting everything and dying. (Hint: you defini...
Borderlands screens photo
Borderlands screens

Here are more than 100 Tales from the Borderlands: Zer0 Sum screenshots

Telltale art
Nov 25
// Darren Nakamura
I take lots of screenshots. It's just something I do. The signature cel-shaded art style of the Borderlands series lends itself to grabbing sharp, colorful screens of crazy weapons, breathtaking vistas, and intense cutsc...
Hand me some Jack photo
Hand me some Jack

First video lands from Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands

Hand me some Jack
Nov 13
// Steven Hansen
Maybe Activision's new Tony Hawk game should be called Boarder Lands. A little bit of piggybacking, like when they named the newest Call of Duty after the Nintendo handheld classic Advanced Wars.  Taking a break fr...
Borderlands Pre-Sequel photo
Borderlands Pre-Sequel

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's Jack the Doppelganger is too sexy for his shirt

But he leaves it on anyway
Nov 11
// Darren Nakamura
I frown on the idea that additional Vault Hunters are being offered for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's season pass in place of story DLC (rather than in addition to it, as Gaige the Mechromancer and Krieg the Psycho were in B...

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel illustrates the danger of nebulous season passes

Nov 03 // Darren Nakamura
To be clear, I was never one to complain about how Gearbox handled Borderlands 2's season pass. Where many would rail against the developer for producing content that was not included in the season pass (or even the Game of the Year Edition), I always saw it from a more measured viewpoint. Borderlands 2's season pass promised four pieces of story-based downloadable content, and it delivered four pieces of story-based downloadable content along with a bonus level cap increase that those without a season pass had to purchase separately. I bought it in good will before the game came out, and I felt like I got my money's worth. The fact that Gearbox continued to produce content for Borderlands 2 after the season pass had run its course never phased me. People wanted more stuff to do on Pandora, and were willing to pay for those experiences. The extra characters and Headhunter packs were far from essential to the experience, and they were never stated to be included in the season pass to begin with. As an informed consumer, I did not feel cheated. However, there were those who did feel cheated, and that might have contributed to this current mishandling. Many in the Borderlands community complained that BL2's season pass/Game of the Year Edition did not include all of the post-release content, and according to Gearbox Product Manager Chris Faylor, this move is an "[attempt] to address that." So now, instead of four story-based DLC packs that are included in The Pre-Sequel's season pass, along with other pieces of downloadable content that are available for additional fees, it sounds like the total amount of content is being reduced in order for it all to be included in the season pass. Worse yet, if we take the official Borderlands blog post's words literally, we can expect "another character, a level cap upgrade, a new campaign, and more," which lays down a particularly dismal tentative DLC schedule. Where previous games in the series featured four additional story packs, are we really meant to expect only one this time? Looking back at the Pre-Sequel season pass announcement, it is not that 2K lied or even blatantly misrepresented what players should expect in the season pass. So little information is there that the developers have quite a bit of leeway with it. Even on the official blog post, there is never any mention of what type of DLC is planned. The only information given are the phrases "new characters," "new challenges," "new missions," and "new experiences," which in hindsight are incredibly vague. All that is concretely stated is that there would be a season pass, that it would include four undefined pieces of content, and that buying the season pass would cost less than buying all four pieces individually. The problem here is one of expectation. Borderlands featured four pieces of downloadable content, and all four were story-based additions that included new areas to explore, new enemies to fight, and new missions to take on. Borderlands 2 continued that tradition with its four main DLC packs, along with a bevy of other content. I am certain that I am not alone in having made the assumption that the four add-on packs promised in The Pre-Sequel's season pass would follow that same pattern. I do not mean to belittle the amount of work that must be necessary in the design, balance, and playtesting of an entirely new character or even something like Borderlands 2's Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode (Playthrough 3). I do not doubt that the teams behind those additions feel that they put a lot of effort into producing something worth selling for ten bucks, and I do not begrudge them for it. However, while those add-ons may require comparable amounts of work, the value of those additions for the consumer is much lower than that of the traditional story packs. So even though no promises are technically being broken, and 2K plans to deliver four digital additions to Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel for the price of three through the season pass, I cannot blame any who bought it for feeling cheated. The content fits the requirements laid out, but the value is not there. Even if the plans were to change from here onward and the season pass ends up including one new Vault Hunter and three story DLCs, the value of the pass over purchasing content piecemeal hinges on the quality of all three packs, and the series does not have a perfect track record on that front. Even for somebody who did not purchase the season pass, this news is disheartening. With a shorter base campaign and the possibility of only one story-based DLC pack, the lifespan of this game looks to be much smaller than those of its predecessors. It's like walking into a shipping container expecting a pizza party, only to find that the pizza is a hologram and the shipping container is about to be shot out of a cannon at the moon. In the months after Borderlands 2's release, there have been many in the community expressing extreme disappointment when it comes to the handling of post-release content. However, for those who complain that there exists content not included in the season pass, the intended solution was never to reduce the total amount of content in order for it to fit. Though it might have been an attempt to appease disgruntled fans, Jack's Doppelganger as DLC #1 for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has only bred more contempt in the community.
Borderlands DLC opinion photo
Glad I skipped this one
Over the weekend, details came out of PAX Australia regarding the first downloadable Vault Hunter for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. At first, it looked to me like a commendable gesture for a series that receives a lot of criti...

Borderlands Pre-Sequel photo
Borderlands Pre-Sequel

Jack's doppelganger in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will fight using digital clones

Just like Handsome Jack does in Borderlands 2
Nov 01
// Darren Nakamura
2K announced at PAX Prime that one of Jack's look-alike bodyguards would be the first DLC Vault Hunter for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, but information past that was scant. Pieces of his back story can be found via semi-hidde...
Borderlands Pre-Sequel photo
Borderlands Pre-Sequel

Here are the details of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's Bloody Harvest Celebration

Lots of exploding pumpkins, basically
Oct 31
// Darren Nakamura
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's free, limited-time mini event Bloody Harvest Celebration just launched a couple hours ago. The teaser image has several pumpkin-flavored pieces of art, but little extra information. I jumped into...
Borderlands Pre-Sequel photo
Borderlands Pre-Sequel

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's free Halloween content is live right now

Bloody Harvest, now on Elpis
Oct 30
// Darren Nakamura
Last year, Borderlands 2 kicked off its Headhunter series of DLC with T.K. Baha's Bloody Harvest, a Halloween-themed mini-expansion that had players meeting up with zombie T.K. Baha and shooting a lot of pumpkins. It looks li...

What I want from Borderlands 3

Oct 28 // Bill Zoeker
Other than, like, it being announced
[WARNING: This video contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel] I finished the story mode in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel the other day which subtly teases what we might be seeing in Borderlands 3. It got me real excited, and seeing as I'm a big old Borderlands nerd; I couldn't help but postulate on what Borderlands 3 might be like... if it ever gets made.

If you saw a Boz Scaggs record, would you buy it?
Max and I round out the first hour of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel with groggy, terrible jokes. We also talked about the mysteries of Boz Scaggs. And... stuff.

Price Chop: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel & Shadow of Mordor

Oct 17 // Dealzon
Next week's Civilization: Beyond Earth can be pre-ordered for up to 25% off. There's an unknown expiration date for this particular deal, so if you're planning to play on Day One, we'd recommend grabbing ASAP. The download comes with the pre-order bonus of six Exoplanet maps. (There's also a classic bundle available but the deal is kind of meh to be honest). On the console side of things, the Xbox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive is now available on Microsoft Store. As a pre-order incentive, you'll receive a $10 Xbox gift card, good for adding money to your Xbox account. Furthermore, you’ll get free guaranteed release day delivery if you order by October 24th at 2 p.m. Pacific. The $10 Xbox gift card deal is pretty typical as a pre-order incentive for Microsoft Store, but the free release day delivery is usually only reserved for the more popular Triple-A titles. Update 10/20: We've added a few more deals for the week and have strike-through the expired deals. Happy browsing! Top Deals Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (Steam Pay) — $46.80  (list price $60)Use coupon: SPOOKY-TREATS-GMG20X Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth (Steam) — $37.49  (list price $50)Must login to see price, doesn't work in AU/NZ Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One) — $59.99  Free $10 Xbox gift card & free release day delivery Expired deals: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Steam) — $36.50  (list price $50)Use coupon: DEALZO-NMORDO-R27OFF Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Steam) — $33.33  (list price $50)No coupon required, limited time Bundle Stars deal  Recent Releases Use coupon: SPOOKY-TREATS-GMG20X  10/14: The Evil Within + Season Pass (Steam) — $51.47  (list price $70) 10/14: Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne (Steam) — $11.70  (list price $15) 10/14: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Season Pass — $23.40  (list price $30) 10/10: Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition (Steam) — $23.40  (list price $30) Upcoming Releases 10/21: F1 2014 — $40  (list price $50 - already out in EU) 11/4: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Steam) — $50.99  (list price $60) 11/7: Football Manager 2015 (Steam) — $40  (list price $50) 11/11: LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (Steam) — $21.60  (list price $30) 11/11: The Crew (Uplay) — $50.99  (list price $60) 11/11: Assassin's Creed Unity (Uplay) — $50.99  (list price $60) 11/18: Dragon Age: Inquisition (Origin) — $47.99  (list price $60) 11/18: Far Cry 4 Limited Edition (Uplay) — $50.99  (list price $60) PC Game Deals Battlefield 4 Premium (Origin) — $37.49 (list $40) Might & Magic X Legacy Deluxe Edition — $7.49 (list $30) FIFA 14 (Origin) — $6.80 (list $20) Mortal Kombat Bundle (Steam) — $6 (list $30) Huntsman: The Orphanage - Halloween Edition (Steam) — $4.24 (list $10) Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition (Steam) — $4 (list $20) Mortal Kombat: Arcade Kollection (Steam) — $2 (list $10) Hotline Miami (Steam) — $2 (list $10) Expired deals: Europa Universalis 4 (Steam) — $10  (list price $40) Hitman: Absolution - Elite Edition (Steam) — $9.99  (list price $20) Thief: Master Thief Edition (Steam) — $8.25  (list price $33) Tomb Raider Survival Edition (Steam) — $6.25  (list price $25) Unity of Command Trilogy Bundle — $6  (list price $30) Rome: Total War Collection (Steam) — $3.25  (list price $10) Skullgirls (Steam) — $3  (list price $15) Console Game Deals Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4, Xbox One) — $49.99 (list $60) Destiny + Free Call of Duty Ghosts (Xbox 360, PS3) — $49.99 (list $60) MLB 14: The Show (PS4) — $29.99 (list $40) inFAMOUS Second Son (PS4) — $29.99 (list $30) Bound by Flame (PS4 Used) — $19.99  (list price $42) Lego: The Hobbit (Xbox One Used) — $19.99  (list price $50) Watch Dogs (Xbox One Used) — $19.99  (list price $60) Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare (Xbox One Used) — $17.99  (list price $40) Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag (Xbox One Used) — $14.99  (list price $30) Expired deals: Metro: Last Light (Xbox 360 Used) — $12.99  (list price $26) Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 (PS3 Used) — $12.99  (list price $30) Dead Space 3 (PS3 Used) — $9.99  (list price $30) PS Vita Deals Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PS Vita) — $9.99  (list price $20) Resistance: Burning Skies (PS Vita) — $9.99  (list price $20) The Sly Collection (PS Vita) — $9.99  (list price $30) ModNation Racers: Road Trip (PS Vita) — $9.99  (list price $20) Hardware Deals Xbox One Console Standard Edition — $429.99  (list price $500)Bundles with Destiny + Xbox Live Gold 1 Year Card PlayStation 4 Console + Choice of Game — $419.99  (list price $460) Lenovo Y50 59421845 Laptop  — $1,049  (list price $1,399)Core i7-4710HQ, GeForce GTX 860M 2GB, Full HD 1080p, Hybrid 1TB + 8GB SSHD  Lenovo Y40 59423034 Laptop — $729  (list price $1,149)Core i7-4510U, Radeon R9 M275, Full HD 1080p, Hybrid 1TB HDD + 8GB SSHD  Gaming Hardware, Accessories, & Electronics Deals Asus Radeon R9 290X 4GB GDDR5 Video Card — $349.54  (list price $390) Razer 2014 Black Gaming Keyboard + DeathAdder 2013 Mouse (Refurb) — $119.99 Apple Smart Cover for iPad — $7.99  (list price $40) SteelSeries Siberia Elite Gaming Headset Promo Code — 25% Off  (expires Oct 20th)
Deals photo
Deals on Beyond Earth and Sunset Overdrive too
Deals brought to you by the crew at Dealzon. FYI: sales from certain retailers go toward supporting Destructoid. Spot something good that we didn't see? Let us know and we'll add it! Post formatting is a work in progress...

Excalibastard photo

I picked up the Excalibastard in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Kind of unfair, since I had a head start
Oct 17
// Darren Nakamura
There has been a bit of talk about an interesting legendary weapon in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel that is in plain sight, but unavailable at first. Excalibastard is stuck in a stone in the area Stanton's Liver, and only those...
Hats, hats, hats photo
Hats, hats, hats

Team Fortress 2sdays: Dibs on the spycrab alien

Shooty, shooty, pow, pow
Oct 14
// ChillyBilly
Happy Tuesday! Well, it seems as though everyone has their pick in for the new Borderlands game. Me? I think I'm going to skip this round, I've just about had my fill of Claptrap and the rest of the gang, Shadow however, has dibs on a new, not yet announced DLC character, here, let's let Shadow explain:
LEGO Claptrap photo
LEGO Claptrap

Claptrap is still stupid even when he's made out of LEGOs

Stupid Claptrap
Oct 14
// Chris Carter
Claptrap was okay in the first Borderlands. He was a cute enough guide and had a funny voice and said a few funny things. Then they crammed him into every subsequent game and now he's a playable character. At this point peop...
Dibs on DLC Character #1 photo
Dibs on DLC Character #1

You fools! I have dibs on [DLC Character #1] in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!

Because the best things in life aren't free
Oct 13
// Mr Andy Dixon
Fools. You poor, poor, poor, poor fools. It's almost as if you don't even like winning at life. I mean, I guess there's nothing wrong with choosing Athena, Claptrap, Nisha, or Wilhelm as your go-to character in Borderlands: T...
Borderlands screens photo
Borderlands screens

Here are more than 200 Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel screenshots

Perhaps I went a little overboard-erlands
Oct 13
// Darren Nakamura
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel comes out tomorrow, and you can read a 3,000-word review on what I think about it right here on Destructoid if you would like. However, since a picture is worth a thousand words, this post is basic...

Review: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Oct 13 // Darren Nakamura
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (Linux, Mac, PC [reviewed], PS3, Xbox 360)Developers: 2K Australia, Gearbox SoftwarePublisher: 2K GamesReleased: October 14, 2014MSRP: $59.99Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit There is a symmetry to be appreciated in The Pre-Sequel's in-between feeling, given that it is chronologically set between the first two games. Specifically, it is set after the events of The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, but before Claptrap's New Robot Revolution, the third and fourth pieces of downloadable content for Borderlands, respectively. Taking place largely on Pandora's moon Elpis, the first regressive parallel to the original title in the series reveals itself: the moon is largely made up of desolate gray-blue rock dotted with industrial complexes. In the same way that our first adventure to Pandora spent entirely too much time in vast brown deserts, the first half of the romp across Elpis occurs in areas that are indistinct from one another. Getting lost is easy at first, even with the minimap and its waypoints. Eventually, the story works its way back to Helios, the Hyperion space station, and the environments become a bit more diverse. Even with the additional biomes found on Helios, the number of different looking areas to explore pales in comparison to Borderlands 2's tundra, temperate, desert, tropical, industrial, civilized, volcanic, and other environments. [embed]281294:55659:0[/embed] Other small oversights pop up in the level design here and there. Expansive areas meant to be traversed in a moon buggy lack vehicle stations at every entrance, sometimes causing the player to have to trek on foot when backtracking or if the rover is destroyed. There are natural progression blockers that are not completely functional once the requirement has been met. Specifically, there is a gap early on that can only be jumped in a vehicle, but even with four wheels and a rocket booster, I found myself falling into the lava chasm beneath the ruined bridge about half the time. Some of the smaller areas have no Fast Travel station, an annoyance compounded by side missions that require returning multiple times. On top of that, not every area has vending machines near the entrance, which makes dumping junk loot a bit of a pain when visiting the offending locales. One area in particular (Stanton's Liver) has everything going against it: unmemorable environmental art design, no Fast Travel, no vending machines, and several optional missions pointing toward it. Generally, these are minor quibbles regarding the level design. A lot of the time, traversing the environments is made easy through circuitous layouts and the new freedom afforded by the low gravity of Elpis and the Vault Hunters' ability to double jump. Other times this freedom is a double-edged sword, where the new ability allow for more verticality, but highlight the need for a more thoroughly upgraded map. It now shows whether enemies are above or below the player, but still represents only two dimensions, despite that a lot of the areas now make extensive use of the z-axis. Indeed, one of the most touted new features of fighting on Elpis as opposed to Pandora is the use of the moon's lower gravity. On paper, it does not seem like a big deal, but it surprised me to find out just how much it affects gameplay. In addition to being able to jump higher, the double jump allows for a lot of aerial control, and the new Gravity Slam move is both satisfying and useful. The double jump functionality is a lot deeper than it initially seems. Depending on when the second jump is activated, it can be put toward additional jump height, additional jump distance, increased traversal speed, or increased maneuverability. The slam damages nearby enemies, typically with an elemental effect, but one of the key features of it is that it does not interrupt other abilities like activating an Action Skill or reloading. This opens up the viability of a lot of weapons that were previously too cumbersome to use regularly. Weapons with long or frequent reloads like Jakobs shotguns or Scav (The Pre-Sequel's version of Bandit) rocket launchers can now be used more frequently, with firing punctuated by crowd-controlling slams. For instance, my Enforcer currently wields a Jakobs Quad -- a shotgun with huge damage, high ammunition expenditure, and frequent reloads. Most battles I get into are frenetic affairs, where I summon Wolf and Saint, double jump toward an enemy, slam to stun him, fire two shots into his face, mentally change targets, and double jump toward that one while reloading. It all happens quickly, and it is incredibly satisfying. Speaking strictly about combat, this is the most fun the series has ever been, and it owes most of that to the low gravity and corresponding abilities. In fact, the low gravity combat is so fun that I became noticeably irritated when the story takes the Vault Hunters back to Helios, where there is more standard, Pandora-like gravity. It is not that the standard combat is bad, it is just that the moon combat is so good. To expound a bit on the story, it opens in Sanctuary as it floats among the clouds. Clearly taking place after the events of Borderlands 2, Athena is forced to tell the story of the time she helped Handsome Jack years before. The playable portion of The Pre-Sequel is all told as Athena's flashback, regardless of which of the four available Vault Hunters is in play. What Athena describes is meeting Jack, a middle management Hyperion employee who saves her life and eventually the lives of countless people living on Elpis. Players get to see firsthand why Jack considers himself a hero, and they get to watch his slow decline into depravity, and his eventual transformation into Handsome Jack, the man wearing the mask. It is an interesting arc to watch, although it is still difficult to be sympathetic toward Jack's character through most of the story. The logical and moral leaps he makes, even when fueled largely by self-defense and paranoia, are still the product of a deeply disturbed individual. Even so, The Pre-Sequel does a great job of showing exactly why Handsome Jack despises bandits as much as he does, and it ends in a way that highlights the moral ambiguity of Borderlands as a whole. Without spoiling too much, the ending upset me initially. I felt betrayed, and I felt like it would not have and should not have happened like it did. Upon further reflection, I realize that while it caused me to see a character in a different light than I previously had, it perfectly encapsulates a major theme in the series. The bad guys are at least a little bit good and the good guys are at least a little bit bad. Sometimes it is difficult to tell which is which. There is one extra thing regarding the story that more serious players will appreciate. For the first time, there is a believable narrative explanation for the second playthrough, True Vault Hunter Mode. There is additional dialogue to go with it, so players have more incentive to go through the higher level content. It is a small thing, but it is a welcome touch. I would have really appreciated a slightly different or expanded ending for those who make it all the way through twice, and the narrative would have allowed for it, but that is not the case. At about 25 hours to get through the campaign once, The Pre-Sequel runs shorter than Borderlands 2, but provides a good amount of entertainment. On the downside, the plot left open a few points that I was expecting to be addressed. Clearly, Athena is alive and in Pandora's vicinity between the point of her introduction in The Secret Armory and some indeterminate point after the events of Borderlands 2, so she lives through the Pre-Sequel, but the story never gives an explicit explanation on her whereabouts during Handsome Jack's tenure as CEO of Hyperion. Considering she was there to witness his insidious rise to power, there should be a good narrative reason that she would not help to bring him down. The Eridian race is also a bit of a mystery. They are present on Pandora during Borderlands, present on Elpis during The Pre-Sequel, but absent during Borderlands 2, and fans are left to continue speculating on the reason. In fact, the story presented here even fuels the fire of speculation by introducing more variables to the question of why they cannot be found later in the timeline. The writing as a whole maintains the classic Borderlands charm, though it does seem a little less wacky than that found in Borderlands 2, again striking a balance between the two previous titles. A few familiar faces show up; most current characters have a least small speaking roles. There are several new characters as well: the eastern European Nurse Nina, the not-quite-as-annoying-as-Tiny-Tina child Pickle, and my favorite new character Janey Springs. Springs is one of many denizens of Elpis, most of whom are the Australians to Pandora's Americans. She is immediately endearing, and has some of the best lines in the game. There are a few laugh-out-loud moments, and overall the writing is smart and snappy. There are no Internet memes, except for one easily missed reference to an old Destructoid mantra that 99.9% of players will gloss over without a second thought. There are a number of shout-outs to other works of fiction, including Star Wars and Pokémon. One of the best new developments for the writing in Borderlands was the decision to have the Vault Hunters participate in conversations, giving each one more personality, and offering a non-gameplay reason to play through with multiple characters. This is especially important through Jack's campaign to save Elpis, as each character will react differently to his methods and evolving morality. Although Athena is my girl, the morally bankrupt sadist Nisha has some of the most hilarious retorts and insults. Weapons received a major overhaul between Borderlands and Borderlands 2; comparatively, the differences here seem slight, but their consequences reach further than it may initially appear. Slag weapons do not exist yet, since the first vault was only recently opened and the engineers are just beginning to study it. In its place is the cryo element, which slows enemies, damages them over time, and can eventually freeze them solid to be shattered into hundreds of shards. Lasers also appear as a separate weapon type, rather than being reserved for the relatively rare E-Tech weaponry found on Pandora. There are several different flavors of laser weapons, including Ghostbusters-style streams, Star Wars-esque blasters, and powerful railguns. Most useful is that laser weapons generally have low recoil and good hip fire accuracy. This pairs extremely well with the aforementioned low gravity combat. It is common to double jump across a pit and headshot an enemy with a railgun from the hip in the process, and it feels totally rad to do it. Where combat in Borderlands was like Call of Duty in a lot of ways, the fighting in The Pre-Sequel feels more akin to Halo. One other welcome addition to the loot system is the Grinder, which turns out to be a double entendre of sorts. By feeding it three items of the same rarity level, it has a chance to spit out an item with a higher rarity. Any three items can be fed in, but best results seem to come from matching equipment. For instance, grinding three common pistols will usually result in an uncommon pistol. I found myself keeping various weapons that I had no intention of using, because they would go well in the Grinder and return something I may want. With enough of a collection, several common weapons can be combined to eventually produce a rare item. Sadly, rare items cannot be used to create legendary items. The Grinder can feel random at times, and I wish there were more structure to it. Feeding it three Jakobs sniper rifles can produce a Maliwan sniper rifle, or feeding it three incendiary lasers can result in a cryo laser. It seems weapon type is the only attribute conserved in the grinding process. The Grinder also functions through a sort of recipe system, but there is no in-game method for tracking which recipes have been tried, what worked, and what did not. The Grinder is a great idea to deal with all the unwanted loot in Borderlands, but it could have been taken the extra mile to function well without outside support. Of course, some of the most fun in Borderlands comes with multiplayer, and The Pre-Sequel has made some strides to make this even more interesting. While each of the four Vault Hunters can be built to play solo, Athena, Wilhelm, and Claptrap have skills that benefit the whole team in unusual ways. Now, a well-formed group of four can be much greater than the sum of its parts. An obvious example of this is that many of Claptrap's Action Packages will affect the entire team, but a more subtle effect emerges when playing with Athena. As the group's shieldbearer, I acted as the tank, soaking up incoming damage that would have otherwise gone toward glass cannon Nisha. Although previous games have had similar abilities (Salvador could draw aggro and buff his defense), the character diversity and focus on team abilities allow for the potential to be more tactical than ever before. A lot of the best multiplayer moments have come from raid boss fights. Introduced to the series in the General Knoxx DLC, they have required some of the most intensive team interactions, and Gearbox learned a lot about making interesting raids over the course of the Borderlands 2 DLC schedule. 2K Australia has a lot to learn on that front, because the raid boss included in the core game is just a disappointing retread of the final boss fight, except that it has more health and deals more damage. Another arena in which The Pre-Sequel falls short of its predecessor is in general polish. A lot of common, benign bugs can be found, like enemies clipping through environment geometry (see above) or shields that glitch such that they recharge immediately and infinitely, rendering the player effectively invincible until restarting. I ran into a few more off-putting bugs over the 60 hours I spent playing. The most egregious resulted in one of my characters not being able to progress the story, just one area before the final boss fight. 2K has assured Destructoid that this particular bug has been isolated and addressed in a day one patch, so retail versions will be free from it. Regardless, it was heartbreaking to put 40 hours into one character only to be stopped just short of completion. At least two missions show up in the menu, but point toward the wrong location to accept the mission. One even points toward an area that the player might not have even found before, existing as an ever-present missed connection, with no guidance on how to actually take it on. In Borderlands 2, side missions were generally discovered organically, placed in the main path where they could not be missed. Here, many side missions require backtracking just to take them on, and that is backtracking that the player would not do naturally. Otherwise, there are issues with form and functionality that do not technically qualify as bugs. For instance, Wilhelm has a skill that sets up a healing aura around a point on the map, but that aura is denoted by a perfectly horizontal circle on the ground, centered at one point on the surface. In areas where the terrain is not completely flat (i.e. most of them), part of the circle is hidden from view. Other areas feature terrain that hides it entirely. In case it is not already obvious, I love the Borderlands series. I have followed it since its debut in 2009, and I have put hundreds of hours into using bullets to make numbers pop out of bad guys, digging into the lore, and hanging out with friends. Loving the series means knowing just how good it can be, and it means always measuring it against those high standards. 2K Australia nailed the combat with The Pre-Sequel. It is fast, fresh, and more tactically interesting than ever before. The writing hits the right notes, although the overarching plot is not quite as emotionally powerful as other entries have been. For many, that is enough to be a great experience. I had a lot of fun playing through, and I anticipate I will keep playing for months as more friends obtain copies. Despite that glowing praise, I am torn, because I also recognize that it is far from perfect. The environmental art direction gets dull too quickly, the level design is lacking in basic conveniences, and a general sloppiness is present when looking closely. Some of the cool new features like multi-leveled areas and combining weapons could have been enhanced further if the user interface and systems had been updated to play to those strengths. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is a solid entry to the series, but I hope that the development team takes some of the failings to heart and delivers excellence in the future.
Borderlands review photo
If it ain't broke...
[Disclosure: Anthony Burch, one of the writers for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, was previously employed at Destructoid. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into the review.] "If it ain't ...

I got the robot because you were too slowbot: I have dibs on Claptrap

Oct 12 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]282061:55846:0[/embed] He's a literal killing machine Borderlands is all about shootin' and lootin'. There's a lot of the latter, but even more of the former. Seriously, there's so much stuff in that game that wants to murder you! Protectin' yo' neck is priority numero uno, because nobody likes a co-op partner that constantly needs reviving. Who better to put behind a metallic vessel of death than a machine that was systematically engineered to kill everything in sight? Okay, maybe that wasn't in Claptrap's original design docs, but that's a firmware patch that probably rolled out at some point. Claptrap's such a badass that I bet he even auto-updated. When it's a matter of life and death, I'm going to opt for the little guy who allows no room for human error. That's because he's not human. He's an infallible harbinger of pain that'll kill with wit and lead. Also, he can't die, because (again) he's not people. He's probably just temporarily out-of-commission or something. That's all theoretical, because I don't anticipate that ever happening. Wow, you may not have dibs on Claptrap, but you're damn lucky I'm even entertaining the idea of bringing you along on our journey, Captain Coattail Rider. No oxygen? No problemo The Pre-Sequel is all about moons and low gravity. Moon jumping sounds like a ton of fun (as long as it isn't in Destiny)! It comes with one drawback, though -- you only have a limited amount of oxygen. WAIT! Let me rephrase that. It comes with one drawback for all you worthless human plebes, because Claptrap doesn't need oxygen. Claptrap doesn't have robolungs, so there's no need for air. Maybe oil, but that's a completely different issue. That's right -- I get all the benefits of carelessly jumping a million feet in the sky as often as I want, and you're tethered to a constant concern over your oxygen gauge. Maybe I'll moon jump on your stupid dead body after you've suffocated. Seriously though, if you love oxygen so much, why don't you marry it? You probably think there's only one thing better, and you're right. But, I'm playing as him because I've got dibs, sucka. Skills for kills, Agent My little Fragtrap looks innocent enough, but that's because you've only seen him in family photos where he had to be on his best behavior. Really, dude's a badass and he has the skills to back it up. His VaultHunter.EXE ability unleashes a random palatable smorgasbord of skills and buffs. There's no telling what's going to happen, but most of the time, it's going to be good. Sometimes it'll be abilities from previous playable characters in other Borderlands games. That's so awesome that it's not even fair anymore. Oh yeah, and as capstone options, Claptrap can turn into the likes of a disco ball or a pirate ship. The disco ball shoots out every type of elemental damage in an area-of-effect attack. That's right, enemies just got hit with fire, corrosion, funk, and more. Are you beginning to see why I called dibs on Claptrap? You might as well snap your disc in half; I just ruined the game for you. Your character is boring Unarguably, the most hilarious moments in past Borderlands games belonged to Claptrap. Do you think that's going to change here? The other three characters are described as "The Gladiator," "The Lawbringer," and "The Enforcer." YAWN. While everyone else listens to their character drone on about god knows what boring topic, I'll be treated to unique, comedic dialogue that no one else can hear. It's going to be great -- just Claptrap and me sharing these moments. That giggling in the microphone? Disregard that; it's just a side-effect of playing as a superior character. You wouldn't know, would you? 
Dibs on Claptrap photo
It's really not all that long until Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel comes out, and you've already made a grave mistake. You didn't call dibs on Claptrap. Know how I know that? Because I'm writing this post right now. If you ...

Dibs on Nisha photo
Dibs on Nisha

To all you would-be Borderlands cowboys and cowgirls, I have dibs on Nisha

Shoot the flesh, whip the wounds
Oct 12
// Abel Girmay
"Behind every great man is a great woman." Screw that, says Nisha. While Handsome Jack is sitting in a climate-controlled bunker, cowering from the awesome might of the Vault Hunters and bandit gangs, Nisha fights her enemies...
Dibs on Wilhelm photo
Dibs on Wilhelm

Attention Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel buyers: I have dibs on Wilhelm

He's not a bad guy...yet
Oct 11
// Chris Carter
Back in 2012 I had dibs on Zer0 from Borderlands 2. I didn't regret it! I completed the game several times with him and embarked upon the DLC with a smile on my face. But Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel doesn't have Zer0, which is a major bummer. Instead, I'll be rocking Wilhelm. One ninja's loss is another epic beard's gain.

To any Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel players out there: I have dibs on Athena

Oct 11 // Darren Nakamura
She has a sword. When the bullets run out but the fight is still on, melee attacks become crucial. Sure, smacking somebody with the butt of a gun is practical, and cracking a whip across someone's face is showy, but you know what is terrifying? About two feet of bloody, sharpened steel. Athena is a trained assassin, so she knows how to use her Xiphos blade. In fact, she has an entire skill tree dedicated to causing pain with it. If that isn't enough, there is a skill that allows her to apply a unique status effect to enemies: she can make them bleed. You might be content with burning, electrocution, corrosion, and freezing, but I will have those and the ability to cause exsanguination. Also, later on, when an bleeding enemy dies, he explodes. She has a shield. What is the peanut butter to a sword's chocolate? That's right, it's a shield. Athena's Kinetic Aspis is not just a regular old "protect you from damage" shield though. It protects her and her friends from damage, then sends that damage back to the enemies twofold. Also, it explodes. Up to five times in one throw. Mister Torgue would totally approve of Athena's arsenal. In addition to the fact that throwing an explosive shield is rad on its own, the Kinetic Aspis is the most different action skill from any previous Borderlands game. Wilhelm's Wolf and Saint drones act a lot like Gaige's Deathtrap, Nisha's capability for raw gun damage output is comparable to Salvador's Gunzerking ability, and Claptrap literally just copies other Vault Hunters' abilities with his VaultHunter.EXE. With Athena, the focus can be shifted from damage output to damage protection. With this, interesting interactions emerge during cooperative games. Instead of a group of four lone wolves fighting near each other in the same manner that they would when fighting alone, the Kinetic Aspis assigns Athena the specific role as a defender, allowing her teammates to specialize further in other abilities. Athena is a great friend to fight alongside. In fact... She is the most important teammate to have. Yes, my Kinetic Aspis can protect you from taking damage, and you should be very grateful about that alone. But that's only a small part of why Athena is the best. Tara touched on it when she called dibs on Maya, but the ability to revive a teammate instantly at range, as opposed to having to be nearby and spending precious seconds in a vulnerable state, ranges between very helpful and utterly crucial. Athena's "Clear!" ability is similar to Maya's "Res," except that it can affect multiple teammates at once. Imagine three other Vault Hunters, lying in pain at the feet of a raid boss, largely due to their own hubris and poor judgment (because they left Athena's motherly protective embrace), only to be mass resurrected by the wise shieldbearer. Considering the Borderlands series' focus on high level, post-game content, "Clear!" will absolutely be the single most important skill for any serious group looking to take on raids. Sure, Claptrap has a skill tree devoted to buffing teammates, and Wilhelm has some skills spread around that do the same, but none of those hold a candle to Athena's ability to keep her friends in the fight, especially against bosses where death would lock them out of it. You can thank me now, since I have dibs on Athena. She doesn't end up dead. Probably. Look at that picture. That's Nisha: a total badass who strangles puppies, at least until Salvador and company come along to wreck her day in Borderlands 2. Then, she's just a dead body that flopped onto the ground in the most absurd position. She joins Wilhelm, who is killed even earlier under Handsome Jack's reign. Claptrap? His entire product line was obliterated before Borderlands 2 even begins. But Athena? We don't know what she did after the fall of Atlas. We don't know where she was when the events of Borderlands 2 were occurring. Her story is completely open-ended. She has the most space for growth, change, betrayal, sadness, and ultimate victory. Her story is innately more interesting because we don't already know how it ends. Assuming Borderlands 3 eventually comes into existence, Athena will probably be there. It is entirely possible that she dies in the events of the Pre-Sequel, which could explain why she is absent throughout Borderlands 2. Even if that is the case, finding that out is still more exciting than knowing how it ends right from the start. But that's probably not the case, because Athena is the best, and the best can't die. Probably. She has a functioning moral compass. Nisha strangles puppies. Wilhelm shows no mercy if the price is high enough. Claptrap just does what he is programmed to do. Athena actually knows right from wrong as she is impaling Scavengers and exploding dangerous creatures. Sure, an assassin's job description is technically "kill for money," and that kind of makes her like Wilhelm, whose job as a mercenary is also precisely to "kill for money," but Wilhelm's motivation is the promise of lavish riches. Athena needs money to feed herself. She is basically like Aladdin, except that she canonically snaps people's necks sometimes. Where Nisha is lawful evil, Wilhelm is neutral evil, and Claptrap is chaotic neutral, Athena is the only truly moral character as a chaotic good. I would even say that she is not just chaotic good, she is chaotic best. Because she is the best. Dibs, by the way. Dibs on Athena. Seriously, dibs.
Dibs on Athena photo
Sorry, she's mine
Two years ago, Chris, Tara, Conrad, and Andy each called dibs on a Vault Hunter for Borderlands 2 before I ever could, and so I was never able to play it. All I could do was sit there looking at my copy, wishing I had ca...

Borderlands Pre-Sequel photo
Borderlands Pre-Sequel

The final 'making of' video for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel looks at 'Weapons and Beyond'

Guns, guns, guns!
Oct 09
// Darren Nakamura
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel comes out next week, and 2K Games has now released the final episode of the four-part series behind the scenes at Gearbox and 2K Australia. Episodes One (To the Moon), Two (From Pandora to th...

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