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Borderlands screenshots photo
Borderlands screenshots

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2 screenshots, we got 'em


Over 100 Atlas Mugged screenshots
Mar 17
// Darren Nakamura
Another Telltale episode, another excessively large set of screenshots taken as I played through with an Xbox 360 controller while keeping my pinky finger on the F12 key. Tales from the Borderlands still looks great despite t...

Review: Tales from the Borderlands: Atlas Mugged

Mar 17 // Darren Nakamura
Tales from the Borderlands: Atlas Mugged (iOS, Mac, PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Telltale GamesPublisher: Telltale GamesReleased: March 17, 2015 (Mac, PC)MSRP: $4.99, $24.99 (Season Pass)Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit [Editor's note: there will be no major spoilers present for the episode reviewed here, but events in previous episodes may be discussed.] To its credit, Telltale owns up to the long wait between episodes. The opening line is Marcus commenting on how long it has been since the last part of the story. Then he goes into a recap of the main events from Zer0 Sum, leading into the beginning of Atlas Mugged. Hyperion executive Rhys and Pandoran con artist Fiona have stumbled onto some unknown but hopefully valuable Atlas technology, just in time for a digital reconstruction of Borderlands 2 antagonist Handsome Jack to load into Rhys's mind. Jack comes and goes over the course of the episode, typically when Rhys suffers head trauma, and he often offers his brand of morally bankrupt help. Though he only appears during certain scenes, Handsome Jack sort of steals the show. Rhys, Fiona, and the rest of the gang have some good lines, but Telltale's treatment of Jack is on point. He is simultaneously deplorable and hilarious, which serves the concept of Telltale adventure games well. In Borderlands 2 he was a likable villain; in The Pre-Sequel he was a detestable hero. Here, he can be either, allowing the player to choose whether to heed his more outlandish suggestions or to risk progressing without his aid. [embed]288757:57654:0[/embed] Episode 2 has the two protagonists separating and reuniting again and it still works great as a narrative device. Seeing the what from one perspective and then the why from the other gives extra insight to events, though Atlas Mugged lacks some of the punchier revelatory moments that Zer0 Sum had. There are still some secrets set up for later, like the function of the Gortys Project or the identity of the paddy hat-clad character. Fiona gets an upgrade to her single-shot pistol in this episode, allowing it to deal an elemental damage of her choice among incendiary, shock, and corrosive. Knowledge of the shooters in the series seems to help with knowing which element to use in which situation. Another kink thrown in is in addition to having limited ammunition, each element appears to be usable only once, so players may be locked out of one they want for the future. It's the kind of inter-episode mechanic that may or may not pay off intellectually until later. Neither of the established characters who made cameos in the first episode show up again here, but a few new ones do. Scooter and Athena are among those who make an appearance, and I hope for the narrative's sake that this isn't the last we see of them. Given her background with the Atlas corporation (see: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx) Athena plays a particularly interesting role that brings up questions I hope to see answered. From a gameplay perspective, this runs by the standard of modern Telltale titles. It includes the unique Borderlands hooks like Rhys's bionic eye and Fiona's management of money, but they are less emphasized than in the previous episode. Tales still feels like a Borderlands game, but slightly less so now than before. Though puzzles have basically been expunged from Telltale's modus operandi -- and I have come to terms with it -- there is one section where it still stings a little to think about. In it, Rhys has to restore power to an electronic system and it skirts the edge of requiring just a touch of critical thinking, but it ends up being a simple exploration exercise. The setup almost begged for some sort of puzzle; it was disappointing that the solution was so mundane. Past that, the main gameplay is exactly what we all expect from Telltale. Dialogue trees, quick-time events, and the occasional big choice to make. Keeping consistent with the first episode, the writing is sharp, the jokes are plentiful, the plot is intriguing, and the action is over-the-top. What it lacks is easily forgiven because what it contains is really good. Visually, Tales from the Borderlands is as great as ever. The bright colors and hard edges still work well with Telltale's engine, and they juxtapose against the dark comedic themes in a way that never seems to get old. I did experience a couple of minor graphical glitches, but 99% of it ran like a dream. In the end, Atlas Mugged is not quite as good as Zer0 Sum. It had me chuckling five minutes in, but there were fewer laugh-out-loud moments. It maintained high intensity in its action sequences, though none quite compared to the earlier death race. It used the unique Borderlands mechanics just a bit less. Its narrative lacked any jaw-dropping twists or powerful moments of clarity, but it still remained engaging throughout. Though it is slightly less than excellent, it is still great, and I can hardly wait to see where it goes next. Telltale, please don't make me wait so long before Episode 3. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Borderlands review photo
It's here Atlas
[Disclosure: Anthony Burch, who consulted on the story for Tales from the Borderlands, was previously employed at Destructoid. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into the review.] Tales ...

Borderlands Pre-Sequel photo
Borderlands Pre-Sequel

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's Claptastic Voyage trailer shows glitch guns, confetti


And 'irreparable psychological trauma'
Mar 11
// Darren Nakamura
Gearbox showed off the trailer for the upcoming Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel downloadable content to a select group of fans during its panel at PAX East, but it is now available for anybody to watch. Maybe even you? Yes, if y...
Telltale Borderlands photo
Telltale Borderlands

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2 trailer brings more bangs and booms


Atlas Mugged
Mar 09
// Darren Nakamura
Yesterday, PAX East attendees were treated to a sneak peak of the trailer for Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2: Atlas Mugged. Today, it is available for mass consumption. Things are heating up on Pandora for Rhys, Fiona,...
Gearbox x Harmonix photo
Gearbox x Harmonix

Borderlands characters are now in Dance Central Spotlight


From Inside Gearbox panel
Mar 08
// Darren Nakamura
Gearbox and Harmonix have worked together in the past with a dance section in one of last year's trailers for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. At the PAX East Inside Gearbox panel, Gearbox and Harmonix announced a new p...
Brothers in Arms photo
Brothers in Arms

Gearbox hints at the possibility for a new Brothers in Arms


Troy Baker wants it
Mar 08
// Darren Nakamura
At the Inside Gearbox panel today, Troy Baker and Laura Bailey were on stage promoting Tales from the Borderlands, when Baker went into a story about how he loved working on Brothers in Arms, and how the final cutscene felt l...
Telltale Borderlands Ep 2 photo
Telltale Borderlands Ep 2

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2 set to release week of March 17


Atlas Mugged
Mar 08
// Darren Nakamura
Telltale's panel came and went with some fun stories of the studio's journey but nary an announcement of what the developer is doing now. Judging from the comments in just about every Telltale article that goes up, the second...
Borderlands Pre-Sequel photo
Borderlands Pre-Sequel

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel: Claptastic Voyage comes out March 24


Inside the mind of Claptrap
Mar 08
// Darren Nakamura
During today's Inside Gearbox panel at PAX East, Gearbox unveiled the trailer for the fourth piece of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel downloadable content. The story content picks up after the end of The Pre-Sequel and leads into...

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection shines in some spots, has problems in others

Mar 05 // Brett Makedonski
Having demoed both games in The Handsome Collection, The Pre-Sequel came off as simply unimpressive. Moving it to current consoles and harnessing the increased power of the PS4 isn't enough to make the four-player local co-op consistently work. Requiring the game to render everything four times over took a noticeable toll on game performance. Despite playing a level that was relatively unpopulated, the frame-rate dropped an annoying amount. It's likely that this won't be the case with fewer users, and there's always the possibility it'll be patched out through optimization in the coming weeks. Another niggling spot in The Pre-Sequel was the menu interface. It's oddly zoomed in by default, and the player needs to zoom out to see the full picture. Although it didn't present much of a problem in our brief demo with a throwaway character, players who actually care about their character builds and weapons will be in and out of those menus with great frequency. [embed]286397:56948:0[/embed] For as much as The Pre-Sequel didn't impress, Borderlands 2 absolutely did. Playing the Tiny Tina add-on, our group of four made our way through extremely busy sections with no dip in performance. That's where Handsome Collection players who look forward to local co-op are going to be most pleased with this package. Apart from those impressions, these are basically identical to the two games as they were on legacy consoles. Gearbox confirmed that nothing's been changed with regard to any overarching systems such as drop rate. It's the Borderlands you already know and (maybe) love. Actually, as far as The Handsome Collection goes, you might be better off not knowing Borderlands yet. It seems like it's a nice introductory package for those that held off on exposure to the series. Anyone that has an extensive history with it will welcome the ability to import characters from legacy consoles (including level, Badass Rank, and campaign progress), but nothing shown marks much of an improvement from what's already been played. Aside from four-player local co-op, it probably doesn't offer enough incentive to most people to convince them to re-invest.
Borderlands preview photo
Borderlands 2 impressed, The Pre-Sequel did not
Traditionally, Game Developers Conference is a very busy show. After what seems like a three-month hibernation, the game industry slowly creaks back awake and GDC is the first time everything's in full gear again. As always, ...

Very Quick Tips: Homeworld Remastered Collection

Mar 02 // Jason Faulkner
Camera and movement: You’re in full control of the camera, so if you’re not careful it can be easy to suddenly find yourself disoriented. Use the arrow keys to pan the camera instead of holding the mouse on the edge of the screen. This allows you to quickly snap the camera in another direction and lets you still use the mouse to control your units. Pressing spacebar brings up your sensors manager, which allows you to see a representation of all resources and units, both friendly and enemy on the field, and issue orders and select units. If you’re plotting long-range attacks or movements, this is the screen to use. Don’t forget to utilize vertical movement. After pressing ‘M’ to bring up the movement disc, you can hold shift and move the mouse up and down to set which height you want to move as well as horizontal movement. Waypoints are your friend. Don’t wanna move straight through a minefield on the way to your destination? Use waypoints to plot around it. Fleet management and resources: The most important concern while playing is to ensure you have a steady supply of resource units (RU). If you lose all your resource collectors to the enemy and you’re out of RU then you’re going to have to start retiring units to get enough money to build more. Your best bet is to build a few and keep them docked via the Launch Manager so that if an enemy takes your mining operations out, you can jumpstart a new RU flow. Make sure your resource collectors aren’t having to sit around with the cargo bays full waiting to land. Build multiple resource controllers and keep them as near resources as possible to maximize collector turn-around time. Researching and building ships takes a ton of time and RU. Find which ships fit your playing style and research their technologies first so you’ll have a template for the fleet you want in your head before you start the game. If you try and research and build every ship, you run the risk of having an unbalanced attack force and being overwhelmed. Spread ship construction between your mothership, carriers, and shipyards. This can make the difference between getting the jump on your enemy and getting caught with a meager force. Combat: Unfortunately, Homeworld Remastered Collection uses the Homeworld 2 engine, so you have to baby your units a little more than fans of the first game may remember. Setting formations is very important, otherwise your ships are going to head full-speed towards the location you command them to. Ships in formation together will advance towards their destination at the speed of the slowest ship in their flotilla. Use the right ships for the right job. A flight of interceptors isn’t going to take down a heavy cruiser, but you don’t want to send a heavy cruiser to take out a single frigate. Using the group command, I suggest you split your main fleet(s) into subsections that you can split off for specialized attacks. Make sure you use those carriers for what they were made for. Docking fighters and corvettes to a carrier and hyperspacing to your destination is the best way to carry them into battle to support the rest of your fleet. While in hyperspace, you can hit the “auto-launch” command and when your carrier appears at its destination it will immediately disperse your fighter and corvette groups. Have a few units that can make repairs on standby either ready to jump in, or guarded by escorts. Make sure if your fighters are getting hammered to press “D” to have them dock with a carrier, mothership, or support frigate, they’ll touch down and launch fully repaired. Advanced tactics: Your fleet will exit a hyperspace jump in the same orientation they entered it in. You can use this to arrange your units in a square and jump in surrounding your target. This will expose less of your units to the enemies firing arcs and allow you to disperse the maximum firepower you can. Hide your Mothership by either moving straight up or straight down and away from your starting position. Most players will only send their probes in a straight horizontal path to search for others and you can evade that search pattern by moving into an unorthodox location. Minelayer corvettes can be used to deny resources to an enemy. Even if you don’t plan on setting up operations in an area, send a few minelayers to saturate it with mines. That way when an enemy comes to use it, their resource collectors will be destroyed. Salvage and capture every thing you can. Every ship you salvage or capture is one ship the enemy doesn't have and one ship that you didn't have to pay for. When playing Kushan or Taiidani, I typically designate a carrier with salvage corvettes docked along with four to six frigates as escorts as a quick strike capture force. You'll want to use around six corvettes per unit to capture ships the most efficiently. The marine and infiltrator frigate serve the same purpose for the Hiigarians and Vaygr and only require a light corvette for fighter escort.
Homeworld tips photo
The Mothership is standing by
Although Homeworld Remastered Collection is classified as real-time strategy, there are some elements that set it apart from its brethren. The 3D camera and movement add another whole axis to worry about that some may find di...

Review: Homeworld Remastered Collection

Mar 02 // Jason Faulkner
Homeworld Remastered Collection (PC)Developer: Gearbox SoftwarePublisher: Gearbox SoftwareReleased: February 25, 2015MSRP: $34.99Rig: AMD FX-6300 @ 3.5 GHz, with 8GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 7950, Windows 8.1 64-bit Starting on the desert planet Kharak, Homeworld follows the tribal peoples of the Kushan. The discovery of the ancient starship Khar-Toba in one of the planet’s vast deserts confirmed what many already speculated: Kharak was not the origin of the Kushan people. The Guidestone was recovered from the ruins of the ship and carved upon its chipped face was a map of the galaxy leading to a distant star inscribed with a single word: “Hiigara.” No translation was needed as every Kushan knew it. The map was pointing “home.” Over the next hundred years every man, woman, and child worked toward one objective: to complete the ship which would carry over 600,000 of them to their ancestral home planet. It would be equipped to overcome any adversity and be the first Kushan space-faring vessel to be capable of faster-than-light travel thanks to the salvaged Hyperspace Core found on the Khar-Toba. You are Fleet Command, and the Kushan are depending on you to lead them to Hiigara. Along the way you’ll face off against the corrupt and despotic Taiidani Empire, trade with the enigmatic Bentusi, and discover the past of your race as you attempt to reclaim your rightful place in the stars. Your exodus across the galaxy is a relentless struggle against the odds and is one of my favorite campaigns in video game history. By the time you make it to the end there is a true feeling of satisfaction. Even though most of the story is told through voiceovers and the movements of starships, I felt truly connected with the Kushan as if I actually went through the journey with them. [embed]288437:57575:0[/embed] Unfortunately, Homeworld 2’s story is of less consistent quality. Without spoiling the excellent saga of the original, all I can say is that it takes place 100 years after the conclusion of the first game. Although it’s still interesting, it can’t compare to the tenacious flight of the Kushan. I found to to be a bit tangential, and the antagonists of the game, the Vaygr, don’t evoke the same raw anger that the Taiidani did. I highly recommend that if this is your first time playing the series to play them in order, as the charm of the original makes the second one shine a bit brighter than if it was played on its own. However, gameplay between the two is very similar, and in Homeworld Remastered Collection, the lines are further blurred as both games now use the same engine. Up to the release of this collection, unlike the gameplay and plot, graphically the series was showing its age considerably on modern computers. Although changing a .ini file will enable 16:9 on the original games, it’s simply not a big enough change to do the game justice. However, Gearbox’s new models, effects,  cutscenes, textures, and skyboxes have brought the series back to life. They remain faithful to the original while fitting in enough subtle changes to make them interesting. Those expecting revolutionary visuals though will be disappointed. The new textures do have a bit of a muddled look about them, but with the amount of models that can be on screen at once, it may be for the best that they didn’t go overboard. The series is played on a completely three-dimensional field. Unlike Starcraft or Command and Conquer, you’ll have to worry about enemies from above and below you as well as on all sides. Even though these games are 12 and 16 years old, no game series since has replicated this formula, leading them to still feel as fresh as any game coming out this year. Your focal point will be your mothership, and its survival comes above all else. Typically, you’ll need to concentrate on collecting and refining resources from the various asteroids and gas clouds which dot the map, and use them to build your fleet. At its core, combat depends on a rock-paper-scissor system of effectiveness and is easy to get into, yet offers quite a bit of tactical finesse. One thing I liked a lot was that during the campaign, ships you’ve built or salvaged will transfer to the next mission. It adds a huge incentive to actually shepherd your units, and I found myself giving carriers and Assault Frigates names and characterization and reveling in their victories and yelling at the screen when my favorites were blown apart because I made a mistake. Although the movement system is still top notch and unique to this series, but the A.I. that controls the ship could use some work, particularly with formation settings. Both games are in the Homeworld 2 engine which had a distinctly inferior formation and posturing system than the first and unfortunately it’s made for a ton of frustration. I found myself having to micromanage my ships when moving a large fleet because even when I put in the command to fall into a formation, they sometimes refused to stay with the group. In particular in my last session, my fleet of over a hundred ships flew together in formation perfectly except for two Support Frigates. Instead of falling into their battle line and matching speed with the rest of the formation, they wanted to race ahead towards wherever the fleet’s destination was with not a care in the world that they were the weakest frigate-class ships in the game. Although I was able to get them to rejoin the fleet if I ordered formation again after each movement command, it was frustrating to worry if my units were going to race blindly to their death whenever I had to pay attention to another situation. One of the big changes with Homeworld Remastered Collection is that the games are somewhat combined. Playing vs. A.I. or online multiplayer, instead of having to choose from either the Kushan and Taiidani, or Hiigarians and Vaygr, you can choose from all four. I was afraid that this would throw the impeccable balance that the game’s combat depends on off, but they’re all similarly matched, and the dynamic that the combination of both game’s playable races create ended up making the game more interesting. Steam Workshop support makes installing mods a cinch as well, so not only do your have the unique dynamic between these four races for the first time, but you can easily add new material. There’s quite a few of the more popular mods on the workshop for the original versions of the games, and before too long you can be sure we’ll see ports of mods and new mod. Online multiplayer is currently in beta, and requires a Gearbox SHiFT account, which is free and fairly easy to sign-up for. Once I linked my SHiFT account to Steam I really didn’t notice any interference from it when I played online. The first couple days I had the game it was shaky, with the service sometimes unavailable and a few game crashes. However, although I didn’t notice a patch, something must have been changed on Gearbox’s end because I have now played four online matches with no issues. When committing to playing online, just remember, it can take two or three hours depending on the map and number of players to actually complete a match on Homeworld Remastered Collection. Although I absolutely love the feeling of victory after facing down three other players, I hope that future updates add an option to get a match done a bit faster. The major disappointment I had with the collection is the absence of the excellent Homeworld: Cataclysm. The reason given by the developers was that the source code was lost or incomplete, but having a copy of the original or even a cinematic giving its backstory would have been great, especially for new fans to the series. Honestly, I found the fight against the Beast to be a more engaging story than that of Homeworld 2’s artifact hunt, and the changes in units and gameplay were much more interesting than the sequel’s replication of the first’s formula. Hopefully the success of these remasters will inspire Gearbox to attempt to reconstruct Cataclysm, and maybe even create a continuation of the series. Seeing these classic games back in print is wonderful. It’s always saddened me that these two titles, along with some of the best games of the late ’90s and early 2000s, are impossible to get. My adolescence was spent playing titles from industry icons Sierra, 14 East, Interplay, and Black Gate, and I hope that the recent storm of successful and well-made remasters gives someone the incentive to revive even more greats from the past. Whether you’re a fan of sci-fi, real-time strategy, or simply just video games in general, Homeworld Remastered Collection is a must-have if you haven’t played the series before. For those who spent years guarding their precious pressings of these classics, it’s time to rejoice, the Homeworld series is just as good as you remember it. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Homeworld Remastered photo
Lost and found and turned around
In 1999, I was 11 years old. It was a time when every video game purchase was a gamble. The best you could do was to read a review or watch a grainy, minute-long Quicktime video that you spent an hour to download on 56k while...

Homeworld Remastered photo
Homeworld Remastered

Homeworld Remastered's new vid is a modern trailer for a modern launch


The Age of S'jet begins again
Feb 25
// Josh Tolentino
My Steam clock tells me that Homeworld Remastered Collection unlocks in less than nine hours, but that just means there's just enough time left to put up this here launch trailer, which is brimming with all the bombast ...
Homeworld trailer photo
Homeworld trailer

Homeworld Remastered Collection trailer shows off sexy-voiced cultist or something


'If you will not join, then die'
Feb 19
// Darren Nakamura
All right, I'll admit it: I know almost nothing about Homeworld. After reading the plot synopsis on Wikipedia (yeah journalism!), I got the gist of how things go, but with all of the alien races involved I can't really place...
Borderlands photo
Borderlands

Borderlands leaving old gen behind


New gen gets all the newness
Feb 03
// Robert Summa
Coming out of an always-exciting earnings call that publishers love to have, it was revealed that the next Borderlands game will be for next-gen only (or new gen or current gen or whatever gen you want to fight about on the I...
Burch leaves Gearbox photo
Burch leaves Gearbox

Borderlands 2 lead writer Anthony Burch is leaving Gearbox


Going to Los Angeles to work on a new RocketJump project
Jan 30
// Darren Nakamura
Almost five years ago, Anthony Burch went from being a Destructoid staff member to a Destructoid alumnus, moving on to work as a writer at Gearbox Software. On his personal Twitter account this morning, he announced that he w...
Lady Hammerlock video photo
Lady Hammerlock video

Borderlands' Sir Hammerlock thinks his sister is an 'exceedingly bad person'


'She's wealthy, she's merciless, she's not a hero'
Jan 27
// Darren Nakamura
The Lady Hammerlock Pack of downloadable content is out for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel today so 2K and Gearbox have released an introduction video for the Baroness. While she is not really a villain, she is not exactly a he...
Borderlands 3 photo
Borderlands 3

Gearbox 'ready to start' Borderlands 3, begins hiring process


This could be you, apparently!
Jan 25
// Mike Cosimano
During the official Borderlands panel at PAX South, Gearbox chief Randy Pitchford confirmed the company was "ready to start" production on a new game in the franchise, later taking to Twitter with an open call to developers l...
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...
Homeworld Remastered photo
Homeworld Remastered

We Can Go Homeworld Again: Gearbox sets date for Homeworld Remastered


Engine trails ahoy!
Jan 25
// Josh Tolentino
Finally! The Mothership has arrived. It's been quite a while since we last heard word from Gearbox and its plan to spruce up the Homeworld series for a much-needed rerelease, but more details have just jumped in, includ...
Borderlands photo
Borderlands

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
Borderlands

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
Borderlands

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...

Review: Tales from the Borderlands: Zer0 Sum

Nov 25 // Darren Nakamura
Tales from the Borderlands: Zer0 Sum (iOS, Mac, PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Telltale GamesPublisher: Telltale GamesReleased: November 25, 2014 (Mac, PC)MSRP: $4.99, $24.99 (Season Pass)Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit Any who have played a Telltale game in the past few years will find few surprises here. Play is split into sections of walking around and examining the surroundings, making dialogue choices that sometimes have profound effects on the path of the narrative, and navigating interactive cutscenes through quick-time events. That said, Tales from the Borderlands includes a few new lore-appropriate features. Rhys, one of the two protagonists, is in management at Hyperion. Three years after the fall of Handsome Jack, he has schmoozed his way into the upper echelon of the corporation. In doing so, he has access to advanced technology that grants him special abilities. His left eye is a cybernetic Echo Eye that can be used to scan objects for additional information, which often contains funny descriptions. His right arm is entirely robotic, and can be used to communicate with his friends or call down a custom combat Loader bot when the situation gets hairy.  Fiona, the other main character, is a Pandoran scam artist. Without a large company's assets at her disposal, she instead relies on her wit and the power of cold, hard cash. Having money on hand opens up additional narrative options through purchases or bribery. In contrast to the core titles in the series, money is a finite resource here; if it is spent early, it will not be available for potential use later on. This type of quandary also comes up with Fiona's hidden pistol: It has one bullet in it and the choice of whether to use it or not at any given point is not an obvious one. [embed]283779:56317:0[/embed] The narrative moves back and forth between Rhys and Fiona, who form a fragile alliance toward a common goal. The two get separated occasionally, each sent to experience a different set of simultaneous events. When the two come together, it has an almost Tarantino-esque feel, where the player gets to see the same scene play out through another viewpoint and with additional context to frame it. Part of that effect stems from the fact that the story is being told through flashback by the two not-quite-trustworthy characters. There are points when one or the other is obviously embellishing the story, which brings up the question of whether they are stretching the truth in other, less obvious instances. One slight disappointment with the storytelling is the illusion of choice it sometimes helps to create. In one sequence, the player is asked to describe what "the most important part" of the story is, and a handful of very different choices are made available. Though it initially seems like this choice could drive the story in one of a few hugely different directions, it turns out that all of those choices happen and it is only a matter of which the character emphasizes. That said, the overall narrative is fantastic. Despite the shift in focus from gunplay to wordplay, the events that unfold are sufficiently exciting, violent, and absurd to fit into the Borderlands universe. If anything, the tone of Tales is a little less wacky than that of Borderlands 2. There is still the over-the-top depiction of a lawless land, but a back alley stabbing in Tales feels heavier and more real than a bandit dissolving from a corrosive shotgun blast in previous games in the franchise. The writing does a superb job of capturing the dark comedy of the Borderlands universe. There are probably as many "laugh out loud" moments in Tales from the Borderlands: Zer0 Sum as there are in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which is impressive because the latter is about ten times longer than the former. And some of those moments are not just snorts or chuckles, but actual sustained laughter. This might be the funniest Borderlands game to date, and it is at least the densest in that sense. The downside to Telltale's focus on crafting a great story is that it seems like classic adventure gameplay takes a backseat here more than ever. Exploration sections are cut short before the player can finish scouring an area and the only things close to being puzzles are Rhys's decision on how to spec his Loader companion for an impending battle and a simple memory exercise for Fiona. The Telltale Tool engine might be showing its age with other new releases, but it shows off Borderlands' signature comic book style well. Pandora is every bit as bright and colorful as a desert wasteland can be, and it looks great despite the low polygon count. Aside from the disappointing lack of puzzles and limit on exploration, Tales from the Borderlands: Zer0 Sum is excellent. Where the first episodes of other Telltale series can start off slowly, Tales maintains high energy throughout. Its consistently funny writing and duo of unreliable narrator protagonists set the stage for a great overarching story, and it feels very much like it belongs in the Borderlands franchise. If the rest of the season maintains this level of quality, Tales from the Borderlands will be up there in history with the other great recent Telltale adventures. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Telltale Borderlands photo
Two tales worth telling
[Disclosure: Anthony Burch, who consulted on the story for Tales from the Borderlands, was previously employed at Destructoid. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into the review.] When Tales ...

Telltale Borderlands photo
Telltale Borderlands

Tales from the Borderlands behind the scenes video vaguely answers a question about Handsome Jack


Yes, Handsome Jack is dead
Nov 22
// Darren Nakamura
Back when Tales from the Borderlands was first announced at last year's VGX, one of the questions that came up was, "Wait, why is Handsome Jack in the trailer if this occurs after the events of Borderlands 2? Shouldn't he be...
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...

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