[Disclosure: Anthony Burch, the writer of Borderlands 2, was previously employed at Destructoid. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into the review.]
It’s a good thing that Borderlands 2 doesn’t often touch on real-world culture over the course of its kitschy, ostentatious sci-fi romp -- the times where it does have tended to be low points. I was disappointed to find the illiterate, incestuous, and NASCAR-obsessed Hodunk family roaming the Dust; I expect that Gearbox’ Irish audience weren’t thrilled to see the Zafords depicted as whiskey-addled leprechauns.
These depictions are offensive at worst, and boring at best. Trotting out tired, well-worn stereotypes about poor people in Ireland and the American South is picking low-hanging fruit.
Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt, the third downloadable campaign for Borderlands 2, has the dubious honor of bringing that tradition into the new year. The premise sends our intrepid Vault Hunter to the yet-uncharted continent of Aegrus, which is populated by dark-skinned, facepainted, spear-wielding “savages,” whose vocabulary consists of “ooga” and “booga.”
The "witch doctor" enemy class brings a touch of the Magical Negro stereotype, effectively rounding out Big Game Hunt’s problematic vision of indigenous black people.