Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Rumortoid: Borderlands now Cel-shaded? [Update]

7:00 AM on 04.09.2009 // Jim Sterling

I've been following Borderlands for quite some time, ever since I saw it detailed in Game Informer back in 2007. The wait has been long, and that worries me slightly. However, if the latest rumors hold any truth, there may be a reason for the wait -- changing an entire game's art style will do that sort of thing.

What we definitely know is the Gearbox has changed the game's artistic direction since we last saw it. It originally had a very gritty, very dreary look to it. Late last year, a tester on the game had Twittered that the title was "still a year out from release. Not bad, but needs some work. Reminds me of Crackdown a little." The tester was fired for his trespass.

It's likely the Crackdown aspect may reference gameplay more than look, but it has since transpired that the aesthetics are different from when we last saw them. Gearbox community manager Ennui states: "We do care about all our fans, no doubt, and the decision to alter the art style was assuredly not one taken or made lightly ... Though there's always the chance some people could be turned off by the style, it was decided that, overall, it fits the game and creates a more visually interesting experience."

[Update: Community member TnS has shared with us a quick scan from a bit of a magazine and it does indeed have elements of Cel-shading in the new aesthetic. Fellow commenter Scroll says it uses a hand-drawn technique that is then scanned into the game. Check out our comments for the scan, and hit the jump for more comments from Gearbox's Ennui.]

"Our concept art had this incredible, distinctive style and feel that fit so perfectly - the game has not become less detailed or washed out at all," continues Ennui. "Rather, it retains the detail and style that's often lost when we move from concept art to 3D. It stands out, and makes the gray-and-brown bleak landscapes, while still bleak and inhospitable, memorable and recognizable. The entire world has life to it, from the creatures to the very rocks and dirty walls. The game world is no less gritty, dirty, or harsh -- all of the detail is there, and the environments have even more atmosphere. We solicited feedback from our focus testing initiative, which consists entirely of a very large pool of gamers from all walks of life, and in the end, the choice was clear for us.

"Whether or not you are excited about the art style, the core gameplay is still the same: gritty, fun co-op FPS action on an alien frontier world with RPG elements and a metric shitton of guns. And it is a hell of a lot of fun -- I may be biased, but I'm also a gamer myself, and I have had a chance to play the game. I think it would be fun if it looked like a PS1 game. I think a great deal of people will agree with this (and a great deal of our testers have already). The PC Gamer article has a great write-up of the player experience."

The community manager adds: "I'll definitely be sad to see anyone put off go, but I do hope that on release (and maybe even before as we release a bunch of new media), you'll give it a shot - even if it's just playing a friend's copy or something like that. I think you may still be surprised."

So, we know the game's look has changed, and that it'll be more vibrant, which definitely hints that something a little more "cartoony" could be on the way. I'll always welcome a game that strives for a different look, but with the title slated for this year after already being pushed back from 2008, one wonders just how much time and effort has been expended, and whether that will affect the rest of the game's quality. 

Regardless, I am still hopeful for the game's ambitious concept. We'll sniff around Gearbox to try and find out more, and will let you know.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Playing New Vegas again because reasons, it occurs to me that it'd be nice if Old World Blues gave me the option to move the Brotherhood of Steel to the Big MT instead of wiping them out for Mr. House.
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
Near heart attack as for a minute it seemed like the A button of my 3DS was busted. It's fine now though, I think we'll live.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
There's now a £4/$5 Raspberry Pi. So cheap it's a cover extra on the latest Mag Pi. Based on the original chipset, it's single core but clocked at 1Ghz so it's quite a bit faster and oh so tiny. I can't wait to see what folks build with it.
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
After a lifetime of not spending a single cent on FTP games, I finally broke and dropped €1 in the Nintendo Badge Arcade. I just had to have all the Luigi badges asap. I feel dirty. Plus side, my 3ds will be covered in Luigi.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
The postman just brought me gifts i bought for myself ... [img][/img] [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Umm.. no Microsoft. Where is the 'go away' button? [img][/img]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I tried driving as Uber last night to start supplementing my income and everyone so far has been super chill. Also, I started practicing in my sleepy small home city so the training wheels were still on. No big city bar hoppers just yet.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Just got my Gwent physical edition. I don't understand special abilities - for example, Arachas have an icon with two knights beneath the close combat icon. Avallac'h has an eye in that same spot. Help? (I'm no longer a squid btw)
KyWii avatarKyWii
Happy Thanksgiving all! Load up on carbs and then get back to playing Fallout 4.
Archelon avatarArchelon
New extended television spot for The Force Awakens! [youtube][/youtube]
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
I dunno if I just had a freak incident but I think Ubisoft may have just changed the Renown gain in Rainbow Six Siege to be less shit as in overnight they've patched it. If true, kinda good on them.
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Does it mess with anyone else's head that when beating a SMBW level in Mario Maker the music doesn't do that little 'booowoo oop' at the end. [youtube][/youtube]
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
I've developed a new hobby to indulge in while on Skype with friends: creating stupid Sonic OCs. I have so much fun making them for some weird reason, and once I have enough of them I might as well post a c-blog of them, am I right? Look out in the future
El Dango avatarEl Dango
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Boy howdy, does Divinity: Original Sin take a while to get going. But, it was worth it in the end. Probably the most hardcore RPG I've played. Stellar writing, at that! Combat's pretty amazing too. [img][/img]
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
So it seems I've locked into the Neutral ending for SMT IV and now I need to find specific challenge quests and complete them...? How (un)fun! Google is your friend - the videogame.
Riobux avatarRiobux
Interested in playing some Pathfinder? Trying to arrange a Dtoid Pathfinder group for Saturday nights (GMT) on Skype & Roll 20. If you're new to pen-and-paper RPGs, I don't mind at all and can bring you up to speed quick. Just comment if interested.
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Local convention had a great selection of game soundtracks 5 for $20! I got Halo 3: ODST (2 disk!), Gears of War 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Darksiders 2 (2 disk!), and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Some of the best soundtracks of the last 7 years!
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Photos and videos are back on quickposts but clipping on some devices. We're going to add a new quickpost editing interface so photos and videos can only be displayed one way (a la twitter) to solve this. Also, a My cBlog link was added to your user menu
Flegma avatarFlegma
Machine-washed my Wii Fit meter yesterday by accident. Took the battery out and let it dry for the night. Luckily the meter still worked - but it had counted a fair number of steps more that day.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -