Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360 (reviewed)
Developer: 2K Australia
Publisher: 2K Games
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is ridiculously good fun. I really can't stress that enough.
This awkwardly titled segue might appear to be a lazy off-year cash grab, but it actually delivers the most fundamental mechanical update the series has ever received. Low-gravity combat. We're still shooting and looting, but now we're soaring merrily through the air (or vacuum!), using a nuanced double jump to gain extra height or boost our way around sprawling three-dimensional stages.
It's awesome, and unlocks a host of exciting new encounters as we take on airborne foes in the air, rain down firepower onto smart squads of jetpack troopers or employ an epic Butt Slam attack to smash down into enemy formations; cracking their faceplates and watching them asphyxiate to a wub wub soundtrack. On top of that, insanely powerful laser cannons and freeze-shattering Cryo weapons slot perfectly into the Borderlands experience, giving us more ways to brutalise anyone stupid enough to stand against us. Now that I'm used to The Pre-Sequel's very Australian humour and voice cast, I don't think I can go back.
It's so much fun, in fact, that while I'm playing I can ignore all of its many, many, many flaws.Click here to read more...
How come Claptrap can navigate stairs in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel? Why the hell does he need oxygen? What's the most badass, awesome thing in a game overflowing with badassery and awesomesauce?
Carl catches up with Gearbox's James Lopez and 2K Australia's Joel Eschler at this year's Gamescom to find out, and get the lowdown on the latest addition to the playable roster for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel takes place on the moon of the planet Pandora in the time between the first and second games, with players working for Handsome Jack. Not played any of the other games? Don’t worry; this is a simple place to start and newcomer friendly while giving plenty of nudges to the fans. So let’s dive in and see what 2K Australia has brought to the table since Gearbox handed them the reigns.
Two playable characters were available to choose from in this demo. First time through the snaking queue at the MCM Manchester Expo I tried Athena, a light and nimble character packing a collection of long-range weapons. Her standard mêlée move involves a sweet red katana slash that has a satisfying feel. Athena's most impressive feature though is her shield ability. A tap of L1 sees her raise her shield in her left hand, leaving the right free to continue firing a gun. The shield can be thrown Captain America style for a devastating attack with a tap of L1. The shield is thrown automatically after the meter has depleted too. It’s a great way to create some breathing room when multiple enemies are closing in. You're going to be happy to splurge hard-earned skill points on reducing the cooldown period for this one.
The second character I was able to choose was the imposing figure of Wilhelm. So, it comes as no surprise that we’ve found this Pre-Sequel’s tank character. His default loadout favored more explosive weaponry like shotguns and rocket launchers. Sadly, his melee attack lacked any sort of impact or visual style compared to Athena’s. Why should we be content with a standard rifle butt jab when Athena gets a freakin’ sword? Come on 2K, give him a hammer at least or seeing as we expect mental weapons from this series, maybe a small rabid skag on a stick would be better? Wilhelm’s special ability is much more useful (but again not very unique), a small backup drone that flies around you shooting at will. Frankly, I was too busy shooting to see how useful it was being.Click here to read more...
It's official: 2K Australia are indeed working on a "pre-sequel" to Borderlands, appropriately entitled Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Set on the Hyperion Moonbase, players will explore the low-gravity no-Oxygen environment at the behest of a younger Handsome Jack.
Or more accurately, just Jack, we suppose.
All the rumours were true; from the selection of characters (yes, we get to control a weaponised ClapTrap!) to limited Oxygen and a 2014 release on PC and last-gen consoles. We could elaborate, but for your convenience, 2K Australia and Gearbox' Randy Pitchford star in a new explanatory trailer that covers all the basics and then some.
Gearbox have strenuously denied that they're working on Borderlands 3 over these last few months, but an interesting new rumour alleges that they've actually outsourced a "pre-sequel" (ugh) to 2K Australia. Apparently we'll soon be scampering around Hyperion's moonbase, conserving oxygen and abusing the low gravity later this year on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Maybe. Though outlandish, the report definitely has the ring of truth to it.Click here to read more...
2K Games Canberra has been given a new facelift, a new name and is back working once again with Irrational under their old 2K Australia moniker. An employee at the studio reportedly gave MCV Pacific a heads-up earlier.
The studio has worked on the original Bioshock under Irrational, as well as Bioshock 2 and the XCOM reboot alongside 2K Marin. The latest game in the Bioshock series, set atop fin-de-siecle floating city Columbia, is due next year. We can't wait, as you've probably gleaned already from our Bioshock: Infinite preview.