Borderlands 2 keeps getting better every time we see it. Barely a fortnight after showing off a new build at E3 2012, Gearbox turned up in London with an even newer, shinier one that showed off those promised PC features and resolutions to advantage. It's as crisp and colourful as it is thoroughly badass, but it turns out that our hour spent exploring the town of Sanctuary, customising our characters and collecting crumpets for an insane thirteen year old demolitions expert didn't give us much time to marvel at the graphics.
Before we even had time to sit down, however, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford had something new to show us. Borderlands 2 will feature a profile-specific metagame known as 'Badass Rankings,' which effectively allows players to level up right along with their characters. Everything you do, every challenge you complete, will gradually unlock Badass Ranks linked to your player profile - and in turn provides persistent stat boosts that will affect all of your classes regardless of their level. There's no Badass Rank level cap, so even players who've sunk hundreds of hours into the game and completed the campaign countless times will still be able to work towards becoming the ultimate Borderlands 2 player on the leaderboards. If you thought the original Borderlands was addictive, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Handsome Jack and his Hyperion corporation may have assumed dominance over Pandora (thanks mainly to their advanced repurposed technology and looming moon base), but the natives are getting restless. An armed resistance opposes the charismatic megalomaniac at every turn, led by none other than Roland, the soldier from the original game. Helped by Lillith and Mordekai, these so-called Crimson Raiders hunker down in the humble town of Sanctuary, which players will call home for much of the adventure.
Please be aware that the following preview contains some spoilers and so many crunk crumpets that it's going to be a crumpocalpse. Tiny Tina's words, not mine.Click here to read more...
We were slightly concerned when we noticed that Brothers In Arms: Furious 4 missed E3, leading us to speculate whether Gearbox's gung-ho WW2 shooter might have run into serious problems. However, according to outspoken Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford, the project has "evolved," and will 'surprise' us when it finally releases.
Which probably won't be in 2012, let's face it. More details below.Click here to read more...
Borderlands 2 will feature a much more robust cosmetic character editing suite, letting players equip their avatars with different skins, costumes and facial types. According to a new promotional poster (below), players of the original Borderlands will unlock exclusive heads and skins to use in the sequel.
I'd love to tell you lots more about Borderlands 2, but you'll sadly have to wait until Friday. Until then, might I suggest checking out our two-part Borderlands 2 hands-on preview, interview with art director Kevin Duc and E3 2012 Assassin/Commando preview?Click here to read more...
Get Games are once again willing to part with Borderlands, the outstanding multiplayer loot-grinding FPS, for less than two quid. I'd personally actually suggest holding out for a deal on the GOTY Edition (which includes all of the DLC), but if you don't want the extras, you can't quibble with the price.
Input voucher code REZZED02 to receive the discount - and note that this isn't a Steam key.
Gearbox has released a few new screenshots for Aliens: Colonial Marines, showing off the Marines vs Xenomorph multiplayer, Smart Gun GUI and plenty of snarling Geiger-inspired beasties.
Aliens: Colonial Marines is a direct sequel to Aliens, and is shaping up nicely if our Randy Pitchford demo walkthrough was anything to go by. Look out for it this Autumn on PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U.Click here for the new Aliens: Colonial Marines screenshots >>
After playing Borderlands 2 at the recent first look hands-on preview event, I was lucky enough to corner Gearbox concept artist Kevin Duc for a chat about the anticipated 'FPSRPG' sequel. As well as discussing development, new features, drop-in multiplayer and badass shenanigans, Duc was also more than happy to talk about the inspirations behind Borderlands' art design - everything from iPods, airplanes and the Scottish Highlands.
Jonathan Lester (Dealspwn): Thanks for talking to us. First of all, could you introduce yourself to our readership?
Kevin Duc (Gearbox): Absolutely. I'm Kevin Duc, one of the artists on Borderlands 2.
Dealspwn: Excellent. Right, let's get cracking. The original Borderlands was the very definition of a 'sleeper hit.' It released without expectations, analysts looked properly stupid, gamers loved it and us critics were mad for it. Did you expect Borderlands to be such a huge success?
Kevin Duc: You know, we were really excited with how gamers responded to the game. We're very aware that people love this game and they have huge expectations for Borderlands 2, and for us to provide that kind of rich experience again.
Click here to read more...
In the first part of our Borderlands 2 preview, we covered the Siren's deadly new class skills, the revamped interface and the all-important boomsticks. However, our hands-on time with Gearbox's upcoming sequel introduced us to Pandora's new and deadly selection of foes and natural hazards - running the gamut from cutting edge robots to disgusting polyp-extruding Varkid. When we last left our heroes (or more accurately, me playing as the Siren Maya backed up by a Gunzerker), the veteran Hunter Mordekai tasked us with rescuing his beloved pet Bloodwing from the clutches of Handsome Jack's Hyperion Corporation.
Bloodwing was secreted away in a fortified wildlife reserve, but to get there, we had to fight our way through a Hyperion staging area. The industrial titan boasts a range of re-purposed mining robots deployed from their moon base headquarters, with several different variants that pose unique challenges when encountered in a group. Menacing yellow PWR Loaders (somewhat obviously) resemble automated Power Loaders from Aliens, but sport wicked helicopter-like blades on each arm that spin at massive speeds, deflecting incoming firepower unless you're able to flank or Phaselock them during their slow yet relentless advance.
Click here to read more...
Publisher: 2K Games
There ain't no rest for the wicked. Far from receiving a hero's welcome after destroying the greatest threat Pandora has ever known, the original four vault hunters became wanted criminals as Handsome Jack and his Hyperion Corporation took credit for their monumental achievement. The corporate juggernaut is now a powerful private army led by an egomaniacal madman with a fake face disturbingly stapled to his cranium, and it's up to a new quartet of heroes to assist their predecessors and take back Pandora.
As Borderlands fans to a man (it's an office favourite), we've been desperate to learn more about the sequel ever since we saw it in action last year... and naturally jumped at the chance to get a first hands-on with the anticipated 'FPSRPG.' Suffice to say that after rigourously testing Borderlands 2 for an hour, I had to be physically prised off of the controller by two burly 2K reps and a Bandit cosplayer, desperately pleading for more time all the while.
But you didn't come here for the breathless blithering of a starstruck fan. You browsed over to Dealspwn.com for a rigorous, play-by-play stripdown of sixty minutes of contact time. You're here to learn about the Siren's skills, the powerful new enemies, returning characters and surprising new environments, illustrated with brand new screenshots. And we'll deliver - so much, in fact, that we've had to split the article into two parts. Let's do this thing.
It's go time! >>
Randy Pitchford has explained the reasoning behind the delays that have pushed Aliens: Colonial Marines back this year, noting that he's wanted to fulfil the studio's vision for the game over any pressing need to meet deadlines, acknowledging though that there have been inflexible development aims along the way.Click here to read more...
I was utterly blown away when Randy Pitchford walked me through Aliens: Colonial Marines at E3 2011... and you can now have a look at the exact same footage for yourself. Albeit in a fragmented, heavily-edited and compartmentalised way.
Power Loaders! Alien Queens! Bug hunts! Welding! Chop! Game over, man!
In stark comparison to last week's trailer, this one shows off genuine gameplay footage and the impressive lighting to devastating advantage. Colonial Marines has been delayed into the Autumn, and we're fervently hoping that it will deliver on its promise: to provide a true Aliens sequel. Preview here.Click here to read more...
Aliens: Colonial Marines has been in the pipeline for what seems like forever and has suffered from a truly torturous development cycle. It now appears that the anticipated shooter has been delayed into the Autumn according to a contradictory listing on SEGA's official website - which was subsequently confirmed by Gearbox despite the site reverting back to the original Spring launch window. Confusing, but almost certainly happening. [Thanks, TSA]
This is mostly such painful news that I'm not even willing to make an Aliens pun or reference, mostly. Check out our Randy Pitchford guided tour if you want the next few months to just crawl by.
Get Games are once again willing to part with Borderlands, the outstanding multiplayer loot-grinding FPS, for less than two quid. It's got to be worth a shot, right?
There ain't no rest for the wicked. And money don't grow on trees. So this is probably worth a punt unless you're looking for the GOTY edition.
The hype train has had many stops this year, some good, others less so. We've seen big companies laid low through their own lack of caution, undermined by smack talk, and the best laid plans revealed to be sorely misjudged. In terms of games, we've had darlings of the press - games that have won critics over through previews and interviews, buffet spreads and bright lights - only for the end product to be rather lacking.
In the midst of our Game of the Year Season, it is only right the we look back and reflect for a moment upon some of the disappointments of the past twelve months. It should be noted that the games that make this list aren't necessarily bad (although one or two are), but rather proved to dash our hopes in some way. We weren't necessarily cross...just disappointed.
Though there's room for both at the top end.
Forget Dead Island...anyone who finds themselves disappointed by a game on the grounds of a CG trailer only has themselves to blame. The worst culprit of any sort of trailer fiasco this year probably has to go to We Dare. Did we get a raunchy party game for adults? No. Did we get girl-on-girl spanking? No. Were PEGI right to give the game a 12+ rating? Yes. The mainstream press went nuts, with the Daily Fail as usual doing absolutely no research into the actual game; but the disconnect between the trailer and the actual game was pertinent. At the end of the day, We Dare failed to launch in this country, with reports from across the Channel being that the game was about as sexy as Salacious Crumb.
What was it that Silicon Knights did with that multi-million dollar bankroll from the Canadian government? Well it can't all have gone on X-Men Destiny? Can it? Really? Oh dear. Having an X-Men game in which you can't actually play as any of the X-Men was a warning from the start...the awful combat and mind-numbingly boring missions didn't help. We knew it was going to be bad, just not this bad, hence the low position on the list.Click here to read more...
Goddamn, but this is cheap. While there are deals for the GOTY edition floating around that can net you all of Borderlands' DLC, Get Games are willing to part with the base game for less than two quid. It's got to be worth a shot, right?
There ain't no rest for the wicked. But you can save some money.
Duke Nukem Forever is finally out. We lived to see a pivotal event in gaming history unfold before our unbelieving eyes... though the end result certainly failed to set the critical world on fire. Fans, however, rave about its imaginative pacing and set pieces - as well as the big, bold and unashamedly balls-out action.
And it's now £7.99 until tomorrow evening. Which is good value as far as I'm concerned.
Did you agree with our rather disparaging assessment of the recent Duke Nukem Forever? Did you think we were too soft on it? Or did you revel in its archaic delights? Well, whatever you thought of it, Gearbox want to know if the game floated your boat or not. You can participate in the survey here.
Considering that I got a phone call in the early hours of the morning on DNF's launch day berating me and anyone else even remotely associated with the games industry for 'allowing this travesty to take place', I know one friend who's definitely going to be filling this out.
Either way, if you thought the game was excellent old-school fun or a pile of steaming poo, you have a chance to get your feedback to the developers. make it happen!
Duke Nukem Forever was, on the most part, absolutely atrocious. Many of us still enjoyed its pacing, unique gameplay features and good old fashioned action, but there's no getting past the horrible load times, dual weapons and the fact that it probably would have received an average score several years ago.
It's a tenner, though. Past Times sell paperweights for more than that, and this is one that you can actually play if you're so inclined.
Walking into Sega's booth was exciting for a number of reasons; there were plenty of cool games to see, a load of cool free gifts to run away with, bowls of fruit instead of bowls filled full of sweets, and a comfortable place to sit down and wait until your appointment slot rolled around. There was only one game that I was really interested in seeing though and it was at the very bottom of my list of meetings for the day. However, it teased me from a distance because no matter where you went you could hear it stamping its mark on journalists who'd made their way to Gamescom 2011 to see it! The sound of pulse rifles, xenomorphs screaming, turrets repeatidly spitting out bullets, and of course the unmistakable Aliens battle music, echoed around for all to hear, so as you can imagine, by the time I was stood waiting for the door to open I was fired up for an epic presentation.
Being the nimble, quick footed, movie obsessed wonder that I am, I jumped into the room first and was treated to a spectacular sight! An Alien egg stood open by the door, with a facehugger making its way slowy out of the top. Next to the TV screen was a medical tube containing a facehugger and another smaller science container that held a chestburster specimen. Two rows of cinema seats, provided a wonderfully comfortable environment to bask in all the game's glory. So after a brief introductory speech we launched into the demo.Click here to see the rest of Tom's preview!
Borderlands 2 is a sexual Tyrannosaurus. Not only is this actually a class skill for the Gunzerker, one of the new characters that players will lead to anarchic loot-centric mayhem, but Gearbox's MMOFPS sequel is causing a stirring in more than a few gamers' pants. Big guns and big fun makes for a potent combination, and marketing VP Steve Gibson was on hand to give us a guided tour of how it's shaping up.
Back in 2007, the original Borderlands was announced to derisory snorts from industry analysts who felt that it was "sent to die" amidst a sea of sequels and competing first person shooters. Us journalists - and more importantly, gamers in general - thought differently and proceeded to make the first game a runaway success (and give Michael Pachter a bloodied nose for good measure). The slew of sequels didn't stop Borderlands from selling... but now that Gearbox are launching a sequel of their own, they're putting an emphasis on making sure that Borderlands 2 is much more than "just a few levels and some new textures slapped in a box."
The Marrowfield tundra played host to our guided demonstration; a pristine blue and white wasteland that instantly provided a breath of fresh air from the traditional brown dust and grime. Gibson explained that Pandora will be a much more vibrant place this time around with colourful contrasting environments and horizons that show off areas of the game that you can actually visit. Strolling to the modern Hyperion City, verdant green grasslands and other (as yet unannounced, Gibson was keen to stress) areas is as easy as heading towards these distant vistas, marking part of a new open mission structure that will allow players to cooperate between bouts of singleplayer without feeling separated by unsynchronised quests and character levels.
And there's an on-screen map. Lovely.Right, that's enough setting the scene. Click here for the guns, goons and big midgets!
After Gearbox were forced to announce Borderlands 2 early by a report from EG, Gearbox have sent out a new piece of artwork that shows off one of the new classes that will appear in the game. Details are still completely sparse about his abilities and combat role (hell, we don't even know his name yet), but the upcoming issue of Game Informer promises to spill the beans in an exclusive reveal. We'll keep you posted.Click here to read more...