Posts Tagged ‘Borderlands’

I just became a Busy-er Gamer

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Sometimes I go long stretches without playing games. It’s rare but it does happen. Either there isn’t anything to catch my interest or there’s just not enough time for it. And then the end of the year rolls around and I find myself buried up to my ears in choices and most of them happen to be some of the most Busy Gamer unfriendly games you can imagine. We’re talking about time investments galore from games that I really enjoy playing when I can make the time for the titles.

So I’m looking at the round up from the past few and the upcoming few weeks and having to set down some guidelines. For me, I can either split my time among several titles and not get the full experience or I can pick one, fully enjoy it, and hope that I won’t get too sucked in by the overall experience that my other titles start collecting dust.

I’m putting my list together and looking at how I’m going to divvy my time. If you’re as torn as I am and wondering about the pros and cons of certain games, I’m about to go over what I see as blessing and curses with each of the following five titles listed in no particular order.

The goblins are gonna getcha.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm: It’s a whole new world with the latest Blizzard crackfest, literally. Azeroth gets a makeover, the level cap is raised to 85, and the new talent system looks and plays great so far.

Pros: I’ve been looking forward to this for awhile. Blizzard raises the bar with each expansion it launches for the WoW franchise and from the hands on I’ve hand, this time looks no different. New areas, revamped areas, new enemies, new dungeons, old dungeons with heroic mode, new gear… The list could go on for days a long time and each item on the list makes me want to play again.

Cons: Every time an expansion for WoW comes out, I go into the new areas with what used to be my badass gear. I get my ass handed to me by some new mob and then a green drops that makes me want to punch myself in the throat because it’s better than that shiny purple that took so long to get. Not my favorite feeling. Then there’s the fact that as an 80 and with the new talents, I have to relearn my class from scratch instead of growing into it as I have over the past few years. That means I’m going to be schooled by people who just started new characters because as new skills became available, they played with them to see what they could do. Instead, I’m stuck trying to figure out what each does on the fly.

Conclusion: I may avoid this one for a while. Oh, I’ll pick it up on launch day and tool around in the new areas but I may just have to sit back and read the boards for awhile to know what to look out for when I make it back.

Fallout: New Vegas: I’ll pretend that some of you don’t know about my infatuation with the Fallout series and my post-apocalyptic interior designer addiction I picked up in Fallout 3. Suffice it to say I both cringed and rejoiced when a new DLC for Fallout 3 was announced. I rejoiced because I loved that Bethesda had managed to capture the old school feeling of the franchise and wrap an FPS around it. It made for a whole new experience and I wanted to explore every inch of it. That’s what made me cringe. I had to know what was behind every burned out building and under every rock. I had to see all of it and the world was HUGE. I’d start at one corner of the map and just pick a direction to explore and I would find something new every time. And now there’s a whole new world to explore.

Pros: Post apocalyptic gaming goodness. Anyone who was a fan of the original series was most likely won over by Bethesda’s portrayal of the Fallout world. From the 50s type vision of the future to the reintroduction of old characters, they nailed the feel of the franchise. Fallout: New Vegas looks to be more of the same and that is absolutely the right way to go. New perks, new faces, old enemy organizations. I like the sound of that.

Cons: Seriously, I explore everything. Every building, ditch, gulley, sewer grate, cave, whatever. If you can crawl, walk, or run into it, I was there. And I can’t stop. It’s like an addiction but instead of a dealer, I get mutant cockroaches. Very little difference, I know. Definitely a time sink for anyone who might get the explorer bug as bad as me but this one may be the one that wins out in the end as far as my title to beat.

Fallen Earth: I’ve been tooling around with this game and I can honestly say I’m very, very impressed. Beyond what we saw at PAX this year, Fallen Earth is easily one of the most well put together games in regards to “classless” game play. Devoting points to one stat doesn’t mean you are going to get stuck playing as one role. There’s enough bleedover between the different professions that a build that works with one choice can easily swap out to another. It’s easy to get interested in the game mechanics and overlook the story and the well written aspects of it as you go along but if you choose to pay attention, there’s a lot to be had here.

Pros: Easily one of the most “crafter” friendly games I have ever seen. You pick up your mats, queue up the recipe, and then you can go run around killing things. You’re not stuck standing in one place while a progress indicator climbs and falls. The learning curve is up there but this game has one of the friendliest and helpful playerbases I’ve ever seen.

Cons: I mentioned the learning curve. It’s more of a mountain some times. As you play, you begin to understand why it’s so high but from the bottom, it is intimidating. If you’re not the type to ask questions or read the help files, you’re going to be frustrated until you can figure everything out for yourself. And if you’re the type who enjoys crafting, you may suffer full on withdrawal when you have to log off for a period of time. The crafting system is *that* good.

Borderlands: Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution: I’m a fiend when it comes to Borderlands. It’s only the second game I’ve played on the Xbox 360 that made me want to get all of the achievements. I’ve played every class through at least one playthrough and every DLC up to now. The new free DLC comes out prior to the level cap being raised to 69 (for those who bought Secret Armory, 58 if you passed on it) and sets the old areas to match your new level when you beat the game in its entirety. In other words, you can go run around in the old areas and still feel challenged. Just what I needed. I’ve held off on this content specifically waiting for the free DLC to raise the level cap so I don’t feel obligated to play through the DLC more than once… for each class.

Pros: I never tire of the humor in Borderlands. From standing around listening to the various Claptraps, the radio announcements in T-bone Junction, or Marcus telling the story of Dr. Ned. More of the good stuff, please. Old enemies get overhauled by having their levels raised which means I won’t feel like a bully when I go back to Firestone and beat up Bonehead anymore.

Cons: I could play this game for hours at a time and not get bored. Run to the old stomping grounds, hunt for loot, listen to Tannis go insane, there’s just a lot I enjoy about this game. I can see the combo of the Claptrap’s DLC and the level cap being raised as being very dangerous to my mental health. There’s just so much to do and so much humor-y goodness to be had. In the end, the amount I devote to this one will end up depending on who I am playing it with in Multi-player. Other addicts like me and I’ll end up losing entire days of my life to it. Hopefully I’ll manage with just a couple of sessions with casual gamers.

Just in time for Halloween, some Red Undead...

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare: Oh, geez, where to even start with this one. Zombies and the old west. If that doesn’t scream “Match made in Heaven” to you, then you probably didn’t get in on the game before there were going to be zombies. And you missed out if that’s the case. No other game has made me feel more like a cowboy than RDR and that’s the way I like it.

Pros: New single player missions involving the creepy crawlies. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one new multi-player mission using the new content as well.

Cons: I have to be careful with RDR. I can set the game down for months and then decide to fire it up one day and the next thing I know, my entire weekend is gone. From running around playing shoot ‘em up in multi-player to riding on patrol and dodging bears in single player, RDR appeals to that part of me that never outgrew playing Cowboys and Indians.

So that’s my list. I’d be interested to see if anyone had any thoughts on their own “to play” list or in regards to any of the games I’ve listed but for now, I have to go make some hard choices.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

More than a possible sequel for Borderlands

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Borderlands ready for Z-Day?

(Gamespot) – Just after the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Borderlands creator Gearbox Software filed a host of applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office to secure the rights to possible future game titles. Among these titles were “World War II Hero,” “Brothers In Arms War Hero,” “Modern War Hero,” and “War Hero.” Of the last, studio CEO Randy Pitchford confirmed to GameSpot that a game of that name was in development, but well “down the road.”

This week, one more of those “down the road” projects may have emerged, courtesy of a new trademark application that Gearbox has filed with the USPTO. The game name in question is “Z-Day,” and it carries the customary telltale description of “computer game software for personal computers and home video game consoles; motion picture films about action and adventure.”

Gearbox has yet to respond to requests for comment on the project. However, on the studio’s Web site, the developer currently has four in-development projects listed. Among these are Aliens: Colonial Marines, as well as three unnamed developments.

One of these untitled works is likely a sequel to its highly stylized double-platinum shooter Borderlands. Though a sequel has not yet been announced, Borderland’s critical and commercial success led creative director Mike Neumann to call a follow-up “a no-brainer” in November, and Take-Two has trumpeted the fact that it retains the “long-term publishing rights” to the franchise.

[Full story at Gamespot.com]

Borderlands latest DLC “The Secret Armory of General Knoxx” now available for download for Xbox 360

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Yeah, we fought one of these. They suck.

It’s possible you haven’t played Borderlands. If you haven’t, you’re missing out on one of the most addictive games ever. It’s also possible that even if you have played Borderlands that you aren’t aware of the latest of three DLCs for the game, The Secret Armory of General Knoxx. And it’s entirely possible that even if you are aware of the latest DLC that you aren’t aware that the DLC is currently available for the Xbox 360 version since it was launched without much fanfare.

Well, here’s the scoop… The Secret Armory of General Knoxx has landed on Xbox Live and is available for download and play. If you got bored with “Playthrough 2.5″, conquered Moxxi’s Underdome, and survived the undead horrors of Jakob’s Cove, you’re in for a treat with this one.

The Reckon Crew has been playing through this latest DLC and we have to say that we like what we see so far. Raising the level cap from 50 to 61, Gearbox and 2K Games is billing “Secret Armory” as the “largest DLC for Borderlands to date”. Weighing in at a hefty 1.6 GB, it’s certainly one of the largest DLCs to date, period.

Picking up where the main storyline left off, “Secret Armory” contains more of the outrageous humor, fantastic voice acting, and beautifully rendered graphics we’ve come to know and love in the Borderlands universe. It introduces more powerful weapons, the raised level cap, several new vehicles and some vast new areas to explore.

We ran into one of these as well. They suck, too.

From what the Reckon Crew has seen so far, there are also new beasties to fight. We’re not talking about old skins slapped on old models but entirely new critters and baddies who do their best to rip your virtual face off. And while some old enemies make new appearances, you’ll be well pleased with the amount of new content this DLC has to offer.

You can count on our review of the new content to be up and running as soon as we’ve had the time to more fully explore it but for now, we’re already giving it our thumbs up.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Borderlands: The Secret Armory of General Knox

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010


The New Borderlands (3rd DLC installment) entitled ‘The Secret Armory of General Knox’ is en route to your download station this year. Gearbox states that this package is “bigger and better than the previous two installments” and is aimed at levelling and skilling out your level 20-50 pandora stomping toon. Gearbox is also promising a level cap rise, but have not yet indicated how high, and expects to deliver “brutal, never-before-seen enemies in a huge new environment complete with tons of brand new missions, entirely new weapons and items.”

Rumors are also floating around of a new ground vehicle to roll around in (see pic), and possibly even a new character to power up. Either way, the last episodes have well extended our fun at BusyGamer, and we are certain this one will too. Still no price or confirmed date, just some gnarly press screen shots.

Check out our BusyGamer review of Borderlands while your here.

Game Review: Borderlands

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Borderlands earns a Busy Gamer 3

First Glance:
Gun down some baddies in a futuristic wasteland, level up, gun down bigger baddies.

The Short Story:
Borderlands doesn’t try to do everything all at once. At its core, it’s an FPS with role-playing elements and it seamlessly combines those elements for a thoroughly enjoyable experience. You take missions and bounties as you wander the Borderlands as one of four classes. Level up as you shoot your way to your goals, making your character more powerful for the bigger fights. Team up with up to three other players to get the full experience.

The Score:
This game has quickly become a Reckon Crew favorite and even made it into our top five picks for 2009. Hardly a night goes by without a quick round of Borderlands being played. Cel shaded graphics bring the world of Pandora to light and some of the best voice acting in any video game to date helps to unfold the story of four adventurers who have come to this world to search for treasures beyond imagining. There’s a well told story here and it’s worth the time investment to see it to its ending. The multi-player feature of Borderlands allows for short play sessions and the controls are easy enough to learn and not forget after an absence from the game. Unfortunately, it is ultimately the length of the game and the necessity of some form of time commitment to see the game to its end that bring down the score. An utterly fantastic game, sadly Borderlands scores a Busy Gamer 3.

Body of review:
I’ve mentioned on occasion that there are games I shouldn’t be allowed to play due to their ability to make me lose track of time completely and utterly. Borderlands may very well be added to that short list of games in the very near future.

I had seen the commercials back when the game was released and I knew I was going to pick up a copy eventually. When I did, I was expecting the gorgeous cel shaded graphics and FPS controls. What I wasn’t expecting was how engrossed I would find myself with the game after only a few hours.

When beginning the game, you are offered the choice of four characters, the soldier, hunter, siren, and berserker. As we’ve come to see in games where you have to choose a class, each character has their strengths and weaknesses along with a unique special skill based on your choice. For example, the hunter, Mordecai, is primarily long ranged with the ability to summon his companion Bloodwing to help him fight for short periods of time while Brick, the berserker, is a terror in hand to hand combat and can, naturally, go berserk which allows him to heal rapidly and deal massive damage with his fists.

Our character finds themselves outside of a settlement called Fyrestone where we are brought up to speed on what our ultimate goal is and a brief tutorial which allows us the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with our character choice and then it’s straight into the action. The control scheme is easy to learn and the HUD provided is informative without being distracting. The inventory set up can be a bit daunting at first but once you’re familiar with it, you’ll breeze through it quickly enough.

As you progress through the beginning of the game, the tone is set quickly with the voice acting. Each character you interact with is voiced superbly and there is a humor to the conversations that is endearing. It quickly becomes obvious that the planet you are on is akin to the Wild West with the only law being one of might makes right… and most of the people who inhabit the backwater planet soon begin to contact you with tasks and bounties to complete as you make your way through the impressive landscape.

Where Borderlands truly excels is the multi-player experience. Setting up a game session is quick and easy and you can choose whether to allow just anyone to join or if you simply want to play with friends. The more people you have in the game (up to four) the more difficult your enemies become. At the same time, however, the more lucrative the rewards become.

The multiplayer is where Borderlands shines

The multi-player also allows for lower level characters to catch up relatively quickly to friends who may be higher level. While the lower level characters won’t be much help in the bigger fights, the experience awarded is substantial and may be the easiest way to help a friend get to the same point in the game as you.

Missions and bounties are typically fast paced though there are a few that have you wandering all over a map. Areas tend to scale to the level of your character so you don’t struggle when first entering a new map. The areas are self contained which means you can’t accidentally wander into another area without meaning to but the areas tend to repopulate fairly quickly so any place you take your time fighting into may mean you have to fight your way out again.

The weapons available in Borderlands are numerous and are pulled from “loot” tables in order to provide variance. The names of the weapons will typically indicate what traits they have while still managing to look and perform differently. There’s enough weapons to choose from that you will very rarely see the same weapon in a loot pile more than once, excluding unique weapons. And even with the unique weapons, there may be an elemental effect on yours that your friend’s doesn’t have.

Time constraints may become a factor as you start to enjoy the games. Typical multi-player sessions for the Reckon Crew often go longer than an hour as we help one another complete missions or just load up and go patrol an area and lay waste to some baddies. There’s a good sized world to be explored here and you may find one playthrough isn’t enough. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t play this game but you may want to postpone buying anything else for a while if you’re a typical Busy Gamer.

Gorgeous graphics, excellent voice acting and sound effects, beautiful scenery, and two DLCs since the launch of the game with a third on the way this month make Borderlands a solid addition to any gamer’s library, Busy or otherwise.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Borderlands gets a raise, in level cap!

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Over at the official Borderlands forums this weekend, Gearbox dropped some news on us indicating that there would be a new DLC on it’s way to the Xbox 360 marketplace and Playstation Network.

Gearbox says that the new DLC for Borderlands will be the “biggest we have made”, and the team is working on a new update for the game as well. Neither the update nor the DLC have a release date at this point, but are saying more info will be coming shortly.

The last two DLC’s for Borderlands, ‘Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot’ and ‘The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned’ have proven to be smash hits for rpg shooter fans, adding a whopping 15 hrs of game time to the already very lengthy game (for the BusyGamer that is). And Moxxi’s Underdome still challenges us over at BG every time we fire it up, it being one of our top mulitplayer titles to date.

[Official Borderlands Site]

Gritskriegs Top 5 Games of 2009

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Cammy, your outfits rock! And welcome to our top 5!

What end of the year is complete without some sort of top 5? Initially, I was ready to do a top 5 based on times I lost my pants during 2009 but the rest of the Reckon Crew didn’t want to relive those moments. Can’t say I blame them either. So you get a Top 5 Video Games of 2009, and please, keep in mind that while we use the BG rating scale doesn’t mean all of the games on our top list are going to be Busy Gamer friendly…

#5: Street Fighter 4 – I know most people have been turned off by the Street Fighter franchise with its re-fitted, re-skinned, re-released titles in the past. Or at least I have been. Seriously, how many version of Street Fighter 3 did we see? Street Fighter 3 Turbo, Street Fighter 3 Really Fast Turbo, Street Fighter 3 Dance Dance Revolution, Street Fighter 3 Happy Fun Time Sunshine Edition… Okay, so I might have made some of those up but you get the picture. Fortunately for us, Capcom decided to take all of the things that made Street Fighter a great franchise, slap on some new graphics, and finally reward us for taking the time to learn some moves instead of just mashing the quick kick button over and over. Packed with some extra goodies and bringing back the old school flava, Street Fighter 4 gets my vote for one of the top games of 2009.

RE5, dead on at our number 4 spot! BANG!

#4: Resident Evil 5 – Yes, that came out this year, bitches. Your copy is probably sitting on a shelf collecting dust because you got the big gun after the second playthrough and you decided it wasn’t worth playing any more. Not me. I fire this game up at least once a month and find the time to shoot some Majini in the face… Gorgeous graphics, top notch voice acting, and a solid story made this a game to remember. Unsurprising that another sequel from Capcom barges into my top 5. Someone over at Capcom needs a raise.

Borderlands screams in at number 3!

#3: Borderlands – I’ll be honest, this game caught me off guard. When I first saw the ads for the game I thought we were seeing a Fallout 3 clone but that was not at all the case. Featuring four classes with customizable builds, a barren wasteland filled with strange beasties and roaming bands of lunatics, and some very funny voice acting, Borderlands caught my fancy with its mix of first person shooter and role playing elements. After all, how many games do you know of that give you a mission to wipe out a horde of midget psychos?

#2: Left 4 Dead 2 – Yeah, I liked the first one and I have to say the second one was done right. Not liking yerself some zombie killing is just downright un-American, I say. Delivering on the promise of more weapons, more action, and more undead, Left 4 Dead 2 built on the franchise by taking a different route and showing us a new band of survivors and their attempt to escape zombies. Now if it just had more Ellis and his stories of his buddy Keith…

#1: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Yeah, it’s another sequel. Sue me. Maybe 2009 was the year to put out game sequels… Modern Warfare 2 showed us CoD4 wasn’t a fluke and managed to live up to our expectations. We wanted more, we got more. Another action packed, fingernail biting single player campaign and had us defending American soil. More controversial content was available through the portion of the game that had us gunning down innocent civilians as we walked through an airport with a known terrorist. I thought I hated the guy for making me do that but then he shot me in the head. Jerk. Stunning visuals, realistic weaponry, and even more multi-player modes had me up late way too many times. And if that isn’t enough, I’ve got two words. Lance Henriksen. ’nuff said.

So, those are my picks for 2009. Here’s to 2010. Two more years till the world ends. Maybe we’ll see “Duke Nukem Forever” before then… Naaaaah.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Zombies Pass the Borderlands via DLC

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

52135_borderlands-05

(1UP) – Three weeks ago, gamers finally got their chance to shoot their way through Borderlands and already downloadable content has been announced a few days before launch.

This DLC bring players to Jakob’s Cove where players will discover the evident and scary fact that Dr. Ned has created a rotting army of monsters. Forcing players to mindlessly eliminate all zombies while helping Dr. Ned discover a cure for the virus, this mishap by the doctor has seemed to have created a horrible story but a great slaughter-fest.

Seeming to be a little late, Gearbox Software is releasing content of the undead: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned. Being released on November 24th, this DLC is going to bringing the family together in time to be thankful for awesome zombie action for Thanksgiving. This new content will include brand new quests, enemies and environments for players to wonder around taking out the recently revived.

Dropping officially on the PS3 and Xbox 360, the content has yet to be confirmed for the PC but I have a feeling that the PC version will be released before the zombies slip around the ice around the beginning of December. Instead of just hording through Left 4 Dead 2, get this content to grab some more loot to share with your buddies while giving the undead the pleasure of dying for a second time.










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