Tag Archives: Borderlands

Battleborn review

Part MOBA, part FPS, Part RPG; Battleborn certainly throws a lot of mechanics into its frantic action, drenched in humour and cartoon style. It’s a mixture that doesn’t quite come together in the end but the striking aesthetic and those few moments of solid cohesion are thoroughly impressive enough to make up for the shortcomings.

If you’re at all familiar with the Borderlands series, then you’ll feel very much at home with Battleborn’s aesthetic and humour. The cartoon visuals are bright, over the top and splendidly detailed; meanwhile, the meme heavy humour is thick with laugh out loud moments and superbly delivered lines from its voice cast. It’s an impressive presentation, and despite the strong similarities to Borderlands, it manages to eke out an identity for itself thanks to a wide range of unique characters.

25 characters are available for you and up to four allies to choose, allowing you to form a team of superbly different individuals in your quest to save the last remaining star from being extinguished by a mysterious evil over eight missions. Each character feels entirely different to use, possessing their own strengths, weaknesses, weapon sets and abilities, allowing you to find a character that best suits your playstyle. Moreover, the character’s unique personalities provide further incentive to experiment and try them all, giving you such chooses as a towering tank of a human with a minigun, to a samurai vampire, peculiar sorcerer, Viking warrior, and a whole lot more at differing levels of strangeness. It’s a tremendously entertaining and diverse cast that’s a pleasure to see in action, using their abilities and weapons to devastate their foes in visually intense ways.

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However, all this action and the abundance of abilities certainly makes for a busy battlefield, with particle effects, colourful animations and projectiles, as well as damage numbers all filling the screen. At a bottle neck, such action can completely obscure your targets and allies, making it difficult and frustrating to deal damage effectively. This is especially evident in Battleborn’s competitive multiplayer modes.

Three competitive modes are on offer, all pitting two teams of five against each other in objective-based combat and area control. This is where Battleborn’s MOBA DNA comes out to play, with purchasable and upgradeable turrets strewn across the map, minions spawning and joining you in battle, more powerful beasts posed for recruiting for the team who gets to them first, and an emphasis on controlling the lanes of the maps to ensure your fragile minions can get to the objectives. It’s an interesting melding of FPS and MOBA that unfortunately doesn’t often work. The aforementioned visual overkill when two teams go at it compromises tactics, making targeting tricky for dealing damage or even healing team mates. Furthermore, the first-person view-point makes assessing the battlefield and its lanes difficult at a glance. It is, however, highly immersive, and if you manage to gel with your team it’s terrifically satisfying to score a victory. However, with 25 characters to choose from, finding a team that compliments each other is tricky. The characters fall in to MMO archetypes of tank, DPS, and healer, and balancing your team with at least one of each requires some pre-thought and communication that random players outside of your circle of friends will struggle to comprehend.

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In fact, balance is an issues across the board. Not only is balancing your team an important factor, but some characters feel horrendously over powered. There’s often a trick to counter a powerful character, however, with so many character options available, and with each playing so differently, finding that counter is a chore. Moreover, each characters levels up in-match and can be enhanced with new abilities and modifications along two paths, with additional odd modifiers appearing as you gain more experience, providing a great set of options for customising, as well as resetting at the end of each match so not to permanently tie you down, but also adding an extra level of complexity in devising a counter.

The experience you earn works towards unlocking lore about each character, as well as new skins and taunts. Meanwhile, missions can also provide crates of loot – or you can purchase them as micro transactions – which offer items that buff your characters. These can then be activated in-game by spending the currency of shards, making for further customisation and variety. Indeed it’s an impressive wealth of options, but ones that make the balancing issues even more evident.

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Indeed it’s the cooperative story missions that will keep you coming back, with their Titanfall-esque structuring allowing you to complete them in any order, and only offering shallow snippets of the story. The humour of NPC and your allies, along with copious amounts of characters to unlock and enhance through lore and skins, encourages replay brilliantly, as do the multiple difficult settings for those looking for more of a challenge. These missions alone can keep you entertained for 6-8 hours. Find a savvy team of players to join you in the competitive modes and you’ll find enjoyment their too, although the community appears to still be struggling with the finer tactics and strategies.

Battleborn is a crazy and humorous FPS with great RPG and tower defence elements, and some interesting but not quite cohesive MOBA elements. It taps into what made the Borderlands games great and provides focused, cooperative multiplayer scenarios based on this same quality. The competitive side of things doesn’t quite gel with the rest of the experience, but give the community a little more time to suss it out, and Gearbox a little more time to balance the characters, and that too could entrain you for hours on end.

Thanks to Xbox and 2K Games for supporting TiX

March’s Games with Gold announced

Microsoft have officially announced March’s Games with Gold.

Xbox One owners can download Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment for free during March. Lords of the Fallen will be available as a free download from March 16th to April 15th.

Xbox 360 owners can download Supreme Commander 2 through March 15th. Then on March 16th, Xbox Live Gold Members can download Borderlands for free through March 31st.

What do you thin of March’s offerings?

Borderlands gets backwards compatibility

Borderlands is getting Xbox One Backward Compatibility support when it launches publicly this November but is now available as part of the Preview Program.

If you own Borderlands, you’ll be able to play it on your Xbox One and you can carry over your previously-saved files, game add-ons and achievements.

2K President Christoph Hartman said:

We are proud to support Xbox One Backward Compatibility by bringing the complete, original Borderlands to Xbox One, including all downloadable content. We know many of our fans have put in dozens, even hundreds, of hours exploring the world of Pandora on their Xbox 360, and now they can continue their adventures on Xbox One”

Lets go vault hunting!

Penultimate episode of Tales from the Borderlands arrives next week

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I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Tales from the Borderlands from Telltales Games, although the wait between episodes is rather too long for my liking – thankfully the next episode is almost upon us, releasing on Xbox One and Xbox 360 sometime during August 19th.

Currently the gang find themselves in the company of Vallory and her goons, who also want the Vault beacon – their destination is the moon base Helios. Telltale like to tease, and while they haven’t given us a trailer (yet), apparently in episode 4  “sacrifices will need to be made”.

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Catch a Ride with episode 3 of Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands

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If you’ve been clambering for more Tales of the Borderlands goodness, then good news! Telltale Games have lifted the lid on the next episode, Catch a Ride, which is due to arrive the week of June 23.

After a dizzying escape from a very-near-almost-certain-death scenario (involving statuesque buttocks), Rhys and Fiona find themselves looking for another piece of the puzzle that will lead them to the untold riches of Vault key ownership. Lost in the mysterious jungle of an Atlas terraforming facility, Fiona finds help from an unexpected mentor, Rhys continues to share brain-space with the disembodied mind of a dead dictator, and love is in the air. Pursued by the ruthless criminal ‘Queenpin’ Vallory, and with very little help from Vaughn’s accountancy skills (or stellar abs), getting anywhere near the Vault will be entirely up to you.

By the looks of the artwork, Athena looks to have quite the role in episode 3!

An unlockable treat for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!

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Have you been playing the excellent Telltale Games Tales from the Borderlands? Are you a Season Pass owner? Then there’s good news if you plan on picking up a copy of The Handsome Jack Collection – BONUS UNLOCKS!

By using your SHiFT account, you can get some sweet unlocks that include exclusive weapons, heads, and skins to use in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!

How’s that for a ‘handsome’ set of unlocks!

 

Borderlands Pre-Sequel Claptastic Voyage DLC Trailer

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2K Games and Gearbox has today released a trailer for the forth DLC pack for Borderlands Pre-Sequel that invites you to journey into the mind of the CL4P_TP. God have mercy on us!

Seems Handsome Jack has found actually found something useful in the annoying talking tin can and needs to retrieve it and sends you! Yes, YOU! in to the digital mind of CL4P_TP to get it. You’ll fight brand new new enemies, find new weapons and you’ll also get the ‘Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2’ in the bundle which will increase the level cap to 70, and give you 10 more skill points to throw at your character.

The Claptastic Voyage will release on the 24 March and will be covered by the season pass – as you’d expect it to be. It will also be bundled with the Handsome Jack Collection that’s due to land on Xbox One on the 27 March.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Lady Hammerlock DLC Launching Tomorrow

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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be receiving yet another batch of DLC tomorrow in the form of Lady Hammerlock the Baroness, a brand new playable class.

The Lady Hammerlock DLC will be made available for free through the season pass or a fairly jaw dropping $9.99/£7-roughly if bought separately. This content will also be available in the next generation remake when it launches in a few months time.

This new class will apparently be the “best sniper class” to date in the Borderlands series and revolves around ice cold moves to slow, stun and obliterate your opponents.

And if that isn’t enough, an update is in the works which will let players farm bosses, letting you earn even more of that sweet, sweet gear.

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Tales from the Borderlands review

Over the past few years one set have games have had me completely hooked, all the Telltale titles. The Walking Dead was brilliant and The Wolf among us was such fun to play. I’ve always enjoyed games with a great narrative and I love how the story adapted to the decisions you made.

When Telltale announced they were teaming up with Gearbox Studios to create Tales from the Borderlands, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, for me it was almost a perfect combination, the art style and humour of Borderlands mixed in with the Telltale point and click design, but would it work? Let’s find out…

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The first episode of Tales is called Zer0 Sum – If you have played Borderlands you’ll immediately feel like you are back playing it as it’s almost exactly the same but you are playing a point and click game. Of course there will be some of you who are unfamiliar with how the Telltale games play, so let me tell you about that.

Players are given dialogue choices during each episode with only a small amount of time to decide which route to take, all your choices change the game slightly, whether it is just a reaction from another person or a longer standing choice that could make a difference further into the game.

I really enjoyed the combat sections within the game, at certain points you’ll have to be even quicker to get through these sections to make sure you hit the right prompts at the right time. There are also some cool sections that I won’t mention that certainly intensify the action and gives you a break from the dialogue for a few minutes.

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In Tales you play as two characters, Rhys and Fiona, two characters who couldn’t be any more different. Rhys works for Hyperion desperate to find himself in the upper echelons of the organisation rubbing shoulders with the big bosses. He’s been working alongside his partner in crime Vaughn, a nerdy number cruncher who is happy to help his friend. In true Borderlands fashion, things don’t work out and eventually Rhys ends up on Pandora with Vaughn with a plan to change his fortune. Fiona is a con artist who does whatever it takes to survive alongside her sister Sasha. The orphans were taken under Felix’s a wings, a master con artist who they tried to steal from while they were children. Together they have a plan that without realising will bring the four people together.

I found the rest of the story really interesting and was never quite sure where the story was heading, but it was a fun ride the whole way through. It’s great watching Fiona and Rhys and how their relationship is beginning to develop, with Sasha and Vaughn in the wings they appear to be making an awesome foursome.

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The visuals and audio are excellent, the characters looks great and the script was full of borderlands humour. I loved the art style of the Borderlands series and thankfully they have kept everything in place from the original games. It wasn’t without its problems though, quite often the game would lock for 2 and 3 seconds, especially during fight scenes and quite often the first few words of a sentence were repeated like an echo, it can be quite off-putting but when you realise it’s just a problem with the game you get on with regardless.

If you are looking for something different to at you would be mad to pass this up. If you are looking for a more somber story and characters you are better off playing something like the Walking Dead. Borderlands is a bit more brash and the characters are much more lively. I’m really excited about the next four episodes and what happens to the main characters, there were some great twists in the first episode and I’m am sure there are plenty more to come.

We bought our own copy of the game to bring you this review

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Borderlands 2 and Pre-Sequel coming to XboxOne

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Gearbox has announced that they will be bringing Borderlands 2 and The Pre-sequel (with enough DLC to fill Moxxi’s corset) to the XboxOne.

Why no Borderlands? The collection is going to be called The Handsome Jack Collection, so it’s going to be telling the story of the infamous villain of Borderlands 2 (therefore Borderlands will not be included in the collection). There are to be updates done to the title’s including 2 player split screen turning into 4 player splitscreen, and the game getting done over to be even more HDier than before, apparently.

In addition to that, if you have the games on the 360 already – or at least played them – there’s to be a cross save feature that will allow you to transfer your character over allowing you to pick up where you left off.

As you expect with these collections, you’ll get all the DLC available bundled with the collection too.

The Handsome Jack Collection is due to be released on the 24 March in the US, before coming over the UK on the 27 March.

* There’s also a variation of the game that comes with an RC Claptrap, but it costs more than your average game, as you’d expect with an added toy like that. If you want to go down that root and purchase that, it will cost you about $400 USD. But the RC Claptrap is pretty neat, as you can see below.