Border­lands: The Pre-se­quel

There’s more to 2K Aus­tralia’s spinoff than its ti­tle im­plies


360, PC, PS3

Border­lands is an ex­u­ber­ant se­ries. From the the­atri­cal size of its char­ac­ters and their glo­ri­ously ham-fes­tooned de­liv­ery to the un­count­able per­mu­ta­tions of weaponry, there’s noth­ing mod­est about the world of Pan­dora. So the de­ci­sion to call the third ful­l­length game The Pre-Se­quel is be­wil­der­ing. ‘Pre’ is self-dep­re­cat­ing. It’s corol­lary. It’s less. Pre-Se­quel, bluntly, screams stop­gap. If the in­ten­tion was sub­ver­sion – some­thing else at which Border­lands is nor­mally quite bril­liant – it doesn’t come across.

It’s un­known if Gear­box is work­ing on a num­bered se­quel, but we do know it has handed over the Border­lands 2 de­vel­op­ment kit and given 2K Aus­tralia free rein to make its own game, which is set on Pan­dora’s moon, for old hard­ware. 2K Aus­tralia’s past work is harder to pin down, the prod­uct of its brief and con­fus­ing life. It was cre­ated in 2007 when 2K’s ac­qui­si­tion and char­ac­ter­sap­ping re­brand of Ir­ra­tional gen­er­ated two new stu­dios: 2K Bos­ton and 2K Aus­tralia. It be­came a sub­set of 2K Marin dur­ing BioShock 2, be­fore re-emerg­ing in 2011 to sup­port Bioshock In­fi­nite. If Ir­ra­tional died, 2K Aus­tralia is a pretty perky fos­sil.

Stu­dio head Tony Lawrence says his team in­tends to in­ject a lit­tle lo­cal flavour into the hill­billy tones of the se­ries. An Aus­tralianac­cented Border­lands is some­thing that, for some rea­son, ex­cites Randy Pitch­ford, who in re­cent in­ter­views has even in­di­cated that Border­lands’ fu­ture might lie away from Gear­box, and that the stu­dio be­hind the likes of Duke Nukem For­ever is “too cre­ative” to stick to mak­ing mil­lions of guns. That said, it’s hard to imag­ine it giv­ing up cre­ative con­trol – and its pay cheque – un­til af­ter it brings the se­ries to Xbox One and PS4.

was praised for its var­ied colour pal­ette, so a land­scape made up solely of grey rocks is out of the ques­tion here, with the bar­ren sur­face packed full of cyans and pur­ples.

We’ve never been this close to the Hype­r­ion space sta­tion be­fore, which looms so large in the frame that you al­most feel you could jump up and touch it

Border­lands 2

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.