It’s chaos and hilarity in low gravity! The series that brought humor and good old fashion ‘fun’ back to the First-person Shooter has a Pre-Sequel, THE Pre-sequel. Get prepared to see an old villain in a new light. He’s long gone now, but, how did Handsome Jack come to be the despotic dictator he became? Find out, with Borderlands: The Presequel.
Release Date: Oct 14, 2014
Borderlands ‘the first’ was a game changer. It’s easy to forget with the never ending stream of media we blast into our faces through the digital nozzles we keep on our desks and in our pockets and living rooms, but the shooter was a very different place when Borderlands came out. Grim military sims ruled the day, each in a game of innovate and copy, finding every ‘grittier and more realistic’ gameplay, which tended to be more and more desiderated worlds, with brighter more graphic blood. Then, out of left field came this brash, ostentatious, very tongue in cheek shooter with clever writing, colorful characters, and the complete awareness that this was a video game… let’s have some fun already. No surprise, the public got a taste of something new and found it was to their liking, Borderlands sold (such and such). The sequel, Borderlands 2, managed to avoid the sophomore hangover, and rather than being bloated, or too ambitious, or failing to deliver on their promises… they gave us more of what we loved the first time, just expanded, tightened, and fine tuned. It too, was a monster, selling (units). But now it’s time for something slightly different, with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
Though not a true ‘sequel’, the folks at Gearbox were clever in their naming conventions. The first game to be developed by an outside studio (2K Australia), I can’t help but think the title is a bit of a buffer, neither Borderlands, or its sequel, or part of a trilogy, but a creature unto itself. I’m completely comfortable with that, Fallout: New Vegas was much the same, besides, trying new things is what made the franchise so fantastic in the first place.
Set between (obviously) the first and the second, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is one of those ‘walk a mile in their shoes’, flip the script sort of tales that doesn’t follow Vault Hunters, but characters we’ve only shot at or worked for up until now. Turns out Handsome Jack and his band of merry cuththroats where once a rag tag group trying to overthrow bad guys of their own. It’s the story of how the soon-to-be villain Jack, found himself in control of the Hyperion corporation in the first place, starting with his escape and eventual control of its moon base (that’d be the giant ‘H’ the big jerk had pointed in your face all game long in Borderlands 2). Which brings us to another angle that makes Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, unique. Having watched trailers and game play footage, read what I can, etc, this newest installment feels like ‘Borderlands, made by somebody else, but on the Moon’. It’s the ‘Moon’ thing that sets it apart from the others. New gravity, weapons, vehicles, enemies, game play, it’s all moon-centric, and it’s the hook this game hangs it’s hat on. Let’s face it, it’s also one of those nerdy hot buttons that hits the same place as secret passages behind bookshelves and caverns filled with pirate treasure… it’s a Moon Base. Picture a Moon Base. Now tell me you aren’t smiling inside.
With all of the franchises cheek, color, and character, The Pre-Sequel is something unique. Of Borderlands, but not quite Borderlands, The moon walking (and jumping, and shooting) escapades of Handsome Jack and Co puts a different spin on a familiar place. So, let’s go shoot some monsters and maniacs with moon boots on… because everything is better with moon boots.