Borderlands: 100Hrs Long, Slight Delay

By Jim Rossignol on September 23rd, 2009 at 9:23 pm.


Bah: The PC version of Borderlands has been delayed until October 26th in the US and October 30th in the rest of the world. Why WHY? “Optimization”, that’s why. Perhaps even optimisation. Stupid PCs and their different cogs.

Hurrah: While talking to MTV Gearbox creative director Mikey Neumann said it took him a rather long time to get through the game. “It took me about 100 hours. More the second time, actually, and that was to find every single little mission. I wanted to do everything.” (How long until the 20-minute speedrun, eh?)

We’re probably going to get to play the game before release, and “preview” it. Soon thereafter: judgement.

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125 Comments »

  1. Meat Circus says:

    If I don’t notice an extra six days of optimisation, ooh, I’ll be so cross I’ll literally grumble a bit.

  2. Meat Circus says:

    Meh. This looks just like Diablo with guns.

    Wait… what?

  3. coupsan says:

    Oh boy :l

  4. A-Scale says:

    Judgement? Hurrah indeed! Just don’t “wot” it up.

  5. RiptoR says:

    My reviewcopy arrives today…

  6. Kadayi says:

    100 hours…that’s either a big assed game, or Mikey Neumann sucks as a gamer. I’m both pleased and slightly daunted at the prospect of 100+ hours. Yay for loads of content, boo for the fact it’s highly probable I’ll never finish the bugger…..

  7. Isometric says:

    Still looking forward to this, I can wait till the 30th.

  8. army of none says:

    Eh. I much rather have a dev. take an extra bit of time to make sure it’s well made. Yay them, hopefully.

  9. OutOfExile says:

    Well the 100 hours of gameplay is great to hear, I was afraid the missions would be too short and they would just rely on the weapons for replay value.

  10. Bantros says:

    Disappointing that I have to wait longer to finally play it, but I guess optimisation is a good thing… probably

  11. RiptoR says:

    Already played the game on the 360, and it’s very good in my opinion. Plays smoothely, even with a controller. Too bad I haven’t had a chance yet to test the coop aspect of the game (no other press members online).

  12. We Fly Spitfires says:

    Personally I think 100 hours is too much for a single player game. I agree with value for money and everything but playing the same game for a month just bores me :(

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      It’s not a single-player game.

    • Mort says:

      But you can play it alone

    • Gutter says:

      @ TotalBiscuit : There is a single player campaign, how is it not a single player game less than Diablo?

    • ManaTree says:

      I think he meant “It’s not single player only“. World of difference.

    • Vinraith says:

      If you don’t want to play this and only this for a month, don’t. Why would you want to make the game shorter when you’re fully capable of playing other things if you get bored with it, then coming back to it?

      The people complaining that the game has “too much content” defy any and all sense. There are plenty of painfully short games out there, if you’re afraid of a game that actually provides a lot of content you’re free to go play one of the ones that doesn’t.

  13. LionsPhil says:

    Just spend the six days being mesmerised by the gratuitous cleavage shot, pathetic male gamers that you are, core demographic.

    According to the signage, you are looking at “Skag Gully”. Interesting nickname.

  14. cyrenic says:

    If they’re “optimizing”, I guess that’s why they still haven’t released system requirements for it yet? I haven’t been able to find them, if someone knows what they are please point me in the right direction.

  15. Frye says:

    Looks like this half-year-or-more dry spell is about to end. Don’t know about you lot, but I have had trouble finding proper games. Last full price games i got were <> Sims 3, Fuel and Prototype. God! it’s actually worse than i thought! Really looking forward to this one though, and more releases coming up soon. Oh and a new Windows to play with aswell. Good times ahead by the looks of it.

    • Kadayi says:

      Batman:AA & Red Faction Guerilla are both worthwhile investments tbh dude.

    • OutOfExile says:

      I agree with Kadayi, those games can both probably hold you over until Borderlands comes out.

    • David says:

      Batman: AA is good, but short as hell and little to no replay value. Completed in just a couple of sittings. Red Faction on the other hand is GOTY for me. Check it out!

    • JKjoker says:

      Red Faction is a 3 trick pony, either “go destroy that building”, “go kill some soldiers” and “go drive this car somewhere”

      no variation, completely repetitive, annoying as hell friendly AI, enemy AI with better sight and aim than Far Cry dudes (which forced the devs to make weapons seriously underpowered, and they dont get any better when you grab them), no ability to carry more than 2 bullets per weapon, you can only carry 3 guns (which means you can only carry 1 because then other 2 WILL be the demo charges and the nano rifle and it will always be one carried by the enemy so you can get ammo in the field making all the special weapons you can unlock useless), cars flip over easier than in Crysis, the story sucks, the morale and control mechanics are criminally underused, the physics are complete fail, you could destroy every single wall and column in a building and it will keep standing there supported by a few strings of wall (1mm in diameter) you didnt destroy beacuse it uses a shitty “health bar” system to know when the building should go down, enemies respawn right in your face (you can actually see them teleport in)

      about the game’s lenght, its really really short (maybe 10 main story missions padded out by the control system, less than 15 mins each if you dont die, youll and half of it will be spent “driving” to the mission) but by the end i was so annoyed and tired of it (and the last level lack of checkpoints didnt help) that i just wanted to finish it to uninstall it (not a good sign)

  16. Some Guy says:

    is that in besthda time?

  17. Lambchops says:

    Words like “100 hours” put me off these days. I’d rather have a tight 8-12 hour game these days. If a game is to keep my attention for longer it has to be bloody exceptional.

  18. pignoli says:

    I feel like Cartman waiting for the Wii.

    C’mooooon.

  19. Markoff Chaney says:

    I really can’t be looking more forward to this game. 100 hours sounds good, but what about 1000s of hours with friends? Or just me grinding like I did in SP D2 year after year (while having a blast, I’ll have you know). Here’s to hoping it’s everything I thought Hellgate would be…

  20. Joseph McClory says:

    God, don’t say that. You’ll jinx it. Anything that is ever compared to Diablo with some new addition thrown is inevitably fated to blandsville. I mean, Hellgate: London : Need I say more?

  21. Vinraith says:

    This sounds better and better every time you bring it up. I’ve no business buying any games this fall, but I sincerely doubt I’ll be able to keep myself away from this when the time comes.

  22. Joseph McClory says:

    That was directed at Meat Circus (2nd comment)

  23. CMaster says:

    Hmm, Optimisation or just “let people buy the 360 rather than pirating the PC”?
    Anyway. looking foward to this, sounds like just the right game for me and my friends. Hope it isn’t too shallow (already know it will be mostly, so the core gameplay had better hold up).

    • bill says:

      word is that it’s been on torrent sites for days. (haven’t checked myself).

      If they are holding back the PC version to encourage console sales (and if the leaked version is complete, they might be) then it’ll just shoot them in the foot.

      Or maybe they intentionally leaked a broken/rigged version? Oh now it’s all getting to paranoid…

  24. AsubstanceD says:

    Hmmm, six days for optimisation. Smells of get the console version out first to me. Not an accusation but this seems to happen a little to often on PC versions. The game is looking good though and I remain excited

  25. Simon Jones says:

    100 hours of mission-based gameplay sounds awful to me. Worst case, it’ll be hugely boring and repetitive; best case, if it’s the best game ever made, I still don’t have that kind of time to put into one thing. Too much of ANYTHING, no matter how good, will diminish it.

    Did I misread the person above that seemed to be equating 100 hours of gameplay with 1 month? Because that is truly scary.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Christ, damned if you do, damned if you don’t with gamers.

    • Lobotomist says:

      Hmm…

      Witcher supposedly had 80 hours of gameplay. Baldurs Gate even more.
      Never heard anyone call those boring.

    • Vandelay says:

      I could potentially agree with this. I’m not sure how a game that is predominantly a FPS could stay interesting for 100 hours. I was very much enjoying Far Cry 2, but by the time I reached the second map I was incredibly bored by. I’m not sure how long that was, but it certainly wasn’t anywhere near 100 hours.

      The combat is going to have to be really good and missions varied to keep things interesting.

      Of course, it could only take about 20 hours to finish of the main missions. He is including all the side missions there too and there is always a bit added for developer hyperbole.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Lobotomist

      The Witcher is great, but as someone with a job & responsibilities it took me about 6-8 weeks to finish (though I did finish it). If they’d cut 15 – 20 hours off it I wouldn’t have objected. If a games got more than a couple of weeks fun in it, or is shorter but possesses great re-playability then generally I’m thinking I’ve gotten my moneys worth. 100 hours, that’s like committing to watching all 5 series of The Wire twice. Sure we all like The Wire (aside from John & Jim), but all 5 series twice in a row without dipping into a bit of House, or Fringe, Lost, or something else is a bit much to ask….

    • Vinraith says:

      If the game play is fun, more of it is better. If the game play sucks, it doesn’t matter how long or short it is. Open worlds are never well served to be small.

      100 hours in a month is about 23 hours per week, or a little over 3 hours a day. That’s more time than I have now (usually), but certainly wouldn’t have been out of the question back in college. Hell, I’m quite certain I had several Morrowind binges that far exceeded that.

    • Agamo says:

      Nobody’s saying you have to play it all at once.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Agamo

      With a RPG you tend to loose the thread if you put it down for any length of time in my experience

    • Optimaximal says:

      ‘Lose the thread’ yes, but that’s assuming there’s a plot there too lose. This is essentially a dungeon crawler remember…

    • Kadayi says:

      @Optimaximal

      There’s still going to be a plot to it. If all it is is just go here, kill that rinse repeat ala Farcry 2 then I suspect it will be a very dull game indeed regardless of how nice the cel shading is or however many bazillion gun combos there are. Personally I’m hoping it’s going to be in some way compelling.

  26. AsubstanceD says:

    CMaster! Great minds think alike!

  27. TheJimTimMan says:

    Want.

  28. bhlaab says:

    Every dev says their game is 100 hours long.

  29. Dracko says:

    100 hours, huh? Bet it only takes one decimal before it shows its limitations.

  30. Some Guy says:

    Do devs have some weird version of an hour when saying how long a game is?

  31. Polish Abortion Doctor says:

    Can someone please answer the following questions for me:

    1) Are there item drops other than weapons (ie. Armor, etc)?
    2) Is there character customization in terms of changing appearances?
    3) If you join a game are you forced to play whatever characters are not chosen already, L4D style?
    4) Is the world more like Oblivion where it’s seamless and open or like STALKER and it’s broken into “zones”?
    5) Am I cute?

    Normally I’d investigate these things myself but for some reason I’ve never been able to find a definitive answer to any of these questions, especially number 5.

    Thanks amigos.

    • Surgeon says:

      You slacker :)

      1) Are there item drops other than weapons (ie. Armor, etc)?

      Yep, as far as I can gather, you also get special shields, grenades and some sort of ‘artefact’ drop.

      2) Is there character customization in terms of changing appearances?

      Nope, only colours. So 4 players can play as the same character, and you can tell them apart.

      3) If you join a game are you forced to play whatever characters are not chosen already, L4D style?

      You can have 4 of the same character playing if you want.

      4) Is the world more like Oblivion where it’s seamless and open or like STALKER and it’s broken into “zones”?

      It seems like it is, but I haven’t seen this confirmed or denied anywhere.

      5) Am I cute?

      No comment.

      Try the Wiki here :
      http://borderlandsguide.com/wiki/borderlands

  32. Surgeon says:

    Could you all do a 4 way Co-op preview if possible please Jim?

  33. GibletHead2000 says:

    Hooray! Delayed until after October Payday. That way I can play it at release, and not feel like some Johnny-come-lately. ;-)

  34. malkav11 says:

    Yay, now Borderlands will be coming out even closer to Alpha Protocol and Dragon Age.

    Why do they do this to me?

    • Archonsod says:

      DA, Alpha Protocol and Borderlands were all going to be out on the 23rd until they started announcing delays last month. Though at least it means I can probably get Tropico 3 next month. Unless they delay that until November too.

      Sucks for me though, I had a holiday scheduled for the last week in October :(

  35. suibhne says:

    I wonder how many initial sales this will lose them, given that it’s now arriving only a week before what’ll probably end up as the biggest game of the year. I know I’ll be playing lots of MW2 with my gaming group once it lands, and it’s tempting to look at Borderlands and say “Hmm, maybe I’ll just wait for a sale…”

  36. Hug_dealer says:

    Well, atleast i know i wont be late for my wedding now. oct 24 is the big day, so i wont be busy playing it while i should be getting married.

  37. ZIGS says:

    “Optimization” huh? Is that the new code word for “we’re holding back the PC version because it’s easy to pirate and console owners who also have a gaming PC and want the game as soon as it’s released will have to buy it as opposed to just pirate the PC version”.

    Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand it but jeez, drop the act

  38. JM says:

    I think that’d be a rubbish anti-piracy measure. For a start, a significant proportion of people who have both a console and a PC capable of running Borderlands would go for the PC version, given its FPSness and how much better a PC is for menu systems and all.

    Fair to say that playing games like this on the 360 and on the PC does not lead to identical experiences. See also: Left4Dead.

  39. Ravious says:

    I would be their “optimization” really deals with getting all their digital distributors releasing at once. That’s my gut feeling anyway.

  40. Larington says:

    Wonder how long it takes to get all the discs printed off for a game and shipped to the wholesalers then retailers.

    Wonder if discs for the console platforms in a multi-platform release get printed first, leading to a several day delay.

    I wonder about a lot of things sometimes.

  41. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    Neumann as in von Neumann Cycle… Sorry, somehow that is what was still going on in my brain after reader this.

    If the reviews are good, I’ll buy this, or maybe get a demo(or in case there is none, a pirated copy or play it somewhere else) first. It sounds like a good game, I hope it is.

  42. Lintman says:

    100 hours gameplay? Presumably that means SP gameplay? Cool – I was thinking this game was likely to be MP only, or with a very lite SP mode.

    • Vinraith says:

      It’s a full length SP game that happens to be playable in co-op as well, which is basically what I wish every RPG was.

    • BigJonno says:

      Anyone who doubts that any shitty RPG can be vastly improved by co-op should check out LotR:The Third Age. It’s a totally linear, LotRified JRPG with a “plot” that consists of following the Fellowship around for the duration of the trilogy. It does have pretty solid combat and nice visual upgrades for the armour and weapons. It’s one stand-out feature is a co-op mode, which isn’t even particularly well executed (one person gets to do the running around, but the six playable characters are divided between two people during battles.) Somehow, the experience of playing the game with another person beside you, chatting about tactics and character builds transforms a truly mediocre game into a great one.

    • JKjoker says:

      @Vinraith: be careful what you wish for, Resident Evil 5 proved how blindly forcing the coop in with a sledgehammer can kill a game, it does not work for every game and babysitting AI placeholders during SP can really really suck (i still dont know if you can play borderlands solo or they force an AI partner on you)

  43. Anonymous Coward says:

    100 hours gameplay.

    It just better not be, “For the kingdom, bring us 40 pristine zombie rectums.” Diablo 2 managed to skip that shit for its single-player campaign (never mind the requisite grinding for higher difficulty modes; that’s repetitive, yet open-ended by nature). I’d rather have 20 hours of solid, fresh campaign material followed by unadulterated free grinding that happens to take about 80 hours than 20 hours of real material that’s spaced out with 80 hours of semi-obligatory “we require more raider codpieces.”

    That said, I’m still highly likely to buy it. The world’s been waiting for a good Diablo 2 clone for nearly a decade now, and it would be a shame if Titan’s Quest is the best we see before Diablo 3 arrives.

  44. Lyndon says:

    Reading the article it seems that when they say 100 hours they mean to get to the level cap which requires not one but two play throughs. So it’s probably a more reasonable 50 hours of content.

    Of course if they wanted to be really silly they could claim that to get the most from the game you’d need to do a separate play through with each of the classes, so blam 400 hours of gameplay.

  45. .oO|MKBR|Oo. says:

    A month? six days more likely, with just a few hours of sleep (between load screens)

  46. Joseph says:

    Wait… that’s awesome!

  47. Joseph says:

    Above was a reply to Meat Circus – and this is a reply to my comment above, but the reply button doesn’t seem to work. Yes, I clicked it, and it took me to the comment box. Perhaps it’ll work this time?

    Borderlands sounds great. Here’s hoping it really is, and that it’s not too consolised to enjoy fully on PC.

    @ Spitfires on 100hrs = too long:

    I completely agree with Vinraith’s reply. Please go play another game if you get bored, 100hrs sounds great to me. “I want less content.” – wtf. No thanks.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Quality>Quantity

      Do you think Shadow of the shadow of the Colossus would have been so great, if it was 20 hours longer?

      I’m not saying a long game can’t be great, but sometime less=more

    • Vinraith says:

      Quantity without quality is irrelevant (as no one’s going to play a game for a hundred hours if it’s not fun) so your point is rather moot. Given a game that’s fun over a long period of time, it’s good to be able to PLAY said game over a long period of time. The number of good, short games that could stand to be longer vastly outweighs the number of good, long games that could stand to be shorter.

  48. Joseph says:

    And if it turns out you think it’s a bad game, don’t play it, don’t whinge about it being too long for you – you don’t even like it! Let the people who do enjoy it play it for 100+ hours. I’ve played L4D for hundreds and hundreds of hours and still enjoy it, but do wish there was more content!

  49. noTHINGface says:

    … As stated by other above, the delay is to off-set the impact of the perceived cannibalisation of console sales by the PC release… Don’t really give a shit myself. This game is not really on my radar.

  50. jti says:

    So… Wait a minute. People want those 6 hour games these days??? People get bored of short games like Far Cry? Is this the MTV generation posting here? I’m beginning to feel really old.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Don’t worry, they’re just being contrary for the sake of it. If anyone actually believes a game having a long lifespan is inherently bad then I will push them down a well.

    • Vandelay says:

      You better push me down a well then TotalBiscuit, because I very much believe a game shouldn’t out stay it’s welcome. You wouldn’t find it strange if someone said that a film could do with having some scenes cut would you? So, why is it any different for a game?

      If the 100 hours of gameplay means that they have an abundance of grinding quests, then I would rather they left them out and shorten the game to just the more interesting and varied missions. If the world and story are interesting then I want to see them to the end, but I probably won’t do that if the game actually does take 100 hours to complete.

      There is nothing wrong with a 6 hour game that is perfect throughout (my favourite games are probably Max Payne and Portal, both exceptionally short games,) and I would take one of those over a heavily padded out game any day of the week.

      @jti – my comment was about Far Cry 2, not Far Cry. I had clocked up over 20 hours before reaching the second map, so in total I probably played for about 24-25 hours. That is probably about three times the length of most modern shooters. The vast majority of that, however, was spend driving around a landscape that wasn’t very varied, and engaging in a lot of quite similar battles – padding. The open world allowed you to attack from different angles and the various weapons did allow for some experimentation that is non-existent in most FPSs, but it wasn’t enough to keep interest sustained for that length of time.

      I’m one of the few that actually liked Far Cry 2, but it was certainly far to long.

    • kevlar says:

      Push me down as well. Things are improving but for the most part games are still too damn long. I would rather have a short, wonderfully paced game that leaves me aching for more rather then one that drags on forever and forces me through dull missions, backtracking or grinding just to improve their length. “100 hours long” to me sounds like “this game will get boring and tedious before you come close to beating it” to me.

      This is a common opinion, by the way, so I wouldn’t call it “contrary” at all. Several developers have already said that while people on forums always complain that games are too short, both internal focus testing and statistics of their games on online services show them that once a game exceeds 8 hours, the number of people who finish the game drops drastically. Not surprising to me. I’ve had several people go on a rant a couple years back over how games like Portal or COD4 are “too short”, only to look at me slack-jawed and speechless when I ask them to name a game other then those two that they actually completed recently.

    • Vinraith says:

      If you want short games, please feel free to go play the unbelievable wealth of 6 hour long $50 titles out there. I’m certainly not, so someone might as well.

      For my part, an open world RPG had better have a hell of a big world and a hell of a lot of comment to fill that world, that’s a mark of QUALITY. As long as the game is fun to play, that assures I’ll be playing it for a long time. If the game isn’t fun to play (as in, say, terribly grindy), it wouldn’t matter if it was 5 hours long, it’d still end up unfinished collecting dust on a shelf.

      The notion of people complaining about too much content is so completely deranged I’m not entirely sure I’m awake. Do you honestly believe that long games are inherently worse than short games? Is this just the world’s most massive personality difference? Because my list of “all time greats” are invariably games that I played for hundreds of hours and enjoyed the whole time. Tightly paced, original, fun short games are fine, but I’ve yet to play one that can touch a really engrossing epic title.

    • Vandelay says:

      Of course you are right that constantly delivering 100 hours of a good quality game isn’t worse than a good quality 6 hour game (I wouldn’t say it was better neither,) but the chances of maintaining that quality is going to be much harder across all that time. It is far more likely that most of the time will be made up of filler.
      From what I’ve seen so far of Borderlands, I was expecting it to be an FPS with RPG elements. It doesn’t look like there is that much character development (either plot-wise or stat based, outside of some powers), the gameplay shown so far has just been shooting and there doesn’t seem to be any NPC interaction. Of course, I could have this all wrong and there is in fact a lot of depth to the game, but so far I haven’t seen it. The gameplay shown in trailers doesn’t look like it will be worth putting that much investment in, even if it is well done. Also, it being an open world game, the chances of a lot of that time being due to travelling around the map are pretty high.
      Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to this. I do doubt I’ll be putting that much time into it though.

    • Vinraith says:

      “100 hours of a good quality game isn’t worse than a good quality 6 hour game (I wouldn’t say it was better neither,)”

      I honestly have nothing to say to that, it establishes firmly that we have no common frame of reference on this issue.

      I Would ask, however, that you please stop talking where developers can hear you. Properly lengthy games have become rare enough as it is. When game creators hear something as absurd as “six hours of good game is no different than 100 hours of good game” how many of them are going to bother to make the 100 hour game?

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