Deep Breath: Lunar Larks In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

By Alice O'Connor on May 27th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

Boing.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has me interested in Borderlands. So far I’ve found the series a so-so FPS and a so-so action-RPG, and throwing the two together didn’t help either, but the Proquel (I can invent words too, see) at least has some fun ideas, mostly thanks to being set on a good old moon. Low-gravity is interesting to me, after years of server admins turning gravity down for jollies, and so’s introducing oxygen as a resource to be collected, created, lost, and exploited. Watching 15 minutes of it in a new ‘gameplay walkthrough’ trailer doesn’t make me want to play the game, but those ideas have given more enjoyment than playing Borderlands ever has.

See, the moon’s a vacuum, and you carry a limited air supply. Your air will tick down as you run around outside of air bubbles, and you can squirt it away to power your jumppack, trading security for utility. Human enemies also need air, as one might imagine, so blasting their hats will start suffocating them. Men can’t be on fire in the vacuum, though. Some players items and world objects can create air bubbles too. It all makes for interesting tactical options the original games didn’t have. Or maybe air will only be a concern for a few hours until you find a big oxygen module.

I might not care for the game that the oxygen system’s ended up in but, sweeping around an Electronics Boutique with a glass of wine in hand, I can appreciate parts of it and shall loudly declare so in the hope that someone within earshot will appreciate how intellectual I am. Thanks for that, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. I shan’t play you when you arrive this autumn, but I have enjoyed learning about you.

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26 Comments »

  1. Snidesworth says:

    Quite looking forward to this. Borderlands 2 was enjoyable to sink into, though its NG+ mode was plagued by horrible bullet sponges. Hopefully they’ll sort out the exponential difficulty curve/number scaling issues in this one.

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    draglikepull says:

    When people say they didn’t enjoy Borderlands I find it’s helpful to know if they played it solo or co-op. I soloed Borderlands 1 and didn’t find it terribly interesting, but playing Borderlands 2 with a friend has been a blast.

    • Ryuuga says:

      This!

      Borderlands 1 felt very underwhelming, story unengaging, etc – until I tried it co-op. I’ve played it thru with a pal more times than I care to remember, and with the voice acting turned off, even the second game can be quite fun in co-op. Really, what’s a strength in single player, such as a good story, oft-times can just get in the way in a co-op or multiplayer game, where you wanna concentrate on the core gameplay and interacting with the other human(s).

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      Keymonk says:

      It’s interesting because I feel the exact same way about Diablo and Torchlight, which it is obviously inspired by – in singleplayer, it wasn’t super interesting, but in multiplayer it was a good old time.

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      GiantPotato says:

      I soloed Borderlands 2 and had a great time, then went co-op and hated it. It’s supposed to be a fast-paced co-op shooter, but it’s also fun to play it slowly if you like that sort of thing.

      Of course, that option goes out the window when you have an oxygen timer constantly ticking down. It seems like Gearbox is undercutting the loot-collecting, OCD appeal of their game by introducing a mechanic that demands constant attention and can’t ever be “beaten”. It seems like that would just annoy the hell out of the kinds of people who like to explore everything and collect the best loot.

      • Syphus says:

        Given how easy it seems to replenish Oxygen, as evidenced in the video, it really seems to be not much of an issue unless you go all willy nilly.

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          GiantPotato says:

          Right, so it can be easily managed, but still wants constant attention. I believe that’s the definition of an irritant. It reminds me a lot of the system in Metroid Prime 2, which was an intriguing idea but absolutely no fun to play.

          What will happen is that you’ll sprint from one geyser to the next instead of exploring the map. Not because you have to, but because when you explore the map you get punished by having to wait longer at the next geyser. And while you’re waiting for your oxygen to recharge there’s nothing else to do. Meanwhile, you always have to be close enough to some of it that you can sprint to it before you die. So as a resource, it’s too abundant to force any really interesting choices with and too scarce to just ignore.

    • grundus says:

      Another thing I ask is how long the person played. I found it pretty dull in the opening stages because loot was crap, you couldn’t spec any awesome skills and so on, I’ve found the game gets way, way better in UVHM because after level 57 you can get to the bottom of two skill trees and legendary gear and other good stuff is surprisingly common.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      I had fun exploring what I played of the early stages of Borderlands 2 solo, but gave up on co-op ’cause the way all the enemies turn into ridiculous bullet sponges as soon as there’s more than one person in the game was exceptionally tedious. After playing quite a bit of L4D finding that a headshot wouldn’t drop an enemy was just frustrating.

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    gnodab says:

    Am I the only one who associates low-gravity immediately with the Morpheus Map in UT?

    But somehow the low-grav, doesn’t seem to have much impact, at least in the trailer.
    Maybe you have to actually play it for yourself…

    • Niko says:

      Somebody said Ziggurat Vertigo?

      • jorygriffis says:

        As always I am torn between my love of QIII and my reasonable fondness for UT.

    • baozi says:

      Maan I thought I was remembering the right map and even readily conjured its music, but discovered that I was thinking of Facing Worlds upon watching a Morpheus video. How shameful.

  4. Kollega says:

    I just hope that this time, there isn’t going to be an attempt at “ex-USSR can’t play with the rest of the world” region locking bullshit. Even though it got trashed in the end, it still gave me a lot of trouble.

  5. Lorc says:

    Every sentence in this article made me feel a deep kinship with the person who wrote it.

    I’m sorry that i don’t have anything substantial to contribute, but everything I had to say about “the pre-sequel” was already in the article.

  6. The Dark One says:

    This is nitpicky, but this game will have lower gravity , right? Because Pandora itself is already low-gravity.

  7. Laurentius says:

    It somehow looks even further step from Borderlands1 into action FPS and that’s not for me. I liked Borderlands because its mechanic was so accesible for people like me who don’t enjoy FPS games. Basicly with exception of some bosses I beat whole game playing Mordecai and sniping from distance and some revolvering in the face upclose. Though majority of audience complained that it’s too easy, not enough variety in tactics etc so Gearbox gave in and added all typical FPS stuff, forcing player to shiton on moving around, anoying flying enemies, enemies that can be killed with only specific tactics or weapon or both etc. I beat Bordelands2 and had good time but it was too much venture into typical FPS to my liking. With this oxygen mechanic, it is going even deeper down this road, meh…back to strategies i guess.

  8. Synesthesia says:

    why does creating a small o2 bubble suddenly increases the moon’s mass?

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      LTK says:

      I think the atmosphere exerts an outward pressure on surfaces which stops stuff from floating away.

  9. baozi says:

    I like Borderlands 2. Haven’t played Borderlands 1, but the sudden change from post-apocalyptic wasteland to clean mech-filled science fiction was pretty cool.

    Am enjoying its writing a lot, too. Seldom that it’s noticeable IMHO. The last game where that was the case for me was Portal 2. Claptrap is pure comedy gold. The nonsensicalness of »Pre-Sequel« is obviously intentional and in line with the whacky humor.

    Funny how this is announced by someone who says she doesn’t like the series; is there no one amongst RPS who does?

  10. aliksy says:

    I’m only really interested if they kill the “level difference = damage modifier” bullshit. In BL2 I’d often be the wrong level for quests, and that sucked. Oh, and they really should clean up the first few hours. It’s boring having only one or two crap guns and no skills of note.

  11. The Random One says:

    A bunch of stuff that resembles Saints’ Row IV (freezing, stomping, high-jumping) and a female character that’s not hilariously overendowed and/or underdressed… Looks like Anthony Burch’s been leaving his mark.

  12. CandyMan says:

    How do you charge 60 bucks for a game that could of been dlc? This… And I’ll bet there will be mounds of dlc added to this one too…