Cute: Borderlands 2D

Ahhh, brings back the non-existent memories, doesn't it?

Yes, the 2D demake thing has been done many, many times before, and yeah, retro-nostalgia-mania is currently sweeping the planet so thoroughly that the Louvre has recently undertaken a project to update all its most priceless pieces of artwork with Instagram filters, but damn it, I sort of like this silly little 2D version of Borderlands 2. I mean, it’s called “The Border Lands.” That alone is weirdly brilliant. Also, in spite of being extremely limited and simple, it’s actually sort of fun.

The basic formula is – fittingly enough – nothing new. It’s kind of a top-down twin-stick shooter, except without the intuitive aiming of a real twin-stick game. And yes, it fits with the clunky retro aesthetic, but it also creates this awkward setup where you have to already be firing if you want to, say, back up and continue attacking at the same time. Otherwise, you’ll just turn and walk in the other direction.

That aside, though, Borderlands’ randomized weapons steal the show here, and I think that’s probably why I ended up playing for [distressing number of minutes that will not be divulged for fear of revealing my terrible taste in all things]. Heck, I even kept going after it became apparent that the rail gun that fires from both sides is, in fact, the true essence of gun, as described by Plato. And then I discovered an Eridian blaster that did basically the same thing, only rapid fire. And all the while, a same-y selection of enemies (and no bosses) only grew slightly stronger while I evolved into a tiny, 16-bit god.

There is, in other words, not a lot of challenge here. But it’s good for a quick laugh and – in spite of some rather glaring issues – even a bit fun on its own merits. So go! Try it! Reward Gearbox for its strange ability to be both horrifically unoriginal and somehow novel at the same time.


  1. mondomau says:

    This popped up on Reddit this morning, it’s quite fun actually. Wholly dependent on what guns you turn up though – some of them are proper pants and you will die immediately.

  2. Snidesworth says:

    I wasted far too much time on this last night. As far as I can tell it never ends.

    You’re wrong about railguns though; not all of them fire from both sides. It’s just one of the random traits that can get slapped on weapons. I picked up the most absurdly powerful rocket launcher at one point only to discover that it fired in random directions.

    • jikavak says:

      I had a really good railgun that was raping anything until I accidentaly walked into a crate.I had another railgun tho and it looked better.Then I found out it fires in a random direction.Then I died.

      • Tengil says:

        Nice word choice there, sport. Sexual violence is really funny

        • FaceWound says:

          Within gaming its used almost continuously due to its contextual meaning, don’t be so easily upset

          • sonofsanta says:

            Ignorance & acceptance are complicity in this new age of “fuck me I really have had enough of this sexism now” that’s (rightly) gathering pace.

            If it’s used almost continuously, all the more reason to keep on pointing it out and really annoy people by doing so. Maybe then they’ll stop.

          • mispelledyouth says:

            Contextual meaning?

            I’d honestly love to hear that expanded upon

            It doesn’t upset me to hear the word thrown about so easily but I do think it’s a little shocking that any objections to the casual use of a word with such a nasty connotation are frowned upon. There’s plenty of others to choose from.

          • Snids says:

            The word only has any meaning at all due to sexual violence.
            Using it an a different context doesn’t change its meaning any more than using the word “ladder” as an intensifier, i.e “that was ladder-smart” changes the original meaning of the word ladder to no longer describe a runged, increased elevation enablement device.

            Trying to defend it’s use here is totally sexist and you’ve got a bit of schoolin’ to be doing if you can’t understand that.

          • tetracycloide says:

            The word only has any meaning at all due to sexual violence.

            The word had a non-sexual meaning long before it had a sexual one. Apparently you’ve got a bit of schooling to be doing to know your history.

          • Snids says:

            Well no, not as far as I can see.
            link to

            Apologies for not getting down the library to do a more exhaustive search though.
            Even if you were to “win” this little argument you’d still be the bloke arguing that it’s cool to use the word rape whenever he likes.

          • FaceWound says:

            I don’t have quite the time I’d like to reply to this but just one quick point.


            “Trying to defend it’s use here is totally sexist”
            How can something that can happen to you irrespective of gender ever be considered sexist? Yes its far more common for it to happen to women but not exclusively. I’d like to add I’m not defending it but perhaps I’m the strange one for finding comments not aimed at me and not meant in malice completely unoffensive.

          • kdh says:

            @snids: your own link points out that there is an earlier meaning of the word than the sexual one actually. Also, why bother with etymology, when you can just look at the current meaning of the word: link to

            1: an act or instance of robbing or despoiling or carrying away a person by force
            2: unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent
            3: an outrageous violation

          • Snids says:

            Jesus fucking christ.

            Rape is generally accepted to mean an act of sexual violence against a woman. It’s use in gaming is that one is “dominating” the game in some way. There is no way anyone here can deny that that is the way that it is commonly used in gaming.

            The reason (misogynists) use that particular word is because it has the weight to convey their awesome dominance of the game. Weight that the word has BECAUSE IT IS A WORD THAT DESCRIBES SEXUAL VIOLENCE.

            Do you argue that using the word “gay” is ok because teenagers use it to describe something that’s bad? I mean it’s certainly used in a different context than it used to be. So I guess it must be ok to use the word “gay” now to describe something I don’t like.

            If one of my gay friends gets upset about it I’ll just tell him to shut up and that I’m just using the word in a different context.

            Women play games (despite your best efforts). Would you think it ok to tell a female player at a LAN “I’m totally raping you!”. No, I don’t imagine you would. So I guess we should only use these terms in the back rooms of clubs when there are no women around to spoil the fun yeah?

            Except you cant do that on the internet.

            Every time you use the term “rape” or allow the word to be used unchallenged (no, not in every single context). Then you are contributing to making the internet, and gaming, a hostile place for women and victims of sexual violence on the whole.

            No-one is trying to take your words away from you. I know the meanings of words change over time but It’s still not ok for white people to drop the n-bomb. And it probably never will be. But why would it need to be?

            Do you really need to master of your little dominion to such an extent that you demand the use of every potentially offensive word in every possible context? To make Jew jokes at Auschwitz? To make Hillborough jokes in Liverpool? Does your right to say whatever the fuck you like trump the potential for causing offence?

            You don’t give a fuck.
            But I do, and I’m going to pull you up on it.

          • Snids says:

            sorry if I raped you with my argument it’s just that you faggots were acting totally gay.

          • Phasma Felis says:

            Many gamers are almost continuously assholes. What’s your point?

          • tetracycloide says:


            you’d still be the bloke arguing that it’s cool to use the word rape whenever he likes.

            Actually I didn’t argue that at all. I pointed out you were wrong about how the word got its meaning and that people were just using it for whatever they wanted it to mean, nothing more. You can be wrong about the origin of the word and it’s meanings and still be right about it’s use being insensitive at the same time. That’s allowed.

          • scratchjohnson says:

            Snids – “Every time you use the term “rape” or allow the word to be used unchallenged (no, not in every single context). Then you are contributing to making the internet, and gaming, a hostile place for women and victims of sexual violence on the whole.”

            What the fuck? Not at all. There is another context, and someone using a word for emphasis between friends does nothing to create a hostile environment. Calm your shit, and let people use the words they use.

        • mondomau says:

          link to

          He’s using it incorrectly, but then offense is entirely subjective.

          • toastmodernist says:

            Think you don’t really understand etymology which traces the history and origins of a word not the the meaning/context and ways it is used now.

            You’re after a dictionary plus learning how words are used contextually through interacting in society.

            Nice attempt to try to reclaim it for gamers to use without having to listen to all these pesky people talk about how extremely problematic it is though.

          • mondomau says:

            What are you on about? I was pointing out that he wasn’t even using the word correctly, regardless of any offence it caused. Push your agenda elsewhere, and read the post before opening your mouth next time maybe?

        • FaceWound says:

          I’d just like to point out I’m not posting in support of its use. Perhaps a more “troll” like answer would have got the point across better. “Welcome to the internet” where social taboo’s mean nothing and the day you get wound up by cretins posting on the internet is a downward spiral with the only possible way out to be shooting yourself in the face. There’s one sure fire way to loose hope in humanity and that’s by reading comments and forum posts.

          @sonofsanta – I see your point but I think your being a little optimistic :P

          • sonofsanta says:

            Someone has to be, before the internet drowns itself in an ocean of its own self-pitying tears.

            On second thoughts, maybe I’ll keep quiet in future…

          • warthog2k says:

            ” There’s one sure fire way to lose hope in humanity and that’s by reading comments and forum posts.”
            That’s why we read RPS comments – to remind us that what’s acceptable elsewhere is completely alien here. (And vice versa).

            RPS != teh Internetz

        • adammtlx says:

          Holy crap, if words aren’t allowed to be used for different things than the normally-accepted definitions then we might as well just give up now. No more new meanings! No more abnormal usage for different or more interesting descriptions! Someone might feel bad!

          • theallmightybob says:

            I know I will still be using the term rape when talking about destroying something, as I am not doing it with my penis or even in a sexual context. Sometimes you just destroy something so much that it, infact, has been raped. Welcome to the world of slang, its how some words change meaning over time.

          • Snids says:

            yeah I’m just gonna keep using the word “nigger” to insult my mates when they’re acting gay. It’s cool though because we can use words for different things.

            It might make me a massive, inconsiderate prick. But it’s totally cool. Things are fine the way they are are don’t see the need to change because I’m not personally offended by it.

          • adammtlx says:

            Yeah, Snids, because “nigger” and “rape” are totally the same thing. I’m sure the women in your life are super grateful that you jump to their defense every time someone says “rape” in a non-sexual context, because you never know when those words might force their way into someone’s unprotected vagina.

            I can’t remember the last time I used “rape” out of the context of sexual violence, but you need to learn to allow people the freedom to express themselves when it’s clear they’re not being racist or promoting abuse. You realize that your objections only give it power, right? For example, if the word “nigger” weren’t such a big deal then racists would have LESS POWER to hurt people with it. Our oversensitivity only gives bad people more ammunition. That there are people like you who are so sensitive to the use of “rape” in a context other than sexual violence is a major reason people use it.

            oh and btw, men get raped too. sexist.

          • theallmightybob says:

            @snids i like how in your example you say your going to use the word nigger to insult your friends when thay are “being gay” a bit hypocritical maybe? or are you just gonna pass that off as part of the example?

            or perhaps maybe gay has slowly turned into simply meaning that someone is acting stupid instead of being homosexual, or happy? no not that right?

            personaly i think people just need to grow thicker skin about this kind of stuff.

  3. Jarenth says:

    I feel compelled to point out that, in keeping with 2K’s apparent love for dubstep as Borderlands 2’s music of choice, the The Borderlands URL comes out to I thought that was pretty clever.

    • Kollega says:

      I think that’s actually supposed to be a parody and commentary on how other people in the game industry loves dubstep. Even though i can’t remember anyone using it other than the new Syndicate, and there it was kinda fitting because it’s “grim cyberpunk future music”.

      • Jarenth says:

        It probably is. But I still wouldn’t be surprised to find some dubstep in the finished game proper.

        For parody purposes, of course. Crazy video game trailers these days and their crazy wub-wubs.

        • RakeShark says:

          Isn’t the Dishonored trailer theme just slowed-down stretched-out wub wub?

          • Phasma Felis says:

            When you think about it, all music ever is wub wub, after an arbitrarily large series of permutations.

            This is the cue for everyone who keeps moaning about dubstep to nip off and shoot yourself.

  4. Sp4rkR4t says:

    Slightly related I’ve just found out about this excellent pre-oder bonus but unfortunately I don’t know of a single Indie games store in the Southampton area, shame as I would love to get my hands on these.

    link to

    • mondomau says:

      That is annoying. I don’t think I’ve even seen an indie games shop for at least a couple of years.

  5. oWn4g3 says:

    Stopped at Level 101 because it became really difficult to at least being hit by something :D

    Nerf 2-Way Railgun!!1

  6. Greggh says:

    Not working here :(

    • LTK says:

      Nor here. I can’t get the up and down arrows to control the game instead of scroll the page.

      • Kollega says:

        You have to click inside the screen to make the keys work.

        • LTK says:

          Nope. It’s just up and down that don’t work. I’ve played browser games before, you know.

  7. TheMerricat says:

    Hmmm… here’s a lets play of it. :-P link to

  8. mollemannen says:

    i’m gonna be disappointed if there isn’t a rocket launcher in borderlands 2 that fires in a random direction :P

  9. mondomau says:

    It’s basically impossible to get through the later levels unless you pick up the 2-way railgun : Mostly 1-hit kills that pass through walls, lovely. Anything else is pretty much useless once they start mobbing you.

  10. Jupiah says:

    It’s an interesting idea but the random weapon system desperately needs balancing. Grabbing a gun chest is often suicidal because they’re almost always surrounded by enemies, disappear quickly and the game doesn’t pause when you’re comparing the new weapons to your current one so you’ll usually take a hit whenever you touch one. It makes me sad that I can only grab like a quarter of the chests that drop in each level.

    Also the Railguns are by far the best weapon type because they can shoot through walls, and hiding behind the walls to keep from getting mobbed and avoid return fire is pretty much the only strategy the game allows. Eventually I stopped even looking at the stats on any weapon that wasn’t a railgun.

  11. Jupiah says:

    Ok wow, this game will kill you in some incredibly cheap ways. My first death, the enemies were dropping so many gun chests right on top of me that I literally couldn’t move and got mobbed while trying to cancel out of them all. The second death was when my character somehow magically opened a chest half a screen away and I’d accidentally grabbed a gun a tenth of the power of my previous one just as a bunch of enemies attacked me. The third death was when I leveled up in the middle of a huge mob and instantly my gun went from dealing 270 damage to dealing 45 per shot. Yes, apparently once you get to a high enough level (50+ I think), your gun will magically become uselessly weak every 2 levelups or each new stage and you’ll need to find a new one. Good god that has got to me the most annoying game mechanic I have ever encountered in a video game.

  12. BluElement says:

    I played with the railgun that I got in the second level (and never needed an upgrade since there was nothing better) until I found another railgun on level 40. I picked it up before realizing that it’s style was “random” and that shooting it would shoot the projectile in any random direction… Then I got pissed off and quit. :(