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Borderlands: The Handsome Collection and Sludge Life are free on the Epic Games Store

So long, Civilization. The latest freebie over on the Epic Games Store is Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, a rather handsome pairing of two Borderlands games to blast your way through without dropping a penny. But Epic’s feeling generous this week – today also marks the surprise release of grimy graffiti sandbox Sludge Life, and this filthy bonus is going free for quite a bit longer than a week.

You know what Borderlands is, right? Colourful loot-shooter, billions of guns, Mad Max bandits and a heaping dose of fart jokes? The Handsome Collection includes Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, a strange spin-off that lets you blast monsters in low gravity as a tiny loud-mouthed robot.

While it’s missing that awkward first entry and last year’s Borderlands 3, these are some well good shooters for burying yourself in guns over a weekend or two. As this week’s free game, The Handsome Collection is free to keep on the Epic Games Store until the wheel ticks over next Thursday. Once again, next week’s Epic freebie is being kept a mystery.

It’s not like today didn’t have its own share of surprises, mind. Beyond Borderlands, the Epic Store also saw the stealth release of Sludge Life, with Devolver suddenly announcing that the particularly on-brand slime sandbox is out, for free, this afternoon.

The work of High Hell developer Terri Vellman, Sludge Life is a grime-soaked sandbox with a vibe you can practically taste. As graffiti artist Ghost, you’re set loose on this miserable island to do as you see fit. Tag walls ’til you’re the top vandal in town, crash into corporate buildings and really “stick it to the man”, or take neat snaps of oddballs, strangers, and anatomically-incorrect felines.

There is a point to it all, I’m led to believe. But Sludge Life is a world that’s largely interested in letting you scrub beneath the surface, downloading games-within-games on your busted old laptop as you paraglide past a giant baby.

Backed by some suitably grimy beats from Enter The Gungeon composer Doseone, Sludge Life looks a wonderfully filthy world to poke and prod at. It’s also sticking around as a freebie a fair bit longer than Bunkerlads. Download Sludge Life on the Epic Games Store at any point ’til this time next year, and it’s yours to keep.

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Natalie Clayton

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