It’s taken some time to get to this point as I’ve been busy and one of the lower items on my to-do list has been replaying Borderlands 2 (and Mass Effect 2), but I’m finally ready to drop the first of many rocket propelled Tediore guns on you all. Prepare yourself for a world of hurt- and one filled with as many Borderlands references as your puny little brains can scarf down and stomach. Hey, some people think with their stomach after all. Paltry jokes and Borderlands memories and nostalgia aside, this first post is going to touch on plenty of themes and not really pertain to Borderlands 2 itself so much as the series and the lore as a whole. Strap yourselves in and buckle up for a long haul.
I’ve recently found myself replaying Telltale’s “Tales from the Borderlands” as well as Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and The Pre-Sequel. One thing I’ve noticed about the games is that for the most part they’ve aged like fine wine and also that between the chronology of The Pre-Sequel and Tales from the Borderlands, I’m sorely confused. Obviously I know how things tie together thanks to the fact I’ve completed every game in the series, however the jumping around that both The Pre-Sequel and Tales do doesn’t much help in terms of making things clear. In case you’re a relative newcomer to the series or otherwise haven’t the faintest idea what’s going on, rest assured that you’re in modest yet capable hands here.
Essentially the chronology of the series and its lore follows a trail of Borderlands, the storytelling portions of The Pre-Sequel, Borderlands 2, the present day portions of The Pre-Sequel, Tales, The Pre-Sequel, and Tales. Now, if that’s moderately confusing in any way then I apologize but TTG and Gearbox haven’t exactly made things the easiest to follow at times. Meanwhile, I’m just looking forward to another season of several TTG episodic releases that we have yet to even hear news on and Borderlands 3 which has been in development but also been very hush hush. At least we can rest relatively easy knowing it will not be going the Half-life 3 route- hopefully. Something I’ve come to both realize and appreciate through my time with the series in both the past and present is the fact that even when another studio emulate what thematic elements made the initial two games a hit, it often works in their favor- taking Tales for example, which is different but still maintains similar characteristics and a unique perspective.
Gearbox has constantly outdone themselves in terms of creating a fun sandbox adventure and dropping players either in single player or cooperative madness with ease. Borderlands 1 and 2 represent the highest points the series has seen and yet Tales and The Pre-Sequel are far from shabby iterations of the beloved franchise. Ironically, the storytelling is sometimes one of the finest elements in a series solely based upon and developed with loot collecting and level grinding in mind. The wit and crudeness and sometimes outright parody is hardly mirrored in other games as well and as such is one of the truest highlights of the versatile formula. If you recall, Borderlands did term the phrase ‘role-playing shooter’ for a reason after all, but that’s not to say it has to take itself seriously by any means. Look no further than the newly remastered Bulletsorm to know that Gearbox recognizes sometimes players just wanna let loose.
The characters of Borderlands are another well-done piece of the collective puzzle and they’re truly unique and interesting in their own ways. Whether or not you choose one playable character over another, the non-playable characters will inevitably steal the spotlight regardless of your heroic or bandit-like antics. Who can forget the wily Handsome Jack or dancing Cl4p-Tr4p or downright scandalous Scooter- RIP Space Cowboy. Whether or not the lifespan of our favorite characters is as long as it should be notwithstanding, the playable character selection across the three main titles is superb and expansive and the NPC ensemble is equally immersive and diverse as well. I can only think of a few other series with as well-rounded and star studded a cast as Borderlands 1, 2, and The Pre-Sequel can boast. And that’s even discounting the fact that Tales is particularly story based and melds many of the series mainstays into the adventure with new characters as well.
I mentioned that my replay runthrough is going to be done through the eyes of the manic Krieg- a psycho and downloadable character add-on for Borderlands 2, mainly due to the fact that he is one of the least used and least played characters. I’ll be running through the game predominately in single player but charting my exploits into familiar territory by leaving wordy yet intrinsically interesting (hopefully) posts for you all here and there. What exact format these posts take may differ from time to time, however for the most part I’ll document hilarious and harrowing encounters, share some of Krieg’s own thoughts and best banter, or perhaps just show a montage of asploding heads. The boundaries are minimal and the limits limitless. This is Borderlands after all- we live on the edge far too often for most bandit-fearing souls’ comfort.
As also aforementioned several blogs down the pipeline ago, I will be doing a replay runthrough of the runner-up Mass Effect 2. Essentially I’ll devote my dozens and dozens of hours to Krieg and all that Borderlands 2 has to offer before diving in for my umpteenth run through the suicidal Omega 4 Relay. Just how well will Shepard and his/her crew fair this time around remains to be seen. Perhaps I’ll even inject a little community bias and cause/effect by putting the upcoming major dialogue and action sequence choices in the blog at the end and allowing you all to choose how I should progress through those sequences. That could make for a particularly intriguing experiment in space and time after all.
As always, feel free to send me your regards and your opinions- I’ll take all things that float my way. Cheers and a good evening to you all.