Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! - Xbox 360

Release Date:

17 October 2014

Also on:

Xbox 360 PC PS3


As usual for Borderlands, the fundamental play is solid. However, nearly every other RPG developer is working much harder for your money.

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8.2 / 10
Borderlands is a far-out first-person shooting and driving game with a penchant for team-based tactics. The game is designed to be played cooperatively with up to four players, though it can be pla...
by 2K Games
Release Date: 23/10/2009

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Super Gamer Dude

Xbox 360


Ages ago, the legendary holy wars between the Nintendo religion and the cult of Sega raged, and sequels used to be mostly the same game with a few new ideas. As time went on, and it seemed innovation began to be coveted over pure design, developers had to sell sequels by always pretending they offered a significant upgrade. Let me state it loudly and clearly. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is a cynical cash grab. The image they give off is that there were so many ideas before the real sequel that they could make an entirely new game, but let me tell you what most likely happened:

Executive: "Hey, we've been making a lot of great downloadable expansions for Borderlands 2, what's next?"

Developer: "This one's really unique! It's on Pandora's moon!"

Executive: "Look at the color scheme! Instead of our nasty, repetitive oranges and browns, there's a vivid, almost psychedelic canvas of blues, grays and purples. Oh, the low gravity and lack of air plays into combat, brilliant! Why are we charging a downloadable expansion fee for this? Let's get a B team like 2K Australia to copy and paste your better designs and stretch it out to what gamers expect for a single-player, Diablo-style, loot-based action RPG these days. Then we charge full price!"

Developer: "Won't players notice we're just copying our clever ideas ad infinitum or with a lot of less inspired quest designs they've seen and done so many times before?"

Executive: "Nah, but tell you what we do to smokescreen it: give them an option between four different characters, but make only one of them really distinctive. That way we don't waste money developing four characters, when there's really only one that can be called new, fresh or different, but the illusion is there.

Also, you know all those quirky characters we had in Borderlands 2? Just take those ideas and plant them into other people using this formula: kooky trait + unrealistic dilemma - any impact on the plot = memorable character! Then find a character players want to find out more about and let our lore guy write something for just him. That way we can say it 'expands the Borderlands universe,' when really it's just patching in bits and pieces of writing to make it look new."

Developer: "Well okay, but you know these gravity lacking jumping mechanics? I haven't developed them to the point where they'd really have an impact on game play other than prompting players to spam the same jumping technique over and over. Since the low gravity allows a lot of maneuverability, it's going to look like players can indulge in great air games like Quake III or Unreal Tournament or other multi-player arena shooters, but they can't.

Also, stuff's just plain not ready yet. At this point, most of our new weapons are really just the usual fare and don't represent any exciting new idea at all. The air mechanic doesn't apply to the best character I'm thinking of, and when it does, it's just an small inconvenience for the very first part of the game. On top of that, we really don't have enough time to code or design platforming places to let players know where they can realistically land and where they can't. We haven't fixed any of the glitches or graphics issues and would just be reusing a lot of our old art!"

Executive: "Okay, then you can add one vehicle, but just one! Remember the days when a new Shinobi or Donkey Kong Country game had fundamentally the same mechanics, but the design was so fantastically intricate they felt like entirely new games?" The developer nods. "Exactly, nobody remembers that, or they're too young to have experienced it! String them along with habit-forming loot and RPG mechanics. Nobody will be able to tell the difference between good design and stretching a four or five hour experience out to dozens of hours."

As usual for Borderlands, the fundamental play is solid. However, nearly every other RPG developer is working much harder for your money. Buy Borderlands: Contempt for Gamers Edition if it's for the price of a substantial downloadable mission, but not for full price.

Submitted by Cheat Title Rating
profile pamh Achievements.
Oct 9, 2014

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