Games: Borderlands Game of the Year Edition gives classic 'loot-shooter' a modern make-over
Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition (Multi)
By: 2K Games
WHILE loot-shooters are common as muck nowadays, franchise behemoths such as Destiny and The Division owe a huge debt to the genre-bending co-op carnage of Borderlands.
2K's trailer-trash space-western wore its shooting pants with pride, but bejazzled the action with RPG trappings which encouraged even the most meat-headed gun-jockey to juggle stats and roam its dusty, post-apocalyptic world for items and experience boosts.
And now, its Mad-to-the-Max action gets a makeover for modern hardware in a Game of The Year Edition – the year in question being, er, 2009.
On the alien backwater of Pandora, a ragtag bunch of adventurers roam wastelands in search of the Vault of Legend over 100 gorgeous missions brimming with bad-ass nasties and millions of randomly generated guns.
Looting through corpses like an intergalactic hobo, players slowly climb skill trees to suit their play style, though with much time spent hoofing it from A to B, long stretches can feel like a dandering simulator.
With an arsenal that'd make a south Armagh silo groan, the series holds the Guinness World Record for most guns in a videogame, though Road Warrior-style vehicle sequences help stave off trigger fatigue.
Despite having a decade under its belt, Borderlands' post-apocalyptic set-pieces still sing. Its plot and characters may be gossamer-thin by today's standards, but the yuk-filled murder spree's cocktail of first-person blasting and role play can still raise the pulse.
Rolling back the years, this GOTY Edition gives those timeless cel-shaded cartoon visuals a fresh lick of paint, with better textures for modern screens. But it's the gameplay tweaks that'll make fans want to double-dip.
The once-finicky user interface has been retrofitted to match Borderlands 2, with an improved mini-map and more intuitive ways to manage your loot. Local split-screen has been upped to four players, meaning a quartet of buttocks can share the one sofa and indulge in all-new cosmetic fluff, such as exclusive weapons and character heads.
Best of all, Borderlands GOTY comes pre-stuffed with all of its extra DLC, including The Zombie Island of Dr Ned, Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot, The Secret Armoury of General Knoxx and Claptrap's New Robot Revolution.
Videogame lootin' and shootin' has come a long way in the last decade, and while Borderlands can at times feel as much a relic as anything ensconced in its alien vaults (trash robot Claptrap's whiny innuendo feels particularly dated), nostalgia hounds will find plenty of reasons to lock n' load again with this bells and whistles-heavy package.
If anything, it'll keep the withdrawal shakes at bay until the third game proper lands on September 13.