Stolen Pixels #136: After Curfew, Episode 4

By Shamus
on Oct 23, 2009
Filed under:
Column

The latest Stolen Pixels has Breen talking about Borderlands, the first game I’ve pre-ordered since (I think) 2004. It looks like the game is a mixture of Fallout 3, Hellgate: London, and the not-yet-out Rage. The first two of those were games were fun but had more promise than payoff. Hopefully Borderlands delivers the post-apocalyptic fun I’ve been waiting for. If not, well… it’s not the end of the world.

(Ba-dum-tish.)

It really is hard to keep the visuals interesting in these monologues. I noticed today that the lighting is WAY warmer than previous ones, which is a break in consistency. Oops. Hopefully, nobody will notice. I mean, besides the people I just told.

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20121 comments. Blackjack!

From the Archives:

  1. Magnus says:

    Even though I’m not a huge fan of HL2, the breen comics have been consistently funny.

    Keep up the good work, and is that a real hint about a Cmdr. Shepard being in the next strip?

  2. chabuhi says:

    Hmmm …. how long before publishers just sell us the empty game world and then we have to buy and download the player-characters (3 for the price of 2 – today only!), each individual weapon and/or armor we want to use, and so forth?

    How might that work out?

    Game world – $29.99
    Characters – $12.99 each
    Weapons – Lg. $1.49, Sm. $0.99
    Armor – Heavy $1.49, Med. $0.99, Lite $0.49
    Main quests – $5.99
    Side quests – $0.99 each (10 for $9.80!!)
    Boss enemies – $9.99 each
    Interface – FREE!!!!

  3. Rutskarn says:

    chabuhi: if it worked out to the same price (which is possible), it might be worth looking into. I could care less about some of the weapons, and the side quests are often pretty crappy. And if I didn’t have to buy the “witty” sidekick and insipid love interest, well, all the better.

  4. RTBones says:

    OK, is it sad that when I read Borderlands, the first thought through my mind was “Keep on the…?”

    Ahh, those were the days!

  5. Ergonomic Cat says:

    Borderlands is awesome. In the way shooting someone in the head with a sniper rifle causing them to both catch on fire and explode is awesome.

    And I preorder Dragon Age CE because of the DLC.

    I’m a ME whore.

  6. LintMan says:

    No preorder love for Dragon Age, Shamus?

    Me, I’ve been on a preorder spree. I have Borderlands and DA both preordered. I’m also looking forward to Torchlight, but haven’t preordered that.

    I also preordered Machinarium, but that’s released now. (It’s short but cute and clever).

    I also have to agree with Chabuhi – the DLC trend is getting disturbing. I don’t necessarily mind paying for new content after the game release, but at this point it’s really really looking like they’re just skimping original game content so they can make you pay extra for the game.

    • Shamus says:

      There wasn’t any incentive to preorder DA. Well, maybe they offer “free” knicknacks or in-game stuffs, but if they wanted to entice me they’d need to offer a discount.

      Borderlands offered a group discount. I went in with friends and we got it for ~$36.

      I guess I should have made clear that my pre-order was based on cheapness, not on actual excitement about the game in question.

  7. Punning Pundit says:

    So.. no L4D2 preorder? ’cause a) you’re going to buy it and b) it’s $5 off…

  8. Cuthalion says:

    This is off-topic, but you’re on wikipedia.

    In the Fear the Boot article and possibly in Active Worlds, assuming that’s not another software developer with the same name.

    So you’re sort-of famous, but not sort-of famous enough to have your own page… yet. :P

  9. ccesarano says:

    Almost off-topic, but mentioning the pre-order on Borderlands made me think of an online conversation I was having with a friend the other day over Borderlands. He skipped over Brutal Legend to grab Borderlands since so many folks were playing it, and he had a lot of complaints for it (though a few were achievement related on Xbox 360, which may not count for you). Meanwhile, I was getting ready to play Brutal Legend’s campaign a second time through after hours of nailing 100% completion and dipping into the multiplayer.

    I was curious if you were planning to grab Brutal Legend or not. I have no clue what your thoughts on Tim Schafer are or if you even bothered with Psychonauts, but I can say for certain Brutal Legend is an icon of what game design ought to be. The story/setting and gameplay work together instead of separately, where the metal flavoring provides opportunity for gameplay and vice versa. In addition, the game started out as a multiplayer concept, which typically means the single player is nothing more than a tutorial to the campaign. However, while the beginning of the game sort of feels that way, there is a lot of other extra missions and things to find that enhance the game experience far beyond. In fact, the tactical battles that the multiplayer is all about make up a small percentage of overall game time. In other words, a fully-realized single player (that I’ve already completed twice and wouldn’t mind a third run through, to be honest) combined with a full and fun multiplayer as well as an overall entertaining story where you LIKE watching cut-scenes?

    Some people have stayed away because they aren’t metal fans, but 1) the metal is just flavoring, the game can be fun for everyone, and 2) It’s got a variety. There’s death and doom metal I can’t stand, industrial that I’m meh about, classic metal like Black Sabbath, Ozzy and Judas Priest as well as classic rock like Scorpions, U.F.O. and Motley Crue.

    Being the first game to make me say “Wow, that was worth $60” in a long time, I figured you may enjoy it yourself. Plus, I’m sure there’s a lot of comic and blog ideas you could come up with for it.

    …I totally side-tracked here, but as I said, my friend skipped Brutal Legend and opted for Borderlands, and he’s been doing nothing but complaining (aside from the limited player classes, one of his complaints was, oddly enough, “Diablo 1 had more of a story than this game”). So were you planning on giving it a try or skipping it for now?

    (Also, if you play it like a strategy game or RTS, you will probably have trouble with it: I suck at strategy games, but the actual “strategy” in Brutal Legend is simplified. It’s more tactics and knowing how, when and where to support your troops).

  10. Dragon Age pre-order gets you a ring that boosts your xp and skills. The CE pre-order gets you DLC for Mass Effect 2.

  11. Jabor says:

    I was pretty sure that the Blood Dragon armor (the stuff you also get for ME2) came with all new (rather than used) copies of the game. Unless you’re referring to some other Mass Effect 2 DLC that you get?

    Also, I was just reading the new Experienced Points – quite interesting. Needs a post here so we can discuss it.

  12. Budke says:

    It really is hard to keep the visuals interesting in these monologues.

    Remember that your studio probably has three cameras. Shoot him from the left quarter to show where the interview desk is (and the armed guard “protecting” the audience). Or from the right quarter with the band in the background.

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Is that commander shepard the guy,or commander shepard the girl?

  14. MuonDecay says:

    Maybe both! At the same time!

  15. Simon says:

    I’m extremely surprised you ordered Borderlands, considering the DRM activation they are using.

    I was very interested in the game up till this point. 2K does it again and damage control had been hard at work on their forums for the last few weeks.

  16. Jabor says:

    Remember: Dragon Age just uses the good old “Do you have the disc in the drive” check – no SecuROM, online activation, or anything.

  17. Sean Riley says:

    Is that commander shepard the guy,or commander shepard the girl?

    Given that he usually used the default character for games wherein there’s an option for that sort of thing, we’d have to guess male, wouldn’t we?

  18. Graeme says:

    With regards to the Postal Worker/Gamefly thief, the ironic thing is that even though he physically stole ~2200 games, he’ll probably still end up paying a hell of a lot less than that one chick who was fined $1.9 million for downloading 24 songs ($80,000 a song). One conservative estimate on one website I read put his total fine at $20,000 altogether. Why the disparity when obviously games take so much more time/effort/money to produce AND are way more expensive than music CDs?

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