…Tales from the Borderlands comes super-close to completely wrecking itself on account of an abrupt, unsuitable, ill-conceived ending incongruous enough to cast a pall over the entire first season. But however much the last episode put me off, it was only really depressing because it was over.
In the dawn of 2012, I tore a leaf from my Starcraft 2 Jim Raynor Wanted Poster keepsake notebook (best thing about that game, really), determined to write down great titles as I played them. I always draw a blank when people ask for stuff I should remember, and Games of the Year articles are too important to leave to memory… especially mine. For twelve months that increasingly defiled sheet survived the chaotic sluice of cords, bills, beer cans, notes to self, and discarded gaming mice that is my desk. I exhumed it the other day.
Now, I admit this hasn’t been the best year for games, but there were more titles scrawled on there than I have medals for. After all, we don’t hand out awards like candy around here. So a whole lot of thinkin’, and even a fair amount of replayin’, was to come before the tally was in. This year I humbly offer five titles worthy of Tap-Repeatedly Special Achievement Awards, plus a handful of mentions of the honorable variety.
The tubes are alight with new rumors that Gearbox – creators of Borderlands and one of those WWII games, Medal of Brothers or Call in Arms or whatever – has been tapped to take over development of Duke Nukem Forever, a game that’s been in development since the Paleozoic and finally got canceled in 2009 when 3D Realms, its creator, went belly-up.
I mean seriously, what is the matter with this guy? First he decides to stir up a pointless ruckus by complaining that Valve’s Steam service is exploitative of the little guy, a conflict of interest for Valve, and untrustworthy – an act for which he is universally condemned, and called much harsher names than I’ve called him. Then today he decides it’d be wise to further assify himself by accusing Valve/Steam’s position on PS3 sales …
So there I was, minding my own business last Friday night, when a friend of mine – a lawyer, I hasten to add – calls me up and, over the course of a half hour, literally tricked me into picking his wife up at the train station and driving her 35 miles back to his house through a massive end of the world storm, without my ever realizing that I was being manipulated. And he did it with Borderlands, which I’d bought over Steam. The PC version didn’t come out until the 26th, so I was patiently waiting. All that changed when Pete bamboozled me into collecting his wife with the bribe of co-op 360 Borderlands.
1UP illuminates us this morning with a review of Borderlands, Gearbox’s anticipated open-world shooter whose chief claim to fame is the procedurally generated weaponry that literally allows for something like twelve million firearm variants. I bet you can’t guess what score they gave it.
I know, I know, I am perhaps a little over-enthusiastic about STALKER and its follow-up. Flawed though they were, both games captured atmosphere like essentially no other, and as such I am enthusiastic over the looming release of GSC Game World’s latest Chernobyl-drivern installment, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat. According to GSC, the team listened carefully to the complaints about Clear Sky, and have put some degree of effort into correcting them.