Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia
With GameSpy's online services set to shut down on May 31, 2K Games has stepped forward and announced which of its online-enabled multiplayer games will survive the closure. Borderlands, Civilization III, and Civilization IV, and their respective expansions will all begin making the transition from GameSpy servers to Steamworks in the coming days, while several other games will see their multiplayer servers go down with the GameSpy ship.
Shacknews - Andrew Yoon
Updated with official confirmation. Metro 2033 may be getting an enhanced re-release for next-gen consoles. Italian website Everyeye.it included a listing for a PS4 and Xbox One version of "Metro: Redux." The site removed the incriminating info, but All Games Beta managed to save a snap for posterity.
Shacknews - John Keefer

Before Gearbox Software came up the look and personalities of Borderlands characters Roland, Mordecai, and Lilith, they devised the basic archetype of each class, with each originally represented in art as a blockhead, a conehead and a spherehead.

Borderlands franchise director Matt Armstrong and lead character designer Jonathan Hemingway were at SXSW offering a behind the scenes look at the early stages of how the in-game team came together. The designers knew they wanted a Doom-style shooter guy, a stealthy Metal Gear-type expert, and a James Bond-style gadget killer. The rough concept art for each class was represented by a sketch that had a 3D shape as a head. After some thought, they realized a play-style was missing, and Brick was eventually added as a tank-type class.

The duo also detailed the original gimmicky UI interface for the skill trees, including Brick's tree involving a series of beakers and IV bags meant to reflect his drug-induced roid-rage abilities. Those were eventually scraped, however, in favor of the three-skill-tree system.

To see more of Borderlands' design process, see the slides over at Joystiq

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Just in time for the release of Borderlands 2, PlayStation Plus' "Instant Game Collection" will add the original Borderlands next month. PlayStation Plus owners will be able to download the game "for free" as part of their membership beginning September 4th. As usual, the game will remain accessible as long as you maintain your Plus subscription.

Plus subscriptions start at $17.99 for 3 months, $49.99 for a year.

In addition to the free game, PS+ members will also receive a 50% discount on all Borderlands DLC. The full list of discounts can be seen here. Catching up on the original game will also unlock goodies in the sequel, making it quite the bonus for anyone intending on playing the sequel.

Shacknews - Brian Leahy
The 1.41 patch (details here) for Borderlands, which raises the level cap to 58 for all users and to 69 for owners of The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC, is availble now for the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

To snag the patch on either of the console versions, launch the game while connected to the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live. For the PC retail version, users may download the patch manually. German gamers will need this patch.

Steam users will be auto-updated as is Steam's standard operating procedure.

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Shacknews - Brian Leahy
Gearbox has detailed the upcoming patch--or title update if you're a console gamer--for its loot-filled shooter Borderlands. As previously reported, this is the patch that will raise the game's level-cap. It was initially thought to be releasing alongside Claptrap's Robot Revolution.

Right now, the patch is going through its various certification processes and should be ready in November. In the free update, you'll get:

  • Level cap increase of 8 levels
    • That means that all Borderlands players will now be able to achieve a new maximum level of 58.
    • Owners of The Secret Armory of General Knoxx can achieve an increase to a maximum level of 69.
  • End game players

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Shacknews - Brian Leahy
Gearbox and 2K's Borderlands is now available digitally through Xbox 360 Games on Demand for 2400 MS Points ($30). This is the vanilla version of the game, not the recently released Game of the Year Edition, which includes all four DLC packs.

Fancy, new Borderlands Avatar items.
Additionally, the first three DLC packs for the game are on sale for 400 MS Points ($5) each. They are:

Of course, Claptrap's New Robot Revolution can be purchased for the full-prize of 800 MS Points ($10). Finally, two new avatar items have been released including a pet Claptrap and a Red Treasure Chest.

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Shacknews - Brian Leahy
Though access to the forthcoming Duke Nukem Forever demo was originally planned to be included for those that purchased the Borderlands Game of the Year Edition, users are finding demo keys linked to their Steam accounts if they had purchased the game before October 12.

Duke Nukem Forever
To check and see if you have a key, find Borderlands in your Steam Library and click the "CD Key" link in the game pane. If you've got the key, it should show up as "Duke Nukem Forever First Access Club Code". It can be redeemed here, though the demo is not yet available.

Read our impressions of Duke Nukem Forever from PAX 2010 while you wait for the demo to drop.

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Shacknews - Jeff Mattas
2K Games and Gearbox have revealed that purchasing the Game of the Year edition of Borderlands will give players exclusive access to the "Duke Nukem Forever First Access Club," in addition to some exclusive in-game items...in other words, early access to the DNF demo.

Duke and Borderlands
As expected, the Borderlands Game of the Year Edition will include the all four downloadable episodes from the "extravasplosive Borderlands catalog," but will also come with a "free membership certificate for the Duke Nukem Forever First Access Club." In addition to the playable demo of Duke Nukem Forever, the First Access Club membership will also give players access to an as-of-yet-undisclosed "wealth of goodies."

Borderlands Game of the Year Edition will be available on October 12 for $49.99 on PC, and $59.99 on PS3 and Xbox 360.

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Shacknews - Brian Leahy
The fourth DLC pack for Borderlands is coming on September 28 for $10, but we've got some new screenshots for you while you wait. The pack is 'Claptrap's New Robot Revolution' and will revolve around those robotic scamps from the original game.

It will also raise the level cap to 69 and re-balance the game around this new ceiling. "More than 20 new missions" with "tons of fresh enemies to blast through, including original boss battles, waves of homicidal Claptraps, well-armed Hyperion soldiers, and local creatures that have been Claptrap-ified - including crab-traps, rakk-traps and skag-trapps" will be included.

Three in-game screenshots along with two propaganda posters (one seen above).

Those that haven't purchased Borderlands might consider waiting for the Game of the Year Edition, which will be released on October 12 and include Claptrap's New Robot Revolution along with the previous three DLC packs.

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