PC Gamer

If you've ever been curious about Borderlands but haven't gotten around to giving it a go due to the eternal cash flow struggle, now would be a good time to turn your attention to the Humble Bundle. The collection revealed today includes the original Borderlands, plus The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, Mad Moxxi's Underground Riot, and The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, all for whatever price you want to pay.

Those who beat the average purchase price will also get Borderlands 2, along with the Psycho Pack add-on, the Mechromancer add-on, the Creature Slaughterdome add-on, and a coupon for 75 percent off Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel in the Humble Store. And for 15 bucks or more, you can tack on the Borderlands 2 season pass, which includes the Captain Scarlett and her Pirate s Booty, Mr. Torgue s Campaign of Carnage, Sir Hammerlock s Big Game Hunt, and Tiny Tina s Assault on Dragon Keep add-ons, the Headhunter 5: Son of Crawmerax add-on, the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2, and a coupon for 25 percent off off stuff in the 2K Store.

"But wait!" he cried, waving his Ginsu knives at the assembled onlookers with mad abandon. "There's more!" As in more games that will be added to the bundle on June 30, the mid-point of the sale. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is the most obvious candidate, but it would be kind of strange to make it free in a bundle that also includes a coupon for the same game. Dare we hope for Tales From the Borderlands?

Money spent on the Humble Borderlands Bundle can be directed toward 2K Games, the Humble Bundlers, or the National Videogame Museum, at your discretion. The bundle is live now and runs until July 7.

PC Gamer

Borderlands creator Matthew Armstrong has left Gearbox, he confirmed on Twitter over the weekend. As both creator and writer of the first game in the series, Armstrong was also involved in Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel in various capacities. 

News of Armstrong's departure follows the closure of 2K Australia last week, the studio responsible for last year's The Pre-Sequel. With work complete on both The Pre-Sequel and the recent Handsome Collection for consoles, Armstrong told Game Informer that he'd taken the opportunity to leave at a time when he was "non-vital".

"I could leave without damaging Borderland or Gearbox too much if I did it at this moment, so now was the time," he said. "I think Gearbox will do great in the future, and I think Borderlands will stay strong and awesome. I've been thinking about it for a while. I'm not quitting out of anger or getting fired. It's just time for new adventures. I'm an inventor. I'm ready to make something new. Not just new to me, but new to everyone."

We're likely to see a Borderlands 3 at some point but probably not for a while: Gearbox only started recruiting for it in January

PC Gamer
PC Gamer

That happy looking fellow above is Paul Hellquist, who you may know as the Borderlands 2 creative director. He's standing in front of the Robot Entertainment logo because he's left Gearbox to join the Orcs Must Die! studio as a lead designer, it was announced today. That means Hellquist won't be working on any forthcoming Borderlands games, but he will be working on Orcs Must Die! Unchained.

Hellquist has quite the resume: before his senior role on Borderlands 2 he spent nine years at Irrational Games, during which time he worked as lead designer on BioShock. Now he'll work on the MOBA-esque Orcs Must Die! Unchained, which our Emanuel Maiberg went hands-on with last year. Robot Entertainment CEO Patrick Hudson says the next phase of that game's beta will be detailed soon.

As for a potential Borderlands 3, as of February last year Gearbox hadn't started development. "We know we want it and we know it should exist, but we don't know what it is yet," Randy Pitchford said at the time. If it's Borderlands you want though, 2K Australia's Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel arrived late last year, as did Telltale's Tales From The Borderlands.  

PC Gamer
NOW PLAYING

In Now Playing PC Gamer writers talk about the game currently dominating their spare time. Today, Sam confronts Spec Ops' most controversial moment.

This article contains story spoilers for Spec Ops: The Line.

Spec Ops: The Line is clearly a smart game written by smart people. While as an adaptation of Heart of Darkness it s never as successfully weird or iconic as Apocalypse Now (despite making similar creative decisions), it s daring and ambitious in the way it portrays US military intervention in the midst of escalating chaos. I ve thought about the story a lot since I completed it recently. But what I interpret as its central conceit—that the player is the one making the decision to push forward and cause every conflict, and is thus the villain of the story—isn t really supported by the game itself. This is especially highlighted by the notorious white phosphorus scene halfway through, where protagonist Captain Walker and his two squadmates accidentally wipe out civilians with a real life weapon that burns flesh to the bone.

Spec Ops wants to make a BioShocklike message about human behaviour and choice, but in this key moment, there is no choice to be made. I m at the top of a building looking down into an enclosed bowl where an army of enemies is about to be ambushed by one of the worst weapons on this planet. I man the artillery, which triggers a bird s-eye targeting camera, and bring fire down upon scores of enemy troops. I figure out where the civilians are cowering, in a trench near the back of the field of conflict, and aim around them—but it doesn t matter. The radius of the white phosphorus impact automatically extends to scorch the group of innocents, and while this is a story beat that s technically interactive, it needs to happen no matter what. I tried not to hit them, but I was always going to.

The cutscene that follows shows the full extent of the carnage: charred corpses everywhere and the distressing image of a dead mother hugging her child, both burnt alive. If Call of Duty did this, there d be uproar. It s to the credit of Yager, the developer, that the context justifies the horror in this case.

But the fact remains that I didn t kill those civilians—Yager forced that outcome. While the aftermath still makes me uncomfortable, the fact that I was aiming around the civilians absolves me of guilt as a player—and I m not sure that was the intent. There s a strong narrative emphasis on the escalating madness in Dubai being of Walker s making, but lacking choice, I start to grow apart from that character.

The only choice I get to make comes in the aftermath, as I slowly tread through the blackened corpses and stick a bullet in anyone unfortunate enough to have survived. That s power put back into my hands as a player—I choose to kill those civilians to make up for Walker s poor choice with the white phosphorus. But again: that was his decision, not mine. It was Spec Ops most important narrative moment and they took it out of my hands. The impact is extraordinary, but had they genuinely hoodwinked me into killing civilians, it could ve lived with me forever.

And unlike BioShock, where the entire game is built to support a killer twist for the ages, in Spec Ops it becomes increasingly obvious that these are not my choices. Consequently, inspiring an equal reaction is impossible—Captain Walker is not me. I am grateful that Yager tried to do something so different with a military shooter, exploring an angle that makes every modern FPS seem gaudy to me in the way they present war, even with that clash between player and character in mind. I only hold this story to a higher standard than I usually would because I feel the developers have earned it.

PC Gamer
PC Gamer

We like cheap PC components and accessories. But you know what we like even more? Expensive PC components and accessories that are on sale. We ve partnered with the bargainmeisters at TechBargains to bring you a weekly list of the best component, accessory, and software sales for PC gamers.

Some highlights this week: Ubisoft has a huge amount of games on sale starting at 40% off. You can get Bastion for only $3.75, and if you haven't played it yet then you probably should. Newegg has a 250GB Solid State Drive for only $112.99 and it comes with Borderlands 2 for free. And, in a similar deal to last week, XFX has another video card on sale that comes with your choice of three free games from a list that includes Alien: Isolation, Sniper Elite 3, and Tomb Raider.

Hardware:

— The Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD is over 40% off, only $112.99 on Newegg, and comes with Borderlands 2 for free.

— Similar to a deal last week, the XFX Double D R9-270X-CDFC Radeon R9 270X 2GB Video Card is $154.99 on Newegg after a $30 rebate, and comes with three free games. The choices include Alien: Isolation, Star Citizen, Sniper Elite 3, Thief, Tomb Raider, and many more.

— The Acer S241HLbmid 24 LCD Monitor is 30% off, $139.99 on Newegg.

— The Motorola SB6141 SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem is $89.99 with free shipping on Newegg s ebay page.

 Get the HP Omen 15XT Touch Gaming Laptop for $1674.99 with free shipping coupon code PC599Q4

Games:

— Get Bastion for $3.75 over at Gamersgate.com.

— Steamworld Dig is 75% off, $2.49 on Steam, for the next 48 hours only.

— Ubisoft is having a weeklong sale on Gamersgate.com on a bunch of games, including Watch Dogs, Rayman Legends, and Trials Fusion.

— The Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm expansion is $16.97 at Gamestop.

— Majesty Gold is only $2 on GreenManGaming.com after a using the coupon code NOVEMB-ERGMGX-20XOFF

For more tech deals, visit techbargains.com.

A note on affiliates: some of our stories, like this one, include affiliate links to online stores. These online stores share a small amount of revenue with us if you buy something through one of these links, which help support our work evaluating components and games.

PC Gamer
ss_5dfcd65b611b35a9dc126335dca2d48ef8180106.1920x1080


Ask PC Gamer is our weekly advice column. Have a burning question about the smoke coming out of your PC? Send your problems to letters@pcgamer.com.

I'm trying to find some games my retired dad might enjoy. He's not really a gamer... all he plays right now are games on his phone, and I guess he could play casual games on PC, but I wanted to show him there's more than simple puzzle stuff (he likes Threes) without overwhelming him. He has a pretty decent desktop I got him a couple years ago. Any recommendations? J.M.

Dear J.M.,

"Casual" has taken on a new meaning for me in the past few years. I used to think of Facebook games and the incessant notifications spawned from friends who think we might somehow connect over a mutual love of vegetables despite not talking for 10 years. Today, I think of any game that can be played in short sessions and doesn't demand a lot of familiarity with the genre or precision control.

That's a lot of great games, and 'casual' probably isn't the right word. Civilization V qualifies, for instance. You don't need to have played other turn based strategy games to get the concept it's like a board game, and the tooltips explain the rules and it's turn based, so there's no athletic mousery involved. And though it's hard to do, it can be played in short sessions. He can save and quit whenever.

Then again, I don't know your dad, and Civ might bore him to death. I'm just guessing (and only because this is true of my dad) that he isn't going to jump between a bunch of games. He'll probably want to get familiar with one or two and play them a lot, a la Threes. Turn-based strategy is a good call if that's the case. Total War: Shogun 2 and Unity of Command also come to mind, though the jump from Threes to the latter could be a bit much.

You may also consider going to GOG and finding some classics: Theme Hospital, SimCity 2000, Police Quest. Regarding that last one, if you think he might like story and adventure games, Zork: The Grand Inquisitor is one of my personal favorites. And there's always Telltale.

In the puzzle department, I can also recommend SpaceChem and World of Goo. And if none of that appeals, you can always install Peggle and move on. There's nothing wrong with Peggle. (Though I'm sure the commenters can supply some good answers and anecdotes of their own.)
PC Gamer
Borderlands


The Great Steamworks Migration continues. This time, it's Borderlands. The shoot-'n-loot FPS's co-op multiplayer has been unavailable since Gamespy's demise. Now it's back, thanks to the introduction of the Steamworks multiplayer infrastructure.

For owners of the physical-disc edition, you can activate a Steam copy using the "Granting Tool", found in Steam's Tools menu. You can see full instructions here.

Previously, a Borderlands patch removed SecuROM DRM from the game and its DLC.

There's been a recent trend of games switching to Steamworks, thanks both to Gamespy's death and Games for Windows Live's presumed shut-down. Recently Dawn of War 2 escaped from GfWL's clutches, securing its future for hopefully years to come. Of course, if Steam ever closes, we're all screwed.

Gearbox are currently working on Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. For more on that game, check out Tom's recent hands-on report.
PC Gamer
borderlands 2 8


If for some reason you're interested in Borderlands 2 but have yet to play it, then here's good news: the game is free on Steam this weekend. Even better, if you enjoy the game there's a hefty 75 per cent discount on both Borderlands 2 and its Game of the Year edition during that period. Naturally, you'd be better off going for the latter as the DLC packs include a wealth of extra content.

The free weekend is timed perfectly to get indecisive punters aboard the Borderlands train ahead of the October release of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Indeed, the game is now available for pre-purchase on Steam. You can play as Claptrap, which is great, because it means you can send the annoying robot to his death.

We had a hands-on session with the pre-sequel recently, describing it as "familiar, but fun". It releases October 14.
...

Search news
Archive
2015
Aug   Jul   Jun   May   Apr   Mar  
Feb   Jan  
Archives By Year
2015   2014   2013   2012   2011  
2010   2009   2008   2007   2006  
2005   2004   2003   2002