Kotaku

No One Knows How Big Claptrap is, Really, but Let's Call This a 1:1 Model AnywayReader Parrish E. admitted to tooting his own horn by sending this tip to us, but we'll allow it, because his life-size construction of Claptrap—with a functioning headlamp, mind you—is straight up awesome, and the best part, it's a gift for a friend.


Parrish and his wife were introduced to Borderlands by a friend shortly before Borderlands 2 released in September. And then, of course, they played the sequel. "Our friend expressed an interest in building the super intricate paper craft model that came out a while ago," he says on the Gearbox forums. "She's pretty busy with school and work and the like, so I figured I'd build it in my spare time (currently unemployed, and job hunting only occupies so many hours in the day) as kind of a thank you for introducing us to the series.


"And then I realized I don't have anywhere near the patience for that many little pieces and gluing everything together, and even if I did manage to build it, it's pretty fragile," he said. "I know my way around a table saw, however, so I decided to build a large, almost full scale model. I could never really nail down his exact dimensions, so I went off the 4" figurine, and scaled that up to what pre-made wheel sizes were available to me."


Voila, you now have a full-size Claptrap. Brandishing what appears to be the figurine Parrish referenced. It took about a month to assemble, and he just uploaded the finished pictures yesterday. The rest of the forum thread shows Claptrap throughout the stages of his construction, with the requisite slow-claps and compliments from the Borderlands community.


I'm Building a Claptrap [Gearbox Forums]


Kotaku


"Like 2D Minecraft," you say, "But that kind of sounds like Terraria!" About that. At least one of the devs on Chucklefish, the studio behind Starbound, hails from Terraria. This would explain some of the overt gameplay/aesthetic similarities between the two games.


The premise here is that you're fleeing your destroyed homeworld in a shuttle, but you don't know where you're going. This is where the random-generation comes in, see. There is a ton of random-generation in this game, but more on that in a sec.


You can explore, build, craft, and play with your friends. In space. With a space station. From the game's website:


The space station in Starbound is sprawling and full of potential. Throughout your travels you'll find ways to upgrade and repair it, restoring it to its former glory. You'll need to find a crew, conduct research, catch rare creatures, and unlock its multitude of facilities. From a factory capable of producing mechs to labs where captured enemies can be studied and trained, the space station contains everything you need to explore the universe.


Starbound Is Like 2D Minecraft Meets Borderlands...In Space


So you'll be going around visiting a buttload of different planets that have everything from the flora, the fauna, the difficulty level, the weather and just everything in-between be randomly generated. Even the guns in the game will be randomly generated.


Starbound Is Like 2D Minecraft Meets Borderlands...In Space


Apparently there are 'literally millions' of combinations. Included are rocket launchers, pistols, assault rifles and so on which have a bunch of different stats and attributes (clip size, reload time, DMG, spread, etc) along with, as you might have guessed, rarity values.


And of course, there will be terraforming. Once you make a planet your homeworld, you can interact or examine just about everything.


Everything that makes a planet unique is at your command. Feel like changing the weather? Build a weather centre! Don't like the terrain? Terraform it! Every aspect of the planet is under your control. Once you're happy with it, start populating it with characters you've met in your travels and take care of them! They'll have needs and desires and won't hesitate to ask for your help if they require assistance.


Sounds super ambitious. Starbound is possibly releasing at the start of 2013, but there's no clear release date.


Via Matthew Hall


Kotaku

Borderlands 2 Will Raise Its Level Cap Early Next YearIGN today reported that Borderlands 2's level cap, currently at 50, will rise sometime in the first three months of next year.


It's not going to come with Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt, announced and previewed today. 2K Games told IGN that Gearbox Software still is considering whether to do it as part of a DLC extension or as a separate download.


The studio did both in the original Borderlands in 2010, raising the cap from 50 to 61 with The Secret Armory of General Knoxx and then raising it to 69 with a free update.


Additionally, 2K is said to be thrilled with Borderlands 2's sales performance, and is envisioning a second "season" of DLC after this one concludes. Big Game Hunt will be the third of four promised extensions.


Borderlands 2 Raising Level Cap Soon, More DLC Planned [IGN]


Kotaku

5 Things You Should Know About The Borderlands 2 DLC That Came Out Today[Editor's note: Below follows our impressions of Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt, which releases today. I played the add-on content roughly a month ago, finishing all the main quests and a handful of side quests. This article has also been updated with the new launch trailer.]


We're up to our third campaign add-on for September's wonderfully colorful and gun-filled Borderlands 2. Like the previous two DLCs that focused on one personality—Captain Scarlett followed by Mr. Torgue—Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt leads you into various dangers thanks to one well-articulated individual: Sir Hammerlock.


What was meant to be your weekend shootout expedition with Hammerlock gets sidetracked by Hyperion's Professor Nakayama. See, he was a huge Handsome Jack supporter, and not too keen on the vault hunter(s) who defeated him. So before you can go hunt this new continent's biggest game, you'll have to stop the latest psycho Borderlands has introduced you to.


I've played a good chunk of Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt, so I thought I'd share a few details before the newest content releases to the public. Here are some noteworthy highlights.


1. It's Actually Challenging

If you've already completed Borderlands 2's main game, the last two campaign DLCs might have felt like a breeze. They certainly did for me. But Gearbox took notice, and made Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt a hell of a lot tougher. It'll be an actual challenge to fight through mobs of enemies. In fact, you'll have to be at least level 30 just to tackle the thing.


5 Things You Should Know About The Borderlands 2 DLC That Came Out Today


2. New Enemies. More Importantly: A New Enemy Behavior

The more appropriate difficulty scale is partly to do with new enemies, specifically one new enemy type. In Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt, you'll be exploring a new continent—called Aegrus—full of mountains and swamps. But Aegrus doesn't just bring a new aesthetic appeal; it's riddled with new enemies, too.


The swampy greens and mountainous browns are overrun by savages. Savages are basically like bandits. They look like headdressed, tattooed, spear-and-shield-equipped bandits. They even evolve like bandits do when you don't kill them fast enough. Midgets still jump up behind you while squealing in that adorably terrifying way. You know the one.


But these tribes of savages doesn't behave exactly like bandits do. Because they've got a chief. Chiefs can heal their friends, themselves, and send out powerful attacks (fire or slag, for instance) to slash at your health bar.


5 Things You Should Know About The Borderlands 2 DLC That Came Out Today


Giving one enemy type this much power means one important difference for you: you'll have to focus all of your gunfire on this target first, unless you want to unload your clip into a bandit-style savage only to see his health bar reset thanks to these pesky witchdoctor-types. They'll buff their friends while debuffing you, which results in nasty effects like slowing you down.


Then there are big, flying things called Spores. They hover above you, dropping mini, kamikaze versions of themselves onto your head. Scaylions are Varkid-like, bug creatures. Together these new enemies make up what feels like a fresh Borderlands experience.


3. New Vehicle That You Can Paint With Lots Of Pretty Colors

I really wish I could tell you the new vehicle is the two-seater motorbike we saw in Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage. And I really wish I didn't have to tell you that the actual new vehicle is a fanboat. The fanboat is all too similar to the sand skiff we saw in Captain Scarlett and Pirate's Booty. Sure, it maneuvers seamlessly between all possible directions within the 360 degree span quite a bit smoother than the sand skiff. And sure, its got a flamethrower and a corrosive acid launcher. But it still controls quite a bit like the sand skiff.


Oh, and there are lots of customization skins for the fanboat that enemies will drop.


5 Things You Should Know About The Borderlands 2 DLC That Came Out Today


4. New Raid Boss. Plus, Bonus!: New...Rare Creatures?

Voracidous is the name of the seraph guardian raid boss that will be the cause of your furrowed eyebrows when you get your hands on Big Game Hunt next month. He's a Stalker, but, fitting with the theme, you'll have to fend off against the Chief that controls him, too. Which, as you can imagine, means there will be other groups of enemies you'll have to deal with.


Then there's Dexidous who will be the cause of one very long, sleepless night fighting through wave after wave of enemies. This "rare" creature will only be summoned after you supply various totems across Aegrus with a hefty ton of precious Eridium. Kill this Drifter and you can pick up Hammerlock-themed (aka hunting-themed) weapons.


5 Things You Should Know About The Borderlands 2 DLC That Came Out Today


5. Loot, Loot, Loot!

Hammerlock/hunting-themed weaponry aside, I found a ton of new weapons to replace my previous favorites. I get attached to my guns, even in a game like Borderlands that encourages you to constantly swap them out for new, shiny ones. But it's hard to argue with the insanely powerful pistols and assault rifles this new DLC throws at you. Did I mention these insanely powerful weapons are also insanely plentiful? By the end of Big Game Hunt, you'll have opened many, many loot chests. More than your feeble little backpack can handle.


Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt releases on January 15. It's covered in the Season Pass, or will be available individually for $9.99.


Kotaku

Borderlands 2 Gets So Much Right, But Gets One Thing Very WrongBorderlands 2 is funny, smart, and gorgeous. The controls are tight, hooking up with other players is a dream, and the PC port is one of the best I've ever seen. The Torgue campaign is hilarious and memorable, just like previous campaigns. It seems like the game's hitting all the right buttons.


My cursor hovers over the Borderlands 2 launcher, the word "Play" enticing me, but, for some reason, I glance at my desktop computer, wishing the hard drive hadn't started death-clicking on me. My Xbox 360, sitting on the shelf above, stares at me forlornly, begging me to return to Assassin's Creed's Constantinople.


I've got to play this, right? Most of my games are sitting on a hard drive I can't afford to replace, and I'm always in the mood for a shooter, so what's stopping me? Why do I feel like I'm obligated to play Gearbox's latest endeavor when I should be looking forward to the experience?


I've been struggling with Borderlands 2 for weeks.


At first, I thought that I might be in some sort of gaming funk. The past few weeks have been extraordinarily stressful for numerous reasons, and I haven't been able to take a break to deal with outstanding health concerns, which is generally the recipe for this kind of malaise. However, if that were true, and this was a funk, I wouldn't have spent two hours the other day playing Assassin's Creed Revelations, nor a few hours earlier in the week playing FTL. I'm enjoying games just fine—it's Borderlands 2 that seems to be the issue.


Humor isn't doing it for me today, and it hasn't been for a few weeks now, though the jokes themselves are often hilarious. Even a month ago, when I was nearing the end of Borderlands 2's Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty DLC, the humor wasn't doing it for me. I'd sigh at yet another hilarious quest prompt, roll my eyes at the latest joke, no matter how funny, and dutifully head off to shoot more pirates.


Actually, I think that might be where the problem lies.


Borderlands 2 Gets So Much Right, But Gets One Thing Very Wrong


Ask anyone what a Borderlands game is about, and they'll tell you "guns." They'd be wrong. A Borderlands game is no more about the weapons it uses than any other game in its genre. See, while the two main games in the series are played in a first-person perspective, they borrow as much, if not more, from games like Diablo and Torchlight.


Borderlands isn't about guns, it's about loot. And that's a big problem. As I expressed earlier, in Stephen Totilo's wonderful piece on why we like to shoot, the first person perspective can be an incredible one if the game uses it to its strengths. If a shooter treats the game space like as if it's real, players are in for a diverse, intelligent experience.


Borderlands doesn't really do that.


Borderlands isn't about guns, it's about loot. And that's a big problem.

If anything, the game's quite simplistic. The enemy will see you, enter a combat state, and shoot or melee the user. Sometimes, they will take cover, but that's about as far as their intelligence goes. With Borderlands, you don't do much more than point at guys and make the red bars get smaller, which means, to paraphrase the classic GamePro advice, shooting them until they die. Most good shooters go beyond that. In FEAR, they call in reinforcements, flip over tables to create cover, distract you to allow their friends to flank, and it all feels right. In Halo, an Elite will make use of his grunts, turning them into meat shields when his shields pop. In Far Cry 2, putting a sniper round through a mercenary's kneecap will inevitably result in his allies coming to check on him.


These games treat their world as real and their inhabitants more so. They make use of the first-person perspective, of that idea of immersing the player within a world, and they take it as far as they can. Borderlands 2, on the other hand, treats its enemies in distinctly different terms. Its enemies are mobs to be aggroed while you blast them with AOE attacks and whatnot. They're not treated like people inhabiting a space; they're treated like concepts with legs, bipedal ideas given malicious form.
Shoot shoot, bang bang, visual effects. On to the next guy.


Borderlands 2 Gets So Much Right, But Gets One Thing Very Wrong


A good shooter should feel like a stew of sensory data, feedback, use of space, and artificial intelligence. Everything should fit together in a way that feels right—in a way that somewhat emulates actually being in a space, because that's really what first-person games are all about. It's not just a camera perspective, it's a way of creating a mindset. When a game's too gamified to matter, players feel a disconnect between purpose and place.


Of course, Gearbox could improve the AI, feedback, and level design, but that might not fix everything. The guns, for instance, are random. With any melee game, particularly an isometric title, like Diablo III, varying stats don't really matter all that much. They tend to determine how many numbers pop up when you click on a guy, and little more. With shooters, things are a bit more complex.


Borderlands 2 Gets So Much Right, But Gets One Thing Very Wrong


The best shooters not only treat space like it's real, but encourage players to explore that game space, thinking about where cover is, where enemies are, where gunfire is going, where their gunfire is going, how to game enemies into different space, and so on and so forth. Any first-person game is at its best when its focusing on movement just as much, if not more so, than combat. That games like Halo, Dishonored, and Mirror's Edge have an appeal is ample evidence of the importance of motion.


In a shooter, one of the best ways to facilitate and vary player movement is to arm the player in different ways. A combination of Halo's Needler and Shotgun will facilitate a distinctly different kind of movement through the game space than a loadout with the DMR and plasma rifle. With a Needler, players can utilize the age-old tactic of "spray and pray," focusing more on movement rather than accuracy, allowing the player to dodge enemy fire and get up close, finishing off stragglers with the shotgun. A player carrying a DMR and plasma rifle might use the latter to pop an Elite's shields, then swap to the DMR and finish it off with a headshot. Other factors, like AI, use of grenades, and line of sight will affect motion as well, but the guns, above everything else, affects the way the player navigates the game's space.


Generally, there's very little intelligence required of the player.

Borderlands doesn't really pay much attention to its guns, because of its devotion to a Diablo-esque combat system. It's too busy thinking about crits and elemental damage to focus on gunplay, so generally, there's very little intelligence required of the player. Just pick the right "build" of weapons (use acid weapons on just about everything), get into cover when your health bar is low, and just point at guys and click on them.
Nothing to it.


And that, I think, is the problem.


I want more out of a shooter, whether it's to toy with the AI and maps, as in Dishonored or Crysis, or to focus on the right weapon combinations and moment-to-moment movements, like Halo or FEAR. I want to have fun playing a shooter, and honestly, I think Borderlands is missing all the core details that make shooters good. The game's at its best when I'm playing with my friends, and given how hectic my schedule has been the past few weeks, that's been next to impossible.


So, here I am, sitting at my computer, finger ready, yet somehow restrained. Borderlands 2, as gorgeous, outrageously funny, and beautifully made as it is, just isn't doing it for me. I sigh, again, ready to click... when I realize I don't have to play it if I don't really want to. I'm not entirely out of love with Borderlands 2. It's pretty much the perfect online co-op game, after all. But for now, I think I'm done riding solo. So, instead, I grin, clicking FTL: Faster Than Light, and prepare to get killed by space pirates.


Rick Burford's childhood discovery that he could modify Microsoft Flight Simulator to allow behaviors the programmers hadn't intended spawned a life-long fascination with video games and their development. Now, he writes about video games and occasionally dabbles with making his own. His Twitter handle is @ForgetAmnesia.


Kotaku

Report: Borderlands 2's Next DLC Has Danger! Excitement! Mustaches!The folks at Gearbox are rarely slackers when it comes to downloadable content, and so far Borderlands 2 has mostly borne that out. We've known for a little bit that the next batch of DLC will be called "Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt" but beyond that, details have been scarce.


Reddit user MikeTheInfidel has dug deep into the latest update to Borderlands 2 to uncover what looks like a list of features from the "Hammerlock" DLC, including a whole new continent, new vehicle, and of course, new loot.


From the DLC description he uncovered:


Danger! Excitement! Mustaches! It's time for another episode of Vault Hunter Adventures, featuring Sir Hammerlock! In this week's tale, our hard-boiled heroes travel to the savage continent of Aegrus! Their goal? To uncover the most exotic creatures Pandora has to offer, and give 'em the old one-two!


That's a lot! Of exclamation! Marks!


MikeTheInfidel describes Aegrus as a "swamp/jungle continent," which sounds cool (I did enjoy the more tropical feel of some of the areas in the Captain Scarlett DLC), and says it will consist of 5 main story missions and 12 side missions, many of which doled out by Hammerlock himself.


Sounds good. I haven't had a chance to play any Borderlands 2 for a good while now, but it just might be time to head back in. For more info, check out MikeTheInfidel's full Reddit post.


The inside scoop on the upcoming DLC! (Spoilers inside.) [Reddit via OXM]


Kotaku

A Borderlands 2 360 Patch Finally Fixes Rank Glitch, Lets You Redo ChallengesRemember back in September when Borderlands 2 players were experiencing a reset in their Badass ranks?


Well Gearbox finally released a chunky 360 patch to fix that, and many, many other issues. Your Badass tokens will be reissued to be spent as you choose.


A notable addition that comes with this patch is the ability to reset challenges (not tokens). Tokens earned from those challenges will still be retained, but you can get extras for a higher badass rank. The specifics:


Players can now reset all challenge progress for a character once they've completed 85% of all non-DLC, non-area-specific challenge levels. This will keep the player's current challenge bonuses and rank, but reset all challenge progress to 0 and allow challenges to be re-completed for additional ranks and bonuses. This option will appear as a tooltip at the bottom of the "challenges" screen within the status menu if the player has met the criteria.


G4 is also reporting that the patch landed them 10 shiny Golden Keys. This could be a gift in return for the glitch's hassles, or it could just be a coincidence. Let us know what you're experiencing.


Kotaku

The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different TaleIf the Video Game Awards are actually an awards show, and not just a keynote for promoting upcoming games, then the big news from last night was The Walking Dead: The Game. Eminently quotable analyst Michael Pachter said before the show that if this title, a downloadable self-published game, took home Game of the Year, he'd eat his hat. To his credit, Pachter later tweeted out a request for one, presumably to consume.


But the surprises don't just stop there. The Walking Dead won Game of the Year coming out of the Best Adapted Game category. Except for 2003, the first year of the VGAs, when things were very different from today, only two adapted games have even been nominated for GOTY: Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, and neither won. This is a different time in games development, with publishers looking for games whose characters and stories they fully own.


Some might look to a licensed or adapted work and consider that the game derives its significance, or at least the attention given to it, because it draws on some other franchise in popular entertainment. So it's strange that a licensed, adapted work reminds us that story, and characters, and choices, and the memorable experiences they create, matters most.


Here's another surprise nugget: The Walking Dead: The Game earned its makers five Video Game Awards. The next big winner? Journey, with three (including a nomination for Game of the Year.) Borderlands 2 also took home three awards, the best haul for a traditional boxed console game.


So if you're thinking this might have been a different Video Game Awards, in its 10th year, you're probably right. Had the show given more attention to that purpose—only a handful of these awards were actually presented in the broadcast—we might be pondering it as a landmark year. The VGAs are often accused of being an industry popularity contest, but maybe this year they acquired recognizable critical heft. We'll have to see what happens next year, and the year after.


So here are the 25 winners of the 2012 Video Game Awards, plus the Game of the Decade. Two fan-voted awards gave Character of the Year to Claptrap from Borderlands 2, and Most Anticipated Game to Grand Theft Auto V.


The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Game of the Year

The Walking Dead: The Game

Telltale Games


Also nominated: Assassin's Creed III, Dishonored, Journey, Mass Effect 3
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Studio of the Year

Telltale Games

Also nominated: 343 Industries, Arkane Studios, Gearbox Software


The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Xbox 360 Game

Halo 4

Microsoft Studios/343 Industries


Also nominated: Assassin's Creed III, Borderlands 2, Dishonored
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best PS3 Game

Journey

Sony Computer Entertainment/thatgamecompany


Also nominated: Assassin's Creed III, Borderlands 2, Dishonored
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Wii/Wii U Game

New Super Mario Bros. U

Nintendo


Also nominated: The Last Story, Xenoblade Chronicles, ZombiU
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best PC Game

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

2K Games/Firaxis Games


Also nominated: Diablo III, Guild Wars 2, Torchlight II
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Shooter

Borderlands 2

2K Games/Gearbox Software


Also nominated: Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Halo 4, Max Payne 3
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Action-Adventure Game

Dishonored

Bethesda Softworks/Arkane Studios


Also nominated: Assassin's Creed III, Darksiders II, Sleeping Dogs
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Role-Playing Game

Mass Effect 3

Electronic Arts/BioWare


Also nominated: Diablo III, Torchlight II, Xenoblade Chronicles
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Multiplayer Game

Borderlands 2

2K Games/Gearbox Software


Also nominated: Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Guild Wars 2, Halo 4
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Individual Sports Game

SSX

Electronic Arts/EA Canada


Also nominated: Hot Shots Golf World Invitational, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13, WWE '13
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Team Sports Game

NBA 2K13

2K Sports/Visual Concepts


Also nominated: FIFA 13, Madden NFL 13, NHL 13
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Driving Game

Need For Speed: Most Wanted

Electronic Arts/Criterion Games


Also nominated: Dirt: Showdown, F1 2012, Forza Horizon
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Song in a Game

"Cities" (Beck) for Sound Shapes

Also nominated: "Castle of Glass" (Linkin Park for Medal of Honor: Warfighter); "I Was Born for This" (Austin Wintory for Journey); "Tears" (Health for Max Payne 3)


The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Original Score

Journey

Sony Computer Entertainment/thatgamecompany


Also nominated: Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Halo 4, Max Payne 3.


The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Graphics

Halo 4

Microsoft Studios/343 Industries


Also nominated: Assassin's Creed III, Dishonored, Journey
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Independent Game

Journey

thatgamecompany


Also nominated: Dust: An Elysian Tail, Fez, Mark of the Ninja
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Fighting Game

Persona 4 Arena

Atlus/Arc System Works/Atlus


Also nominated: Dead or Alive 5, Street Fighter X Tekken, Tekken Tag Tournament 2
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Handheld/Mobile Game

Sound Shapes

Sony Computer Entertainment/Queasy Games


Also nominated: Gravity Rush, LittleBigPlanet (PS Vita), New Super Mario Bros 2
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Performance by a Human Female

Melissa Hutchison for The Walking Dead: The Game

Also nominated: Emma Stone for Sleeping Dogs; Jen Taylor for Halo 4; Jennifer Hale for Mass Effect 3
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Performance by a Human Male

Dameon Clark for Borderlands 2

Also nominated: Dave Fennoy for The Walking Dead: The Game; James McCaffrey for Max Payne 3; Nolan North for Spec Ops: The Line
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Adapted Video Game

The Walking Dead: The Game

Telltale Games


Also nominated: Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Downloadable Content

Dawnguard for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Bethesda Softworks/Bethesda Game Studios


Also nominated: Leviathan for Mass Effect 3; Mechromancer Pack for Borderlands 2; Perpetual Testing Initiative for Portal 2
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Downloadable Game

The Walking Dead: The Game

Telltale Games


Also nominated: Fez, Journey, Sound Shapes
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Best Social Game

You Don't Know Jack

Jellyvision Games


Also nominated: Draw Something, Marvel: Avengers Alliance, SimCity Social
The Biggest Winners Helped This Year's VGAs Tell a Different Tale


Game of the Decade

Half Life 2

Valve Corporation


Also nominated: Batman: Arkham City, BioShock, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Mass Effect 2, Portal, Red Dead Redemption, Shadow of the Colossus, Wii Sports, World of Warcraft


Kotaku

Borderlands 2: Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage: The Kotaku ReviewThe newest Borderlands 2 DLC is an arena-based battle. It's also a set of questlines in a campaign mission to become the biggest, baddest badass of the Badass Crater of Badassery.


Still with me? Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage is all about proving you're the baddest dude or dudette in Pandora, because only the baddliest of baddasses will be allowed access to the vault that requires the blood of a coward to be opened.


Have you ever played the Wii's No More Heroes? Where the protagonist faces off against the next rank of assassins to become the number one assassin (and I suppose the only one even alive)? The plot in Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage is precisely about that kind of competitive killing. Which means, of course, that you'll be introduced to several new characters, each equipped to fight you in their very particular style, whether that's atop a buzzard or on a road bike.


There's an entire new area for you to explore while bloodily making your way through the ranks of badasses. They're all centered around the large, gladiatorial arena. Some are clusters of bandit camps. Others are dark, up and downhill paths around buildings, giving the impression of an elaborate city (which would be awesome, and I would love to see this idea fully realized in future DLCs). Others still are hazardous walks through lava-laden hideouts. It's neat, but there really isn't a lot to dig up in these new areas. They're nowhere near as beautiful or expansive as the last campaign add-on we got for Borderlands 2.


Borderlands 2: Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage: The Kotaku Review
WHY: It's an excuse to play more Borderlands 2.


Borderlands 2: Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage

Developer: Gearbox
Platforms: Xbox 360 (played), PS3, PC
Released: November 20


Type of game: First-Person Shooter/RPG


What I played: Roughly 4 hours to finish the main campaign, and about an hour or so of side quests.


My Two Favorite Things


  • More Borderlands 2.
  • New characters, plus more Tiny Tina.


My Two Least-Favorite Things


  • I don't get to ride that sweet motorbike?!
  • Memorable moments are few and far between.


Made-to-Order-Back-of-Box-Quotes


  • "I should really introduce my mom to Mr. Torgue. Then maybe she'd stop saying I cuss too much. Shiet." — Tina Amini, Kotaku.com
  • "'What are you buying on Amazon, Tina?' ‘A fucking motorbike. Go away.'" — Tina Amini, Kotaku.com

This isn't like Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty, the last campaign DLC that graced Gearbox's FPS/RPG sequel. There aren't a ton of side quests to plow through. Even the main mission in Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage is a fairly fast adventure, something I killed in about four hours. You start off in an arena, fighting off waves of enemies and proving yourself worthy enough to enter the ranks of badassery. Then, after you've defeated each individual up the badass ladder by tracking them down across the Badass Crater, you're back in the arena, fighting for the last win.


Mad Moxxi officially becomes your "sponsor" during this tournament. She and Mr. Torgue make allusions to other fighters vying for the badass title to open the vault for all its shiny loot. So you're meant to believe that this is some sort of championship. That there are other fighters out there apparntly attempting to win the belt same as you. But it never actually felt that way. It felt more like someone gave me a hitlist and I assassinated my way through it.


That's not to say that Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage wasn't fun. It certainly was. But whether that's a product of the additional content itself or simply a matter of the base game being so darn fun that all I really need is a proper excuse to revisit it is something I can't quite put my finger on.


But I'm left feeling like this latest campaign DLC wasn't as fleshed out as it could have been. I know people weren't fans of Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot, but I still would like to have seen an arena mode unlocked by the end of the DLC campaign. It felt like it was building to it, and just never did. Even the awesome multiple-seater motorbike was never something players could access. Enemy bandits would drive it around, teasing you, but you could never actually drive the thing yourself.


The DLC does introduce a new currency—Torgue tokens that can be spent on Torgue-manufactured gear—and even new items to pick up (like sexy portraits of Mad Moxxi), but this new DLC was simply a series of quests that I was determined to complete and then promptly forget about.


Borderlands 2: Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage: The Kotaku Review


Captain Scarlett is such a chunky, meaty slab of content that I'm still revisiting Oasis to finish sidequests or get through raid-level bosses. Mr. Torgue can't stand up to that depth of content. I often felt that Mr. Torgue was hanging on in the ranks of amazing Borderlands content by the skin of its teeth. It's just not as impressive, not as remarkable.


So what's with the big green "Yes" to the right? I may have had my expectations given Gearbox's track record with Borderlands and DLC in general, but that doesn't mean that this isn't still an entertaining experience that I'm happy to sink more hours into the game for. There are new characters, the return of Tiny Tina (which, as someone who is named Tina and nicknamed Tiny by her mother makes me very happy), and new areas to explore.


Borderlands 2: Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage: The Kotaku Review


Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage could've used the new vehicle it dangled in front of your nose. It could've used a new game mode. It could definitely have done with better loot, because even the vault's burst of new weapons didn't match up with what I already had in my inventory, a scenario that will likely be similar for many of you who have already dug lots of hours into the game. But even with the glaring omissions, it's hard to argue with the super burly dude who has a penchant for inserting curse words into practically every syllable. Seriously, don't argue with him. He yells a lot.


Kotaku

The arena-style DLC that releases on November 20th features Mr. Torgue, one of the weapons manufacturers in Borderlands 2. Our own Patricia Hernandez previewed the add-on, and noted that he pretty much looks and sounds like professional wrestler Randy Savage.


Need proof? Watch the video above.


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