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.
Hello Vault Hunters! Borderlands has been updated with Steamworks multiplayer! If you have a physical DVD of the game, don’t forget you can get the Steamworks version by running the “Granting Tool” in the “Tools” section of Steam.
Of all the things affected by the GameSpy shutdown, Borderlands' now-hobbled multiplayer is perhaps the most egregious. Co-op is kind of the whole point there, so it's good to hear it will soon be making a return. A Steam update yesterday stripped all the nasty SecuROM DRM from the game and its expansions, as well as adding a "granting tool" capable of turning retail discs of Borderlands into Steam versions. Multiplayer isn't back yet, but you will find a "news ticker" on the main menu now, which will keep players' abreast of the effort to add Steamworks to the game.
Here's the full list of changes:
Removed SecuRom from the title and all DLC Added a Granting Tool In the steam Tools section that turns a retail disc into a Steam version of Borderlands News Ticker added to the main menu to give you updates on the Multiplayer restoration updates. Imported SecuRom DLC keys into Steam, so if you bought DLC outside of Steam, activate it within Steam and get your matching content.
The patch notes confirm that "Steamworks multiplayer is coming in a future update", so until then I guess we're stuck playing the original Borderlands solo. Or playing Borderlands 2 with friends, which is a bit more likely.
Steamworks multiplayer is coming in a future update. Changes:
- Removed SecuRom from the title and all DLC - Added a “Granting Tool” In the steam “Tools” section that turns a retail disc into a Steam version of Borderlands - “News Ticker” added to the main menu to give you updates on the Multiplayer restoration updates. - Imported SecuRom DLC keys into Steam, so if you bought DLC outside of Steam, activate it within Steam and get your matching content.
Borderlands' Pandora is a weird place, filled with slag-spewing skags, cyborg ninjas, sarcastic robots and psychotic midgets. After watching the first 30 minutes of Telltale Games' next series Tales from the Borderlands in an E3 demo, I think Pandora's about to get even weirder. But not because Telltale is introducing an alien zoo of new creatures rather, because the combination of Telltale storytelling and Gearbox insanity is 100% as bizarre as everyone thought it would be.
In established Telltale fashion, Tales will be a five-part episodic story. It runs on the same engine as The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and older Telltale adventures, with familiar dialogue choices (mapped to A, B, X, Y on a gamepad) and quicktime event action scenes. Unlike Telltale's two current series, though, there are few agonizing moral-based decisions to make on Pandora. Greed is expected with a side of slapstick, hold the logic.
As Telltale's president Kevin Bruner pointed out to me after my demo, Telltale's history is rooted in comedic games like Sam & Max and Strongbad. They can do funny. But the 30 minutes of Tales from the Borderlands didn't quite convince me that Telltale has Gearbox's sense of humor completely dialed in.
The surface-level elements are there. Characters are introduced with Borderlands' signature stylish freeze-frame and witty description. There are skags and bandits and cartoony cel-shaded wastelands. But most of the dialogue in the 30 minutes of Tales I saw (probably a 60/40 cutscene/game split) was clever without really being funny. Some of the other dialogue tried hard for for funny, but fell flat. Only a few lines and visual gags really made me laugh. There was a lot of exposition, which didn't help I can see the game doling out jokes at a more comfortable pace once its main cast of characters are established.
Despite how much this looks like Borderlands, Tales doesn't much feel like Borderlands, because the jokes and gags come at Telltale's measured pace, without the manic speed of Gearbox's kid-in-a-joke-store delivery. Surprisingly for a game set on Pandora, I think storytelling, and not comedy, will be the real strength of Tales from the Borderlands. I shouldn't be surprised by that at this point it's Telltale but I was anyway, because this is a very different type of storytelling for them.
Tales will divide its time between two protagonists: Fiona, a grifter I didn't see much of, and Rhys, a cocksure Hyperion suit working his way up the corporate ladder. The "Tales" in the title are actually tall tales, as Fiona and Rhys prove to be unreliable narrators talking up their past adventures. At one point, Rhys punches a man in the chest and rips out his heart, only to have Fiona interject with a sarcastic "That's totally not what happened." Then she provides her point of view.
This is where player choice plays a big role. In this scene, Fiona's perspective brings up four dialogue options, and each one will affect how the overarching story plays out. The idea that both characters are making up embellished stories, none of which are the proper "truth," is an absolutely perfect approach to the Borderlands world.
Instead of brawling like Bigby Wolf, Rhys can call in a Hyperion robot to fight for him.
The QTE action scenes are as minimally interactive as ever, and the comedy doesn't feel quite on, but the storytelling is as good as ever. Telltale also seems deeply devoted to mining the Borderlands lore for cool characters and backstory, which is something I didn't know I cared about until today. Gearbox throws out so many jokes, it's easy to forget that there's a pretty cool sci-fi world underneath the pile of screaming psycho midgets. Tales is a reminder that there's more to Borderlands than guns and humor.
Telltale aims to release Tales from the Borderlands this Autumn at the same $25 per season, with new episodes coming out "roughly monthly."
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When Irrational Games closed earlier this year many assumed it would mark the end of the BioShock series. While critically adored, 2013 s BioShock Infinite did not attract the astronomical sales figures video game publishers expect nowadays. But according to Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, a future for the series has not been ruled out. In fact, during an address at the Cowen and Company analyst conference last week, attended by Gamespot, he explicitly stated that the future of the series lay in the hands of 2K Marin. "We haven't given any colour on how you should think about yet except we do believe it's beloved. We think it's important certainly something that we're focused on; something 2K Marin will be responsible for shepherding going forward. I think there's a lot of upside in that franchise," Zelnick continued. "It hasn't necessarily been realised yet. And the question for the future, assuming we decide to answer the question, would be 'How do you stay true to that creatively?'; 'How do you do something exciting?'; and 'How do you do expand the market?'. That would be the natural drill. We're starting from a good point on it. And certainly it's been a great piece of business for us; it's been a profitable piece of business." Zelnick also commented on Take-Two s strongest performing IPs: Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto and Borderlands. While there s still no news on whether Rockstar will release PC editions of Red Dead Redemption or Grand Theft Auto 5, Zelnick did say that both were permanent franchises: evidence enough that a Red Dead Redemption sequel will appear one of these days. He also took an opportunity to engage in one of the video game world s favourite pastimes: sledging Duke Nukem Forever. Noting that Take-Two s success rate is unusually high due to their careful approach to nurturing IPs, Zelnick admitted that Duke Nukem Forever was a mistake. "We have a really high hit ratio. It's probably not realistic to believe it could be much higher than it is, he said. We've had precious few flops. And at least, of the few I can think of - and I can think of a few, sadly - at least one of them was just a misguided decision on my part, which was Duke Nukem.
These new screenshots of Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands are so Telltale, and so Gearbox, it's as if someone copy-pasted the former's timed dialogue boxes onto the latter's chunky cel-shaded action. In the new screens, we see a robot do robot things, TftB's two heroes argue about something or other, and Borderlands 2's Zero make a guest appearance in order to chop off some dude's arm. Hey, I'm sure the arm had it coming. Click through to see the whole lot.
Previously on Tales from the Borderlands: the series was announced, and details spilled out of SXSW. These are the first screenshots of the game that have appeared in the wild; we've yet to see anything of Telltale's other recently announced project, based on Game of Thrones.
Online matchmaking client GameSpy is shutting down on May 31, which means that the games that still rely on it will have to either transition to a new solution or go offline. It looked pretty grim for a long list of games when we first heard the news, but since then most of the popular games announced that they will not go silently into the night. Today, we got the great news from 2K that there might be bit of downtime, but that Borderlands and the Civilization series will be transitioning to Steamworks. Beginning May 31, 2014, select legacy titles from the Borderlands and Civilization catalogs will temporarily go offline while service is transitioned to Steamworks, 2K said on its website. During the transition, players will experience interruption of several features, including online play, matchmaking and voice over Internet protocol (VOIP). Players will not experience interruptions to offline play. Here s 2K s full list of games that are switching to Steamworks:
Borderlands Civilization III Civilization III: Conquests Civilization III: Play the World Civilization IV Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword Civilization IV: Colonization Civilization IV: Warlords
As we ve previously reported, Electronic Arts, Activision, Epic Games, and Bohemia Interactive all announced that some or all of their games will survive the GameSpy shutdown. So far, the biggest casualties seem to be the online multiplayer modes for Crysis and Crysis 2. If you re really upset by that, there s even an online petition you can sign.
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.