Half-Life 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Robert Yang)

In Vectorpark s Sandcastles, you build fantastic towers and watch the waves erase your work every 10 seconds. It s a very direct metaphor for the global climate crisis that threatens to flood coastal cities and exacerbate natural disasters. Sandcastles confronts us with our totally predictable watery doom, but we also find fun and expression in our totally foreseeable destruction. When the planet dies, at least we ll be entertained.

Before you commit to starving and drowning, you should probably understand how and why it ll happen. To imagine this nightmarish hellworld, readers can flip through climate fiction novels ( cli-fi ) and movie-goers can watch a big unprofitable climate disaster blockbuster every few years. But us mouse-clickers, we obviously don t read books or watch movies. Instead, we play with climate. Behold, the climate crisis game.


Borderlands 2 - 2kschug
Become a VIP in the Borderlands Vault Insider Program!
As a VIP, you can score some sweet rewards for Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Obtain Gold Keys to earn rare loot, or even unlock some of the most elusive Legendary weapons, including the Dahl Torrent, Maliwan Norfleet, or Vladof Mongol! And that’s just a taste of all the awesome loot available to VIPs!

Simply put, the Vault Insider Program, built in partnership by Gearbox and 2K, is a way for us to celebrate Borderlands fans like you. As a Vault Insider you’ll earn points and rewards for doing a lot of the fun stuff that you’d probably be doing anyway, like watching videos, reading articles, checking social media for the latest Borderlands updates, and of course, signing up for the program in the first place. Points can then be redeemed to claim rewards such as Gold Keys, wallpapers, and more in-game and out-of-game rewards!

Before you can become a Vault Insider, you need a SHiFT account. If you don’t already have one, you’ll have an opportunity to create one during the VIP sign-up process.

Note that you must be at least 18 years of age to join. Be sure to review the Vault Insider Program Terms so you know all the important details.

Join at VIP.Borderlands.com

SHiFT is the platform that powers all in-game promotions and rewards in Gearbox games. Without SHiFT there’d be no way for you to receive all of the awesome in-game rewards that are coming your way.

Be a Borderlands fan! You’re probably doing some of this stuff already, but in case you’re not, be sure to follow us on social media, make sure you’ve signed up for promotional updates, and check out articles and videos at borderlands.com. You can start earning points right away by referring friends and creating a 2K account to stay up-to-date on 2K’s other games. Check the hit list on your profile for up-to-date info on which activities are available for you right now.

Additional ways to earn points will be rolling out over time, including some that won’t appear on your hit list because they’re super-secret and designed to reward super-fans with super-rewards.

Rewards available right now include wallpapers and Gold Keys that are redeemable in current Borderlands games. With the legacy Gold Keys, there’s no need to wait – you can jump right back in to revisit your favorite Borderlands games!
Borderlands 2

It looks like Borderlands 2 VR is coming to PC, after almost a year of PlayStation exclusivity. Evidence comes via an ESRB rating for the Windows PC edition of the game. There's no indication of release date, but these classifications are usually filed within a month or so of release.

Borderlands 2 VR contains the full original game, but on PS4 at least, its entirely single-player. That does detract somewhat from the game's central appeal, but the opportunity to virtually inhabit Pandora is pretty cool. As is watching piles of guns explode from toilet cisterns. 

Borderlands 2

Great moments in PC gaming are bite-sized celebrations of some of our favorite gaming memories.  

Plenty of videogame villains bother you by rambling over the radio or whatever its fantasy equivalent is. The Guardian in Ultima 7, Sander Cohen in Bioshock, Frank Fontaine in Bioshock, actually just everyone in Bioshock. 

Handsome Jack is different. He doesn't pontificate like he's delivering a sermon, he doesn't rant like he's going to be played by Jeremy Irons in the movie. When he shows up on your echonet device in Borderlands 2, he's casual. He's eating, for god's sake. He delivers villain monologues like someone making it up as he goes along, and he does it while audibly chewing. 

The monster.

Handsome Jack doesn't act like a villain, but then he doesn't think he is one. He thinks he's the hero. You and your friends are bandits, and he's the one who is going to open the Vault and fix Pandora. (By killing everyone. But not in an evil way.) Your relationship with him seems low stakes at first. It's annoying that he mocks you and tricks you, but it's so casual and he's so charming and funny about it that it's hard to stay mad—even if you found the audio logs that reveal what he did to Helena Pierce from the first game.

Halfway through Borderlands 2, that changes. You strike a significant blow against Jack, and he does the same to you. People die. Now it's personal. His rants stop being funny. Instead of making jokes, he just tells you he's going to kill you, and he's not chewing pretzels or whatever while he does it. The shift is surprising, and in that moment you realize that he hates you and you hate him too.

It's an emotional resonance few other games manage, effective because it's so surprising. Handsome Jack is not just a bag of hit points between you and your goal, he's an actual personality (an oversized and obnoxious one), and you feel like you have a real relationship with him. Which makes it even better when you finally take him down.

Borderlands 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Borderlands 3 is on the way, and developers Gearbox really want everyone to know, so they’ve launched one final piece of epilogue story DLC for enduringly popular looter-shooter Borderlands 2. Commander Lilith And The Fight For Sanctuary is free until July 8th brings the cast back together (including folks from Tales From The Borderlands) for one last fight. They’ve also slashed the price on Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (Containing Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and all their DLC) to under a fiver. Below, a trailer for the new stuff, featuring a gun that shoots exploding unicorns.


Borderlands 2

Here it is: courtesy of the Microsoft E3 conference, we now have some official details on the leaked Borderlands 2 DLC - including confirmation the DLC does indeed bridge the gap between Borderlands 2 and 3.

Commander Lilith & The Fight For Sanctuary is available for download right now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Steam. As was hinted in the Steam page leak, the DLC is going to be free (sort of) for owners of Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Handsome Collection. The catch is you'll only have until 9th July (7:59am BST) to snag this, as from then on it will cost 11.99 to purchase.

While there's nothing new in terms of story description and the level cap raise that wasn't already leaked, the press release does confirm the DLC "sets the stage for Borderlands 3's release". The new trailer adds some colour, at least - and shows off the DLC's villain along with some familiar faces.

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Borderlands 2

A new Borderlands 2 DLC was announced during today's Xbox conference at E3. Yes, you read that right, the 2012 looter-shooter whose sequel is only months away just got an expansion. It's called Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary and if you download it by July 9 it'll be free.

Among its additions are: A new loot tier called effervescent; more named guns including talking ones; plant monsters and mutated "infected" versions of existing enemies; a new raid boss; new locations and altered versions of old ones; more skins for characters and vehicles; level cap boosted to 80 and two more Overpowered levels; the option to start a new character at level 30; and a storyline in which the New Pandora Army invade Sanctuary and infect Pandora with gas that turns people into plants.

It's a bridge between the story of Borderlands 2 and Borderlands 3, and also has a couple of references to the events of Tales from the Borderlands. The DLC can be started by fast-traveling to the the Fight for Sanctuary location, though you should be at least level 30 and have finished the main storyline first.

Read our complete impressions over here. Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary will be free until July 9, and $US15 after that.

Borderlands 2

Five years after the last add-on for Borderlands 2, it's nice to be playing a new one. The announcement of Borderlands 3 already gave me the motivation I needed to replay one of my favorite shooters (and about a million other people had the same idea, according to Steam's numbers), but it's a sweet bonus to actually have new stuff to explore while I continue spending 2019 ignoring more recent games in favor of one that came out in 2012.

Something that's always been a bit annoying about Borderlands 2 is that when you want to play a different class you have to start over from level one, and it takes till level five to unlock their action skill and find out if you actually enjoy their shtick. The Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary DLC released today lets you make a new vault hunter who is boosted to 30 so you can jump right into it, which means never having to play the tutorial again.

Of course you can also play through this expansion with an existing character, and that's what it's designed for. It's an epilogue that sets up Borderlands 3, getting characters and a plot MacGuffin into place for the sequel, while also dealing with some Tales from the Borderlands fallout. (If Telltale's spin-off has been sitting in your backlog, definitely play it before this.)

That makes this the third Borderlands 2 epilogue, by my count. Of the other DLCs both Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep and The Son of Crawmerax explicitly deal with how the events of the story have affected the cast. It's a very "for the fans" kind of thing to keep doing, with a lot of explicit callbacks and running jokes for players who've built up a fondness for characters like Brick, Tannis, Moxxi, and even Claptrap.

Obviously, there's a lot of shooty-shooty-pew-pew as well. This is still a Gearbox Borderlands rather than a Telltale one. The level cap is boosted to 80 and a whole new tier of weapons above the legendary rarity called "effervescent" has been added. I found a talking sniper rifle called Hot Mama and an assault rifle called Toothpick that jets flame out its side, both of which are as colorful as rainbows on an oil slick.

The enemies I was shooting with my shiny new guns weren't quite so exciting. There's a military group called the New Pandorans in town who are mostly just boring soldiers. They've got specialists like medics, snipers, and guys with flamethrowers but what seemed like setup for jokes at the expense of Team Fortress 2 was wasted. Their leader Hector feels like a rehash of General Knoxx from the first game.

His plan for taking over the planet and turning it into a paradise involves releasing a gas that transforms people into plant monsters, which results in some tweaks to the way you approach fights—clouds of spores that power you up in the short-term but cause damage if you stand in them too long, budding pods that release bad guys if you don't shoot them in time—but "bandits with leaves on them" isn't a thrilling theme for monsters. At least none of them are as annoying as that Poison Ivy boss fight in Arkham Asylum.

That doesn't matter as much as you'd think, because the emphasis is definitely on the heroes rather than the villains. Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary is mostly about saying goodbye to Borderlands 2, with some of the new locations being busted-up versions of familiar places and various fan-favorite characters returning to do their thing. Claptrap has a side mission where he gets into cryptocurrency, two of the shopkeepers become housemates as if they're in a wacky sitcom, Tannis rants about mad science schemes. 

Sure, there's also a new raid boss, more skins, and two more Overpowered levels for the kind of people who are never happy with the amount of "endgame content" anything has, but there's also a lot of time spent just hanging out in a new hub that accrues NPCs over the course of the story. Hanging story threads are tied off, and everyone gets moved into place for the planet-hopping plot of Borderlands 3 and its new spaceship hub.

Mass Effect 3's Citadel expansion is still the gold standard for this kind of indulgent farewell to a videogame family, but Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary is also a fun hangout with bantering NPCs that has some shooting in it. And for the next month, you can download it free.

Now bring on Borderlands 3.

Borderlands 2 - 2kschug
Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary is an all-new Borderlands 2 campaign DLC that’s FREE until July 8. Requires Borderlands 2 or Borderlands: The Handsome Collection to play.

Announced during today’s Microsoft Xbox E3 2019 Briefing, Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary is the fifth campaign DLC for Borderlands 2. This all-new adventure not only sets the stage for Borderlands 3 but also introduces some exciting new features along the way. We’re talking new areas to explore, new enemies and bosses to battle, a new level cap to hit, new aesthetic options for your Vault Hunters and vehicles, two new endgame OP levels, and a new better-than-Legendary Effervescent tier of weapons and equipment to loot. And it’s free until July 8!
Led by the legendary Firehawk Lilith, The Crimson Raiders are in possession of the Vault Map and are preparing to leave Sanctuary in search of its secrets. But when Dahl-branded ships full of soldiers arrive and deploy a chemical weapon, the team is forced to change plans, and a hasty escape leaves Lilith and the Vault Hunters scattered across the Pandoran desert. Enemies infected by Dahl’s toxic gas pose a new threat to Pandora, and only you and your friends can stop it.

If you want to start the new Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary with one of your existing Vault Hunters, you need to visit the new “Fight for Sanctuary” location, which is accessible via Fast Travel stations. Note that attempting to play the new DLC content is not recommended unless your Vault Hunter is at least level 30.

Want to jump right into the DLC without delay, regardless of how much Borderlands 2 you’ve played? You also have the option to create a new level 30 Vault Hunter already loaded into the start of Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary. Go to the Select Character screen, create your level 30 character, and then start the game to automatically be transported to the new content.

Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary will be available for free to all owners of Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Handsome Collection until July 8 at 06:59:59 UTC (11:59:59 PDT). Requires Borderlands 2 or Borderlands: The Handsome Collection to play.
Borderlands 2

Whoops, looks like someone hit the publish button a little too early. Thanks to a premature Steam page posting, we've finally had the heavily-rumoured Borderlands 2 DLC confirmed, and it sounds like the perfect prep for Borderlands 3.

The posting for Commander Lilith & The Fight For Sanctuary briefly appeared on Steam last night - but as the page was pulled shortly afterwards, I think we can conclude it wasn't supposed to be there. As the internet never misses a thing, images of the DLC and its description soon appeared on Reddit. Importantly, the DLC looks like it will be free, and those who spotted it on ResetEra report there's a release date of 9th June - which just so happens to be the same day as Xbox's E3 conference.

According to the posting, the DLC will provide a brand new adventure involving some familiar faces. With Sanctuary under siege, the Vault map stolen and a toxic gas cloud poisoning Pandora, players will need to do their shooty-looty thing to join up with Lilith and the Crimson Raiders to take on "a deranged villain hell-bent on ruling the planet". The original source of the leak (via PlayStation LifeStyle) claimed this DLC will help explain what happens in the seven years between the end of Borderlands 2 and the start of Borderlands 3.

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