PopWatch Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch Blog

Tag: Borderlands (1-5 of 5)

Team Deathmatch: EW argues the pros and cons of fall's biggest video games

fall_games_hdr.gif

We, as a nation, have apparently decided that we want most of our video games to come out at the same time every year. We, as a nation, should probably rethink that, because the time it takes to finish an average video game is something crazy like 40 hours. Even with the time off that comes around the holidays, taking on a few extra full-time-job’s worth of games is kind of bananas. Did we mention that this fall’s release calendar is what a “light” year looks like?

Fortunately, our own Natalie Abrams, Jonathon Dornbush, Darren Franich, Aaron Morales, and Joshua Rivera have opinions on how to best allocate those extracurricular hours. Game accordingly.

Disclaimer: This list isn’t comprehensive. It very obviously omits sports games (because we know jack shit about them) and indie games (because they’re made by commitmentphobes who don’t set release dates very far in advance). We’re very much looking forward to some of these games (hello, Ori and the Blind Forest), but this list is geared towards games with set release dates.

SEPT OCT NOV DEC
Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Superheroes Edition
Release Date: Sept. 23
Playstation 4
Xbox One
Playstation 3
Xbox 360
PC & Vita in 2015

Combining beloved Disney franchises with some of Marvel’s most recognizable faces, Disney Infinity 2 adds heroes like Iron Man, Rocket Raccoon, and Spider-Man to the menagerie of actual figurines you can zap into its game worlds. (No, really—the game comes with action figures that determine which characters players control.) Beyond that, it allows players to create whatever they would like in the game’s imagination-driven Toy Box, from tower defense games, to a Disney-themed house, to a raceway that’s part Guardians of the Galaxy and part Toy Story.

PRO: I’ve already said plenty about why Infinity is so special. Yes, the single player campaign’s mission design is a bit generic, but the marquee feature, the Toy Box, is a delight. By allowing players to create game levels, cities, raceways, houses—almost anything they want—and express themselves by employing memorable Disney and Marvel franchises, the game sucks users in for hours at a time. Infinity encourages imagination, and the sheer number of possibilities should send any child—and more than a few Disney-obsessed adults—into a creative frenzy. —JD

CON: This adult enjoyed playing with the toys that come with game more than the repetitive, simplistic campaign itself. Seriously, the toys are awesome. —AM

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Release Date: Sept. 26
PC
PS4 TBA

In the tradition of many quality cable dramas, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter takes place in an idyllic town in the middle of nowhere that’s full of terrible occurrences. As a detective with supernatural abilities, you’ll communicate with the dead in order to uncover whatever disturbing, hidden secrets lie in Red Creek Valley.

WHY IT’S INTERESTING: Some of the best games don’t give you much to go on. Myst is the classic example here, a game that dropped you on an island with no explanation and left you to stumble across an intriguing mystery. There’s a bit more context to The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, but development studio The Astronauts seem committed to mostly staying out of the way, letting players rely on their own observations to discover the game’s secrets. “Show, don’t tell,” is just as important in video games as it is in other media—and one of the greatest tricks in video game horror is giving you the freedom to creep yourself out. —JR

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Release Date: Sept. 30
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 11.18.14

You know how the first trailer for The Hobbit got you all excited? Because The Lord of the Rings films were great, so surely Hobbit would be, too? And then the movie was divided into like, 18 parts, each a year apart and all of them middling. That’s kind of what it’s been like for LOTR video games, except the bit about there being 18 parts isn’t all that hyperbolic. The pitch for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is simple: what if a LOTR game wasn’t just good, but great?

PRO: There have been some good The Lord of the Rings games, but fans have been waiting for a great one, and Shadow of Mordor looks to be it. Combining the best of two major franchises—Assassin’s Creed and the Batman: Arkham games—Mordor adds in the promising Nemesis System. With it, your enemies are no longer simple sword fodder—they actually matter to main character Talion. Players can alter the balance of power by taking out ruling Uruks or bending them to his will, and the game’s randomized Uruk creator means you’ll never see the same Uruk twice. With the third-person action space dominated by sequels this year and next, it’s nice to see a new franchise try to stake its own claim in the genre. —JD

CON: The last boss battle is an anticlimactic string of quick-time events. Everything else? Pretty awesome. —AM

The makers of 'Borderlands' are back with another crazy genre mashup

BATTLEBORN.jpg

On paper, Battleborn—game development studio Gearbox Software’s big follow up to its successful Borderlands series of games—might sound like the studio is repeating itself. After all, Battleborn, like Borderlands, is a first-person shooter that freely grabs interesting ideas from other genres and repackages them into something with a distinct style and personality.

But that’s not very fair.

Games can be a lot like sandwiches—while technically, every sandwich is simply “bread with stuff in between,” there is a world of difference between a Monte Cristo and a PB&J, with plenty of room for experimentation in between. Similar to how the vast and interesting world of sandwiches can be terribly wronged by our desire to label everything, video games deserve a little bit more than a few genre descriptors. But don’t worry, the genre descriptors are coming.

READ FULL STORY

From 'Walking Dead' to 'Assassins Creed III,' the best videogame special editions of 2012

Today’s most popular videogames often come in two flavors: The standard $60 edition or, for super-fans willing to plunk down some extra coin, the special, collector’s, or limited edition. The latter category certainly isn’t for everyone. In fact, their higher price points and penchant for including everything from art books to action figures is something casual fans might find superfluous, and generally limits their appeal to only the geekiest of gamers. However, for that select group of passionate players, there’s nothing cooler than going beyond the gamepad—be it through a behind-the-scenes DVD or mini space marine statue–to become a bit more immersed in their virtual world of choice. For those folks, we offer the following look at the season’s best bonus-brimming, swag-packed, universe-expanding editions.
READ FULL STORY

'Borderlands Legends' preview -- EXCLUSIVE FIRST HANDS-ON

borderlands-legends.jpg

The first thing that hit me in Borderlands Legends — the upcoming iOS game based on the popular shoot-and-loot franchise — wasn’t a face full of buckshot, but its eye-popping visuals. Adopting the same artistic approach as its console counterparts, Legends sports a vibrant, stylized look that’s nearly indistinguishable from its big brothers. Small touches, such as detail-drenched character models and crackling fire effects, further complement the familiar presentation.

Looks are pretty much all Legends has in common with its predecessors, though, as its gameplay signifies a drastic departure from the series’ defining open-world first-person shooting. Viewed from a top-down perspective, each level unfolds in a small, arena-like battlefield where the original Borderlands‘ vault hunters — Brick, Lilith, Mordecai, and Roland — are tasked with fending off hordes of ugly foes. Missions contain multiple, increasingly difficult levels, each with four waves of baddies to unload on. READ FULL STORY

'Borderlands' blows up iPads! -- EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK

borderlands-legends.jpg

It’s official. Borderlands is indeed blasting onto iOS devices in an all-new title starring the series’ original quartet of vault hunters. Borderlands Legends, the bite-sized take on the console blockbuster, will have players looting, leveling, and laying waste to ugly bandits on Oct. 31 ($4.99 iPhone, $6.99 iPad).  READ FULL STORY

Latest Videos

Advertisement

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP