Posted by : Sukanta Sarkar Sunday, October 12, 2014

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With Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, 2K Australia has created a new breed of video game -- an irreverent twist on the famous franchise with a distinct "Space Opera Australiana" edge.

borderlandspre-sequelwillhelm.jpgBorderlands: The Pre-Sequel blasts out a new breed of road warrior. 2K

'They say people don't believe in heroes anymore. Well damn them! You and me, Max, we're gonna give them back their heroes!'

Sitting down to have a crack at Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel feels like catching up for a drink with an old friend. But this time, you and your mate are having a beer in the middle of nowhere, the pub is surrounded by outlaws and you'll need your sawn-off shotgun to make it out alive. Also, the pub is on the moon and your shotgun shoots lasers.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, co-developed by 2K Australia and Gearbox Software, takes place on Pandora's moon, after the events of the original Borderlands, but before Handsome Jack has his taste of villainy in Borderlands 2. Players follow Jack's rise to power (along with other friends who have their heel turn in Borderlands 2) following the same shoot-em-up RPG format, rendered in the familiar cel-shaded style.

The franchise has perfected the art of not taking itself too seriously. Now, this latest instalment skyrockets us to an arid lunar outpost replete with flawed heroes and desert-hardened gunslingers, where no boss fight is complete without a droll one-liner. And if you think 2K Australia's latest endeavour sounds like something fresh out of Australian cult film history, you're not mistaken.

borderlandspre-sequeloutlands.jpg 2K

Based in Australia's capital, a city of less than 400,000 people, 2K Australia is the country's only AAA developer. Despite its size, the local subsidiary of 2K Games certainly punches above its weight -- the developer has a "long history" of collaborating on major titles according to studio general manager Tony Lawrence, most notably the BioShock trilogy.

With this new chapter in the franchise, the developer has created a game that captures the best of Borderlands and marries it with the irreverent, funny, rough-and-ready tropes of Australian pop culture.

There are updated mechanics in this new lunar world, from low-gravity jumps and 'butt slams' (which are plenty of fun) to the dangers of a zero-oxygen environment. And, as with any Borderlands release, there are plenty of new weapons and missions to explore -- all of which has been teased (with references to Doge and Nietzsche) in the game's trailer.

But perhaps the most distinctive part of the Pre-Sequel is its uniquely Australian flavour. For players used to Borderlands' traditional American voice, the new down-under patois comes as a refreshing surprise -- and it doesn't end there.

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