Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 PS3 preview

Gearbox never did things conventionally with Borderlands. The Mad Max-inspired desert planet shooter featured cel-shaded visuals several years after everyone got fed up with them.

It had a modular weapon system enabling thousands of combinations. (Shotgun grenade-launcher? Don’t mind if I do.) And it was populated not by brave space marines, but by no-good ferret-faced losers who just wanted to steal stuff and get rich.

Well, those losers are back, and this time they’re… slightly less loser-ish. To move the story on, the developer has brought in a new writer, Anthony Burch, an ex-Destructoid blogger famous for his surreal and often scatological web-based sketch show, Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’.

“I don’t know why they wanted me,” says Burch. “Seemingly they were like, ‘Yeah this guy does a lot of poop and dick jokes that last a minute and a half – he’ll be perfect for our 50-hour big-budget RPG shooter, let’s hire him!”

The action kicks off five years after the first title. The sandy planet of Pandora has been taken over by the Hyperion Corporation, under the insane guidance of Handsome Jack (he’s not handsome), who’s kidnapped the four playable characters from the first title.

“The narrative thrust of the first game was: you’re greedy, you like loot, go find the vault,” explains Burch. “In B2 it’s, ‘This guy Handsome Jack is an asshole, you like killing assholes, go kill this asshole.’”