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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Soars Straight Past PS4

Posted by Sammy Barker

Fly me to the moon

This week’s Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel rumour was not an elaborate hoax, as the release has been officially confirmed by 2K Games today. The title – which takes place between Borderlands and Borderlands 2 – is being developed by 2K Australia and series creator Gearbox Software, and is set to fire onto the PlayStation 3 later this year. That’s right – there’s no PlayStation 4 version.

“It's not free to build a game for next-gen," said franchise overlord Randy Pitchford when asked the inevitable question by our friends over at Eurogamer.net. "So, when we decide where to spend our resources, we want to spend all of the attention that we can on the game itself.” An admirable intention, but why not make the title for next-gen consoles in the first place?

“If you try to image the set of Borderlands players who have already upgraded, that's not 100 per cent,” he continued. “But if you try to image the set of Xbox One or PS4 owners who do not have an Xbox 360 or a PS3, the difference there is so close to nil that you can't make a business rationalisation around that.”

In other words, the install base isn’t big enough yet, but we can’t help but ponder whether the developer’s following the easiest route to market. After all, work on this title started in earnest around about a year ago, and it’s due out in a matter of months. In a world where most big games take two to three years to produce, that teensy production period doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence.

Nevertheless, it sounds like the raucous release has intentions far greater than the average expansion pack. As suggested earlier in the week, the escapade will take place on both the moon and Hyperion space station that orbit the planet of Pandora. You’ll play as one of four of Handsome Jack’s employees: Athena the Gladiator, Wilhelm the Enforcer, Nisha the Lawbringer, and Fragtrap.

Fans of the franchise should be familiar with this ragtag cast, as all of the characters have appeared in previous titles. Fragtrap – who’s encountered at the start of the first game – is perhaps the most interesting addition, as he’ll play from a much lower perspective, much like Oddjob in Nintendo 64 classic GoldenEye 007. He’ll have abilities to counter his height disadvantage, though.

Another big change is the addition of the previously rumoured oxygen system, which you’ll need to maintain in order to breathe in battle. However, you’ll be able to use this air to also power your jetpack, allowing you to double-jump over long distances. As such, you’ll need to decide when to consume the precious substance.

Replenishing your supplies will be a simple case of looting it like ammunition, but you’ll also be able to employ oxygen bubbles, which will create small, breathable arenas in the world. When you’re inside these, you’ll be able to strategically enable things such as elemental damage, as fire will not function as effectively outside of these havens.

You’ll have some new firearms to make up for that, at least. The Cryo type will allow you to freeze enemies, while Laser weapons will provide a natural fit for the intergalactic setting. As always, you’ll be gathering up rare armaments as you progress, as well as putting points into a skill tree, which, in the case of Wilhelm, will see him transform from a normal human to the giant robot that you may be more familiar with.

It certainly sounds like there’s plenty to sink your teeth into, then, but the lack of a next-gen release is disappointing to say the least. “Currently there are – between the PS3 and the Xbox 360 – over 150 million installed units worldwide – probably 170 million is more realistic," Pitchford pointed out. "There are fewer Xbox Ones and PS4s than we sold copies of Borderlands 2.”

Fair enough, but it’s not going to stop us from wanting a next-gen release.

[via eurogamer.net]

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User Comments (24)

SimonAdebisi

#1

SimonAdebisi said:

The install base is big enough, its obvious that they have budget constraints. If it does well then obviously they'll port it, if not then I suppose its saved a few pennies.

Epic

#2

Epic said:

Wohoo, can't wait to hear more info about the other characters skills and a bit more of the story.

get2sammybAdmin

#3

get2sammyb said:

I think skipping PS4 is a bad move. Current-gen game sales have been dropping like a rock here in the UK.

meppi

#4

meppi said:

No PS4 version is very disappointing. Would have picked it up at launch, but since it's last gen only, I'll wait for it to hit €15 or less before picking it up. Probably won't take that long either.

SimonAdebisi

#5

SimonAdebisi said:

@get2sammyb I imagine a lot of people are saving the pennies to spend later when they pick up a ps4, by the end of 2014 its going to have a nice catalogue.

Tasuki

#8

Tasuki said:

Doesn't surprise me that they went last gen rather then the current gen. Still It sounds like this will be awhile till it comes out and by then the current gen owners will more then likely jump especially after the holidays.

coolcrushkilla

#9

coolcrushkilla said:

“But if you try to image the set of Xbox One or PS4 owners who do not have an Xbox 360 or a PS3, the difference there is so close to nil that you can't make a business rationalisation around that.”

That's sad! My Xbox 360 broke so instead of buy a last get console I went out and bought a PS4. I am one of those people he is talking about!

banacheck

#14

banacheck said:

The only way I buying this is when it drops in price with all its DLC or there is a PS4 port, & I'm not the only one.

-CraZed-

#15

-CraZed- said:

Disappointing. I won't be able to play this game on a console because I have no PS3. I guess I could get it for PC but my system is aging and BL2 puts it through its paces.

rastamadeus

#16

rastamadeus said:

PS4/Xbox One wouldn't be a good move. The user base for the series is all there on last gen machines and it's basically a Borderlands 2 expansion pack. Only the dedicated gamers have already gone and got the current gen machines and that won't change massively until next year. Borderlands 2 sold something like eight million copies so it's hardly a "hardcore" (hate that word) series that will only sell to dedicated gamers. Would I have preferred it on more powerful machines? Meh, it would've hardly made a difference. Next gen Borderlands will be with the third game, not a glorified DLC pack sold on a disc.

get2sammybAdmin

#17

get2sammyb said:

@rastamadeus I can see the logic, I just don't agree with it. Watch Dogs will sell best on PS4/XBO. Metal Gear sold best on PS4/XBO. That's the user base now. It's fine if they want to do cross-platform, but ignoring the new systems is silly IMO.

odd69

#19

odd69 said:

As i was saying, you can play as claptrap. The only reason im buying this, i hope there is a special version of this as well, ill plop 100$ for a special edition

bbq_boy

#20

bbq_boy said:

Sounds tasty! I wonder who/what the protagonist is this time. Jack was a bad a$$! But clever move on developers behalf. I'd be happy to pay for this pre-sequel. Then hopefully near Christmas there'll be the borderlands definite version of all 3 games! What an upgrade that would be. Oh and ability to use any character across all 3 games!

rastamadeus

#22

rastamadeus said:

@get2sammyb I think the sales would go up maybe 10% at best if on current gen machines too. If it was a proper fully fledged Borderlands game it would be on those machines and only them. This isn't though. It's a rounding off of the series so far and will be better at home on PS3. And then Vita too if Borderlands 2 goes well on there. Nice to see them go for a good game rather than a cheap cash-in by putting it on everything and anything. Why people sell their consoles the second a new one comes out is just ridiculous to me and this is further proof you shouldn't. No-one complained about Dark Souls 2 and that's selling well.

@bbq_boy Protagonist will likely be the head of Hyperion as we overthrow him and take control of the company for the handsome one.

SunnyShores

#23

SunnyShores said:

well after the whole alien colonial marines fiasco, ot surprised they don't have the budget for next gen right now

Lionhart

#24

Lionhart said:

@Restamadeus I agree with you man! I haven't bought a PS4 yet because I see no real urgency to own one just yet. I didn't upgrade from the PSP to the PS Vita until Black Friday of 2012. I am quite satisfied with the PS3 at the moment and all of my friends who own a PS4 quite regret making the purchase. I have been waiting for the PS4 to get a price drop and hopefully the removal of pay to play online. The reason I had always preferred PlayStation over XBOX was because of free to play online. Anyway, I plan to pick up a PS4 this Black Friday but it's good for developers to keep making exclusive games for the PS3 because there are many people who still own it and aren't ready to buy a PS4 yet.

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