I feel like there should be a longer silence for mourning, but Ravious was also the guy who mixed a game review into his announcement that he had terminal cancer. Keeping the blog going seems like a better tribute than letting it die, too. On a related note, I still miss Jeff Freeman.
My most recent game has been Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, continuing my trend of bringing you the latest news on games from several years ago. This one comes from a development studio that does not even exist anymore. I am not yet to the halfway point of the game, but I wanted to talk about it because of convergent events. So far: if you liked Borderlands 1 or 2, you will probably like this. It is not going to be the strongest game in the series, and I may list a few likes and dislikes after I am done playing, but the basic gameplay is the same with a few minor variations. The bandits you have killed a thousand times have a totally new name and skin, bonus points for calling the psychos on the moon “lunatics.” If you wanted more of the same with a little variation, here you go.
What I am especially enjoying so far is the Australian-ness of it. The Pre-Sequel was made by 2K Australia. They are not hiding it. The NPCs have a range of Australian accents. They use Australian slang. I do not get all of the cultural references, and several that I do get, I recognize that I do not fully appreciate them. As an American gamer, having games not made for me (or Japan) is a nice bit of jarring. “Oh right, other cultures exist, including other English-speaking cultures.” I like seeing games that assume their home cultures in ways that likely inhibit their global appeal, like using myths from eastern Europe without trying to translate them into Greek gods or faux-Tolkien. I see more of that in indie games, so a very Australian AAA game is to be cherished.
The convergence I mentioned is the Humble Bundle. There are two game bundles going on right now. One is the Humble Down Under Bundle of games from Australian developers. The other is the Humble Endless RPG Lands Bundle, which includes all three Borderlands games, in case you were curious but never picked them up. $1 to try the first one, $10 for them all (and some other RPGs like the Guild of Dungeoneering). You too can experience yesteryear’s top games.