Monday, October 13, 2014

Sitting This One Out: Pre-Sequel Apathy

Borderlands 2 is one of my favorite games of last generation. If pressed to make such a decision, I'd probably say it was tied with Saints Row The Third for the top spot on my list. Between the 360 and PS3 versions, I spent over 300 hours on Pandora. Only the Elder Scrolls games brought me anywhere close to those numbers.

And yet, with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel releasing this week, I feel my interest in the new title to be next to zero.

I'm sure there's enjoyment to be had in the game. New locations, characters and weapon types all sound appealing. And I'm sure it's got some hilarious dialogue & situations. Even just "more of the same" sounds good for a series I've enjoyed so much. But the fact of the matter is that it was developed only for last-gen consoles. Gearbox stated that the decision was made because the install base for the new systems wasn't high enough for them. Well, to hell with that logic. If the developers of a blockbuster game like Borderlands don't have enough confidence in their game being a system-seller, then I have no confidence in their game either.

At this point, I'm all-but-done with new releases for last-gen consoles. Kingdom Hearts 2.5 and Persona 5 are the only exceptions I can imagine. I still have hundreds of PS3 & 360 games to finish. I guess I should be happy that Gearbox is giving me an excuse not to buy their game. One less distraction from my massive backlog.

And honestly, even with their "not good enough for Next-Gen" declaration (my interpretation of their stance), I probably would be considering picking it up if it wasn't coming out at a $60 price point. There's no deals that I can find, no pre-order bonus war, no special editions... it's red flags all over the place. The publishers just want to cash-in on it without lending their full support of a true marketing campaign that a proper franchise release should be granted. A $30 digital game release, or even a $40 budget retail release would have been the sweet spot for this game.

If anything, the Pre-Sequel could have, should have, been a last hurrah of must-play gaming for the 7th generation. But with the mishandling of the game's release turning off a big fan like myself, how strong can this release truly be? I'm sure there's a sizeable audience that haven't upgraded to the New Gen systems, but are they looking for $60 games? Probably not. I'm sure they're aware that the use of older technology should come without the fiscal premiums of newer systems, even if game publishers act oblivious.

I'm definitely not declaring that I'll never buy this game; I'll probably be tempted when it finally drops to around twenty bucks. But even then... this is a series that should be played in co-op mode, else you're doing it wrong. Had it been on the new systems, it would be a game I'd buy on Xbox One (even though I prefer the PS4) because my friends list is bigger and more likely to be populated with players. When the Pre-Sequel hits $20, will any of my friends even remember in what box they packed away their 360?

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