Randy Pitchford talks Borderlands 2
Fri, 31 Aug 2012 10:46a.m.
By Dylan Moran
“In a world where a lot of other guys try to be serious, and they try to make us hurt and feel bad and feel fear or anger or sadness, we just want you to feel joy and happiness.”
These are the words of Randy Pitchford, producer of the upcoming Borderlands 2.
The ‘other guys’ he refers to are industry heavyweights such as Call of Duty and Battlefield. ‘Serious’ shooting games.
He insists Borderlands 2 is anything but.
“The whole purpose that we’re driven by is to bring joy and happiness to the world, and so the more people we reach, then the happier and the more joyful we are,” he says.
“Borderlands tries to do some things that are different than what other folks are doing, and we’re doing that because we want these kinds of things to exist in our games. The fact that the consequence of that is that Borderlands has its own unique flavour.”
The flavour is certainly a recipe for success. Borderlands combined first-person shooter elements with those traditionally found in RPGs and packaged it all up in an over-the-top cartoony style which had gamers cackling away more often than rage-quitting.
“Videogames are supposed to be fun, and when you realise you’re having fun, and remember that that’s possible it kind of reminds you that games don’t have to be serious to earn our respect.”
Borderlands became a breakout hit in 2009 and has since sold over 4.5 million copies – so creating a second title may have been a daunting prospect.
“In making the sequel we have the first game behind us, so there’s a different kind of approach,” says Pitchford.
“On one level we were really happy with how we blended the first-person action game with RPG elements, we knew we were onto something. So we wanted to perfect our core game design. On another level we wanted Borderlands 2 to be an entirely new thing, to be adventurous and surprising.”
But as much as things have changed, they’ve stayed the same – as he says the team tried to remain faithful to the core elements which made the original such a success.
“The ideas of levelling up and improving your skills and capabilities and collecting loot, making choices, those core designs are systems we are committed to, we innovated upon, improved and perfected. In terms of the places you’ll visit, the enemies you’ll face, the missions that’ll challenge you, the equipment you’ll collect, the characters you’ll become, they’re all new things.”
As much as the game focuses on a solid single-player experience, Pitchford says social gaming was also important.
“It’s a great little game when you’re playing alone, but at any time it can become a co-operative game and a friend can join you and enter the game you’re playing. That can be online over the internet, or LAN, or split-screen.”
The ability to link up for co-op play allows different characters, with different strengths and weaknesses, to combine as one unit.
“When you’re sharing the experience, when you’re playing co-operative, a lot of new options appear. People working together can multiple the number of options.”
Another reason for the first game’s success was the commitment to the online community. Borderlands featured four entirely new downloadable campaign missions, and Pitchford says this will continue in the sequel – starting with the released of new character Gage the necromancer, who will be made available 60-90 days after the game is released.
“The necromancer is a whole new character class, you can play through the entire game with it,” he says.
“We also hope to do campaign style episodes… when we finished Borderlands 2 we immediately began dreaming up and planning some campaign-style downloadable content.”
As for the prospect of a third return to Pandora, at this stage Pitchford’s lips are sealed.
Borderlands 2 is released September 20 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
Kanye West was nursing more than a bruised ego after he walked into a sign post in front of a group of paparazzi.
Music industry experts have denounced a new taxpayer-funded video game, saying it is unrealistic and outdated.
Angelina Jolie has undergone a preventative double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield has made a music video for his cover of David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' in the International Space Station.
After finishing his latest film, The Lords of Salem, Rob Zombie turned back into a musician and began working on his latest album, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor.
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.