Are you a Lilith-a-like?

When Crystal Dynamics started feeding us information for the new Tomb Raider game, I applauded them for dropping the dated promotional campaign of hiring models to look like Lara Croft. For too long, most of the focus felt like it was directed towards the models instead of the game she was meant to be advertising.

Gearbox Software has announced a similar campaign for Borderlands 2 and are asking via their website (spotted by Kotaku) for any Lilith look-a-likes to step forward. Where this differs from what Eidos where doing up until only a few years ago is that whoever is picked to portray Lilith will actually become part of the game as an NPC that players (presumably) interact with. The request on Gearbox’s site is as follows:

Do you want to be a character in a video game? We’re looking for someone to become Lilith from Borderlands. If hired, you will appear in the game, Borderlands 2, as the live action version of the character. Additionally, you may be invited to participate in promotional events and trade shows.

It’s not a competition either, the developer will pay the live-action Lilith a thousand bucks per day and state this is a job opportunity for anyone – well, any lady – aged between 18 and 30. I fit within the latter category but certainly not the former. Not with this beard! My hope is that the chosen model will be able to properly represent Borderlands 2 and be a purposeful inclusion within the storyline, so any promotional material – and we’re bound to get plenty – this casting call produces will be relevant to the game instead of simply ‘some chick in tatty clothing with funky coloured hair’. I’ve always had a soft spot for Borderlands and indeed the character Lilith as I thought the way she spoke and laughed during combat added a real human quality to the character. This could certainly further that feeling. Then again, it could easily just become ‘some chick in tatty clothing with funky coloured hair’.

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Borderlands brings joy to over two million

Despite predictions from Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter about how Take-Two had sent Boderlands “out to die”, the publisher couldn’t be more happy with the game. His comments were about how Take-Two where foolish to release anything remotely like a FPS or RPG so close to Modern Warfare 2 and Dragon Age: Origins. However, it seems the reluctance from other publishers to release titles and a great pick-up-and-play mechanic has made Borderlands a big success. Videogamer reports that the game’s sold over two million copies worldwide and is now considered a key franchise for Take-Two. It even led the companies Q4 sales. You know what that means? Borderlands 2 is already in development. I best go finish the first one – and its DLC then. Cool!

TIME’s top 10 video games of 09

TIME magazine have put together their top 10 lists for the year with video games being no exception. There are a few oddities and some serious questionable placements too that will no doubt cause many an arguments to come. Taking the number 1 spot is unsurprisingly Modern Warfare 2 which I can only agree with. It was a fantastic experience that will linger on for many months thanks to all the multiplayer options available. Next up comes Batman: Arkham Asylum. I am yet to see all the brilliance I keep getting told BAA features but don’t deny that it is a good game. I just don’t believe it’s a great game. I think it is a definite top 10 but maybe not so high. More confusion for me comes with DJ Hero. Just why is it at number 3? Why indeed is it in the chart altogether? TIME believe that it offers something new to the genre of rhythm games but neglected to mention its disturbingly poor sales. Each to their own I guess. Borderlands follows at number 4 which I personally would have placed at number 2 due to it’s continuing offerings of fun. New Super Mario Bros. Wii sits right in the middle at 5 which seems a bit harsh to me as it’s not only selling like crazy but a Mario platfomer in its purest form. I’m glad Halo 3: ODST gets a mention because I feel that game has been given some unnecessary criticism but was surprised to see both Assassin’s Creed 2 and Uncharted 2 only place at numbers 9 and 10 respectfully. I suppose not all games can chart at the top but I would have expected them to do so. Read on to see the full chart and have a little think as to what would your top 10 look like…

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Borderlands DLC detailed

With a playtime of over 50 hours, the announcement from Gearbox that Borderlands was getting a campaign expanding DLC so soon after release surprised me. MTV spoke with Paul Helquist, design director of DLC, with the hope of gaining a little more info on The Zombie Island of Doctor Ned out next Tuesday (24th) for 800 MS points or around £6 on PSN. The story goes that the good Doctor experimented with zombies while working for gun manufacturer Jakobs corporation. Things didn’t go quite according to plan so now we get to profit from all the loot! And it won’t be a 5 minute job either:

“We think of it about the same size as one of the smaller zones in the main game. It’s probably four to six hours of new gameplay with a lot of new regions, new monsters, that kind of thing. It’s probably about the size of the Arid Badlands [the starting zone] and one or two of the doglegs,”
said Helquist.

Although the area is available via a teleporter as soon as we purchase the DLC, it’s not for the total newbie:

“As soon as you enter the download content, it detects what level you are and sets the area to about the same level of what you’re at. So whenever you buy the DLC, wherever your character happens to be, you can go into Jakobs Cove and you should be good to go.”

“I should mention that [level 10] is the minimum level. So if you started a level 1 character and jumped in, the monsters would be level 10. That’s because we wanted to be sure that players played the beginning of ‘Borderlands’ and really understood what ‘Borderlands’ is about, ’cause there’s no training in the download content.”

Our experience with Borderlands will be altered in a positive way too as the characteristics of the zombies differs from anything we’ve met in the main campaign. Since loot is the basis of the game, Gearbox have added something called a Loot Goon which is a “Frankenstein-like creature” with a treasure chest on it’s back no doubt full of goodies.

I may have deviated from my usual Borderlands dabbling thanks to Modern Warfare 2 but come next Tuesday, I know where my allegiances will lie!

The undead come to Borderlands Nov 24th

Borderlands - Zombie Island of Dr. Ned

Every good game deserves a good DLC. Couple that DLC with zombies and you’ve got yourself a great bit of content. 1up is reporting that the previously announced Zombie Island of Dr. Ned DLC for Borderlands is being released on November 24th for Xbox 360 and PS3. Sadly PC owners may have to wait a bit longer as 2K chose not to mention a version for them.

Just to recap – Dr. turns locals of Jacobs Cove into zombies and it’s up to us to find a cure while no doubt destroying a few of them along the way. Of course there will be oodles more loot to collect, keep or sell which is something that has been keeping me entertained for the last few weeks. For only 800 Microsoft points or around £6, more loot, zombies and even were-skags – oh yes, were-skags – sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Borderlands extended impressions

Borderlands - all the gang

After some more hands on time with Borderlands I wanted to address some of the aspects that I left out of my first impressions plus talk about the insanity that’s floating around the net regarding the game.

First I want to elaborate on the visuals of Borderlands. Graphically it’s clean and crisp with a style reminiscent of Crackdown and the last Prince of Persia. Bold strokes of black and stylised character models lift the appearance which may not be the best to come out of this generation. But this doesn’t mean they’re bad, just not as ground breaking as bigger budget productions. Since Unreal is behind the looks it does suffer from the notorious texture pop-in whenever a new area is entered or a save is loaded. The failing lasts about as long as every other Unreal game plagued by the same issue so isn’t something Gearbox can be truly blamed for. Read on to see what else can be said about Borderlands.
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Early impressions: Borderlands

Borderlands - Nice, um, robot...

Gearbox must have been pretty miffed when Bethesda announced Fallout 3. The post apocalyptic world full of bandits and small settlements of what’s left of humanity sounded awfully similar to what Gearbox was working on – Borderlands. The bonus Bethesda has was the fact that F3 is a sequel so arguably the trend setter rather than follower. Since both games had a similar development cycle, Borderlands wasn’t able to change it’s core story but has been able feed off any negativity that F3 received, creating a brilliant shooter-come-rpg. Read on to find out why I’m loving Borderlands.

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