Out This Week

Borderlands 2

Border Patrol

The arrival of Borderlands 2 perpetuates the rule of four.

By Steve Heisler • September 18, 2012

Out This Week is a roundup of new games that are out this week. These listings don’t constitute an endorsement or a review of any sort. We also don’t pretend that this is an exhaustive list. If there’s a game on the horizon that interests you, share it in the comments.

Borderlands 2
PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360—September 18

Games love things that come in fours. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse. The four suits in a deck of cards. PlayStation 4. The game Fortune Street. Comedy’s all about the rule of three; video games are like, “Screw that! Four!” So naturally, like its predecessor, Borderlands 2 has its standard four character types: the boring one, the less boring one, the emo kid, and the woman (notice how the tone changes in the video when mentioning Maya). It’s the A-Team of mohawk-less bloodsport.

Torchlight II
PC—September 20

According to the game’s Wikipedia page, the original Torchlight dungeon-crawler RPG was “a lonely experience.” So, this one has not only four character types (wink!), but multiplayer co-op to ease the isolation. Also confirmed: Torchlight III will wirelessly sync with a special, “hug away the tears” chair.

Train Simulator 2013
PC—September 20

“Feel the power as you drive some of the world’s mightiest machines on railroads across the globe,” the game touts. So, still all underfunded by U.S. government programs?

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1,555 Responses to “Border Patrol”

  1. morley says:

    Between Guild Wars 2, Borderlands 2 and Torchlight 2, I’m not going to see a lot of sunlight for the next few months.

  2. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    I come from a parallel universe where The Gameology Institute has been running banner ads for the much anticipated Train Simulator 2013 for a few weeks.
       Our president is a sentient flower named Dr. Petals and the non-stop cross-pollination scandals threaten to consume an election season that would otherwise be mostly concerned with which candidate loves train simulators more.  It is something of a litmus test in our mass-transit obsessed culture.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      “President ‘Doctor’ Petals believes everyone is entitled to luxuries like food, sunlight and clean water!  Do you really want to pay so all these freeloaders can not die homeless?  Vote for me, MechRomney, and I’ll cover our country with smoke, steam and coal dust!”

      I’m all for increased Mass Transit options.  I would gladly take the bus to work every day if the route didn’t stop halfway to my office.

      • Fluka says:

        Liked, for “MechRomney.”

        Speaking of which, the villain in that Borderlands 2 trailer kind of looks like a younger, dubsteppier version of a certain someone.

  3. boardgameguy says:

    we are a month away, but are there any plans for some tabletop coverage of Essen 2012 in October?  lots of new board game releases to be excited about.

  4. Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

    Man, the humor in that Borderlands video really puts me off from ever wanting to play it. I have the first one on, but I’ve only played the very first bit of it before I got distracted. The game seems pretty fun, but I remember being annoyed by a robot that was really unfunny. I really love humor in games when it works well, but that felt way too forced and not funny. Also, the big dude sounded an awful lot like the Heavy from TF2. 

    Torchlight 2 is on my radar as a solid “probably buy it when it goes on sale, if my friends get it too.” 

    Trains are cool I guess.

    • Raging Bear says:

      Oh, the humor in the first one is bad. I mean, bad, bad BAAAD, and depressingly so. It’s not just a simple case of trying to be amusing and not managing it; it’s more one of those cases where the writers are clearly really trying for capital-C Comedy, which to me always makes it worse when they just drop thudding steamers at every turn.

    • Captain Internet says:

      Man I agree- Borderlands was hilarious! I only read the first six words of your comment but I’m sure that completely encapsultes everything you were going to say.

      etc, etc

      There were a few grating moments of comedy in Borderlands 1, but for the most part I thought it was just pleasantly daft. I’m not claiming it was The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or anything, but neither was it wearing clown shoes and quoting Caddyshack for eighty hours.

      • Electric Dragon says:

         [disappointedly takes clown shoes off]

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

        I’m an ass about finding things funny. If something feels like it’s trying too hard I swing into super annoyed/sort of angry pretty quickly. I tend to sour on something equal quickly if I feel the internet or internet culture or nerd culture or whatever has had any sort of impact on it. Shit drives me up the wall.

        • Captain Internet says:

          I have the same reaction to almost all stand-up comedy, and yes, that does include Bill Fucking Hicks.

        • Girard says:

           You know what drives me up a wall? When a robot monkey eats all of my zombie bacon and then a pirate ninja shows up and is all (“I CAN HAS ZOMBIE BACON?”)>°_°

        • Raging Bear says:

          You’ll love Borderlands 2, then. There are plenty of meme references in its dialogue and challenge names, and it sticks you with one of those continually yammering robots for the entire first section, and possibly more from then on.

          I turned off the dialogue volume within minutes. I may go so far as to turn off the subtitles as well. I admit that there was one thing in the intro video that made me smirk, but pretty much all the writing thereafter has ranged from weak to fucking intolerable.

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          The only game to date that I’ve actually been impressed with the writing in was Fallout New Vegas. I generally skip cutscenes because they are almost universally stupid as fuck in my experience. I don’t know if it’s because the game is that good or if I’ve not played enough games to find decent writing or whatever. Portal and Psychonauts were enjoyable, but I didn’t really get emotionally invested in them. 

          I also don’t really get into hype or whatever so I’ll most likely skip Borderlands 2 entirely. I can’t really remember the last time I bought a game that wasn’t heavily discounted on Steam or something like that.

  5. hastapura says:

    Where will all the dubstep go now?

  6. caspiancomic says:

    All right, I’m doing this, I’m liveblogging the Train Sim 2013 video.

    • caspiancomic says:

       00:04 We meet a chap called Simon, who introduces himself as the marketing manager for “railsimulator.com”, confusingly enough, considering the game is called Train Simulator.

    • caspiancomic says:

       00:19 Simon says the game will be available “on disc in stores in different countries around the world” That’s awfully obliging of you, Simon!

    • caspiancomic says:

       00:29 Apparently one of the new features in “TS2013” is “the addition of the Munich to Augsburg routes.” I think the real question is how this could have been omitted from previous releases. I mean, this is some DLC shit right here.

      • Electric Dragon says:

        Oh don’t worry about that. As far as I can tell, it’s basically 90% DLC. You get a small number of routes and trains included, anything else you have to buy separately. For example, for the modest price of £11.99 you can get the 4VEP Add-On: “The 4VEP Add-On takes you back to the days of the classic ‘slam-door’ commuter trains on the Woking-Portsmouth Line.” (NB – Portsmouth Direct Line route not included)

    • caspiancomic says:

       01:00 “We’ve made one or two tweaks to the graphical appearance of the game which we hope that the fans will enjoy” is said aloud as we stare down a textureless corridor into European emptiness.

    • caspiancomic says:

       2:15 Simon mentions that in addition to looking at blueprints for actual trains, his 3D modellers will go to train stations and “locomotive depots” and “climb all over” the trains. This behaviour is highly discouraged among civilians.

    • caspiancomic says:

       02:21 “Train fans know straight away if the sounds we’ve included are not accurate.” I’m at once impressed and so, so, achingly, bone-deep sad.

    • caspiancomic says:

       02:52 Simon laments that the old “list system” was “functional” but didn’t “show off the collection of locomotives that you had.” The new system, however, proudly displays all four trains.

    • caspiancomic says:

       03:16 “I’ve got a couple of different electric train routes here.” He does, in fact, literally have two. For a minute I was like “I guess this is some kind of demo version,” and then I was like “this game comes out in two days.”

    • caspiancomic says:

       03:35 Simon is changing the time of day, the weather, and the season! He is using this power to make his train journey prettier. Simon, you have to use these powers only for good!

    • caspiancomic says:

       03:47 “So as you can see I chose a cloudy afternoon.” Oh Jesus Simon how much more English can you get?

    • caspiancomic says:

       04:00 Simon brings up a submenu which shows him his tasks for the day. “I have only one task” he declares.

    • caspiancomic says:

       04:45 Simon starts actually driving a train after nearly five minutes of faffing about in menus. Is this what all simulator games are like? Timesinks for the terminally dull?

    • caspiancomic says:

       05:13 Simon describes the in-cab controls as “correctly animated” as a ghostly lever adjusts itself, changing nothing about the machine’s course or speed. Maybe that lever operates the espresso machine or something.

    • caspiancomic says:

       05:18 He’s looking around the cab with the “right thumb-lever.” Is that some kind of English thing? Do they not have joysticks in England? I mean, my parents are from England but that left in the early 80s, so they wouldn’t really know either way.

    • caspiancomic says:

      06:12 Simon wants people to be able to “pick this up, start driving, and understanding what’s happening.” I’m pretty sure I’ve actually taken the journey he’s simulating right now (Brighton to Victoria Station) and it takes like an hour. Not exactly pick-up-and-play, Simon!

    • caspiancomic says:

       06:35 Simon starts demonstrating the various camera angles, including a grotesquely unsafe “head out of the window” view. Either this engineer is criminally immature or the train is being piloted by a floppy-eared dog.

    • caspiancomic says:

       06:40 Simon demonstrates the “inside the cars” camera angle, which demonstrates that he is shuttling zero passengers. Is this… is this a Ghost Train Simulator?

    • caspiancomic says:

       06:45 Simon demonstrates the puzzlingly named “coupling view”, which is a top down view of the top of a train while train tracks go under the train. Remember: the journey he’s on takes an hour, and from the looks of things it’s done in real time.

    • caspiancomic says:

       07:00 We get something that almost looks impressive, as the camera pans way out and we can see the outskirts of Brighton on either side of the train. Simon mentioned Germany early in the video, and the journey appears to be done in real time… does this game have a scale rendering of all of Europe? Did they make somebody do that? Also, the sound cuts out here.

    • caspiancomic says:

       07:11 The sounds comes back in time for Simon to introduce- I shit you not- multiplayer mode.

    • caspiancomic says:

       07:50 Multiplayer works by choosing a multi-stage train journey (done in real time), completing the first stage yourself, then sending the next stage on to your friend through Steam. This is pretty handy if you need to lose friends in a hurry.

    • caspiancomic says:

       08:34 Simon uses a few keyboard shortcuts to execute some commands, and gives himself a typical English light-hearted chastising about it. This is the only evidence we have to far that he is not a machine programmed to love and simulate trains. Also, a previously unheard voice laughs in the background. Either Simon has a friend or this is evidence for my Ghost Train theory.

    • caspiancomic says:

       09:04 Simon starts discussing Steamworks, bringing an end to thirty seconds of interminable silence.

    • caspiancomic says:

       09:29 Some kind of audio hiccup while Simon discusses Steamworks. This counterbalances any evidence that Simon is not a trainophilic automaton.

    • caspiancomic says:

       09:45 The sound goes bananas for a few seconds. I think Simon might be butting up against the limitations of his software. He has clearly already said more than all there is to be said about a game in which you drive trains across Europe in real time and are still sitting in your living room when you’ve finished.

    • caspiancomic says:

       10:30 For the last minute straight 51-M0N has been melting down, endlessly repeating himself, stopping mid-sentence, presumably smoking at the speaker, eyes twinkling with robotic sadness, knowing that whatever sliver of robotic sapience he could have been said to possess is being ground out by sheer locomotion-fatigue induced insanity.

    • caspiancomic says:

       10:32 51-M0N either recovers his dignity and is able to finish his sentence, or is finally obliterated, replaced with the obedient empty automaton the Rail Simulator Corporation intended to create. The second voice’s laughter returns, this time the polite English laughter sounds demonic and cruel, as if sated on the extermination of nearby intelligence.

    • caspiancomic says:

       11:30 51-M0N whiles away the final minute of his presentation rattling on about DLC packs containing bits of Europe and the continental United States. Truly, the spark of life has been snuffed out by the machine within. Simon loved Big Brother.

    • caspiancomic says:

       11:43 Train Simulator 2013 comes out September 20th! Choo choo!

    • Electric Dragon says:



      in reply to LatonFilms

      5 days ago

      would be good if u had a timetable and each player was assigned a train and u played at the same time


      in reply to e575fho
      2 days ago

      Would be nice indeed. What price are we at now if you’d
      want all DLC in one go? Yes… a friggin’ €1475,46 euros. Nuts! A
      price-drop of the older DLC or a cheap DLC bundle package would be


      21 hours ago

      Nothing North American. Just Euro trash like always,
      even though over 1/3 of their fanbase i in North America. All I can say
      is that the Rail Simulator team is on thin ice. The North American
      material had better be worth the wait if they intend to hang on to their
      American fanbase.

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

        I like the idea of someone getting up in arms about their game not containing enough North American geography. 

        “Ugh, when are us AMERICANS going to be catered to? Won’t someone listen to ME for once??”*opens jar of Nuts & Gum, munches angrily*

  7. caspiancomic says:

    Oops, ignore me

  8. Captain Internet says:

    Also out this week is the Humble Bundle 6: https://www.humblebundle.com/

    Six indie games for a dollar apiece, anyone?

    • caspiancomic says:

       Aaah, I really want to play Dustforce, but the rest of this I can kind of take or leave. I suppose it doesn’t need to be said that HIB5 blew this one out of the water.

    • Girard says:

       I haven’t heard of any of the games this time, apart from Torchlight, which I involuntarily own already, and don’t especially want to play anyway… Are any of the games in this bundle awesome?

  9. Effigy_Power says:

    There’s a Borderlands 2? I had no idea.
    They really should have advertised that more aggressively. Amateurs.

    • Staggering Stew Bum says:

      In the future, scholars and historians will divide human civilisation into two distinct time periods: Pre-Borderlands 2 and Post-Borderlands 2, helpfully abbreviated into PB2 and PB2.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        They’ll celebrate their findings with PBR.

      • The_Primordial_Dr_Zoidberg says:

        PB2 is the name of a very delicious dehydrated peanut butter product that I believe was developed by the US Government to send to areas of mass-famine and drought.