We don’t review games here, so what I write below is not intended to indict Borderlands 2 as a bad game. Indeed, it would be difficult for me to render judgment on Borderlands 2 at all since I can’t play the game. My Xbox 360 hasn’t been marked by the scarlet ring (“Ring-a-round Jay Allard/A pocket full of space bucks/Marcus Fenix/We all fall down”?), and the controller is charged. Instead, it’s impossible to play Borderlands 2 when the game looks on my television like someone had spread mayonnaise and petroleum jelly on it:
|Almost none of this would be legible on my TV.|
For the first time, text in a current generation game was completely unreadable, which makes deciphering mission criteria (though I assume that if the missions in Borderlands 2 are like those in Borderlands, it can be summed up as “kill everything and collect something”), weapons stats, locations, and skill descriptions near impossible. I fiddled as much with my TV’s settings as I could to try to solve the problem, but nothing worked. So, my Borderlands 2 playthrough, for now, concluded right after I was allowed to leave the beginning town. I now can empathize with the complaints about how Dead Rising was unplayable on certain televisions.
|Yes, it’s very pretty, but I wouldn’t be able to read any of the text on my television.|
Between my inability to even play the game and the fact that Gearbox Software has (so far, successfully) supported Borderlands 2 well with downloadable content, similar to how Borderlands was well supported, I find myself in a strange position of actually regret buying what is turning out to be a very good game. I wish that I had just waited until the inevitable Game of the Year edition of Borderlands 2 that would probably be out in time for Christmas 2013 and would collect currently available and any likely future downloadable content. It almost seems like I would be punishing Gearbox Software of supporting its game well, which points to a larger economic problem in the market today.
One lesson I’ve drawn from The Year With No New Games has been that, more often than not, I can successfully gamble that a game that has a season pass will likely have a special edition that will collect almost all of its downloadable content. The gamble can be extended to almost any game with significant amounts of downloadable content. The theory has held so far for Oblivion: Game of the Year Edition, Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition, Gears of War 2 Game of the Year Edition, Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition, Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition, Dead Island: Game of the Year Edition, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – Game of the Year Edition, Uncharted 3 Game of the Year Edition, Dragon Age Origins: Ultimate Edition, Red Dead Redemption Game of the Year Edition, Batman: Arkham City Game of the Year Edition, Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition, LittleBigPlanet – Game of the Year Edition, Grand Theft Auto IV & Episodes from Liberty City: The Complete Edition, Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition, L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition, to just name a few. My backlog is large enough that I can wait until these collected editions are released, and I can choose to spend my time and money on less publicized games, like Binary Domain or Spec Ops: The Line, instead. The market now has incentives for me to just wait, defeating the “Day 1” purchasing craze that publishers cultivate.
Ironically, if I could have read Borderlands 2‘s text on my television, I wouldn’t have had a chance to see how the market actually is and how my purchasing behavior has now been incentivized to wait.