Borderlands: Initial thoughts

Picked up Borderlands last night. A little late to the party of course, but at least we showed up! So, we pop it in, waiting for the ‘intro’ .. waiting … waiting… and then I pipe up with a “are we going to hear the story?” – and no sooner than those words were out of my mouth, did the narrator kick in with “so, it’s a story you want eh?” (not sure about the eh, but I am Canadian, it’s how I remember things). The contextual intro was very brief, and in sketches. Different. One of the things that lured me to the game is the animation of it – I really enjoy games that go for something other than the “let’s look as real as possible” thing.

Borderlands Awesome Animation

Anyways – after a very brief context setting, no rest for the wicked plays in the background (really like the song, so it was a nice bonus) – in comes the bus of reject warriors. I really like the way they introduce the characters – an animated select screen of sorts – again, different. I like it. When the gameplay gets going (and to be fair, I am talking about the first 30 minutes here) the one thing that I find really jarring – and really not liking – is the ‘guardian angel’ that guides you, much in the same way as Mercury’s radio voice in Mirror’s Edge.

The guardian angel is not animated in the same style. She looks like she was plucked out of another game. When I first saw her face, I thought of Fatal Frame for some reason (could be ‘static’ they have over her voice).

Borderlands Guardian Angel

But I found it really jarring that the animation was different; like they were actually trying to connect with the player and not the character through the aesthetic. I don’t know – maybe there is a reason she looks different (made me think of an article I recently read for my CGSA presentation actually on different animation within the same piece to denote documentary ideas in a fictional context…. but I won’t get into that here).

Giving the work I am doing at the moment (as described plenty below), I think this might be a worthy example to draw on…

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