Fistful Of Lunacy - Le Hannibal Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Fistful Of Lunacy

As expected, there have been many blogs, articles, and stories relating to Borderlands 2 since it's release a few weeks ago. People have been detailing the overwhelmingly huge amount of guns in the universe, while others have been gushing over the well written story, and dialogue. I've been genuinely entertained as I've searched through many posts talking about Easter eggs both inside the gaming realm, and outside of the medium (Breaking Bad jokes, anyone?)

Aside from all of these humorous discoveries one thing has had me perplexed since the moment I stuck the game into my Xbox 360, and it's the nature of it all. Everything about the Borderlands universe is absolutely insane. And when I say "insane", I mean mentally sick. From the people who inhabit the wretched outdoors, to the actual guns themselves, everything is wild, unpredictable, and seeping with mindless mayhem. The craziness is actually so far out there, that I wouldn't be surprised if the first Borderlands 2 staff meeting wasn't just everyone writing down the absolute first thing that came to their head, and then giving said idea the ability to blow up.

I mean, just take the Bane (a gun you can pick up through a quest in Sanctuary) for example:

 

 

Seriously, the gun freaking talks! Not only does it talk, but it's a crazed, fast paced annoying group of voices, having a total riot as they careen around the environment, murdering everything in their path. Gearbox essentially made the weapons themselves metal flinging, tools of madness. 

After delving a little deeper into the game, I stumbled across a random psycho not too far away from a story mission I had just completed. He's basically running in place, with a sign around his neck with two arrows pointing at his face. To him life was just a game. Just a very fun, and incredibly bloody game. He was enthusiastically asking me to shoot him in the face, just because, you know, he was bored that day...I guess? There was no rhyme, or reason, he just wanted me to take the incredibly awesome shotgun that I was lugging around, and blow his head off.

And you know what? I totally obliged him.

In what was probably the most maddening moment I've ever had while playing a video game, I shot his head off, took a gander at the aftermath, laughed for what seemed like a couple hours, and then went on with the game. Not content with just the weapons, and characters being clinically psychotic, Gearbox decided that they wanted to take the player on a ride, and wrap them up in this deranged little world called Pandora. 

The development team basically laughed in the face of morality, and made a game where death itself is just a gorey joke, and it's absolutely awesome.

Never before have I had so much fun wrecking the lives of other people. Never before has my screen been filled with so much destruction, and mayhem, without the frame rate clipping once. 

Death, and destruction are just the metaphorical slide, and swing, on the metaphorical playground. You get to be a total lunatic without consequence, as you shoot up a country side full of other no-name lunatics, with your lunatic friends. There are grenades that go skipping across the ground without a destination until it hits something - anything - resulting in a beautiful, and battlefield engulfing explosion, that takes out both you, and the guys that you threw the grenade at.

In fact, death itself is just a joke in its own stead. In means almost nothing to you, except the loss of a few bucks, but right after the respawn, it's back to shooting faces, and running over Bullymongs. If you're a Gunzerker, you're heavily encouraged by the game to go in sprinting, while dual-wielding rocket launchers, and cause as much mayhem as your two index fingers can provide.

Gearbox gave the players a world with not one rule to speak of, and set them loose in it. They gave you spike shields, combat rifles that shoot torpedoes, and sniper rifles that shoot off long-distance shotgun blasts, and basically looked at us with a devious twinkle in their eye, and said, "Have fun kids." They successfully created a world where death is fun, and explosions are as common as grass blades. 

In a market chock full of mumbling, cloak wearing, assassin's, and one-liner spitting, space marines, Gearbox Software made a game that momentarily takes the seriousness that comes with death away. They put together an experience, that balls up all modern conventions that are considered "sane", throws them out the window, and replaces those conventions with a deranged talking gun. Borderlands 2 isn't a game that will bring a tear to your eye, but it's a game that reminds us all that it's just that: a game. A game where everything can happen, and that embraces the fun that has been sorely absent in the years passed. I think it's about time that we all had a little insanity in our lives.

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