Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Why people think Borderlands had a terrible ending

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Subversive video game endings can be done right. The indie game Braid comes to mind — the ending of the game completely recontextualizes everything the player has done until that point. But the problem with Borderlands is that the ending isn’t just a subversion. It’s simply anticlimactic.

Throughout the game, the player is working toward a mysterious “vault.” This vault is rumored to contain incredible loot. And in a game about loot, that’s pretty alluring. But once the player actually gets to the vault, there’s nothing there but a big monster. The player has already fought big monsters — and this one just sits in one place.

While this was likely designed to create an aura of mystery and world-building around the concept of the vaults, it turned out to be a big disappointment to players. Even the developers admitted that they didn’t anticipate the negative reaction to the ending – but they did keep it in mind for future iterations.

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