The More Things Change

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

I went to the movies today to see The Strangers Chapter 1. While leaving the theater, I happened to notice a poster for the upcoming Borderlands movie. When I got home I looked up the trailer and I’ve got mixed feelings about it.

I recently got a Steam Deck and I’m still several days later blown away with what that little guy can do. I’ve had a Switch for a good while now but compared to the Deck, it’s starting to look a little dated.

In any case, prompted by the movie poster I decided to go back and play Borderlands 2 again. It’s sparked some thoughts.

The Vita version of Borderlands 2 had to be compressed down to work on the hardware and still occasionally dropped frames. Now I can run the full PC version on my Steam Deck on max settings. It’s amazing what they can do with electronics these days. I originally played it using a combination of the PS3 and Vita versions. At the time it had a feature where you could transfer your save back and forth so you could play it on the Vita when away from home and then on the big screen when you were in front of your TV. It was a nifty little feature and it frustrates me that they got rid of it. Now though, the Deck can do both jobs. Play it portable, then dock it and play it on your TV. I’ve got a Steam Controller that I use for it.

For those wondering, the VR version of Borderlands 2 isn’t great. The controls are nonsense (at least with the index controllers) and it drops multiplayer support in favor of having a time slowdown mechanic. Not a choice I would have made. Playing co-op was hair the fun of that series.

I really wish companies would go back and fix up the VR games they released by using what Half-Life Alyx had to teach on the subject. That’s how you do a story driven VR game the right way. Borderlands 2, Skyrim, and Serious Sam VR all really deserve an update to fix their wonky mechanics. Borderlands needs the controls fixed up. Skyrim needs the combat fixed up to be more like Blade and Sorcery, and Serious Sam needs cleaned up in a lot of ways.

Unfortunately we all know that it’s not gonna happen because there’s no profit motive to drive them to care. The pursuit of profit is why we can’t have nice things.

As for the deck, the one feature I wish it had would be to support creating an ad hoc network that you can then play local multiplayer games with. Other handhelds can do this so why not the Steam Deck? Just a thought.

Love is the law, love under will.

Having fun,