Since it’s going to be in your head for the rest of the day – and whenever you think about Borderlands 2 – we figured a quick background on “Wimoweh” was in order for the uninitiated.
Also known as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” the song was first composed in 1939 by the South African Zulu musician Soloman Linda. Its various rhythm-and-blues iterations became the center of several “Wimoweh” revivals – both internationally in the 1950’s and as a chart topping hit in the U.S. in 1961 – and it exploded into pop culture consciousness in the 1990’s when used to promote the Ace Ventura films and Disney’s The Lion King.
Oh, and one more thing about “Wimoweh”: in the time-honored tradition of setting blood-soaked kill montages to cheery melodies, songs rarely come in a tidier gift-wrapped package.
Borderlands 2 shows us why. Gearbox’s stylistic first-person shooter, a sequel to 2009’s well-reviewed Borderlands, is an uncharacteristic blend of post-apocalyptic-wasteland all-out warfare, animated personalities, and darkly comic narrative tropes. The trailer embodies that perfectly – if a gruesome mass execution is going to take place, it’s going to be carried out through a car compacter operated by a 500-pound junkyard mechanic with a heart tattoo over her heart.
Fresh off a fine showing at E3 – Borderlands 2 received our nominations for Best Shooter and Best RPG – it’s good to see the game back in action so soon with everything its fans know best: explosive multi-species battle scenes (replete with immensely customizable weapons and class abilities), vehicle drifting and mech flying, Hyperion Corporation’s new space enemies, and, imperatively, Claptrap.
Gearbox has drawn some criticism claiming it hasn’t taken many evolutionary strides from the original “Diablo with guns,” but our hands-on time with Borderlands 2 so far (check out our E3 preview and PAX East preview), while partially validating that notion, has proved that the developer has a firm grip on one of this generation’s more entertaining action/RPG franchises. While September isn’t that far off, tantalizing trailers like today’s make us all the more anxious.
Ranters, what are you looking forward to in Borderlands 2? What more would you like to see unveiled about the game so shortly before its release?
Borderlands 2 will be available on September 18, 2012 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
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