2K Games today released the launch trailer for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, featuring the trademark humor gamers have come to expect from the franchise. But the biggest laugh of all may come from a shot that the trailer takes at one of this year's other biggest titles.
Since Bungie's Destiny has been mentioned in some circles to model many of its features and mechanics after Borderlands-esque team play, mixed with elements from the MMO genre, the developers apparently couldn't pass up the chance to comment on the similarities. And with the lumps Destiny has taken in the media since its release (none larger than the outcry over Peter Dinklage's underwhelming voice acting), people were poking fun at the game since even before it launch, with Destiny's beta revealing the meme that was "That wizard came from the moon."
That controversy obviously didn't escape the attention of 2K and Gearbox Software, as today's new trailer proudly exclaims that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel features "No Moon Wizards." Shots fired.
The trailer does immediately follow up its jab with a light-hearted scene showing one of the game's character's wearing a hat that would make even Gandalf jealous, conceding that even they couldn't resist adding at least on moon wixard of their own. It's doubtful anyone at Bungie will take the jab personally, as the company has shown it has a sense of humor as well, releasing limited edition T-shirts bearing the "moon wizard" line, with donations going to charity.
One you get over the Destiny joke, a closer look at the trailer shows the game should offer plenty of well, Borderlands, for fans of the franchise. The Pre-Sequel will feature characters including Athena the Gladiator, Wilhelm the Enforcer, Nisha the Lawbringer and Claptrap the Fragtrap fighting alongside Handsome Jack on Pandora's moon as he transforms into the ruthless tyrant seen in Borderlands 2. It's Claptrap who earns the rank of this game's "moon wizard," with the robot (unsurprisingly) looking to provide a great deal of the comedic relief throughout the game.
If 2K and Gearbox's collaboration works well, it could open the door to even more spin-offs in the future, although hardcore fans of the franchise do have reason to be cautious ahead of The Pre-Sequel's release. Gearbox's last collaboration for the franchise - a port of Borderlands 2 to the PlayStation Vita that was outsourced to Iron Galaxy Studios - didn't go so well.
But if The Pre-Sequel can come even close to what fans expect, it should put the franchise back on track ahead of Borderlands 3 and serve to strengthen the brand value; something that will also pay off for Tales From The Borderlands, a collaboration between Gearbox and The Walking Dead developer Telltale Games. No confirmation yet on how many wizards Telltale has in store.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel releases October 14, 2014 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC and Mac.
Follow Jason Gallagher on Twitter @MuckrakerJG.