‘Borderlands 2’ Coverage is an Excellent Compare/Contrast in Insufferable Game Journalism

June 7, 2012

I think it’s safe to say that Borderlands 2 is one of the only games that all five of us here at JKP’s core HQ are equally, eagerly anticipating this September. We’re obviously not alone, either– everyone wants in on this sequel, including the major game journalism sites and networks. As such, every bloated media outlet scheduled a sit-down with Gearbox’s head honcho, Randy “Pitchman” Pitchford, to debut two new classes and talk shop.

One game, four bloated media networks. Let’s see how their coverage differs, shall we? Hit the jump for a robust collection of live demos and awkward, douchebag-heavy interviews over some swell-lookin’ gameplay footage!

Gametrailers landed the exclusive debut of Zero, the gun-toting ninja cyborg assassin, and somehow Randy Pitchford managed to avoid any actual commentary about his unique gameplay style as the footage rolls on right beside him. Instead, we get to hear about how successful the first one was and how quickly the limited collector’s edition preorders sold out online.

Also, Weird Al Kenny G says the word “interwebs.” Stop it, Gametrailers.


Exactly ten seconds into G4TV’s intro, I am reminded exactly why I have never paid for G4TV. The “clapping, hooting studio crew” setup was new and interesting for The Soup for a few years back in the 90’s, and seeing a pair of “wisecracking” smart alecs do their best impressions of cool people for a five minute video game interview is among the saddest things I’ve ever seen. Not even Morgan Webb’s incredibly understated cleavage can inject any actual integrity, here.

Some gameplay of the Commando happens before the segment is abruptly interrupted to present Randy with a Guinness World Record for “most guns in a video game,” as Randy teased in the segment for Gametrailers, just so he can say “this is cool but THE NEW ONE HAS EVEN MORE HAW HAW.”

I think I hate you, Randy Pitchford.


There’s an annoying electronic buzz and the audio skips and stutters near the end, but Gamespot manages to actually interview Randy about the game for almost 15 full minutes, so they win.

Seriously, watch this interview/demo and then rewatch G4’s loud camera-mugging, ritalin-rejecting spasm of a segment and explain to me why G4 still exists in 2012. That suggests several things about the universe that my brain is actively battling in fear of a full system shutdown.

Randy still manages to dedicate some time to that fucking World Record stunt, though, and paints us a word picture where he was “like, what!” and that it was really cool.


IGN is up at bat next, and we’re back with Zero the Assassin again– only, this time, we actually get to see some of his tricks and hear Randy explain his particular style of murder.

There’s good info in here, and the quality of the in-game audio is excellent (not that it had tough competition). The only spotty moment is the second manufactured instance where that bobblehead is casually, unexpectedly tossed over to him.


Well, what do you guys think? The game looks great, obviously, but which network has been the hardest for you to stomach this week?

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3 comments on “‘Borderlands 2’ Coverage is an Excellent Compare/Contrast in Insufferable Game Journalism

  1. Most Painful Award goes to G4. I can not stand that Attack of the Show Joel McHale Talk Soup wannabe. And now that Sessler is gone, I’ve got absolutely zero reason to watch anything from that site/channel.

    One thing I wanted to mention is the 2 classes we got to see for GEARBOX. The (coined above) “Pitchman” and then the actual CEO of Gearbox.

    Both Pitchfords knew there were massive time differences in these interviews. If you’re on TV, your spot is a commercial for your game. So the best class would be the Pitchman, shoveling out tidbits that cover most of the game in general, sprinkled with useless “isn’t that cool” stuff, and answering awful scripted questions.

    Now with the Twitch and IGN spots, the content isn’t on TV, there isn’t a time restraint, so the CEO can come out and delve into what the game is about and how it plays. Far more informative, and because there is more time, he can still throw in the pre-order and world record bullshit, but we also get a great look at the game.

    I don’t hate Pitchford, just his godawful “Pitchman” persona that shows up on TV.

    Also, I vote that the Guinness Book of World Records just… just stop. Can I get a World Record Certificate for how many INFINITE fucks I don’t give about these pointless awards?


    • Tom made all the points I wanted to…TV Interviews tend to bring out the worst in people. TV Events in general, actually, as illustrated by the Press Briefings earlier this week.


  2. Patrick Jun 7, 2012

    wow this actually beat out Tobuscus at the Ubisoft conference for most annoying shit of E3 this year.


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