Character intros

Borderlands games have had some great character intros, they can make or break how I feel about facing an enemy or interacting with a friendly NPC. I just got done playing the first episode of Tales from the Borderlands and IMHO they’ve completely nailed the character intros for everyone… I got the “this guy is awesome, **** just got real!” feeling and tbh from the first time I played TPS I felt they totally missed the mark on almost every character in the game.

This isn’t a remark on the characters themselves but on how they’re introduced and mostly it’s flat, boring and completely unremarkable. I think the worst one is the Meriff, he just turns around and his splash screen shows up… silent and boring. For all the buildup of the container crashing down on Elpis to Janey looking down at the crash site, you’d think something cool would happen but all we get is her quietly floating giving a thumbs up, again not really memorable at all.

There’s the Redbelly intro, I think it’s better than some of the others but for all the action that takes place the lack of any audible cues that he/they are a heavy BA jumping from a window crashing down, all I hear is a faint thud and that’s it. There should have been a nice deep “rumble” upon landing to signify that this guy is going to kill you.

Honestly the only three that truly work for me are Ninas because it’s similar to Zed’s humorous intro, Moxxi’s well because Moxxi and the Sentinels because he/she/it looks like some weirdo model walking down a runway.

I’m really hoping that any new character intros in the upcoming DLC were done by Gearbox and not 2k because 2k seriously disappointed my expectations for something that plays an important role in how I perceive this, vital to me, part the game.

perfectly describes it

oh, wait, you were talking about characters?

While I do like well done intros, going to have to disagree and say they are not vital to the game’s success.

I dunno, I never expected the character intros to be action packed. They make me smile, I think that’s the focus. Go and watch Snatch, you’ll see these are just meant to introduce the characters when you first see them, and give a bit of emphasis. The meriff is a lame guy who hides in his office. Hence his intro has him sitting in his office, and makes fun of his name.

I never said they should be action packed but they should be impactful. The merrif is definitely lame so maybe his intro is horribly lame for that reason but the only reason why I remember even half of the intros in tps is because I’ve played the the story 12 times already and it hasn’t been out for that long so the memories are pretty fresh. On the other hand I can remember most of the Borderlands character intros and almost all of the BL2+DLC intros without much effort and I haven’t played either of those games in over a year.

scooters intro in BL2 vs Janey’s intro in BL-TPS. their “whole” cutscene into slpash card. which is more “epic”? being moonshot to elpis and the grapes thing or… well… Scooter being Scooter? i think that is a good example of the difference between the 2 games. BL1 it’s been a while since i played and the only ones i can remember are TK (awesome) and Nine-Toes (funny).

Well, after giving it some actual thought, here’s what I’ve arrived at.

Are the characters within the game actual CHARACTERS, or are they CARICATURES?

Case and point: Jack, Athena, and possibly to an extent Claptrap are CHARACTERS. They have depth, and emotion. This isn’t something that can easily be done in 10 seconds. TPS slowly turns Jack from a good guy, to morally ambiguous, to a monster.

Wilhelm is a CARICATURE. “No.”

So if they are a caricature, then having a title card that tells you everything about them may not be a bad idea. It could also be a good chance for humor (which most of the cards are). This could also apply to characters who don’t get a lot of screen time and will be passed by quickly, like Flameknuckle. Flame in his title, has a flamethrower, has a red powersuit (red being commonly associated with fire, especially within the game), and his intro involves him setting fire to Helios. Basically the only thing you need to know is that “…he really likes fire.”, and the game handles it quite well.

If it’s a character, that’s where it becomes problematic. Because it takes time to build up a character. If a 10 second intro and title card are all it takes, that character is pretty one dimensional. See Red Belly. We know Red Belly leads a group of scavs thanks to the SCAV-TP. We know he’s a rather silly person(s) by the ECHO logs and that he’s more of tank with armor. Rather than have this explained all at once, it’s built up over the level. His title card is a chance for a double entendre, going by the wiki his name is a play on words for a famous Australian.