It would seem that my fantastic orgy with Treyarch's superlative Black Ops 2 has come to an end. All things considered, it was a good run for me - and I will be returning sooner rather than later. However, it was time to take a break and move on. Interestingly, instead of switching to a different genre, as I am wont to do after burning out on a title, I continue to remain on a shooter kick. When I saw an ad for the critically-acclaimed Borderland 2, I recalled that I really loved the original, but never finished it (as is often the case with me; I eventually lose interest when some other shiny bauble is released). But now I have returned in a quest to finally find the Vault so I can move on to the sequel. After spending a few hours in it again, all I can say is: "Man, I forgot just how great a game this is!" I love its wonderful (and daring!) shaded-cell art direction (Gearbox will forever have my respect for being the first game dev in a long time to abandon the crowd of "realism" lemmings), its engaging and darkly humorous campaign plot, and those four wonderful characters who just ooze personality via their quips. Best of all, though, are all those wonderful guns - reputedly over 200,000 of them! - and how we get to unleash wildly entertaining six shooter mayhem upon Pandora's raiders. Borderlands is, quite possibly, the world's first National Rifle Association gaming tie-in.
Ironically, while I was happily re-immersing myself in this gun-toting orgy, a terrible tragedy unfolded in Newtown, Connecticut. Of course I am referring to the mass murder of 26 children and adults at a local elementary school by an armed young man who apparently was suffering from some sort of mental affliction. Sadly, this is not the first such shooting - there have been quite a few in recent years (but we are NOT seeing an usual spike as some would have you believe), and America is not alone in the carnage.
When something like this happens, it can cause a gamer to stop and reflect upon the nature of modern gaming. Let's be brutally honest here: gaming is an uniquely bloodthirsty endeavor.