You can get Borderlands 3 for free on the Epic Games Store

Right now, the Epic Games Mega Sale is live offering hundreds of great titles for affordable prices. To celebrate the sale Epic has teamed up with Gearbox to offer a great deal. From today until May 26 Epic Games Store users can pick up Borderlands 3 for free.

Borderlands 3 is the latest mainline game in Gearbox’s signature looter shooter franchise. At launch, it received mixed reviews with some critics feeling as though its story wasn’t as well-executed as its predecessors. Even so, it is mechanically speaking the best game in the series. Those looking for a more fun looter shooter than this will struggle to find one.

The only catch is that this is only the standard version of the game. That means that you get access to the vanilla product’s content but none of its additional DLCs. Although given that Epic Games is offering Borderlands 3 for free it’s difficult to complain. The extra content would have been nice but the base game still has a twenty-hour plus story. Add on the post-game to that and you’re looking at between fifty and seventy hours for each character.

If you’re interested then all you have to do is boot up the Epic Games Launcher. This can be downloaded on the official Epic Games Store website. Once it’s loaded log in to your Epic account, search for Borderlands 3, and click ‘Get’. Once you’ve added it to your library Borderlands 3 is yours to keep forever.

There’s more to come!

borderlands 3 gameplay boss gigamind

This is only the first week of the Mega Sale. Three more weeks are coming which will all bring with them a variety of new sales and free games. We don’t know what free games are coming yet but it’s worth keeping an eye out. If the first of four was as big as Borderlands 3 don’t be surprised if something even better is on the horizon.

Show, Don’t Tell: Horizon: Zero Dawn vs. Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Horizon Zero Dawn Logo

Zero Dawn vs. Zelda

I’m having a lot of fun with Horizon: Zero Dawn, and I am also a big fan of game narrative, but sometimes there are just too many words. Today I’m going to compare the design styles of the new Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the aforementioned Horizon. Specifically, how they use (or don’t use) voiced narration to lead the player.

In the first few minutes of Horizon: Zero Dawn’s gameplay, the protagonist, Aloy, points out what’s going on in the environment. Verbally. Even though there’s no one around to hear her. You could argue that you’re hearing her “thoughts,” or that she’s talking to herself because she’s scared, but neither case is a good excuse.

The player simply doesn’t need to hear it

Horizon Zero Dawn game
Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/32545636372/

Aloy will describe her surroundings, talk about what she should be doing next, talk about what she just did, and ultimately treats the player like a blind person with short-term memory loss. It’s as though the writer wrote a book and adapted it verbatim for the game, cutting out the he-saids and she-saids and leaving everything else.

Again, I love game narrative. I think games are a powerful storytelling medium. But just because a game can have more words written or lines spoken, certainly doesn’t mean it should. Ideally, the player should be able to play the game with the volume and subtitles off, using only art and design cues to figure out what to do next.

Look at Breath of the Wild. While it’s a longstanding tradition for Link to not speak, many Zelda games since Ocarina of Time gave the player a talking companion who points out everything you need to know. Navi, Midna, the… blue person from Skyward Sword whose name I forget. They all helped lead the player without needing Link to speak a word.

But in Breath of the Wild, like the original Zelda games of yore, has no quest-long companion jabbering in Link’s pointy ear. The game simply trusts the player to figure things out on their own.

This is the ideal design

Image retrieved from Nintendo.com

The ironic part is that Zelda is a game for kids and adults alike on a Nintendo platform that facilitates new gamers. Horizon: Zero Dawn is rated T for teen, and requires the player to use a PS4 controller and its dual-analog configuration that new gamers struggle with.

In essence, Horizon: Zero Dawn holds the player’s hand despite there being very little chance that the player is someone new at games, while Breath of the Wild trusts the player to figure things out without someone yapping at them the whole time.

It’s easy to look at games like Horizon: Zero Dawn as the way of the future and games like Zelda to be relics of the past. But with these two game releases, both at nearly the same time, the “relic” has shown itself to be much more comfortable as a game. And future designers—especially narrative designers—should take note.