Remember when Borderlands was going to be beautiful? When it was detailed and polished and looked like a slick Fallout 3 + Rage mashup? (Not to mention when each character actually had a story and a reason for being on Pandora, such as Lilith looking for one of the other 6 Sirens in existence to learn more about her own powers?) Sadly, those days are long gone, with Gearbox's original design thrown away in a last-minute gamble to differentiate themselves. I was actually really excited when I heard about the change and saw the early promo screens for the new look; I'm a sucker for cel shading, what can I say? But as I played through the game, it was clear that a lot of things were rushed and the game wasn't ready to be shipped. Never have I played a AAA game with so many blurred and mismatched textures, buggy menus, world geometry errors, and such a pervading sense of half-completed, slipshod work. Even the story and ending were completely botched and haphazard.
And so, as I played through with my friends, we began to long for the days of "the real Borderlands:" the one we'd seen movies and screenshots for, the one that seemed to have a real plot, the one with such love and care put into the graphics… The game we'd thought we were buying.
We carried on, the game enjoyable despite some of its efforts to the contrary, until we reached New Haven. That's where we saw it… Like an ancient monolith, it called out to us as we entered, and we were reinvigorated as we gazed upon it. Suddenly the game was fun again; suddenly, we had a purpose.
We had found an ancient remnant; a piece of Original Tech. Behold!
This object single-handedly revived our interest in the game. Suddenly, there were hidden treasures to be found all across Pandora, glimpses of the Game-That-Was.