Friday, November 1, 2013

A Bit of Garbage: Borderlands 2's Console Controls


This post has been a long time coming and, until I finish Pokemon X (which should be sometime in the next day or so), I do not have anything else really to write about that isn't old news (GTA V, Last of Us), so instead I'm going to write about just how much I hate the Xbox controls of Borderlands 2.

Let me preface this by saying that I have never been an FPS girl, really. Yes, I can hang and I enjoy watching them, but I do not get the inherent joy out of FPS that I do with games like World of Warcraft, League of Legends, or other timesucks.

I picked up Borderlands 2 because a friend of mine, in between games of League, would not stop talking about how much he loved Borderlands and how well 2K Games took care of their customer base. I was always the lone one out in our Skype calls once quips about Butt Stallion and Psychos started being bandied about. And, honestly, I had a strong Fear Of Missing Out. So, once my husband left on a month long business trip (and the game went on sale for Xbox) I purchased it.

Poor decision making.

It could have been that I was angry that it was 7 AM on a Saturday and I couldn't sleep, or it could have been the fact that I get easily frustrated in video games that I don't understand how to control. After starting to try to kill Knuckle Dragger and failing to shoot any of tiny little minion Bullymongs that came along with him, I quit.

"Screw this," I said to my friend that had originally recommended the game and had attempted to come to my aid previous to my force quitting out and shutting down my console. "I hate this and that sucks because I wanted to like it." Yep, that's right. I threw a tantrum. About a game. That I'd only played for about 20 minutes.

The point here, besides my being a spoiled brat, is that the controls weren't intuitive. Even without a game guide or booklet, I should have been able to quickly figure out how to target and shoot—it's a FPS for god's sake! And, given a change in the usual method of FPS controls and a lack of real, obvious assisted shooting, the "tutorial" part of the game that I was in should have informed me (at least pre-cursorily) on what buttons to push. It is not like this was my first game, or I had never played anything on an Xbox—I've that stupid thing for years. I was so disheartened by my experience that I almost put down the game forever, despite already having researched all the sweet plot points and having been told by everyone that I knew that I needed to play the game.

So, a week later, thanks to a Steam sale, I picked it up—thank God I did. Borderlands 2 is an amazing game that is so immersive and darkly funny at the same time that I wish I had the energy to sink myself wholly into its world. And, also thankfully, the PC controls are infinitely more intuitive and (although I have yet to spend a great deal of time playing) I have found it to be a much more enjoyable experience that makes much more sense to me. Maybe that speaks more to personal preference—I've always enjoyed PC gaming over console gaming—but I can't be the only one who feels this way.

Have you played both PC and console versions of Borderlands 2? What do you think?


  1. I think that out of all the FPS games I've played on the Xbox, this game is close to my favorite in terms of intuitiveness and enjoyability in the controls. Still baffles me that you hated them so strongly.

    1. Haha. I really don't know, maybe I just wasn't in the right state of mind. I, obviously, still have it for Xbox so maybe I'll have to give it a try again. That being said, I have spoken to other people who do agree—maybe I just haven't played enough FPSs?

  2. The controls are irritating to deal with. Controlling on a computer is, was, and will be more intuitive than console gaming.