SDCC14: Adventure through ‘Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel’ Laser Tag

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lyth-sdcc-logo-585-narrowerTwo things get the Lytherus team excited: the world and games of Borderlands, developed by 2k Games, and laser tag. When received a press release announcing that 2k Games was partnering with the Nerdist to bring a Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Laser Tag experience to San Diego Comic Con, we jumped at the opportunity.

The helpful folks over at 2k Games were polite enough to get our group of writers into the final press and media-only game. We were joined by hosts and cameramen from all over the internet, ranging from the Gamespot team to those behind the hosts from Nerd Alert on The Young Turks.

Arriving at the top of Petco Park, a baseball stadium across from the convention center, we were immediately greeted by fan favorite Claptrap! Rounding the corner brought us face-to-face with Handsome Jack, posing with his hand open and a finger-gun toward the head of a willing, or unwilling, victim. The Hyperion-themed industrial laser tag course lurked in the background. We took the opportunity to pose with our favorite Borderlands villain before checking out the course.

Handsome Jack and Claptrap

Left: Handsome Jack and Lytherus writer Bryce Hilton. Right: Claptrap, King of the Borderlands (okay, not really)

The course itself featured a dozen or more buildings and obstacles, all built and branded to look as if they were taken directly from a Hyperion base. The open air feel, hundreds of feet up and on top of a baseball stadium, added to the epicness of the event. Fog frequently poured from several vents around the course.

Our group was divided into two – green team and yellow team – each marked by their respective colored sweatbands. We looked like a laser tag team directly from the 80s… and it rocked. We were then lead to bleachers to sit and wait while the group ahead of us finished their match. Things got heated between the two teams as we sat to wait, with (friendly) insults being thrown, bets being made, and strategies being devised. The game wouldn’t have been half as fun without this period of time to get to know one another.

One member of the group, a friendly man nearly 7 feet tall, was originally on team yellow. (The Lytherus team was split between team green and team yellow – our video game and anime editor, Bryce, was on team green, while our cameraman Robert and myself were on team yellow.) Because the teams were uneven, he volunteered to join team green, betraying those on team yellow. He jokingly offered to take two guns into combat to better even the teams out. More on that later…

We were eventually led into a hallway and given our guns. Each gun had its own tracker to keep up on your kills and deaths during combat. After a brief waiting period, the laser tag staff shouted for us to begin and we all ran, bolting for cover and sniping any enemy in our way.

The match lasted for what seemed like hours, with each team pushing and taking back territory, hiding behind walls and in bunkers, standing on top of towers and stealth-walking into enemy lines.

And then the boss came.

Our friend from above, who had jokingly asked for two guns, had somehow managed to acquire a second. This huge man, as friendly as he was during our pre-match sitdown, had now become the Boss at the end of an epic battle. Running around, guns aimed at any yellow team member in his path, the man was a sight – and fright – to behold. It was easily the best and most memorable part of the match and I commend him for his actions.

The game ended and despite green team having the Boss on their side, yellow team still emerged victorious. We had a great time standing around afterward, congratulating each other and catching our breath, before most of the players headed to other parts of the convention. Our team remained behind to film the next group of players from the media rise.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Laser Tag wasn’t the only game experience at this year’s convention. We also participated in the epic Assassin’s Creed Unity parkour course, being detailed in its own post, galleries, and video, in addition to having an exclusive demo with a lead developer from the recently announced Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. You won’t want to miss either article! Be sure to check out all of our San Diego Comic Con coverage.

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About Author

Mike Macauley is the founder and editor in chief of Lytherus.com. He also founded and runs Shurtugal.com, the official Inheritance Cycle community, and published his book, The Inheritance Almanac, in 2011. Mike can be found on Twitter at @mikemacauley.

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