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A spot of cel-shading turns Cyberpunk 2077 into a convincing Borderlands sequel

A bustling urban marketplace rendered with thick toon outlines
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Stats-driven RPG shooting? Check. Gun-toting bandits holed up in corrugated iron shacks? Check. When you think about it, Cyberpunk 2077 really isn't that different from Borderlands—and with a new mod that paints Night City in the loudmouthed looter's distinct comic-book style, you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the two at all.

Go ahead. Tell me the following clip wasn't captured on one of Pandora's rusty scrapheaps.

Borderlands 2077 from r/cyberpunkgame

Created by modder Salmonella123, Borderlandfy2077 is a fairly simple Reshade plugin that adds a thick black outline to most objects in the game. Along with a bit of a saturation boost and other visual tweaks, and even Night City's dingiest basements suddenly look like they were pulled out of a 2000AD comic panel.

Now, popping a toon shader into a game to make it look a bit cel-shaded is nothing new. What works so well about it here, though, is that the mod almost forces Cyberpunk 2077 to admit that it's basically just Borderlands. Night City sports plenty of rusted-out shanty towns plucked straight from Pandora—and on the other side of the coin, Borderlands 3 broke away from the series' wastelands for the occasional spot of bloodshed in neon-lit urban sprawls.

Cyberpunk 2077 modders have been busy in the past month, from a simple haircut and janky third-person perspectives to the addition of some properly dismal weather patterns. You can check out some of our faves over in our list of Cyberpunk 2077's best mods.

Natalie Clayton

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time—and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and having herself developed critically acclaimed small games like Can Androids Pray, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She's also played for a competitive Splatoon team, and unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.