Borderlands. Well, there are borders, and there’s A LOT of land, presenting itself as some sort of FPS with no dice rolls; AKA none of that Fallout crap where you get a head-shot and it says you miss. No, you get a head-shot, and it’s to the head.
The game takes no time to start you going. From the moment you hit the Enter Key your character selection is the only down time. After that, you’re thrown into a gunfight and the world is yours to loot, kill, loot, find better loot, quest, loot–did I mention loot?
Oh, and did I mention the 17 million guns or whatever Randy Pitchford said? Yeah, I’m positive that wasn’t a lie: I have all four characters leveling, and the only guns I’ve seen twice have been boss loot. There are a lot of effects your guns can have: you can have shotguns that can deal electric damage, machine guns that fire acid, not to mention rocket launchers!!! But the game’s main aspect is not just the ridiculous amount of guns. They’re just there to pad the way through this 30+ hour story.
Borderlands is structured in a somewhat linear way, yet it’s a huge world, with a lot of interesting characters and moments that will have you talking about them in one of those water cooler situations. Or in my case around a bottle of vodka on a Saturday night.
Now it’s rare for me to always want to play a game no matter what I’m doing, but I found myself at work, playing World of Warcraft, or watching a film and not even thinking about that stuff. All I had on my mind was Borderlands. The last game to do this was Age of Conan. Yeah, it’s been a while.
Sadly, there’s a sort of killer in the game: the story. It isn’t that the story isn’t good, it’s that it’s not amazing like every other aspect of the game. Everything else is so polished I guess something had to suffer. It’s a lot like playing an MMO. I’ll get a quest, I don’t read anything, I just go and do it, mostly because there’s a 99% chance it wants me to kill something and get loot. The main story is scattered around here and there, but you won’t really know it or care for it. You’re on Pandora, a planet at the edge of the galaxy, you’re looking for some Vault that has weapons and riches–or so they say–what’s in there? Play the game and figure it out… go! THAT’S IT! Yeah, not the best, but whatever.
The story won’t matter, and you wont even care because the best part of this game is co-op. We know all the rage these days is to be able to play with your friends, and this game has you covered! At any time you can invite friends into your game, and the AI and monsters scale to all of you so it does get harder, but you also get more XP, more things to kill, and better LOOT! You can do the whole game with three friends, but you all need to be around same level (or two levels up or down from one another) to maximize proficiency without the low-level player in your group getting stomped.
If you go in there and coordinate your attacks you’ll have a blast. If you aren’t lucky enough to have friends, you can still play single-player all the way through. And lets face it, you’re on PC so if you’re like me your only friends are WoW players who pretend to be chicks to get free items anyway (guilty!) .
The biggest gripe people seem to have is the graphics and visual presentation. Remembering back when this game was announced I had no interest in it. It looked like a Fallout 3 clone. Yeah I said it. And people, I’m telling you I love Fallout 3 but it’s not the Best Game Ever as some claim. Borderlands is presented in an almost cell-shaded look–I don’t know how to classify it but it’s damn sexy. The way the filtering and lighting works is awesome and it really brings the world to life. Even though most of the world is destroyed and full of junk it still looks good.
Borderlands really hit the spot I’ve been waiting for: a huge world, nice visuals, awesome co-op, easy to play, and FUN! That’s the core word, Borderlands is fun! You can die over ten times on the same thing and it’s still fun.
I could go into details on some of the boring inventory management because there really is a lot of loot to deal with, but that’s one very small gripe, and by the time you hit level 30 you’ll have plenty of space money and all the guns you prefer. Rating this game is hard. Not because I’m having trouble with giving it a amazing score, but because even a game like Metal Gear Solid 4 has gripes. This one has them too, but they’re minor.
So let me just cut to the score and give it 4.7/5 Pastries. Borderlands is a prime example of how to take a simple concept like shoot-kill-loot and make it amazing! If you get a chance to pick up this game now or when it’s cheaper do yourself a favor and do it: you won’t regret it. Gearbox has done an amazing job and deserves the money.