05 November, 2009


It's come upon me to do a review of my time in Borderlands. I decided early on that I would buy this game for the PC because, graphically, I think the PC version gives a better experience. FPS games of this nature also fare greater for me on a PC where I have the customisability that a keyboard provides. Hot-keying different things to different keys instead of having to navigate through the limited buttons on a controller. Now, first off, Gearbox has given us some great games like the many expanions to the first Half-Life, a lot of very nice work on Counter-strike, & helped with porting of the first Halo. They continue the tradition of very good games with Borderlands. Many names have been given to Borderlands like FPS-RPG, FPS MMO, RPG w/ FPS elements, but in my opinion, it's just an FPS. The fact that you can play in a team with others is no different than playing CoD multi-player or Halo multi-player. You add people to your team, go out & kill dudes. The fact that there is a story in there, or missions to accomplish, really doesn't affect it too much. Being a big fan of RPG's & FPS' both, I did jump at the very idea that an FPS could have RPG elements, much like Fallout 3 did, but coming into Borderlands thinking it would be like FO3 is something you should avoid. Right from the get go, things go a little down hill. For one, I'm aware that you don't really see your character too much, so customisation of their appearance shouldn't be too much of a big deal, but it is. Especially in a game where there are only four character types & four looks. It could come to pass that you & the three others in the team are playing one or two of the same type & seeing who is who can be a little disorientating. The only thing you can change on your character is their hair colour & their clothing colour. A little disheartening, yea? Besides that, graphically, the game is incredible looking. The cel-shading is so well done, I literally just spent 10 minutes staring at the scenery around me before I headed out into my first mission.
Speaking of missions, they are all pretty well done. The map gives you direct locations for whatever mission you have selected & off you go. Along the way you can find guns, ammo, shields, guns, medkits, & more guns. It seems that they really wanted you to use some guns! That's fine because I love to find a bigger, better, & more bad arse gun. The randomly generated weapons in this game are one of it's big features & at first I was all about it, but it turns out that after you've got 10 really fucking sweet guns, the novelty starts to ware thin. Okay, so I'm getting a load of new & awesome guns, that's great. Now that I have my sweet BFG it's time to do the missions... & there are no shortage of missions. Whether given to you by the bounty board or random NPC's, they are fun, I must admit, but it's just your general go here & kill these guys, then come back here. After I completed the first area it was getting repetitive & by the time I opened up fast travelling, it was just annoying. Not to mention the vehicles, while being easy to control, are really lame unless someone's on top running the guns as you drive around (although you can control some weaponry in the buggy). Which brings me to having someone there to run your guns for you. Multi-player is well done, I suppose. You need to make a Gamespy account so you can have a unique user-name in Pandora & therefore be able to be added & add to your friends-list, which makes up the people who will join you in the world. Up to four people are allowed to play at a time which means you & three other carefully chosen companions. Ideally, you will have one of each class, but that will never happen, from my experience, as everyone wants to be the Hunter or the Siren, with some people scattered around who prefer the other classes. It's just not... well I wouldn't say it's not fun, but it's really no different from single player!

Bringing others into your reality of Pandora increases the enemy difficulty & I guess increases the rewards, but in general I didn't see any reward increase, just retarded hard mobs suddenly springing up everywhere... the same mobs you have been fighting since hour one. They hardly change models, ever. Once you've seen a Psycho or whatever, they pretty much stay the same model. Excepting various land creatures & cavern creatures, of course. It just didn't really add anything special to the game to have others join me. It was fun the first few times, but afterwards, it was so much the same as doing single player, that I just resorted to doing single player only, & cutting out the planning we'd need to get everyone on at the same time to play.I think that, overall, I enjoyed most of the game, but mostly for the graphics & the occasional awesome gun that was a little more awesome than the other awesome gun you have. Wandering around Pandora in a cel-shaded way was well cool. It's probably the best cel-shaded game out there & I'm pretty sure I've played most of them, including all the tons of PS2 cel-shaded games which were offered. The controls are nice & easy to learn as well, but what was lacking? It's not an MMO, it's an FPS that others can join, like most other FPS with multi-player functionality. It's an RPG yes, to an extent in that it has missions, & a story, & other's can participate in that story. But it's still the same story everyone else gets. On hindsight I probably wouldn't have pre-ordered it, I would have waited a bit. I wish there had been a demo, but perhaps now I can see why there wasn't. Once you do the first area, everything is pretty much the same with little variations. Maybe it's a different experience on the 360 or PS3, I don't know, but from my personal experiences, I won't be finding out. I'll play it here & there, but for all the hype that went into promoting Borderlands, it didn't live up to it.