- Posted October 29th, 2009 at 11:18 EDT by Adam Dolge
- 29 Comments
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Borderlands is a perfect multiplayer RPG-Shooter that offers loot hounds hours of fun. It has its flaws, though, and its grinding sensibilities probably won't appeal to everyone.
- The co-op experience is one of the best on the market
- The countless loot scattered through the world
- The striking, artistic visual quality
- The repetitive quests
- The lack of a strong storyline
- Glitches that got us stuck in awkward situations
The ever-growing first-person shooter and role-playing game crossover genre has received its latest addition with the release of Gearbox Software’s Borderlands. Set in Pandora, which has an old West style theme, you and three friends can set out on an epic adventure to do two things: kill lots of bad guys, and collect tons of loot. With a unique comic book style art theme, 100s of quests, and the promise of “bazillions of guns,” Borderlands sets out to offer a new take on the modern RPG shooter genre. While many people will rank this game as one of the best of the year, it’s not as universally accessible as other entries in the genre, and it has some flaws that at the least were minor annoyances, but at the worst, were enough to deter our enjoyment significantly enough to have us want to shut the game off for a few hours.
The most rewarding aspect of Borderlands is the cooperative play, both online (up to four players) or locally with a split screen option. It’s a welcome addition for any RPG fans looking to play through some quests with a small group of friends. You’ll find plenty to do so long as everyone is within 10 levels of one another, though if a friend has fallen behind in the levelling process, the enemies will either be too hard for them to defeat, or too easy for your more advanced friends. Fortunately, this isn’t a problem because there are plenty of ways to gain experience and level your character, though we’ll come back to the multiplayer component in a bit.
At the start of the game you’ll get to choose from one of four characters. Each of the characters has a unique ability in addition to a skill tree that you can pump points into as you level up. As you can imagine, different characters are better suited for different weapons, and as such you’ll find each character has weapon specializations. The soldier, named Roland, is a brute and has the ability to drop turrets that automatically fire at nearby enemies. The hunter, Mordecai, gets a hawk named Bloodwing, which can swoop down and attack foes. Lilith is a siren and works heavy in a magical field, entering different planes to damage enemies or gain a quick speed boost. The last character you can pick is Brick the berserker. As the name implies, he’s a beast and uses melee combat to his advantage. It should be noted that any character can use any weapon, but each character will get a boost depending on his or her weapon specialization. Once you pick your character you can customize him or her to your liking through basic color template changes. While some RPGs have a greater focus on character customization, Borderlands doesn’t offer a great deal of variety for your character. We weren’t bothered that Borderlands lacked deeper character customization because there was so much you can do to alter your weapons and shields.
Speaking of weapons, the world of Borderlands is covered in guns. While there may not actually be “bazillions of guns,” there is enough loot to keep even the biggest treasure hunters happy. Most of the guns are randomly generated but some you are certainly intended to receive. You’ll find guns in all shapes and sizes dropped throughout the world, or you can purchase them (along with shields and med kits) at vending machines. The RPG element again returns when looking at guns. You’ll find gun stats like speed, base damage, accuracy, and clip size; along with modifiers, stat bonuses, elemental damage, zoom, and increased reload speed. As mentioned before, each character has different gun specializations. You’ll find weapons that fit into different categories: pistols, sniper rifles, sub-machine guns, shotguns, assault rifles, and even rocket launchers.
The armor system in Borderlands works on a regenerating shield basis. You can buy or find upgradable shields. Having the shields regenerate means your gun battles will last a long time if you know how to duck and cover. Better shields regenerate faster, and some will even heal you over time. If you need to heal, you’ll have to use various items or abilities - don’t expect to sit back and watch your health slowly regenerate over ... (continued on next page)
- 7:25am EDT - October 29th, 2009
- 7:32am EDT - October 29th, 2009
Could've given Fallout 3 a run for it's money!
- 7:36am EDT - October 29th, 2009
Looks great gotta pick this up. I loved Fallout 3 and I love FPS and this has the best of both worlds but forgot to take out bethesda's fame for bugs.
- 7:48am EDT - October 29th, 2009
once some fo the issues are ironed out this game will be amazing, that said im loving it at the moment though the glitches due get a little annoying at times.
Still if your gonna play this with peole id really recomendthis game. so fun that the glitches dont really bother you that much tbh.
- 7:52am EDT - October 29th, 2009
I seriously need to rent this.
- 8:12am EDT - October 29th, 2009
1 post for day on psu?
- 8:13am EDT - October 29th, 2009
I don't know about anything else, but this is much better than fallout 3 imo.
- 8:21am EDT - October 29th, 2009
I might get this, just to get me by for MW2 and AC2.
- 9:06am EDT - October 29th, 2009
The game is good in co-op, not so much single player. Its a good laugh when you got some mates running around blowing the **** outta everything. Its got its problems though, Frame rate is shocking in Mulitplayer whilst hosting a game with 3 others, frame rate can crawl literally at about 5 fps in firefights.
Not sure how many QA testers they have but they seemed to have missed a lot of Bugs.From the off in the first loading screen, the actual writing isn`t displayed properly, its interlaced. This is fairly simple QA. Not a good indication of a dedicated Dev or staff. You can clearly tell that its been rushed a fair amount for Xmas release which happens, but to unleash a supposed co-op game upon the public without testing how the network, friends list, item collection and levelling up work during MP sessions is actually shocking.
- 10:06am EDT - October 29th, 2009
exactly what i'd have reviewed it as. Great Co-Op experience but not a strong story and repetetive, so it's a horrible single player experience. Gonna finish it tomorrow with my mate.
- 10:09am EDT - October 29th, 2009
This game is really fun. One of the things that makes this game so great is that it has splitscreen co op. Not many games support that anymore so this is really enjoyable. The enemies aren't pushovers if you are out leveled. I think this game is better and worse than fallout in some ways. It is better because the shooting is more accurate and you don't need to stop the action like you do in fallout to survive. Being able to play with 3 other people is a lot of fun too. Fallout however has a much stronger story. It doesn't even come close. Graphics in fall out are also better. The characters in borderlands say a lot of funny things though. This game is worth buying if you have even one friend to play with.
- 10:35am EDT - October 29th, 2009
Love this game, one of the best of 2009
- 2:15pm EDT - October 29th, 2009
Sounds interesting, yet although I haven't personally played it, there are a lot of flaws that I'm able to spot; one of the most significant being the fact that they use the Dollar as currency. The Dollar! It's stupid and seriously ruins the game world. It's set on an alien planet, with alien creatures - a world that is completely unrelated to ours - and for some stupid reason they use American currency. Whatever idiot decided to use the Dollar for currency is a complete moron.
It really is sheer stupidity.
Regardless, I'll be getting this game at some point anyway. I still find the financial standpoint of this game hilarious though.
- 2:34pm EDT - October 29th, 2009
This game is waaay beter than fallout 3.
I made the mistake of pre-ordering fallout 3 (and afterwords wasn't sure if I should pre-order this, but am glad I did) because of how deceptive their marketing was. On the commercials they made it seem like the game was going to be creepy and dark (like bioshock) but instead it was just stupid. The story, characters, and pretty much the whole game are a joke. They made it seem the the brotherhood of steel were some big deal, like scary and stuff (there even on the cover!), but they aren't. You can kill them (like any enemy) with ease. They play a very minor role in the story, and are good guys (even the exiles aren't really bad). My character was so overpowered that if I shot an enemy in the foot their head would explode. Fallout 3 apparently wasn't designed for RPG fans, because if it was they would have anticipated players knowing how to build a good character. Most of the perks in the game are pointless (*cough* lady kller *cough*). If you choose all the good ones (like I did) you become a god. I put the game on hard early on, and was never challenged. I hate fallout 3. But let me just compare it to borderlands real quick:
Fallout 3 decided to jump on the bandwagon lead by gears of war, by turning the saturation up to 98%. The only colors in fallout 3 are brown, gray, and brownish-gray. Then there's borderlands... full of color! I didn't go out and buy an HD TV so I could only see 4 of the millions of colors its capable of displaying! Thank you gear box for justifying my purchase of an expensive TV.
Fallout 3 is fully voiced, but has about 3 voice actors. I get so tired of hearing people with the same voice, especially the ghouls. Every ghoul in the game has the same voice! Its annoying! And get this, they had each voice actor record the same lines? Every character, no matter who's voice they have, will shout at some point, "whats the matter!? Cant stand the sight of your own blood!?" is it really that hard to come up with different lines for each voice actor?
Fallout 3 only has a handful of guns, you get them all early on, and use the same guns the entire game. It gets really really boring. You're supposed to progress in an RPG, but in fallout there is no progression. You get good equipment early on, and use it for the rest of the game. And whats up with the naming? Chinese machine gun? I'm pretty sure that's not what the manufacturer named it. But as you know, borderlands has a bazzilion-plex guns. That allows the player to make progress, which gives him/her a reason to keep playing.
Fallout 3 has no bosses. Makes this one pretty simple don't ya think? Some consider the super mutant behemoths to be bosses, but since there are 5, that really just makes it a rare enemy. Not to mention that like everything in fallout, they demand no strategy. Shoot forward and back-peddle.
fallout 3 has no multiplayer. Borderlands wins again.
fallout 3 doesn't have vehicles, one of my favorite parts of any multiplayer game and/or shooter.
Borderlands has its share of glitches, but they are nothing compared to Fallout 3. Bethesda is the buggiest game company to have ever existed, but Fallout 3 set a new record for them. Oblivion wasn't as buggy as fallout, and at least they made patches! In fallout the only bug-fixes were included in DLC, meaning you had to spend more money if you wanted to have a properly functioning product, and even then they barely fixed any! Most of the DLC adds new glitches.
The only advantages of fallout 3:
In fallout 3 you can customize your characters appearance, of course after the first 3 hours you'll be wearing power armor so you cant see them anyways. Maybe gearbox could release some alternate costumes as part of an upcoming DLC? Or maybe as standalone DLC?
I'm actually enjoying borderlands.
- 4:00pm EDT - October 29th, 2009
im sorry but this game is sooooooo boring!!!! i trade my copy for the new ratchet and clank game : )
- 5:43pm EDT - October 29th, 2009
I got it and i love it!!
- 6:43pm EDT - October 29th, 2009
This game pwns the crap out of Fallout 3.
- 8:37pm EDT - October 29th, 2009
I'm getting this no matter what. Reminds me when Red Faction came out, medium review scores but a kickin fun game. Will be checkin this out, 2 split is a win.
- 8:42pm EDT - October 29th, 2009
well i guess this deserved a little more....like a 8.5 at least.
bosses,vehicles and multiplayer are the best aditions for this type of game that´s already a big win.
- 10:49pm EDT - October 29th, 2009
Spot on review. I am really enjoying this game so far. This game is one those you either like or you don't.
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