Borderlands Review

  • Posted October 29th, 2009 at 11:18 EDT by Adam Dolge

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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.

We like

  • The co-op experience is one of the best on the market
  • The countless loot scattered through the world
  • The striking, artistic visual quality

We dislike

  • The repetitive quests
  • The lack of a strong storyline
  • Glitches that got us stuck in awkward situations

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

(continued from previous page) ...slowly regenerate over time or you’ll end up bitterly disappointed. Elsewhere, you will also find grenade mods that will add various effects to the normal grenades; such as having them stick to an enemy, bounce, or explode on direct contact, among others.

If you are a fan of loot, you are going to love Borderlands. However, if you are more interested in getting set pieces of equipment as you progress, you probably won’t care much for the randomly generated guns. We fit into the former category and loved finding different guns at vendors, on bosses, or in chests. We would have liked greater diversity in the later levels since weapons didn’t seem to change much after a while – we only noticed stat boosts. It would have been great to find that one awesome endgame weapon. Then again, there probably is a killer weapon out there - we just didn’t find it.

The plot of Borderlands is almost nonexistent, though we can’t say we had much of an issue with this, as there is just so much to do in the game. To be honest, the world felt a bit like an MMO. You know, the kind where you and 20 other players spend hours in a random instance, trying to take down a boss for some sweat loot. But the story isn’t nearly as deep as those games; instead it’s pretty vanilla and completely unimportant. As one of the four characters, you are essentially a treasure-hunter, brought to the planet of Pandora in search of the vault. The vault is believed to hold some alien technology, but that’s not really important to the story. You’ll start off in the desolate town called Fyrestone and are instantly contacted by a mysterious woman who only you can see. She starts to talk about the vault and tries to emphasize to the gamer that your character is important. Again, none of this felt really successful, though we’ll be the first to admit that a game doesn’t necessarily have to offer a strong narrative in order to provide for a compelling, enjoyable gameplay experience.

Despite this, the idea of an enjoyable experience is open for interpretations as we find it very likely some people will absolutely despise the gameplay and quest system. One of the fundamental issues with the quest system boils down to lack of variety in the quests themselves, and some players may find that the game becomes a monotonous grind in parts. On the flip side, the notion of grinding for your experience points is exciting, for others, it will probably sound more of a chore than it’s worth. Ultimately, we would have liked to see a greater diversity in the quests and a more options for levelling up.

The world of Borderlands is absolutely huge and traversing the wasteland will take some time. At the beginning you’ll spend most of your travelling time running from waypoint to waypoint. As you might expect, this task quickly descends in to boredom rather quickly. When you start using vehicles, your travel time is certainly cut down. There are, however, major flaws with the vehicles. Driving is incredibly cumbersome and the vehicles seem to have no recognition of weight. One of the moments that made us put down the controller and take an extended break was when our vehicle got stuck on a ramp, and when we tried to jump out, we got stuck again. After trying for a good 10 minutes to get ourselves free, we decided it was time to take a break. Flaws like this can, and should, be fixed in future patches, but at launch these are major annoyances. Eventually you’ll get the ability to travel from a location to location at the click of a button, facilitating your journey around the mammoth game world considerably.

It may sound like we are being overly critical about Borderlands; however, we feel the game needed a bit more work. Nonetheless, the co-op experience is one of the best we’ve played in a long time. You can play online with three other mates in a drop-in drop-out system, or you can play with a friend locally in two-player split screen action. The truly game shines when you play with others. You’ll split experience ... (continued on next page)

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  • Related game: Borderlands

    Release date (US):
    October 20th, 2009
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