Borderlands is a well constructed hybrid of a game mixing first person shooter and role playing elements. It features and encourages up to a 4 player coop through the whole game which can make for some fun times with friends. So, if you’ve got another friend or two or three who are up for an adventure in a post apocalyptic that’ll last around 20 hours, then you’re in luck. If you decide to play it by yourself it’s still pretty fun, but you’re kinda missing the point.
There are so many first person shooter games out on the market, and at times it is difficult to see at first glace what sets each one apart. What makes Borderlands so unique is that it’s really just a role playing game at heart but it makes itself look like a conventional shooter. Really, Borderlands is probably set up more closely to games like Warcraft Worlds and Fallout 3. For example you’ll level up a character, perform quests traveling from city to city, and chose you’re combat roll through allocating points in a talent tree. So now you know what you’re getting into.
The combat in Borderlands was not my favorite, but I still had quite a bit of fun with it. You’ll play the whole game from a first person perspective with you’re gun in hand. But since Borderlands is set up an an RPG and also a FPS, it can be somewhat deceiving. Let me explain, usually in FPS games, you can take down any enemy with well placed shots. The potency of you’re shot depends on the weapon you’re using and the stratigic placement of your bullet. In Borderlands, it’s really an RPG, so if say you’re character is level 5 and you’re shooting a level 10 monster you simply can’t beat it regardless of firepower. You’ll need to go out and shoot some lesser monsters until you are a high enough level. I didn’t find this too off putting because the game does a good job at setting the right pace for you to be on par with the enemies you’re up against.
Now onto the coop, this is where Borderlands can really shine, but it can also provide some serious frustration. Borderlands lets 4 people play at the same time. One player hosts a game while the others join in. The only downfall to this, is that only host’s quests can be completed. So for example if you are already done with a series of quests and want to move on with you’re friend, if he is hosting then you’re have to do them again, but if you’re hosting then you’re friend won’t get credit for any of the quests you do cause he’s behind you. So syncing up quest lines can be frustrating. Also of note, If you’re in a party the monsters will be the same level as the highest member of your party. So if 3 of you are level 10 but you have a level 18 in your party that means that all the monsters will be level 18 and you won’t even be able to damage them.
Borderlands was released in late 2009, but it took me around a year and a half to beat the game because I was always trying to get 3 other people to play with me. When we finally got out schedules together to play it was great, but I couldn’t play the game by myself in fear of leveling up higher than them, or not having the same quests. In the end I beat the last half of the game by myself.
Moving on. Borderlands is set in a post apocoliptic world. The whole world is barren with little life, the towns are pieced togther junk yards, and many areas are infested with gigantic insects, mutants, and warring factions. It is made known the your character right at the beginning that you are chosen to serve a great purpose and you must fulfill an important quest. Funny thing is that as you play the game you’ll find that the significance of this important quest gets lesser and lesser until finally *spoiler* you beat the game and realize how meaningless the main questline really was. Cause you’ll beat the end guy and there’s no ending or resolution.
The game progresses through quests. Each city will have kind of a “quest hub” where you’ll pick up a quest then you’re off to fullfil it. Most quests are standard to what you’ll find in Warcraft Worlds like going and killing x number of boars or going out to location x and colleting lost parts.
The characters in each ctiy and the graphical style really give the game personally. just like how the game’s cover you’ll see a man shooting himself in the head, Borderlands is gritty, violent, and fun. Characters never really take themselves seriously and have a good sense of humor. The majority of the characters have strong over the top hill billy accents and use red neck phrases. Borderlands has a cell shaded graphical style but everything in the end just looks dead and dirty, just like they wanted it to look.
This is the first game I’ve played in this kind of genre and I really made an attempt to play with friends. I found this attempt to be nearly impossible on the PC. Perhaps in another life if I had been much younger with neighborhood friends, we could have play system link on our Xboxes. But I doubt that we would have had the hardware, and the game is pretty crude so I doubht my parents would have let me play it. Anyway, I like Borderlands and it has quite a bit to offer to fans of RPGs and FPS gamers.
Nov 25, 2011