A brilliant pastiche of role-playing and shooting, taking the best of both worlds and melding it into an unstoppable force of a game
The language and content is strictly adult only, but you just know that young kids will be playing this, even if they shouldn't
|The Verdict||Stunningly amazing game. What are you even doing reading this? 2K Games has delivered another brilliant, breathtaking and beautiful opus of a game|
Borderlands is good. Borderlands is very good.
Borderlands is so good that it’s kept me away from “Game of the Year” Uncharted 2 for over two weeks. And it’s not like Uncharted 2 is a poor game, it’s not, but Borderlands (and let’s keep this between you and me), Borderlands is better.
Borrowing a large chunk from last year’s “Game of the Year” Fallout 3 but making it an easier but no less compelling thrill ride of a game, Borderlands is a gem of a game. The comparisons between Bethesda’s Fallout 3 and Borderlands are inevitable and unavoidable but what sets Borderlands apart from the 2008 masterpiece can be summed up in one simple word: fun. It’s not that Fallout 3 isn’t a fun game, but Borderlands is a tour de force of a good time. Easy to get into and hard to stop, Borderlands is like your best friend who buys all the beer, brings all the pizza and has a hot sister.
Coming from Gearbox Software (the team behind the under-appreciated Brother’s In Arms series), Borderlands is all about attitude. From the very opening cinematic featuring Cage The Elephant’s perfectly placed Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked, Borderlands’ world of Pandora is a dirty, rough and badass place to be.
Borderlands opens with players given the choice to play as one of four different character classes (you’ll choose Roland, everyone does). Players can choose between Lilith (agile), Mordecai (sniper), Brick (melee) or Roland (the guy you’ll pick) and enter into the vast desert world of Pandora.
The game eases you into the combat and the weaponry beautifully. Easily dispatched enemies are encountered around the first corner and the immense satisfaction of annihilating your vicious opponents is immediate despite your severely underwhelming initial firepower. As you explore the desert world more maps, locations and missions open up around you and the enemies become more intelligent, accurate and armed.
As the world becomes more hostile, so does your character become better equipped to deal with it. This is where Borderlands shines as a hybrid RPG-shooter; leveling up is simple and meaningful, gamers can notice a profound and pronounced difference between levels. You deal more damage, get access to more powerful armaments and generally become the most badass mo-fo on the planet.
Gearbox has declared that Borderlands features more weapons than in every game ever made for next-gen consoles to date. And while this claim may seem preposterous (and almost unprovable), you will come across literally thousands of weapon variations with thousands of different possibilities of arming your characters. With a number of different weapon classes (from Sniper through to assault weapons), gamers can approach missions and battles in a number of different ways. You could just as easily snipe from a distance or assault from close range to overcome your opponents, the choice is yours.
And choice is what Borderlands is all about. Across huge, daunting maps and through tight, enclosed bunkers, Borderlands gently pushes the player forward without making it necessary to actually go forward. Want to just complete the main storyline? You can. Want to tank through every mission available? Easy peasy. Want to just go and shoot up a whole bunch of shit? Hell, Borderlands encourages it. By combining the best elements of the role-playing genre with the fast gameplay of a shooter, Borderlands never feels like a chore.
Make no mistake about it, Borderlands is my game of the year so far. And with only a scant few titles remaining to come (Assassin’s Creed II and James Cameron’s Avatar looking the most likely), it may take the crown come December 31st. This is a game you owe it to yourself to get. In a world where 4-hour long single player games become the fastest selling-title ever made, Borderlands is day’s long gaming utopia.