Billed as an RPS (Role Playing Shooter), the Borderlands video game combines a first person shooter with the character progression of a traditional role playing game. It is rated M for blood and gore, intense violence, mature humor and strong language. Borderlands retails for around $59.99 and is available for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. I recently played it for the PS3. It’s certainly a very entertaining game.
Review of the Borderlands Story and Characters
The game centers around a planet called Pandora, a dangerous wasteland corrupted by bandits and mercenaries. The desolate landscape’s civilization consists of small outposts and villages. The only thing Pandora has going for it is the legendary Vault; a place full of riches hidden somewhere on the planet. Your character is in search of this Vault. While searching, missions are given by its colorful inhabitants. Borderlands strikes me as a fun “shoot’em up” type game that’s also full of clever, off color humor.
Four different characters are available to play. There’s Roland the mercenary, Lilith the phasewalker, Mordecai the hunter and Brick the berserker. Each one has different abilities and specialties. Besides choosing what colors to make the characters’ clothing, you can not make a character from scratch. This is a little disappointing, as I enjoy crafting my very own character. When enemies are dispatched, you gain experience points (XP). Just like in RPGs, XP is needed to level up. Once the character reaches level 5, you can begin to choose action skills.
Borderlands Game Play and Graphics Review
The game play is easy to get the hang of. The action starts quickly in the single player campaign. There is a nice variety of enemies and they are very responsive to the strategy and tactics used. This makes for a challenging experience. A game can get boring easily with predictable and unresponsive enemies. If you play with a friend in split screen mode, the enemies are much tougher and they drop more loot when killed. This is a great feature as it retains the challenge and the two players don’t have to fight over which one gets the loot.
A drawback to split screen is the players’ in game menus fit awkwardly on the screen. Scrolling around is the only way to look at it properly. There is one more drawback. If both players are not on the same level, the mission achievements might not be even. Only the game’s host will receive mission completion. The missions are fun and quirky, though. More that one mission can be in the queue, which is handy in case you get stuck and want to try a different one. There is a dizzying array of weaponry. At the beginning of the game, two weapons can be equipped. As the game progresses, you can equip four. Another great feature is the ability to drive vehicles and use them in missions or as means of fast travel.
With multiplayer, up to four people can play online. Mission difficulties increase as more players join. Your character, stats, and weaponry can be used in online play. It makes for a very fun, fast paced, and challenging experience. You can also challenge another player to duel at any time. Borderlands can be played through a LAN connection as well. Up to four PS3 systems can connect at a time.
The graphics are beautiful and flow smoothly. Cel-shading is used in Borderlands, but it certainly doesn’t have the cartoony feel of other cel-shaded games. The graphics work well with the game’s style. On the PS3, the game doesn’t lag due to the graphics.
Review of Borderlands Replay Value
There is plenty of replay value with Borderlands. With about 160 missions, the player can always go back and play again with all their weapons and stats. On November 24th, downloadable content (DLC) will be released. It is called the Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, included are new quests, items and enemies. The DLC will be available for both the Xbox 360 and PS3.
I really enjoy Borderlands. I wish the split screen play was a bit more polished, but it’s still great fun with another person. The graphics are amazing. The sheer number of missions makes the game’s replay value high. If you’re going to pay $59.99, it’s important that the game doesn’t get old quickly.