Ever wanted to travel to another planet with a couple friends and a lot of big guns in search an ancient alien buried treasure? I mean honestly, who hasn’t thought of doing that? In this week’s Gaming Under $20 we look into the role-play shooter Borderlands. Having been released October 20th, 2009 From Gearbox Studios, does this dated game have what it takes to pass the worthy ‘thumbs up’ test?
Borderlands takes place on the planet of Pandora, which was formerly occupied by DAHL (huge mega corporation). Pandora is a planet rich with minerals and alien technology and ripe for the taking. This delicious loot brings in all sorts of characters, specifically our ragtag group of ‘vault hunters’, each with a specific set of skills that makes them not only deadly but fun to play.
Mordecai (The Hunter) has a knack for snipers and pistols. Lilith (The Siren) has the ability to Phase Walk and deal severe damage to enemies, as well as the ability to use elemental weapons with high skill. Roland (The Soldier) is your shotgun and rifle man, ready to bring the pain with his deploy-able turret, which works great for accumulating health or dealing damage to enemies. Last but not least is the lovable Brick (The Berserker). This tank-like character has an affinity for rockets and explosives, and does ferocious melee damage while in “Berserker Mode.” It is incredibly fun to play through the story as each character, and get to know them. Not to mention, the fantastic voice acting really brings these characters to life.
Once on Pandora, you choose a character and begin you’re journey. You are greeted by a mysterious woman through your Echo Communicator called “The Guardian”. She seems to think you were destined to do something great and she’s here to help you along the way. Your first mission involves helping friendly little Claptrap – a robot who is one of the best characters in game. This little guy is helpful and hilarious! With little quips about life and strange comments and actions, he really brings a big element to the game.
The main story takes you across Pandora helping non-playable characters with certain problems and quests for money or new guns. The characters in this game are fantastic. Each one has a different, unique personality. From the mechanic Scooter and his ramblings about his mother’s lady parts, to Marcus Kincaid the gun supplier/vendor for anyone seeking a little firepower in their life, to the oh-so-lovable, slightly crazy, attractive Patricia Tannis. Tannis is a respected xeno-archeologist who was sent out by the DAHL corporation to uncover secrets about the Vault. Her crew was all eaten or killed by the creatures of Pandora. Now, just ever so slightly crazy and eccentric, she helps lead you to discover the pieces of the Vault Key.
Borderlands is built around fighting creatures and bandits through countless missions and journeys to new places. Each enemy has its own rank and class, and these depend on your rank and how many people you are playing with (up to 4 player co-op online). The more people you play with, the more enemies and better loot Borderlands generates! So it does pay to play with a friend. Now loot…we all love loot! This game does great things in that area. With over 3.5 million different guns available throughout the game, you will never get bored of finding that new weapon. Guns have different makers, and there are different specs for each company. Some guns will do elemental damage such as catching enemies on fire or covering them in acid!
Along with the outrageous amount of weaponry available, each character has their own skill tree. Each character gets three classes to choose skills from, thus improving areas of your character. For example, Mordecai can either upgrade his pet Bloodwing, his sniping or his skills as a Gunslinger (revolvers and pistols). Each trait boosts your character’s weapon speed, damage threshold, health regeneration, or elemental damage. Players can also spend a little cash to reset all your points if you want to try out a new strategy at any point during the game.
Borderland‘s style is truly original in both gameplay and looks. The look of it is realistic, cartoon-y, and cell-shaded — bringing elements into 3D with a heavy 2D look to them. When you catch an enemy on fire or coat them in acid, they shriek and react to the different elements. Shooting off limbs and heads with over powered weapons can create unique scenes to watch. The different types of enemies (and their ranks and classes) give the game a new feel with each rank you earn. This keeps the player on edge and looking for new strategies while playing.
Borderlands is a very unique game that has much to offer a variety of gamers. There are outrageous characters and storylines, millions of guns to wield, even hidden rooms paying tribute to the classic movie, ” A Christmas Story”. This game has an extreme replay-value, thanks to the ranking system and more DLC than you can shake a stick at. With a fun, twisting storyline and countless types of baddies to slay, Borderlands goes above and beyond in this weeks review. This game is not only rent worthy, but purchase worthy, and no doubt a classic that will be played over and over again!
Borderlands for $19.99 is Worth It!