Review: Borderlands

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Borderlands and Fallout 3 are very similar. I cant help but to make a few comparisons and point out a few similarities between the two. They both feature life in a post-apocalyptic world, have roving and raging gangs of raiders, collectible bobble heads(of sorts), and Skags, creatures that can make life difficult. All similarities aside, Gearbox certainly delivers a unique experience with this game.

Borderlands is a creepy candy coated mirror image of Fallout 3 (which is a RPG with FPS elements). The minute you draw your weapon in the beginning of game (which is after you step off a bus being driven by some weird creepy robust guy which gives you a back story from the get go), you will notice that you will only succeed through skill. It will not matter how great of a marksman you are, your weapon will only be as good as your skills. The amount of damage your weapons deliver to your enemy will be later on based on the evolution of your skills as the game progresses. This is a perfect balance to the enemies you will face, which, trust me, will get harder and harder as it goes on.

So, like I said, you start off as one of the main 4 characters on a bus of your choosing. Each character is a different class. You are also guided by an annoying robot that is supposed to be the comic relief of the game. There’s a simple image called Angel which guides and clarifies the missions you partake in once you are on foot. It is a bit strange because you must do what Angel says and he/she comes to you as neither friend or foe. Enough about the story, lets get to some other elements worth mentioning here as well.

The first thing I noticed once I started the game were the sounds. This game will draw you in just by listening to the actual ambient noises. It does a great job of pulling you into the world your playing in, with great music and sound effects while you are rolling out into your mission. As you are on foot it makes you become aware of your surrounding, by insisting on making you use your sense of hearing in order to stay out of trouble and away from the Skags. The music pumps you up before a fight, creeps you out when Skags, or any other enemy approaches.

Another aspect of the game that kept me playing, was the graphics. I wasn’t sold on the cell shaded look of the game but it eventually grew on me. The game play was incredibly smooth. All trigger happy gamers out there will fulfill all of their needs and desires with Borderlands. The AI responds accurately no matter what course of action you take, and the overall transition between game play and cut scenes are well done.

Overall great game play transcends online co-op and split screen features. I am not a fan of split screen but in this game, I found it easy to follow my screen and it was loads of fun. The only downside to Borderlands was the fact that you only have two main weapon spots available in your inventory at a time, when you begin the game. The smart thing Gearbox did was to have a full arsenal readily available to you right from the start, as you begin to scour the city you will find weapons and all sorts of helpful goodies, as well as plenty of ammo to go around.

Borderlands is an overall great buy. The replay value is very high since, there are four other characters for you to play through the game with. Also, since you get to tailor them not only with skill points, but also with how you interact with them depending on what back story and attitude you pick for your player, I’m sure your experience in Borderlands will be very different every time, not only on single player mode but also in multi-player co-op and split screen, making it a great game to have in your arsenal.

Final Score – [Rating:4.5/5]

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