Review: Borderlands

Console: 360

Written by Eric Lee Lewis

Imagine a desolate landscape of sand and few buildings. Civilization is basically extinct. Land is ruled by monsters and primitive human-beings. Sane people with proper mentality are few and far between. If you can imagine these things, welcome to Pandora. Pandora is a planet of all of these things and much more. 

The story of Borderlands is based upon the mythical “Vault”. A huge corporation called Atlas had discovered the Vault on a near planet called Prometheus. Supposedly the vault hold mass amounts of riches and technologies. 

At this point the player gets to choose what character class they want to play as. These classes are represented by four different main characters. Brick is the basic tank character. He can take and deal massive damage and unleash a flurry of punch attacks in rage mode. Brick’s weapon of choice is the rocket launcher. Lilith is the most interesting of the characters. Lilith has a unique ability to go invisible and move fast. Her main choice of weapon is mainly any gun with elemental attacks. Mordecai is known as a hunter. Mordecai has a bird friend named Bloodwing that can help him kill enemies and collect items/money. This hunter is specialized in sniper and revolver combat and also wields a knife. Our last character is the basic soldier. The soldier, named Roland, is the typical first-person-shooter character. He is skilled in assault rifles and shotguns but can use mainly any weapon. 

Have you ever heard of a game with promises of thousands of guns? Borderlands made this promise and delivered. Rarely, if ever, a person can find two of the same gun. Some guns have stats that make the gun shoot faster or reload faster which may sacrifice the amount of ammo that weapon can hold. Sometimes the weapon may have an elemental ability such as shock, fire, acid or corrosive ammo. Each of these will continuously do damage to the enemy as long as they are not immune to that type of firepower. This adds a whole new dynamic to the game and makes Borderlands that much more intriguing. 

Graphically, Borderlands is beautiful. Normally cell-shading is very cartoony and can take a person out of the game. Gearbox Software has made cell-shading fit perfectly with Borderlands. The colors are downright beautiful when they want to be and they can also be desolate when they are supposed to be. 

There are so many things to get lost in. At one point and time I had to choose which one of thirteen missions I should do at the time. Main missions and side missions are separated but some give special weapons while others just offer up money and experience. Sometimes some of the fun in this game is found just through finding missions or hunting for hidden weapon boxes. 

Borderlands can get even better through multiplayer. While split-screen multiplayer makes the screen look ridiculous and less pretty, it works. This game is a shining example of what co-op is meant to be in gaming. While split-screen is an option, it is much better to go with the online co-op option. This leaves the game looking great still while capturing all of the fun of the normal game. The only issue with cooperative play in Borderlands is the fact that if one player is faster than the other they get all of the guns and other items. This leaves the gameplay a little unbalanced but can end up being fine if the other player(s) doesn’t mind sharing the wealth. 

Borderlands is a game that should be in any gamers’ collection. Amazing gameplay mixed with an interesting story and great weaponry keeps this game constantly replayable. A $30 version of this game is available that includes some of the downloadable content that was released for Borderlands. This game is a must-buy at a thirty dollar price. 

Verdict: 91%