Borderlands Review

Borderlands is a 2009 action role-playing first-person shooter video game developed by Gearbox Software, and published by 2K Games, released for PlayStation 3, Shield Android TV, Mac OS X, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.  Serving as the first installment in the Borderlands series the game follows a group of Vault Hunters who travel to the planet Pandora in search of a legendary Vault.


Positives:

  • Fun gameplay
  • Interesting story
  • Likable characters
  • Great humor
  • Witty dialogue
  • Detailed setting

Negatives:

  • Repetitive gameplay
  • Story is deep
  • Lacking cinematics

Campaign: The game follows a group of Vault Hunters who travel to the planet Pandora in search of a legendary Vault.  Features a pretty extensive but tedious campaign which can be played single, two-player (split-screen), or up to four players online. The online definitely makes the gameplay experience tons better. The story is really interesting though not that deep.  There is a crap ton of memorable characters, different settings, and dialogue make up for it. Borderlands includes four character classes (berserker, siren, hunter, soldier), each with unique skills, abilities and back stories. The main characters (Brick, Roland, Lilith, and Mordecai) and supporting characters are just fantastic. They’re witty, they’re hilarious, they have personality. (4 out of 5)

Gameplay: When in combat, the player can take damage if their shield is depleted, affecting their health. If they lose all their health, they must either wait to be revived by another player or attempt to kill an enemy to achieve a “second wind”, or otherwise will be regenerated back at the last “New-U” station that they passed, losing a percentage of their money in the process.  The game offers a solid gaming experience especially for those who enjoy first-person shooters. NCPs can be challenging especially with the various enemy types. Loading screens aren’t overly long and players can rejoice with the lack of glitches and game freezes.  Loot, weapons, and equipments can be attained by completing missions, found in containers, or drop by deceased enemies. As characters level up, they gain increases to basic stats, such as health totals and accuracy. Each class also has three unique focus skill trees to develop. There are also accessory items specific to each class. (4 out of 5)

Graphics:. Borderlands is a pretty unique looking game as the cell-shaded graphics does look good. The world of Pandora looks great, both the in-game environment and as well as the background setting. The creature designs look great. Important characters have really cool intros though their designs aren’t that impressive. The lack of cinematics does take away from the storytelling.  (3 out of 5)

Score: The music is pretty good especially the western theme. Good job with the voice performances. The sound effects are really good; creature, weapon, and environmental effects. (3 out of 5)

Replay Value: Now, Borderlands does have a high level of replayability and is a game geared towards pretty much the co-op.  The various characters and their unique abilities change the gameplay experience and even more so with the multiplayer. More players alter the game’s statistics of the generated enemies, balancing the game due to the larger number of players. Players can take part in one-on-one duels anywhere in the game world, or can visit arenas in the game world to participate in free-for-all, 2-on-2 or 3-on-1 combat battles with their fellow players.  There are a ton of collectibles on each level; rare weapons, equipment, and loot.  The game can be played on a normal difficulty and then played again on a harder difficulty.  However, one thing about the game is how repetitive it can be.  Regardless of how much players explore, no matter how powerful, no matter how many missions; the game can get repetitive, especially when it comes to travelling multiple times through the various areas. (4 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Borderlands is a great game especially when it comes to the multiplayer.  Sure the graphics won’t look good to everyone, the game lacks cinematics, and the gameplay is highly repetitive.  However, the game does have challenging gameplay, good graphics (for most), great characters, great humor, and an awesome multiplayer gaming experience.   Borderlands gets 4 out of 5.

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