Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
Genre: Action RPG, First-Person Shooter
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Greetings traveller! “So… You want to hear a story, eh? One about treasure hunters? Haha, have I got a story for you.” We begin in the quiet town of Fyrestone. Population: 5? Choose your character from Mordecai (Hunter), Lilith (Siren), Roland (Commando), and Brick (Beserker) and kill bad guys, help the locals, and seek out the mysterious Vault.
Borderlands is one of those games that you can, and probably will, play for hours on end until you hate it and don’t pick it up again for a year. The is a high number of missions available throughout the course of the game, ranging from kill x number of a enemy, to scavenger hunts, to arena challenges. Each mission rewards you with weapons, shields, grenade mods, or artefacts to customise your character. They’re worthwhile doing even if it’s just for the XP or money. For the completionists there are extra challenges for killing so many types of an enemy, doing so much elemental damage and collecting so many weapons of a certain colour. Completing these challenges awards you with bonus XP which can help if you’re struggling with a particular boss.
The game is not easy. It has a one difficulty fits all, becoming more difficult the more players you have (a maximum of 4). I’ve thrown down my controller in rage at this game, but that may be due to my lack of skill. It does give you a level recommendation for each mission, but some enemies, particularly bosses, can be pretty challenging. Of course, everything’s more fun with a friend and the co-op in Borderlands is excellent. I’ve played through with 3 different characters (all Mordecai actually), twice in co-op and once by myself and the co-op is always more fun. Sure you have to share the loot and arguments can break out over who gets the revolver with over 400 damage, but the general gameplay feels better with two people.
The best thing about Borderlands is the comedy, hands down. Right from the get go we’re thrown into a world of colourful characters, hilarious dialogue and a pleasing cell-shaded art style. My personal favourite, Dr Zed, who may not be a real doctor, but you’ll be happy he’s there. Each eccentric character will help, and sometimes hinder, you on your journey to discover the vault. And let’s not forget, you’ll get nowhere without a trusty Claptrap, especially seen as the many expansive hub areas require unlocking.
So grab a gun, pick your class and uncover the mystery of the Vault. Good luck, Vault Hunter.