Before we talk Borderlands, let’s take a second to talk Gamerrob. It was this blog’s two year anniversary about five days ago, and I’m still here posting reviews for people of the internet to see. Phew. Alright, now let’s get to the review!
Borderlands is the intriguing tale of a some looters who go hunting for some alien tech and stuff. The end.
Story aside, the core of the game is this:
A.) Pick up a gun.
B.) Shoot a lot of monsters until you level up.
C.) Pick up more guns.
D.) Rinse and repeat the following steps with friends.
Borderlands doesn’t try to be something it’s not, and it totally admits to being a slightly above average first person shooter. But it’s in that admittal, that honesty and sincerety, that Borderlands grows wings and becomes its own gaming butterfly. It fuses insanely loose arcade driving gameplay, weapon generating, four player co-op and standard FPS gameplay into a neat open-world package. It’s a solid enough game, and definitely appeals to anyone ranging from the Skyrim to Crysis crowds.
Borderlands has two real strong points, those being its co-op and insane amount of guns. The marketers of this game were genius, as they obviously knew what made this game good. Those of us who are compulsive and want the very best stats and not 1% less than that will be driven insane looking for better and better guns, which never seem to run out. Doing a task like that might sound tedious, but when coupled with the other highlight of this game, the co-op, Borderlands is a damn good time. Running through the massive (and environmentally varied) cell-shaded environments with three people and a lot of gunfire is a hell of a lot of fun, if a little on the “plain, stupid fun” side. There aren’t really goals (well, there are, but they’re all collect X amount of something or shoot X amount of something type quests), but occasionally you’ll come across a huge boss character and having friends along for the ride for these bosses really brings Borderlands to the pinnacle of its enjoyment factor.
There are two real issues with Borderlands: The dreadful online community and lack of in-game depth. The online community constantly abuses the development flaws of allowing anyone to do anything, which leads to the host getting jerked around to maps he didn’t want to go to. Trying to get to Earl’s scrapyard? Well, some random dipstick who’s playing with you is deciding to teleport the whole group to the Rust Commons, so screw you. This is why you play with friends. The other issue goes hand in hand with playing online with people, as it really shows Borderlands’ lack of depth. As you run around shooting things with other people online, you realize you’re doing dozens of missions within hours, with no plot, connection or any sort of intrigue present. You’re just running, shooting, driving and shooting again. This isn’t a terrible thing, it just stops you from really getting enveloped in Borderlands vast territories and supposed lore.
The final verdict is get Borderlands as a fun weekend buy with friends. It’s cheap enough that you can get the GOTY edition for under twenty bucks, and it’s a hell of a lot of mindless fun if you’re just in the mood to watch things go boom in all of their cell-shaded glory.