Welcome to Pandora, a post-apocalyptic “paradise” overflowing with guns, skags, crazed lunatics, terrible driving controls, guns, and more guns, some more guns, then more people to kill, more bad driving, a little story.. no wait.. sorry that was another gun.
That is the nature of Borderlands. If you’re in it for the story then you are in it for the wrong reasons. 17 million guns are featured in Borderlands, ranging from snipers, pistols, Assault Rifles, poison guns, electricity guns, incendiary guns, and more. Borderlands is a loot crack addicts dream and Borderlands 2 will be the only game to satisfy the craving this game creates. The premise is simple, you are a vault hunter in an off-world, crazed planet called Pandora. This vault of course holds unimaginable riches. The planet holds an unimaginable amount of weapons and things to shoot with them.
Borderlands kicks off with a great introduction to the 4 different classes you choose from. I spent my time as the solider class, rocking a very sweet gun turret that eventually had explosive damage. Oh yeah, carnage definitely went down on some peeps. If that isn’t really your style you could choose to be a Siren, whose ability is Phasewalk: allows you to temporarily enter another dimension, which renders you invisible to enemies, makes you move faster and unable to take damage from enemies, you could also choose to be the Berserker: allows you to punch people IN DA FACE! Or you can be the Hunter a sniper who’s bird is a great help, bringing the loot to you while damaging foes in the process.
Borderlands was designed to be played with friends, either online or split screen. I played through the majority of the game alone, however when I did play with a friend it was amazing. Borderlands is meant to be played with friends. Go split screen or get online and be ready for more enemies, chaos, loot, and fun to be had than you could ever imagine simply playing through the game alone. The experience is also better with friends since the game has no real story, or at least no notable one. After I started any quest I would soon forget what it was I was doing or why I was doing it, and just enjoy getting my loot fix, then turning around and testing out the new stuff on the first thing I could kill.
Speaking of which, there is plenty to kill here on Pandora, the native creatures called Skags are my favorite, ranging from really annoying little ones that yell at you to big “Badass” ones that scream at you. Which is actually really awesome, because if you manage to shoot them in the pie hole, especially with an elemental weapon, hilarity and violence ensues. Also featured on the killing floor are bandits, really pain-in-the ass flying creatures, big ugly monsters, and more. Outrageousness is the best feature Borderlands characters share. Each villain, good guy, robot, and person will greet you with something that is sure to make you smile. Comedy is something Borderlands does very well throughout the entire game.
As I have stated more than once, this game is all about the loot. Every corner you take, bad guy you kill, and crate you open, a glorious amount of new stuff awaits you. It isn’t always the best stuff either, which makes you hunt even harder for that next “best thing”. Everything is rendered wonderfully from landscapes down to the wide range of weapons. Borderlands has a very unique look that mimics something out of a graphic novel. I wish the weapons were more varied visually, but there are 17 million variations, so I guess it’s OK. Plus, Borderlands 2 will feature a “gazillion” guns and each one will actually reload and look different, GET EXCITED! Beyond the actual look, Borderlands plays great. Solid controls in the shooting department make it fun to test out all the new weapons, and offers up a control scheme to which we FPS fans have become accustomed. Sadly, the driving portions are not the best, and you have to do a bit of driving before you can actually unlock a way to really fast travel. Hopefully that will be fixed in the upcoming sequel!
Loot, graphics, and fun aside, Borderlands is actually a very dry experience that is loaded down in heavy makeup to make it look and feel extraordinary. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely enjoyed running through this game and would have probably enjoyed it even more had I played it with a friend, or three. However, I didn’t. I played it solo, I have no friends.. I know it’s sad.. and as a stand alone game it did leave me wanting more. Without a real reason to go out on quest, I began to feel detached from my character. I also would find myself wishing there was something more to the story. It doesn’t need to be some grand plot, but something a bit more than what was offered would have been nice. I can only hope that the next version of Borderlands will do everything the previous iteration did right while fixing the shortcomings.
Borderlands “lands” a SOLID 7/10