Borderlands ReviewDustin Hill
The lands are home to terrible monsters, raiders and even slugs that ooze from the ground. The welcome mat is covered in gore and frankly, smells like Skag. Grab your guns, some more guns and that hat you call stylish; Welcome to Pandora.
If you ever held any love for a firearm, Borderlands will reward you ten-fold for even the most passive of appreciations for lead bearing weaponry. With over half a million guns, granted of a certain type whether it be pistols to rocket launchers, you wont typically have time to grow bored with your current weapon. There are shotguns, sniper rifles, pistols, Sub-machine guns and rocket launchers, combat rifles and revolvers. There are also alien rifles, shotguns that shoot rockets, rocket launchers that shoot five pools of acid with each trigger pull and you guessed it, pistols that never run out of ammo!
Character customization is nice too. There are three level up paths to take for each of the four classes, grenade modifications, items that modify your class and even artifacts that enhance your class skill. So basically you can have a berserker who when he punches, not only does 150% of his normal damage, but enemies are covered in acid. Or you could have the snipers bird of prey wreathed in flame when he dive bombs his targets. Despite your play style, youll be able to find a class and customize him, or her, to fit you perfectly.
It should be noted, for some perhaps, that the games graphics are semi-cell shaded and occasionally take on a cartoony backdrop. However, a majority of the time they look great from the rocks to the Skags trying to chew your foot. The story is also an interesting backdrop. Youre one of four mercenaries who searches for The Vault; a virtual treasure trove of goodies for blowing baddies apart. Truly, its the journey and not the ending with Borderlands. The way to the end of the game is filled with treasures, a steady and gratifying progression of levels, enemies and powers and enough bosses and headshots to keep you busy. However as a warning, dont expect epic storytelling for the ending. Though there is a crescendo of action, the story could be considered a little weak. Also, it seems that the replay value isnt really there. There arent enough different ways to play through the game to keep it from degrading to a simple hack n slash after your first or second play through.
Despite what flaws Borderlands may have, its one of the best cooperative games on Xbox live or even locally. The first time you play through the game with friends is really a magical experience. It cant be said enough just how much fun you will have during cooperative play and while you can play the game single player, its really over the top when theres three gunmen, or gun-women, watching your back.
While Borderlands shows up lacking replay value and some story elements it nails guns, cooperative play and that first time experience.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.