Borderlands – First Impression


I have to admit, the graphics throw me for a loop. My brain and eyes are arguing over whether it is two dimensional or three dimensional. That’s quite a trip! I really do like the style, it looks like I’m playing in a comic book which is neat – though not for everyone.

The gameplay is definitely shooter and the questing seems very low-grade RPG based – the typical go to X and get such or talk to so and so and a bunch of go to X and kill # of Ys. I’ll admit, I’m not too far into it yet but the quest and missions are don’t compare to Mass Effect but are more in line with what you might see in a MMO like World of Warcraft or EverQuest.

The big plus is the character advancement and the fact that you can carry that character over to multiplayer mode or the co-op mode.

Speaking of multiplayer and co-op, I haven’t tried these yet and I haven’t looked into them at all. What did you expect? It’s a first impression piece not a full blown review.

Character advancement follows the whole level system where you get more HPs as you level and every few levels you gain a skill point that opens up abilities or passive enhancements such as increase critical chances or damage. The first point always goes into the special ability for the character you picked (think EQ2’s AAXP) and all points after that can be placed into one of three trees (think Talents in WoW) which tend to focus on a more specific aspect of your ‘class’.

I started with Mordecai who is “the Hunter”. He uses a sniper rifle, pistol and sword when in close. His special ability is a hawk which will fly off and attack your enemies. I haven’t explored much beyond this character.

The HUD is pretty simple, if you’ve played a FPS you’ll be right at home with it. The layout makes sense and what you see is pretty obvious. The compass doubles as a radar, much like you’ve seen in games like Oblivion and Fallout 3, where you’ll see enemy blips, items, quest locations or other points of interest.

Overall, no complaints other that the simple questing. I’m hoping that might change some but I’m not holding my breath.

Good choice of theme songs, two of my favorites; No Heaven by DJ Champion which is used in their trailer and No Rest for the Wicked by Cage the Elephant used in their opening.

Would I recommend the game? I don’t think I’d go out of my way to do so just yet (I want more time to play it to see how I feel about it), but if you like the MMO-style questing and FPS action, you would probably have fun with it.

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7 thoughts on “Borderlands – First Impression

  1. It’s a great game, though the ending is the definition of anticlimactic, as I’m sure you’ve already heard.

    The problem you will run into is that Borderlands is a co-op game, and as such does not lend itself well to the “PUG” style of playing which is just fine and dandy (usually) in a competitive shooter. If you don’t play with friends, you will have a dramatically lessened experience, because co-oping with strangers pretty much blows. I was going to originally get the game both on the 360 and PC but none of my friends were getting it on the PC. So far only heartless_ and now you have it there, whereas I run a busy Friend of Friend list for the game on XBL for an adults-only gaming group I’m in, so there’s never any lack of mature people to co-op with.

    Whatever you do, don’t hack your file to give yourself the uber loot. It takes all the fun out of not knowing what you’ll get next. From what I hear, a lot of the public people on PC have hacked files too, on top of the ninja looting and general douchebaggery.

  2. I will most likely play it on my own for awhile. I don’t really plan on PUGing and no one I know has the game on PC either.

    I don’t mind because I like shooting things. 🙂

  3. As do I 🙂 But as much of a Borderlands fanboy as I can be, it just doesn’t hold up solo when it’s clearly meant to be played co-op.

    See what ya get for not having games on the 360? HAHA!

  4. PC gets you a better gaming experience? Yes! 🙂

    I might twist some rubber arms (or bribe people) and see if I can get them to play too.

  5. Write up an article first time you take it online since they apparently recently patched the pc edition to no longer need all the GameSpy-related port-forwarding and other headaches I never had on the 360… *cough* LOL :p

  6. It took me roughly two hours before I really began to enjoy the game. Up until the bounty boards opened up I was questioning my purchase, but after that I must have spent a week solid just playing.

  7. The style of the art alone was enough to hook me in. And I do enjoy the aspect of ‘leveling’ in a shooter. It gives you a little more to look forward to than just getting new guns – though there is that too.

    I gave them each a try (though not to any great length) and discovered I prefer Mordecai the most.

    I’ve got him up to level 10 or so now, maybe 11. He’s got a wicked rifle that explodes things really well and a (blue con) repeater pistol that inflicts fire damage and potentially lights the target on fire. I also scored a (purple con) shield generator.

    I’m through the Skag Gully quests and just started mucking around with the vehicle – which looks like it will be fun. I’m surprised that Scott had issues with the Mako in Mass Effect but was okay with the vehicle controls in this game because they strike me as very similar in steering.

    So much for going to bed early.

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