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.