Review by Al0ne72
"Strip the flesh, salt the wound!"
I can't say Borderlands is unlike any other game you've ever played, but it's definitely unique. I say this, because the game is like MANY other games you might have played. This was the common description I heard from numerous sources before I ever played the game, people said that it was like an FPS version of Diablo, some people said it was like Fallout with the plot, I personally felt like it resembled World of Warcraft in many ways. Borderlands is a FPS RPG First Person Shooter Role Playing Game) in the sense that there's a story, and you control a character from first person view, while your primary role is to shoot. This game resembles World of Warcraft because of its questing system, loot rarities defined by color of its text (white, green, blue, purple, etc) but unlike most games where you accept missions or quests, in this game you are able to do multiple missions at once, and even complete them at the same time. You are never "tunneled" into one mission, not even the main story missions.
The hilarious dialog was my favorite part about the game. It contains so many different types of humor, with a variety of characters and jokes. They do a good job at keeping the language to a soft PG-13 level, and the comedy is mostly meant for older crowds, which works out as this is an M rated game. If you don't roll out of your chair laughing, you will agree that its humor tops most sitcoms out there.
The graphics. What makes this game unique is that it's a combination of FPS, open world questing, unusual characters, and cell-shaded graphics. Before I ever played this game, I was a little hesitant to play a game that appeared to be - what I thought - was 2D graphics. I thought it was one giant Flash game. I was happily inaccurate to learn that cell-shaded graphics were... well, awesome! The black outlines made for aiming to be easier, but dull at times. The environment was very artistic, which made traveling in an open-world very enjoyable.
I have heard from countless reviews that this game is intended to be a multiplayer game. What I like about Borderlands is that it can be both. Usually in video games, it's one or the other. Playing this game solo has its challenges, but that's the best part, there's so much customization throughout your gameplay, that you can accomplish anything in whatever way you want, so long as you play a little bit more. Most games that flourish only within their multiplayer, only flourish in their player vs player aspect (for most, this is all they have) but in Borderlands, you can play Co-op with up to 3 other people and play through the story.
The weapons. While the variety is the biggest appeal in Borderlands, the weapons themselves are the best part of the game. For anyone who hasn't played this yet, you cannot fathom the variation of possibilities. Within a few hours of playing this game, it will be very clear that the developers decided to go the extra mile in favoring what made this game unique. They took whatever made this game good, and cranked it to 11, and it made up for any flaws this game had. When I first heard "thousands of different weapons" I didn't take it seriously, I thought, they were either exaggerating or meant something else. Nope, there really is a lot of different weapons to choose from. While a lot of them are ones that you'll take one glance at and pass by, there will always be the desire to check and compare, and possibly even try it out on a few enemies nearby. Each gun has different statistics, such as damage, firing rate, accuracy, reload speed, magazine size and such, but sometimes the statistics don't count for a gun that feels right. Maybe there's a weapon that doesn't match up to another, but for some reason you like it more. Either way, I love how apparent it was that the developers took the idea of "tons of different weapons" literally.
The weapon variety is the biggest appeal in Borderlands, however, you'll soon realize that this isn't a big enough appeal for a character that can only wield one gun at a time, and bind up to 3 extra weapons to quickly switch to. Comparing your current weapons to new ones you find was funner than I thought, but I soon realized that they just recycle the same weapons into different numbers. Occasionally these recycled weapons will bare a slight difference, such as an attachment, like a scope or aiming sight, but the appeal that we all believed to be astounding, had its flaws.
Variety of sounds. Since most of the guns reuse the same model over and over but with different statistics, this causes most gun sounds to recycle to the point where the variety starts to lost its appeal. The dialog variety is decent, but in the duration of a full play-through, some dialogs will get repetitive.
In Borderlands, you visit different locations throughout the story. Going from one place to another is always exciting, because the locations and people within these locations are very interesting. However, this appeal is short-lived, as there is no point in revisiting old places. This was the biggest shame in Borderlands to me, I would have liked to have been given an excuse to go back to places I once visited.
I honestly can't remember the story too well, which isn't a good sign. The story wasn't a lame for action, but it didn't 'affect' me in any way. It did take me for a ride, but there were no loops, no drops, just average. Colorless. The content of the story itself, in an RPG sense, was remarkable, but the entire plot, would have used a little more twists and turns.
I couldn't bring myself to replaying this game more than twice, mostly because of its repetitiveness. It has a wonderful appeal, it's unique, very fun and addicting, but there wasn't enough to keep me coming back. It's definitely worth a try, especially if you like variety, humor, and action. You don't even need to keep an open mind while playing this, because it takes our modern world, and subverts it into this different world where they can bend the rules however they want, and you quickly catch on that they really don't care about maintaining heavy logic in anything. It's fun!
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 10/15/12
Game Release: Borderlands (US, 10/26/09)
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