Review by Tokyo630
"When Gearbox said that the FPS and RPG made a baby...they weren't kidding."
This game has been through many stages of the development stage. Originally set to be a Gears of War-esque style game, they ended up changing it into an Okami/Zelda WW style and made the game cel-shaded, something that is very unique in the gaming world today. Having said that, let me review this bad boy.
The story for this game, if you can it a story, is really more of a giant quest for your character. While there are no cutscenes or "Story missions" as you would call them, each quest has something to do with the overall storyline you are playing. The basis behind your character's quest is to locate The Vault, a so-called hub of incredibly powerful alien technology, some of which hasn't been seen for decades. While on this quest you encounter many types of enemies, including Skags and different types of Bandits. This story is very gripping, reminding me a classic MMORPG like Final Fantasy Online or WoW. It has that feel that you will literally never be done playing it, and that is what really makes it worth playing.
While I typically put graphics and controls in the same category, the unique style this game promotes made me consider it a category all its own. Like I said in the foreword, this game uses a cel-shaded variant of the Blink video engine, something you typically don't see in modern gaming. People are typically concerned about "how realistic a game looks", but frankly, I can't see this game any other way.
The controls for this game seem to be a mix between the good aspects of CoD4 and Halo 3. The FPS controls when running around remind me of CoD because you can sprint for an indefinite period of time (which rocks by the way), and the gun controls are very standard for that of a FPS. The vehicle controls are amazing, and by that I mean they are almost exactly like Halo 3's vehicles (IMO, the only game to ever get vehicle controls totally right). Overall, this game has a very natural feel to it, and it is very easy to pick up and learn quickly.
Musical Score: 9.5/10
While this game's music doesn't dominate when you are playing, try turning it off and see how different the game feels; strangely, it's a little too quiet. The style for this score is similar to that of the trailer song "No Heaven", a very poppy spin to a more hardcore soundtrack. I think it suits the game very well.
Now, to start off, there are no determinable difficulty settings for this game, something I truly enjoyed from the get-go. I typically try to play games on harder difficulties so I can judge them based on how they are supposed to be played, but this game did it all for me (and believe me, this game is tough enough w/o a hard setting). As far as gameplay goes, I am quickly reminded of a MMORPG again, with a skill tree for each class you can choose from, and a number of variation of skills for each tree you and venture down. When Gearbox said that "the FPS and RPG made a baby", they weren't kidding. I haven't seen a game with this much continuity between the two genres, and still completely rule.
The multiplayer for this game is literally the single player with your friends, the perfect mesh of all the single player gameplay, but throw your friends in and make the enemies tougher. "Wait, tougher?" you ask? Why of course! Why would they let you play against a LV 20 enemy if your whole party is around LV 18? You have to fight LV 26s or higher in the same area! But don't scream just yet, because tougher enemies leave better loot, and let me say, some of the bigger enemies leave behind some pretty sweet guns.
Achievement Relevance to Game: 9.5/10
I don't want to sound picky, but I don't really want to have to play 50 duels with my friends to get an achievement. Either way, the rest of them force you to finish all the quests in each area (which I would do either way), and use different weapons different amounts of times with each class.
Replayability: VERY HIGH
OVERALL SCORE: 10/10
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/21/09
Game Release: Borderlands (US, 10/20/09)
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