Short Game Review: Borderlands

borderlandscoverBorderlands has been out for four weeks now and I can only  assume that the reason neither myself, Jason, Dan, or Kai has written anything about it is because we’ve been too busy playing it. I don’t follow previews and game development news as much I used to, so Borderlands kind of came out of nowhere as a surprise hit for me. Usually I only buy games on release day if it is something I’ve been anticipating for months (Left 4 Dead, Halo ODST, etc.) but many of my friends were set on getting it when it came out and I made what turned out to be a wise decision to follow them.

The most efficient description I’ve heard of Borderlands is that it is Diablo meets Fallout 3. In longer form: Borderlands is a first person shooter meshed with a loot-and-level-style RPG set on a post apocalyptic alien world where you’ll enjoy shooting things, taking on quests, managing an inventory, and allocating points on a skill tree (every nerd loves point allocation!) Consistently fun game play, near endless weapon permutations, amusing dialogue, and a novel art style combine for an extremely solid game playing experience. I’ve played through roughly the first half of the game with each of the four character types and even playing through a battle for the forth time is still fun because of the neat environments and the variety of weapons and skills you can employ. The story feels a little thin, but so few games that allow co-op even consider the other players in the storytelling that I’m willing to be pretty forgiving (I’m looking at you Halo ODST, Rainbow Six, and HAWX.)

I’m not sure what Borderlands is like single player as I’ve been exclusively playing it with 1-3 other people. The drop-in-drop-out systems for multiplayer works well and even with players having some range in their levels or duplicate classes is still fun. I personally like playing the Solider and the Hunter the best, but my partners in crime seem to get plenty of enjoyment from the the Brick and the Siren.

Is there anything bad to say about Borderland? Well it might serve as a dangerous gate way drug that will subvert console gamers into addicted MMORPGers, but it is probably worth the chance.

My primary complaint is that the vehicle physics make absolutely no sense. If you so much as graze some piece of the world with a corner of your vehicle you come to a complete stop, and if you crash into another player’s vehicle, one or both of them are probably going to flip, which is great when you have people following each other and the lead vehicle makes an unannounced stop to check the map.

I guess I still find the crashing more amusing than annoying as it seems to happen consistently due to the general disregard of the 2nd vehicle.

I’d have to agree that the ONE annoying part of the game is the vehicle driving :) Other than that I love the game!