Borderlands

Here’s another one. This is one of my favourite games of all time, and it warrants the 91 rating I gave it. Ahh, apologies, I shouldn’t have brought that up. Still, I’ll reiterate my dislike of having ratings at the end; again, after these old ones are reuploaded, there won’t be any more ratings, just my opinion given. This one was originally uploaded on the first of June, 2011 on my Blogger. Hope you enjoy it! I was going to end it with a Clap Trap quote or something, but “check me out, I’m dancing” doesn’t really fit with my review. Go ahead.

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I’m not going to lie about it, I’ve played a hell of a lot of first person shooter (FPS) games. It’s been a lot more on the Xbox 360 than on previous consoles, however, it seems like a new one comes out every day, so in this oversaturated market, it’s inevitable that you’ll come across a fair few. There are some good (the Halo and, dare I say it, Call of Duty series are both great) and the not so great (I rented Homefront from LoveFilm…didn’t exactly get along with it. An achievement for jumping off the Golden Gate bridge? Really?) but most of these have something in common. An incredibly linear campaign mode which is soon forgotten about when you discover multi-player. My favourite thing about Borderlands is there are no restrictions at all. Believe it, this feels so good.

[Note: Well, the caption shows what the picture contained. I’m just disgusted with myself for making “winning” a sentence on its own. This must have been around the time of Charlie-Sheen-A-Mania or something. Apologies.]

The four characters you can choose from are shown here. Mordecai, Lilith, Brick and Roland. You’d be mad to choose anyone other than Roland wouldn’t you? He’s a don with an awesome set of goggles. Plus a proficiency with shotguns? Winning.

Alright, so this game at first glance doesn’t appear to be much special. A shooting game where you hoard loot? Loot hoarders such as Diablo work because the loot can make a huge difference to your gameplay. How much can a slightly different gun do. Well, a lot it turns out. One of the main selling points was that there are millions of guns (Gearbox claimed 17,750,000 at the games release) that are randomly generated and dropped by enemies. When you find your first orange weapon, you’re going to be very happy, I’ll tell you that much! The idea of these different weapons sold me on the game, I even pre-ordered it if I remember correctly (it came out in October 2009, cut me some slack here!) Since this time, there have been four DLC packs which have all added something to the game, mostly great, but one I’m not such a fan of, which I’ll get to later.

First, I’ll have a look at the audio. Not really an important factor in the game to be honest. The background audio is forgettable as far as I can remember, nice to listen to when you’re playing but not something that I’ve added to my iTunes. However, the voice acting is just awesome! I have genuinely laughed a lot listening to some of the characters, Dr. Ned is always one to look out for! Honestly, this game is very funny, it doesn’t take itself seriously and it just works.

Alright, next I’ll talk about the visuals. It’s nice! It’s not for everyone but I’m not really fussed about über realistic graphics, I prefer something with a bit of style (I loved Okami for example) and this definitely offers something different. It’s not perfect, but it’s got very polished character models and it has a lot of detail for the cel shaded graphics of the game.

However, this isn’t anywhere near as good as the gameplay of the game. It’s absolutely lovely. Every gun handles differently, you can feel a great difference between pretty much every weapon you use. Also, the game isn’t repetitive. It’s not shoot, shoot, shoot, run to cover for ten seconds, pop out, shoot, shoot. There are driving sections, run and gun, sniping, but you can do it however you want. The RPG elements add so much to the game. Find a mission too difficult? Have a look around, shoot something, level up and go back to try again. Do the missions in any order you feel like, it’s not a problem. Hell, go grab some loot and take on some friends online! Yes, that’s right, this first person shooter also has a Halo-esque four-person co-op option! That’s far too many hyphens but I don’t care! This is the game that keeps on giving. Originally you could level up to 50, I only managed this when I went back to the game a couple of days ago. With all of the DLC, you can now get up to 69!

Ahh yes, the DLC. I might as well bundle this in with the review. The four add-ons are: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned; Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot; The Secret Armory of General Knoxx and Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution. Firstly, the bad. Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot. It’s not bad at all, if you have some friends. That’s a qualifier that has to be mentioned. It’s almost like a Gears Horde mode, but if you’re alone you’re going to struggle and probably not have much fun. As I don’t have any friends (that have the game…I’m not that much of a loser) I haven’t got any of the achievements from this piece of DLC. That said, I enjoyed the other ones much more. The Secret Armory is very good. Zombie Island is absolutely fantastic. Robot Revolution is near perfect. The DLC adds so much to the game, if you haven’t got it, definitely go for the Game of the Year edition when you buy this game. You won’t regret it. There is a story but it’s not really major, looking for the lost loot of Pandora, in all honesty I can’t really remember that much of the story; Wikipedia is your best bet for that. I suppose I should slap on some numbers now!

Audio: Again, I touched on this. Since I wrote the last bit I’ve played it more, the music isn’t bad at all, but the dialogue is top-notch! Great choices for the voices. 80/100

Visuals: I love it. Others won’t. Of course it’s all subjective, but I like to have a bit of variation, something of a rarity in shooters these days. Very nice looking. 85/100

Playability: There are endless adjectives I can use to describe this game! Fun, very fun, a lot of fun, tremendously fun, incredibly fun-the list goes on! In all seriousness, it’s difficult to get bored with this game. It’s fast paced enough that you don’t get bored, but it’s not a really short game you will blast through. It’s just fun. Especially if you’ve got some friends to enjoy it with! 95/100

Delivery: Again, great. There are very few issues in the game, I’ve had a few glitches but I can usually sort them out (although cars getting stuck took five points off here. I hate that.) Still, a very well crafted product, Gearbox deserve a lot of respect for this game. 95/100

Achievements: Probably my favourite part, with references to everything from Max Max and Slumdog Millionaire, to Back to the Future and Lonely Island. Yes, there is an achievement called ‘You’re on a Boat’, with a description of ‘I bet you never thought you’d be here.’ Genius. 100/100

Overall: Honestly, playing this game again has made me realise how good it is. I’m so glad I never sold it, because it’s honestly near perfect. At the time of this review, I currently have 65 of 80 achievements. I want them all. It’s just so…consuming! 91/100!

Well there you go guys. Honestly, not owning this game is doing an injustice to yourself. Hell, this is one of the top games of the generation, definitely. Go and get it now! Claptrap says so.

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