Reviewed by The Knox on Oct 01, 2010
Game Overview
2K Games
Gearbox Software
Release Date:
October 20, 2009
Platform Reviewed:
Xbox 360
Platforms Available:
Playstation 3
Xbox 360
First-Person | RPG | Shooter

Borderlands is a tale of four adventures who travel to a planet called Pandora, where riches and fame are promised upon finding the long revered "Vault" that is rumored to exist. After picking your desired character during the beginning sequence, Borderlands puts you through a loose storyline filled with many side-quests and an infinite count of weapons. Progressing through Borderlands' versatile level-up system lets you freely assign points to any abilities of any skill trees (yes, there are skill trees in this shooter) and use these newly aquired powers to demolish the raiders of Pandora. Borderlands has it all, except for the exception of "claptraps" that will annoy the crap out of you.

user created imageDeveloped by Gearbox Software (who also made the first Halo for the computer and also Counter-Strike), this game is firstly very impressive. The visuals use a style of art called cel-shading, which makes the 3-d objects look hand-drawn. It was a very good idea for Gearbox to use this kind of art style; this helped the game stand out from other sci-fi shooter counterparts of the time. The graphics are amazing for this type of game and fit perfectly with the gorey nature of Pandora.

The gameplay of Borderlands is just... innovative! After killing enough foes and leveling up to level 5, you are able to use your action skill, which is unique to each character. Leveling up further grants you additional spending points that let you beef up your character in whatever way you choose, be it aggresive improvements to your action skill or passive abilities that continually affect your playing experience. Might I also mention that the variety of guns in the game is overwhelming; there is a system in the game that creates different guns with predetermined parts every time you play (the count of possible guns is well into the millions).

The story of Borderlands is sort of vague as you play, but the backstory is excellent. Although the story is not very bad; I like it a lot. I find the backstory to be much more explaining of the circumstances of having raiders and bandits on such a seemingly random planet the developers put you in. You can find the link to the backstory (if you do not want the story spoiled to you, do NOT read down to "Plot", JUST scroll down to "Setting" under "Synopsis") here. I will tell you, however, that most of the rating I took away came from the story. I felt that the end was very lacking and left me wanting more. Although I can't say much without ruining the story.

I did not notice the soundtrack for the game very much, but I suppose that is what makes a great soundtrack? Tongue I liked the inclusion of "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" by Cage the Elephant. The song only played once but seemed to fit in with the feeling of Borderlands very well.

The one thing I will admit that annoyed me the most about this game was the various claptraps that helped you on your journey to find the Vault. Many of them were boisterous and over-dramatic. If you ever pick this game up, you may not mind the claptraps so much and perhaps you might enjoy their presence, but I despised them. Them, and their overly-happy voices...

user created image
This is a claptrap. Beware.

I'll leave it at that. Borderlands is a great game that deserves my 4/5 very respectfully. I loved the mesh of different styles in one game; simple, almost cartoonish graphics with the inclusion of severed heads and bleeding carcasses. The game just seems... right to me. Everything seemed to work with this game (that didn't expect a huge success in the first place) and I very much look forward to the possible existence of a Borderlands 2 in the near future.

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