Borderlands (Xbox 360)

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Written by  :  Pixelspeech (955)
Written on  :  Jun 15, 2011
Platform  :  Xbox 360
Rating  :  3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars

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It's just good, okay?

The Good

The cell-shaded graphics mixed with the massive amount of violence makes for a fun combination that never ceases to amuse me. I really like how everything looks so colorful and it only get better when the blood is splattered all over it, I am kind of surprised that they went with brown though, there was some serious potential to use a lot of blue or red, but I am glad that in the end it still looks great. If this all confused you, you should try to imagine "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" in cell-shaded graphics, that is what this game looks like (and like I said earlier, it looks good).

The single-player might not be great (getting to that later), but the multi-player is like a bottomless pit filled with women and chicken noodles, it might be a little messy, but it will never be annoying enough to tick you off. I especially like that the amount of players determines how tough the enemies are and what loot you will find. Me and my cousin have had hours of fun in Pandora and some very tough battles. If you do get bored, there is always the option to duel or grieve the hell out of the other players (just burn their cars down).

There are hundreds of ways to dispatch your enemies and some of them might be stupid, but are still funny to do for the thrills. My favorite way is probably to run up to an enemy and shotgun them in the face, when the rest of his friends notice me, I just use my special ability to become invisible and take them out from behind. At other times I was too lazy to get out of the car and just splattered a family of Skags (dog-like creatures). There are many other ways and some of them are exclusive to just one gun, so it will take a while before the fighting starts to feel repetitive.

I like it how the game plays to both the fans of RPG's and shooters, but doesn't really disappoint either one of those groups. There is an interesting story for the RPG-fans and a lot of moments that are worth discussing and analyzing, but at the same time the story is also light enough for shooter-fans, so they can simply ignore it and shoot monsters. I remember that Tabula Rasa did something similar, but the shooting was too much for RPG-fans and the story to heavy for shooter-fans, so it didn't do very well. At least Borderlands made sure a perfectly good idea didn't die along with Tabula Rasa.

The Bad

When you play single-player there is nobody to back you up and that is a much bigger problem then you would think. Without a second player there is nobody to help you back up after you are taken down, so you need to hope you can quickly kill an enemy before time runs-out or you are simply send back to the nearest respawn. There is also nobody to help you with boss-fights, so if a boss has smaller enemies helping him there is nobody to look after them while you fight the boss. Not having a second player makes the game a lot harder, which is odd considering that having a second player makes the monsters stronger, but at least you'd be fighting stronger monsters with a few more guns on the field.

There are probably more than a million guns & items in the game, but there are only a few that are actually worth bothering with. 95% of all the guns that you can loot are just way to weak, so they just end up in your backpack so you can sell them later. It's very annoying that almost every enemy drops a weapon and that they sometimes blend in with items like ammo or health. Very often I would try to find some ammo during a boss-fight and ended up finding a worthless weapon in my hands because I swapped it with my own by accident.

The Bottom Line

Borderlands is a very fun and enjoyable RPG that works perfectly with the shooter part of the game. It's full of awesome boss-fights and camps to raid, the light story also makes it easy to replay this game because you can just ignore the story during your second playthrough and just follow the instructions.

A second player is a must though and the incredible amount of worthless items is a bit annoying, but those are just minor problems that I can ignore, it's a gem that requires a little polish. If you're a fan of RPG's with a light story or a fan of shooters that is growing bored of the usual Call of Duty games, this game might be worth a shot. If you're into "The Witcher" games or similar heavy RPG's this game might bore you due to the lack of a deep story, but it might still be worth a look if you ever find it in the budget-section of a shop.