Review: Borderlands

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just finished my first playthrough with a friend and i must say this game is awesome. i also donīt agree that single player is boring. i couldnīt get my hands off this game for the past 6 days and it didnīt matter if i was playing it alone or not. iīm a filthy loot whore. if you want bang for buck you should get this game.

CantFaketheFunk:
[snip]has a larger clip

MA.GA.ZINE! Funk, I will shiv you the next opportunity I get for that.

While I really like all the guns, the claptraps, the graphics and one-liners, I just can't figure out how this game has any replayability whatsoever.

The MMO-style quests (in contrast to the few but awesome Diablo 2 style quests) will always make you fetch that roasted meat or turn on those generators. The quests are just terribly boring. I can't imagine how anyone would want to do those tedious quests again, after you've beaten the game.

The areas aren't randomized, there are only about ... 8 types of enemies compared to the 8 types of enemies per area (basically) in Diablo 2.

I can't help myself but compare this game to Diablo 2, as I wish it had just copied more from it. More randomization throughout the environments, less of these horrible fetch and "kill 10 of these" quests and more exploring on your own.

Also, the game is too easy. ;)

Other than that though, I'm enjoying it and I can't wait to pick up a badassier gun to replace my other already badass guns.

I just got this game the other day and so far I'm really liking the graphics and the sense of humor! And it's definitely more fun with people! But the game has some really nasty bugs too and hopefully Gearbox will fix them soon so we can all enjoy the game without fear of losing our stuff... http://www.hookedgamers.com/blogs/stefanie/2009/10/27/borderlands_has_issues.html

So... is it worth playing through once in single player? Or should I just jump into multiplayer?

Doug:

Nimbus:
Is it hard to find a game, considering you all have to be at roughly the same place in the storyline?

EDIT: This thread is probably a good place to put your Gamespy ID/PSN tag/Gamertag, for people who want a group to play with.

Gamespy: "(d/dx)Nimbus", sans quotation marks.

EDIT: apparently there are steam groups for this.

Well, ok, there are steam groups, but what if you aren't a member, and/or can't find these groups?

Well the Escapist Group is here and that has links to the Steam group

Poopie McGhee:

WrongSprite:
I'm curious, how does ammo work in this game? With there being millions of guns and all.

Pistol=Pistol, revolver=revolver, shotgun=shotgun, etc.

Actually its Repeater ammo, see the Pistol is the only "type" of gun that has two different sets of ammo for two different kinds of pistols.

How do you change it to horizontal split screen?

Nice review, this game is amazing all those sitting on the fence about whether or not to get it just go for it I'm sure you've paid money for games a lot worse than this

I love the game and I usually play by myself, it does get tedious like that but after a 5 minute break I'm ready for more fun. Although the friend I mainly play with is a selfish prick when it comes to taking my guns.

happysock:
How do you change it to horizontal split screen?

It changes automatically when you play split-screen in standard definition.

Eoin Livingston:

Doug:

Nimbus:
Is it hard to find a game, considering you all have to be at roughly the same place in the storyline?

EDIT: This thread is probably a good place to put your Gamespy ID/PSN tag/Gamertag, for people who want a group to play with.

Gamespy: "(d/dx)Nimbus", sans quotation marks.

EDIT: apparently there are steam groups for this.

Well, ok, there are steam groups, but what if you aren't a member, and/or can't find these groups?

Well the Escapist Group is here and that has links to the Steam group

Cheers - I've signed up and will be playing the Steam version tomorrow :D - whenever Steam lets us have access to it :(

cainx10a:

Sonicron:
Sadly I have literally no gaming friends at all, and as you predicted in this spot-on review, I couldn't get into it all on my own. It looks great, and the guns and gunplay are awesome, but being all alone in a huge open-world wasteland just doesn't work for me. A pity, really, I was looking forward to Borderlands. :(

I played the game by myself on the first play through to get a general idea of how the game world is, the quests are, as well as experiencing the boss fights, some of which were pretty amazing, or disappointing as in a certain behemoth who died before even hitting moi. But, it's still an amazing game to play by yourself.

And you don't have any gaming friends? Sure, a lot of people do, but that doesn't mean you can't hop in a public channel, or if you have steam, join the Borderland Personality Disorder group or the Escapist Borderlands Group, and get started on playing with people who will be your e-friends in the long run.

Don't miss that game, no matter what!

It's weird... I rented the game two days ago and for the aforementioned reason I didn't really get into it. After reading your reply here I decided to give it one more try, and somehow the game starts growing on you. After discovering more and more awesome ways to pulverize opposing wildlife and bandits being alone doesn't bother me as much, reducing enemies to red gobs of shredded meat by running them over is a lot of fun, and mowing down hordes of bad guys just to find new and exciting ways to make things go BOOM becomes rewarding in itself.
As it stands, I'm seriously contemplating Borderlands as a potential purchase.

Slycne:

happysock:
How do you change it to horizontal split screen?

It changes automatically when you play split-screen in standard definition.

So because I play in hi def it is stuck as vertical split?

happysock:

Slycne:

happysock:
How do you change it to horizontal split screen?

It changes automatically when you play split-screen in standard definition.

So because I play in hi def it is stuck as vertical split?

As far as I know, yes. I mostly play in split-screen and it does take a little getting used to, but I find I hardly notice it now. The only lingering annoyance is that the menu doesn't get re-sized or restructured. It's also something you get used to pretty quickly, but I still find it jarring when I open the menu initially.

At first I thought this was a terrible game. The unskippable intros, the claptrap that repeats his lines every 10 seconds, and the weak story and quests made me wonder why the critics thought this was such a good game.

After a few hours, I must say, it's addicting. The fights are exhilarating and the weapons are extremely diverse and thrilling.

There isn't much to it. Most of the quests aren't "kill x of y", but they largely are "collect all of x" or "kill this guy". At least there's something about having to kill enemies to get to the goal, rather than the goal being the actual killing that makes it feel less like grinding. The fact that even random enemies drop phat loot and that experience adds up quickly makes even the grind-y quests worthwhile and fulfilling.

And really, that's all there is. Like Diablo, the game is basically an excuse to kill. You kill things to get experience and guns which allow you to kill bigger things. As simple and stupid as it sounds, the killing part is so visceral and enjoyable that it doesn't really need anything else. At first the weapons seemed lame, but I quickly started getting amazing weapons, and just when I thought my weapon was overpowered, there was an even tougher enemy who dropped an even more amazing gun. I quickly became addicted to trying to find a bigger, better gun.

The game isn't without its problems. I could do without the mobs respawning as I'm leaving (especially when they respawn right next to me). Also, the characters often repeat their lines, especially the claptrap, who isn't nearly as funny as he thinks he is. In only a few hours, I also ran into several cases where scripted events didn't occur, forcing me to reload from my last checkpoint.

The cel shading thing is a gimmick if you ask me -- an excuse for critics to call it "artistic". The world doesn't seem all that unique -- it's a lot like Fallout 3. But the characters are interesting, the tongue-in-cheek attitude is fun, and none of it matters when you blast a guy's head off and leave his decapitated corpse to burn.

All in all, it's a fun game. It's not as amazing as the critics are making it out to be, but it's certainly worth playing. Despite the mediocre RPG elements, the overwhelmingly satisfying loot and visceral combat make it quite enjoyable. I hope to see more FPSs and RPGs adopt a similar procedural weapon generation system.

Based on your current stress patterns, I calculate that you have a 94.3% chance of encountering an unfortunate death experience.

I'm going through borderlands on single player right now. It's pretty hard actually, but I'm enjoying the challenge.

I like the concept they go for, especially the wasteland sort of feel, but it's not the wasteland I love. Not the Mad Max, everybody fights for the essentials they need to live, Borderlands is more of a comfy, we're just here for sight-seeing and alien weaponry.

I've played this game for about an hour or so now and I can see how it would be a lot more fun with a friend. Too bad I don't have any friends*.

*who have borderlands*

*on pc

CantFaketheFunk:

Flionk:
SNIP

SNIP

Playing on the PC. so there might be differences..?..

not only is it more tedious it is also harder especially when playing as a hunter.
I think I have finally figured out how to circle strafe jump kill my animal targets now. I did find that while playing, you can actually lead a boss character back to a respawn point and when you die you won't lose any of that progress you made. I haven't figured out if that is a bug or not.

I think the guys at Gearbox have made a good representation of an rpg shooter, you got your near voiceless hero from the FPS group, the tons of loot from the RPG group and the flimsy storyline from both. I also think that their choice to change the graphics to cell shading was a good choice because I would probably have dropped this game after an hour in brown and bleak landscape.

I like that in their missions that send out in the wilderness to find certain pieces of loot that their map actually tells you where to look. Later on in the game it becomes more like a general location of where the loot is, but that is so much better than combing the entire map for those pieces.

The game isn't westernpunk,it's doompunk since the game is in a post-apocalyptic environment

Sonicron:
Sadly I have literally no gaming friends at all, and as you predicted in this spot-on review, I couldn't get into it all on my own. It looks great, and the guns and gunplay are awesome, but being all alone in a huge open-world wasteland just doesn't work for me. A pity, really, I was looking forward to Borderlands. :(

We can cry together.

Wandrecanada:
Based on your current stress patterns, I calculate that you have a 94.3% chance of encountering an unfortunate death experience.

you know whats weird? the weapon i was holding, "combat cobra E42" or whatever, had exactly 94.3% accuracy. i assumed they were linked.

CantFaketheFunk:

Flionk:

i agree
i played it single, and thought "BL = bees knees"
then i played it split screen and i thought it was the "dogs bollocks"
then i played it XBL. and i thought, well i didnt think. i drooled. it meant i could ignore the psycho to my left, as the Siren had him, and close on the psycho in front with my "Cobra Death Murder Gun". the guy on the scaffolding turned to fire, but crumpled and fell when the Hunter behind us got Line Of Sight. we took out an equal level outpost in about 54 seconds.
However, its completely different if an ally is (even as low as) 5 levels higher or lower then you, as you would have about 50% better or worse weaponry and would either die a lot or end up carrying the weight. i got stuck on mothrakk at lvl 25, then a lvl 32 friends blew her into chunks without even losing shield. i was playing splitscreen on my campaign with a friend who was lvl 16, when i was 22, and i couldnt be bothered hiding behind him holding X anymore, so let him die. and die he did, many times
its fun with friends, but doesnt have the even feel of L4D. but at least you can consider playing single player
also i though of shurikens as soon as i saw a shotgun shoot lightning

Damn, I really wanted to get this game, but all my usual online play buddies are too engrossed with Left 4 Dead 2. :(

Hmmm....
I think I will pick this game up instead of MW2. I just need another $30...
Also, does this game have cross platform play at all? I have no idea if this is possible. Also, is it a Games For Windows- LIVE title?

This game looks awesome.

Sonicron:
Sadly I have literally no gaming friends at all, and as you predicted in this spot-on review, I couldn't get into it all on my own. It looks great, and the guns and gunplay are awesome, but being all alone in a huge open-world wasteland just doesn't work for me. A pity, really, I was looking forward to Borderlands. :(

Are you on XBox live? My gamertag is miracleofsound and there are a few of us from the Escapist who are buddies there, you're welcome to join us any time, no matter what your skill level.

This was a really nice review, and I liked the narrator's tone of voice and eloquent speech.

It was a more subtle and honest review than the hyperbolic rants of IGN and Gamespot.

double post ignore

Damn, I was looking to get this, but if the single player really is that boring maybe I won't. After okaying Oblivion I've learned what the word "repetitive" means in gaming.

And yeah! "You get guns that shoot lightning (haven't seen any shurikens yet)" I laughed so hard on that!

ReverseEngineered:
The cel shading thing is a gimmick if you ask me -- an excuse for critics to call it "artistic". The world doesn't seem all that unique -- it's a lot like Fallout 3.

If you like to think that a desert and a nuclear wasteland look the same...

The cel shading is a unique graphical choice in a modern game, it's not "artistic", it's stylish and if you didn't read the blurb on the back of the game's cover, the cel shading should tell you what the tone of the game is.

The tone of the game is "fun", over the top and violent.

Also, Fallout 3's world felt dead and artificial, even for a nuclear wasteland.
Borderlands feels a lot more alive, I think.

bartholen:
Damn, I was looking to get this, but if the single player really is that boring maybe I won't. After okaying Oblivion I've learned what the word "repetitive" means in gaming.

And yeah! "You get guns that shoot lightning (haven't seen any shurikens yet)" I laughed so hard on that!

I've spent about 30 hours on the single player, and loved every second.

It is not boring to play alone, it's just a different kind of game.

Single player: subtle and immersive.

Playing with friends: chaotic and funny.

CantFaketheFunk:

Flionk:
Personally, I disagree with the sentiment that the single-player is tedious and dull. I've been playing single-player just as much as multi-player, and I find both to have a roughly equal balance of pros and cons. Granted, I'm the sort of loner who tends to solo in MMORPGs, so I'll agree that most people will probably prefer having some friends around, but going it alone still isn't that boring. And I've actually found that single-player gets a better loot turnout: individual pieces of loot may have a higher chance of being better in multi-player, but it feels like it isn't scaling up enough (i.e: the value of loot dropped with 4 players is less than 4x the value of loot dropped with 1 player).

Either way, still an awesome game.

It's not tedious and dull so much as it is extremely unwelcoming, I found. I had a hell of a time getting into the game when I played it at first, going solo - the world felt very lonely, and clearing respawns when I trekked into Skag Gulch over and over was pretty repetitious. Playing it co-op makes it a much more welcoming experience.

skag gully good sir! Skag gully...

I found this game a lot more fun than I originally anticipated. Rarely have I recently enjoyed a game with a superficial storylines.

Looks like a fun game, but alas, due to the reliance on playing with other people over solo play, I think I'll be giving this one a miss. I just don't have enough friends on my list with Borderlands to ensure I'd always have people to play with.

An aside maybe, but every time I see the word "punk" ungainly welded onto the end of another, sometimes to create a new genre/style, it rather gets my back up. Yes, atompunk and *sigh* stitchpunk, I'm looking at you...:P

wow, I've never gone from 'blissfully unaware' to 'chomping at the bit' so damn quickly!

I don't even know why, probably because it strikes me as Team Fortress meets Fallout 3. Also probably because of the co-op multiplayer.

MarsProbe:
every time I see the word "punk" ungainly welded onto the end of another, sometimes to create a new genre/style, it rather gets my back up. Yes, atompunk and *sigh* stitchpunk, I'm looking at you...:P

every time you see that happening, you can rest assured that it's just some flavor of bullshit because true punk stands alone. it's independent by definition.

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