When first looking at this game i was intrigued not, by the art style or the crazy action but by the simple fact that enemies spurt out experience points evertime you shoot them. Aside from this comically distracting mechanic how does it rate as a whole.
The story in Borderlands is nothing which will change your life forever but enough to spur you on through the game. You start off as always in these types of games as a vault hunter, no powers and no cool guns....yet. You get to choose between four different characters who all have their own special powers and gameplay techniques but the story follows the same plot irregardless of who you choose.
You are on Pandora, searching for The Vault which is said to have endless riches and advanced alien technology. Obviously you can't go head on straight to it so a number of missions are placed between you and the end of the game.
On first impressions i thought Borderlands to be a straight up shooter but i soon realized that it has a strong RPG element in the form of leveling up. Each level you attain gives you more health, improved shields and access to new and more efficient killing peripherals. A big part of leveling up is the use of your skill points which you use to upgrade your character's particular skill and add new abilities to the already existing ones.
It's traditional RPG elements have you running around talking to people and doing missions for them to find clues about the whereabouts of the vault. There are a myriad of different places and creatures to experience and kill as each mission brings you ever closer to your goal. Your weaponry is one of the game's most impressive aspects in that you have a huge arsenal of guns to chose from ranging from heavy machine guns to revolvers that have one hit kills, shotguns that dispense all their ammo with one squeeze of the trigger and sniper rifles that corrode shields. Despite all this the games seems to level you up quite quickly and you'll soon find that your enemies are no match for you ever increasing power. A second playthrough yeilds tougher enemies and greater rewards but I found that enemies got to their pinnacle level after the third play through.
The co-op mode of borderlands makes the game more challenging by adding more enemies of your own level to the game. This makes for some frantic fun and is challenging as you and your partners travel through the Borderlands playground. There is an extra versus mode where you can take your character into a Colosseum and duke it out with other players. Whilst the multiplayer is fun it's not the meat of the game. It's also worth noting that the game has a fairly regular day night cycle that will invariably have you fighting in the dark at times but sadly it does not change the experience or the enemies much.
Borderlands has a quite unique art style that lends itself quite well to the environment you play in. The comic style art lines give it a great visual feel and a uniqueness i haven't experienced in a while. While it's not ground breaking its still a pleasure to look at with distant mountains and ridges coming out quite nicely when the sun sets.
Overall Borderland is an entertaining game that will keep you occupied for around 20 hours if you're intent on finishing every single mission. The game has a nice fun factor that'll have you hooked for hours at a time. It's a good game and mixes shooting and rpg quite nicely.
Souji's Score: 8/10
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