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Borderlands is a type of space western shooter RPG hybrid so it would have been easy for Gearbox to fail at making this game. Borderlands takes a Diablo style loot system and thrusts it on to a planet called Pandora which changes seasons about every 10 years. Everything is now coming out of hibernation. The planet becomes desolate for this reason as well as a few others. You take control 1 of 4 playable characters, also known as vault hunters. Each class has what's called an "action skill" which is different for each character. Furthermore, this action skill can be customized through a 3 skill trees.
Lilith, known as a Siren(only 6 known in existence, all women and have unique abilities), can walk through a different dimension. It does damage on both ends, as she enters the dimension and as she leaves it. All while being invisible to enemies. It's a pretty interesting skill and very useful. Especially once customized as you can make your phasewalk release an explosion of fire as you leave the aforementioned dimension. Roland, the normal soldier type, can drop a turret that can do quite a few things really depending on how you customize it. It can drop ammo picks, it can heal allies within a vicinity, or can start shooting out missiles over a certain amount of time. Brick, a bezerker type, is quite simple in comparison. But it's not surprising considering he's meant to be a tank. When his action skill is activated, he goes into a rage and you can start punching every enemy in your path. You do quite a lot of damage this way so it's not as pointless as it sounds. Finally, Mordecai which is a sniper class, has a falcon type bird which you can send at enemies. This bird can attack multiple enemies as you level up and add points to your skill tree. You can also customize it where every time the bird does damage, it gives you health. Overall, all the classes are diverse and chances are, you'll find one that you'll favor over the rest.
As for the story, it's pretty much nonexistent which should be inexcusable. Especially since Borderlands has such an interesting back drop for a story. It's just there to kind of push you along to each area. Not to mention, that the ending of the story is anti climactic which makes it even more forgettable. It's a shame really. However, since Borderlands has such great gameplay, it won't be a big deal for some people. For anyone who's looking for a good story, you'll find the DLC more interesting in that regard. The NPCs are a loveable bunch even though there aren't that many. Not to mention that you don't spend all that much time talking to them. There's Dr. Zed(not really a doctor), who you meet in the first town, Scooter who supplies you with vehicles(don't fuck his mom), and Patricia Tannis(a scientist who I personally wish Gearbox made more relevant). All of them are funny little characters but don't really do anything besides give you a few quests here and there. There's also the infamous Claptrap who either you love or absolutely hate.
The loot system is probably the best thing about Borderlands. There's always a chance that you can pick up a better weapon then you have equipped. Even after you beat the game(which you can do twice by the way). Weapons on the ground always fill you with curiosity and that's where Borderlands will grab you. Intrigue makes you keep playing. Not a lot of games can do that by intrigue and curiosity alone. Borderlands does.
The loot system might be the best thing mechanically about Borderlands, but the game was built for more than one player in mind. So if you have a few friends who picked up the game, I suggest you play the game with them. While the quest system is absolute garbage when playing with someone further along the game then you, it's still a hell of a lot of fun. 4 player co-op is an absolute blast and will give you some of the best memories you've had while gaming. It's truly remarkable.
Main Game Score: 8.5/10