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Borderlands (Xbox 360)

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21 Reviews

Genre: Action & Shooter / Video Game for Xbox 360 / Suitable for 18 years and over / Release Date: 2009-10-23 / Published by Take 2 Interactive

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    21 Reviews
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      26.11.2013 01:53

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      This is game that can improve greatly, but still be deserved to play.

      Borderlands had no anticipation, no hype and no leads up to its release. However, this game showed us that you can combine a loot generating system with a great gunplay mechanic that feels slick and smooth. Granted, the plot of the game feels loose, uninteresting and plain boring. But, along the boring plot was hilarious writing, amazing characters and an awesome shaded comic-like graphics that are now a trademark of the Borderlands series.

      Diablo's loot and similar to Call of Duty's first person shooter mechanics makes Borderlands a classic game to play. However, Borderlands 2 out-shadowed the predecessor with better mechanics, a better mini-map system and a much more polished loot-generating system.

      What does this mean? If you want to play Borderlands, and have already played Borderlands 2, do not play this game, you will be severely disappointed. That being said, if you haven't played the sequel, check this game out. You might be surprised.

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      20.10.2011 18:02
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      A great game, fun to play, looks lovely.

      This is a very distinctive, memorable game that has deservedly received a lot of praise, and it's one that I really enjoyed playing, and still return to every now and then just for the enjoyment of playing it. It's a very visual game that looks great on a big screen, and is great fun to play either with friends or online - however, the single-player campaign is also enjoyable, although it can be a little repetitive.

      -ooo- The Product -ooo-
      Borderlands is a combination between a first-person shooter and an RPG, with elements from both types of game. You play as one of four types or classes of character, and each one has its own characteristics - one is more of a sniper, while another is very powerful and physical. Throughout the game you can level up, like in a typical RPG game, and there are a wide variety of weapons that you can use during the game, which is great fun. The game is based around travelling between locations, fighting and carrying out specific missions and sub-plots. It is quite a long game, although can be completed in less time if you just play straight through. However, this isn't the best way to play, and you will get the most out of the game if you take your time and explore.

      -ooo- Would I Recommend? -ooo-
      There are a number of things I really like about this game. The graphics are brilliant - a really cartoon type style with lots of bright, strong colours - this is really distinctive and looks brilliant if you have a good TV. I like the gameplay as well, as most of the game is great fun and has some good variety of missions early on. I liked the RPG element to the game, and the characters are great. The controls are also good, making the game easy to play and get into quickly. It's not a complicated game, and it's really fun to pick up and play - and this also means it's great for multiplayer games.

      There are negative parts too - when you get further into the game, it seems like you're doing a lot of the same things again, and it gets a little boring. Also there's a lot of travelling between parts of the game, and you feel like it's just stretching on quite a lot.

      Overall, I think Borderlands is an excellent game even though it's not perfect. It's great fun to play, it looks brilliant, and is good for single players and playing with friends.

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      26.08.2011 03:25
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      A fun game to get addicted to, upgrading and fighting bosses, done in an artistically different way.

      This game came out and was never one of the most popular "waiting list" kind of game but after a while of it being out I figured I might give it a try. The first thing I noticed about this game is the strange arty look to the game, it was clear they hadn't gone for the realistic gritty look, everything was almost colourful with a comicbook style drawing, this didn't make or ruin the game for me but was simply something different that you'd forget about over time anyway.

      I started off playing multiplayer online with another friend, and can I say the story mode was very well put together and made, you see the map is free roam and as you complete missions you move onto different areas, this offered the kind of freedom that is rare to find with games these days. The main idea is to go around in your group of up to four players, (each player can choose to be one of 4 character in the game, each with their own different strengths, weaknesses and special abilities). Quests are collected and the user is rewarded with money guns or more quests upon completion, throughout the whole game you're trying to find a better weapon to prevent the ever advancing enemy units from killing you, and with almost millions of different weapon variations there's plenty of looting going on.

      There were add-ons released for this game which worked well and had the same depth to them as the story itself, these cost extra thought.

      The single player would probably get tricky and be very boring, wondering the wasteland on your own. Using the split screen was comedically bad, you could not see so much as your health bar thanks to the vertically split HUD. Not pleased at all with it.

      Overall this is a fun never-ending game (as it loops back upon finish to harder enemies and better weapons) but should only really be considered if you have a friend or a few buds to play this with online.

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      07.06.2011 23:54
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      A fully immersive game, Borderlands excellently combines elements of the RPG and FPS genres.

      Hybrid games are often released on the Xbox 360. Combining several different game genres into one creates a refreshing experience for the gamer, and thus revamps what could simply become another victim of an overly tried and tested genre. Borderlands, released by games company Gearbox Software in 2009 is a great example of this genre mixing. Originally billed as a cross between the first person shooter elements of Halo, and the role playing adventuring in Diablo, Borderlands brings a stylistic cell-shaded treat to your TV screens, complete with plenty of playability.

      Upon starting the game, you will notice that the Halo claim may not exactly be that fitting. For, this is not a big scale war of the species. Instead you are thrust into a outlawed wasteland setting, where looting, pillaging and bounty hunting are rife. Borderlands in fact combines the quest element in RPG's with the standard functions of a first person shooter. Exploration is the key in this largely expansive game, and only by exploring will you pick up missions or find people to brawl. Set on the fictional planet of Pandora, Borderlands allows you to play as one of four characters. Each character carries different abilities, and can change your gaming experience depending on what one you choose to complete the game as. Firstly, there is Mordecai, from the "hunter" class. With Mordecai you are more precise at stealth shots (sniper fans, you'll be in for a treat here), and comes equipped with his own falcon to deliver some expertise finishing moves. Second, you can choose to be Lilith, from the "siren" class. She can turn invisible to enemies once her action bar is charged up, and packs incredible strength. Thirdly, pick Roland, from the "soldier" class if you want someone who is proficient with weaponry (shotguns in particular), and can easily deploy turrets for extra enemy damage. Lastly, there is Brick, from the "berserker" class. He is specialises in explosive weapons, such as rocket launchers. He also has a great attack called "berserk" which sends him into a fit of rage just perfect for a bit of melee combat.

      Once you have chosen your character, you are then thrown out into the wasteland of Pandora to earn yourself some money. The treasure hunting aspect of the game is probably one of the most enjoyable aspects. All loot is randomly generated, so you will never know where you will stumble upon a hoard of money, or gun that doubles your damage.The hunt for these multitude of goodies becomes rather addictive, and combined with the shooting, melee fights, driving and mission completing, creates a game that many gamers will become hooked to. Once you have completed the first mission (which acts as a loose tutorial), you are free to accept and complete the rest of the bunch. You can pick up missions on bounty boards which you can find with the help of your map, or interact with the games NPC's to unlock some more. In simple terms, the missions are pretty similar. Simply accept your mission, drive to the destination, perhaps collect an item or engage in a fight, and then drive back to collect your bounty. However, each mission is different from one another, and are incredibly fun to complete. If you choose to, there are challenges you can complete for extra objectives. The challenges that you can engage in can be found in your games menu, and will be ticked off when you have completed them. Complete them all to get an achievement!

      Like many RPG's, Borderlands has a level up system. Players are able to collect points through completing missions, knocking down opponents, finishing races, collecting weapons on your travels, and much more. Your character becomes much stronger as the game progresses and your level increases. This levelling up system brings another motive to the game besides all the shooting and exploring, and actually makes you feel like you have achieved something at the end of a mission or fight when you notice that your character has progressed up another rank. Levelling up allows you to unlock a multitude of weapons, and helps to make the game a little easier for those who are struggling at the lower levels. You will find that at a higher level, your character is able to complete missions with much higher level enemies, so the opportunity to experience more game play is therefore opened.

      Borderlands supports multi-player playability, which is a welcome addition. Using this, players are able to play through the game with up to another three players. Together you can complete missions, shoot it up and generally just muck about. Sharing the experience with a bunch of friends rather than flying it solo through the wasteland seemed much more fun, and having your buddies there to back you up in a fight makes a lot of difference. I recommend investing in headsets though, so you and your friends can actually talk about what you plan to do!

      As for criticisms, in all honesty, Borderlands does not really suffer from many. The only aspects I would point out is that at times the map got a little tricky to navigate, and the game, like many others, suffers from the occasional "glitching" bug. The rarer weapons also appear to be too rare at times, which is a pain as I found myself discovering repeated weapons from time to time when in all honesty I was itching to start using a brand new one. However, these criticisms remain a small niggling feeling, rather than something that could potentially spoil the gaming experience.

      Luckily, as the world of Pandora is incredibly vast, it does take a considerably long time to fully complete this game, especially as if you are intending on unlocking every achievement in this game, you will be required to complete this game more than once (for instance, there are character specific achievements so you need to have played with each of them at some point to gain them). Once the main storyline has been completed, you are free to continue your game play to complete any left achievements, discover new weapons and locations, and more. You will notice that the second play-through is much harder. Enemies are tougher, and deal much more damage than before, so this brings a refreshing challenge to the proceedings. Once you have exhausted this freedom though, there are plenty of excellent downloadable content extras to download on the Xbox 360 marketplace. Having completed all of them, I would strongly suggest downloading "The Island of Dr. Ned" DLC. This brings a new twist to the game, as well as a new location-zombies, a crazy doctor, and a B-movie feel. It also takes quite a long time to complete this DLC pack, so it is definitely worth the Xbox points you had to part with to download it.

      Borderlands was one of the most engaging, addictive and lengthy games of 2009. The cell-shaded cartoon style gives the game a bit of unique charm, and gives the game a slight comic book feel. The characters are well-thought out, and bring different aspects to the game, depending on which one you choose to play as. There are a multitude of missions and challenges to complete, as well as the ability to treasure hunt for money, weapons and objects. The multi-player function is a welcome addition, as it allows you to enjoy the game not only with a second player in the same room, but with people over the Xbox Live connection also. Playing this game as a duo, threesome or quartet is definitely recommended as it brings a bigger level of enjoyment to the proceedings than just playing it solo does. Although the story in Borderlands may seem rather loose through the majority of it, it is littered with enough gags and enjoyable moments to become totally immersed in it. This is a great example of a hybrid genre game, and combined with the hours of downloadable content, no wonder this game became such a huge seller.

      *This review is also on Ciao, under "MonsoonBaby88"*
      *Also on 8-Bit Girl: http://8-bitgirl.blogspot.com/2011/09/borderlands-review.html *

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        10.09.2010 15:45
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        Could have been better.

        Borderlands sells it's self as the first FPSRPG hybrid, combining a proper FPS environment with RPG elements also.

        When the game first loads you get a nice intro giving you the basic story and you pick your character, I cannot recall exact names but basically, all round guns guys, a ranger guy, a close range brawler guy and a stealthy girl.

        I choose the soldier guy as i prefer to shoot stuff :-P.

        So the shooting element does seem to work well, with headshots causing critical and targeting arms and legs causing enemies to stumble etc. AI seems intelligent enough, with berserker units running towards you (sometimes on fire) and the brutes who slowly walk towards you with a machine gun constantly shooting. The general enemies are smart enough to take cover and shout for help etc.
        As you hit enemies there are damage indicators to show the damage, you can do more damage the more you use a weapon.

        Killing enemies and doing the missions also grants experience, when u level up you get a skill point to put into a stat that can improve attack defence or your special ability.

        Each class has special ability, as a soldier I can put down a turret with cover for you to hide from, this is handy if you are caught in the open with enemies in front. I cannot recall the other classes abilities unfortunately.

        Most of the missions are the go here and find this, usually killing everyone in the way some missions involve going to cave of sorts to collect certain items and to be honest they become samey very quickly.

        The much hyped gazillion weapons system seems a nice idea, but I don't think its very great in action, it all boils down to sniper, shotgun, assault rife, smg, handguns, launchers, revolvers and alien. But they all feel a bit samey to me, some of the weapons do have things like exploding bullets and it feels it could have been better, I was expecting the weapons to be drastically different, not just a few stat changes.

        The story involves looking for a mythical vault which barely comes into it.

        This game try's to create its own genre but it seems to make a half assed attempt at both RPG and Shooter sides. It feels the only RPG elements are the stats and missions really. The game is probably average at best. If you like cel shading graphics is good and the sound is pretty good also. IF you are looking for a game of this sort I would take Fallout 3 or Mass Effect over this both seem superior in most if not all areas. The only thing Borderlands appears to have over these two is the multiplayer, you and a friend can roam around doing the missions etc, the mobs tend to have better loot drops this way, but it needs to be a buddy as casual players dropping in and out doesn't work too well.

        Achievements are balanced well.

        Overall i nice try but could have been better.

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        06.06.2010 10:33
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        Very fun game. If you liked Fallout 3. definitely try this!

        Borderlands is one of the handful of FPS RPG games out there.
        This game combines a FPS experience like COD (Also has the exact same controls as COD) but adds the RPG element of doing quests and missions like Oblivion.

        Borderlands starts off where you get to select your class, Hunter, Solider, Siren or Berserker. Hunter are the snipers. When playing online, this is the person who sits at the back picking them all off. Soldiers are basicly good at everything. They are best with a assault rifle though. The Siren is a class where its more magical. They use a sub machine gun and there special skill makes them invisible.

        Berserker is a class where its more like running in and hitting things. There special skill is to have a super powerful punch. So you need to get used to close combat if your playing this character :P

        I recommend playing as a solider the first time you play this game because they a generally good at everything and when you think your going to die you can use your special skill which brings our a turret and a little base type thing for you to hide behind.

        Borderlands is a amazing game but the only downside is there are a lot of people modding and boosting. Also it get's boring once you have played it through once.

        I Give this 4 Stars! - A game 'Almost' At perfection!!

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        31.05.2010 13:38
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        A perfect blend of shooter and role playing

        this is a review on Borderlands for the Xbox 360 produced by Gearbox and 2K Games.

        Borderlands is a new generation of games as it combines the two most popular game genres into one fantastic game. Enter the RPS (Role Playing Shooter), bringing the action and perspective of a first person shooter and the progression, storyline and leveling of a role playing game.

        On paper this really appeals to me and I wasn't dissapointed. You start the game chosing between four characters which if your like me is a moot point as you will go back and play the game with all four anyway. Roland is a soldier and former Crimson Lance mercenary. Rifles and shotguns are his standard-issue weapons. Lilith a Siren Phasewalker who can fight invisibly with extreme speed. She prefers guns firing incendiary, shock and corrosive rounds. Mordecai a hunter whos bird of prey Bloodwing follows him into battle. Mordecai is a sniper rifle master favoring the revolver as a sidearm. Brick a berzerker who annihilates adversaries with his fists while in an almost indestructable rage state. When not pulverizing enemies by hand, Brick fights usinf explosive weaponry. Then you are introduced to the land of Pandora, a baron wasteland inhabated by gangs of raiders, treasure hunters such as yourself and people determined to make money off you.

        The first thing to strike me is the clever use of the almost cartoon like cell shading graphics. Although this sounds tacky, it works really well with the setting, creating a fantasy setting without commiting too much to reality.

        Borderlands plays fantastically well to both of the genres it has taken on board. For each character there is hundreds of types of weaponry from incendery shotguns and rocket launchers to electrifying SMG's, explosive assault rifles, sniper rifles and the usual suspects of revolvers and pistols. You also recieve a special 'ability' depending on the character, as the siren you are able to travel between planes for a short time avoiding enemies and creating an energy pulse as you exit and re-enter the plane which can damage your foes. As the soldier you have possibily the most handy of all abilities the 'scorpio turret' an automated machine gun turret fully equipped with a handy shield also providing the ability to regenerate your health, shield and even your ammo! As the hunter you are bestowed with Bloodwing, your trusty hawk who will fly out and attack your foes rewarding you with extra loot and XP and finally as the berzerker you are rewarded with a brief period of hightened damage, greater resistance to damage and elevated health regeneration.

        From the word go you are your own person completing quests or challenges for people along the way with the final goal to find the illusive Pandora Treasure.

        I thoroughly enjoyed this game and as the game doesn't end at the end where you can take your highly levelled and well trained character through the game a second and even a third time with elevated difficulty and even up to three other players can play with you in your game over Xbox Live the fun never stops.

        You can buy Borderlands online at Amazon fro around £23 or on the highstreet at stores like Gamestation or HMV for around £30-35.

        I highly recomend this game to any FPS or RPG game fan or indeed anyone who wants to try something new.

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        29.03.2010 01:23
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        Overall, a great action shooter game

        Borderlands is a pretty decent game for the XBox 360 in the same sort of league as the Fallout games and is a First person role playing shooter.
        The game itself centres around a failed colony of space colonists who discover a planet that is completely barren and desolate and also in ruins. Some of them leave the planet and others stay there. However, thos that stay descend into a form of chaos as there are no laws. It is one day on this planet that they realise that there may be an alien 'vault' on the planet that contains riches. A group is sent off into the unknown to try and find it, triggering the shoot em up game.

        There are a huge amount of enemies to tackle in your journey through this first person shooter. You get points for each enemy you kill in the game and these points can be spent on new abilities or weapon upgrades.

        You are also allowed to upgrade the attributes and skills of the character you are controlling. So you can make a soldier a medic by enhancing his medical skills or make him a more deadly sniper for example.

        Weapons you use get upgraded automatically and they each have attributes like accuracy, precision and how quickly you can reload the gun. Therefore you can upgrade a weapon to do more damage. There are plenty of different types of weapons and guns in the game for you to use which is great.

        This game is exciting and high paced throughout the levels and it's well worth trying. If you like Fallout and those types of games then I think you will also love this particular game.

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        13.03.2010 23:07
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        5 out of 5. Great game

        Borderlands is set in a post apocolyptic world. Very similar to mad max if you're a fan. The name of the game is Loot, pillage, assassinate and shoot your way to the top. A very enjoyable experience.

        If you're a fan of the Modern Warfare collection then you'll like this game as the controls are basically the same with very few differences and the graphics are great.

        The single player campaign has you doing various jobs for a variety of good old town folk and cut throat mercenaries ranging from collecting items to assassinating heavily protected mercenary bosses.

        In this game you also won't spend hours just walking through the desert as you gain access quite early in the game to a lovely armoured vehicle fitted with optional rockets or a machine gun. Too many games have been made like this were you wind up spending precious time wandering in a wasteland with nothing surrounding you however this is game is an exception. You can be in the sound mind that your time will be well spent sharing your bullets with the enemy rather than walking around aimlessly.

        The fact the game is free roaming as well means there are endless possibilities out there waiting to be discovered.

        This game is definately money well spent. Just one piece of advice, if you're going to buy this game then make sure you have plenty of free time to play it, which may involve locking yourself in the room with a supply of snacks and drinks.

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        12.02.2010 20:14

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        a good game that will eat up the hours as you blast round the wastelands blowing up everything!

        Bringing to the table an impressive resume of having the best elements of first person shooters and a leveling system found in most Role players these days borderlands sounds like a very hard to pull off game. Give it a chance though and itll blow your mind, Not being the best in any areas of what it promised to be you may feel slightly dissapointed at first but ad you get into the game and get your first rocket launching shotgun you embrace the sillyness of this game and come to love its cartoon graphics and then just when you thought you couldnt have any more fun you get three friends too play with or play against in the arena. That is not to say this isnt what it set out to be with many options for each character class to specialise in from becoming a straight out tank to being a melee heavy ghost its all upto the player on how they choose to rip apart the world. It doesn't lack in the weapon area either giving you literally thousands of weapons all different in their own way from a shotgun that shhots rockets to an alien powered sniper rrifle that blows peoples heads off you will never tire of what this game gives as long as you have a friend to enjoy it with.

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        12.02.2010 17:00
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        Great game!

        Borderlands is an RPG, FPS game and it is PEHNOMINAL. If you've ever played a game like Phantasy Star Online or Diablo then you'll love it.

        The main concept of the game is loot. Everytime you kill an enemy, it drops loot (items) and the bigger, better enemies you kill the better loot they drop. This 'loot' can include weapons,shields or ammo - this is the main draw to the game and soon becomes very addictive!

        The graphical style is cel-shaded and reminiscent of Jet Set Radio/XIII but fits really well with the comedy but realistic style to the game. The game can also be played with multiple players over XBOX LIVE which is a definite bonues.

        One thing I have to say is that this game is HUGE! You can play for many, many hours and still not have completed everything. The main quest will take you in the region of 20 hours - but you will want to do loads of side quests on the way which will take you to 80-100 hours! Plus, there's a whole host of DLC for the game already (three packs so far) all adding new things to do in the Borderlands world!

        Take my advice and go get this game!

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          11.02.2010 12:31
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          An inch from being a masterpiece. Co-op fans must buy

          Like the Colossus of Rhodes, 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2', straddled the winter 2009 game release schedule filling others with awe. Its sheer selling potential saw countless game run for the relative safety of 2010. "Think you got what it takes 'Mass Effect 2'?" "Want a piece of this 'Bioshock 2'?" "Please don't leave me all alone 'Splintercell: Conviction." But alone the game did stay. Perhaps the various AAA games were right to jump ship as 'CoD:MW2' went on to sell more copies than any other game in such a short period of time. What of the fools that decide to go toe to toe with the mighty 'CoD'? These brave games sent out to die, we salute you! One such game was 'Borderlands' a FPS that had online 4 player co-op; surely a new IP would not do well, or perhaps it would be the highest selling new IP of the year?

          Gameplay

          'Borderlands' likes to consider itself a new breed of genre, a first person shooter role playing game (FPSRPG). This means that it takes various elements from both these genres; the shooting mechanics of the FPS and the virtual dice throwing of the RPG. Unlike 'Fallout 3', that also did this, 'Borderlands' is a shooter first and a RPG second. As a FPS it holds up on its own merit with some good controls and varied weapons. It is equipping these weapons when things get more RPG based. The weapons have different strengths and weaknesses that you must use to your benefit. You end up equipping something new and better every 30 minutes or so.

          What separates 'Borderlands' from other shooters is perhaps the traditional RPG element of levelling up a character. You choose from 4 different character types and as you gain experience you can improve certain skills from shooting ability to magic. Throw in some quality 4 player co-op throughout the campaign and you have a polished title that holds up well. Some of the most fun I had in 2009. (5 out of 5)

          Characters/Story

          Having read some of the blurb before the game was released I actually knew quite a bit about the story of 'Borderlands' before starting. Set on the alien planet Pandora you play as one of 4 adventurers looking for a hidden vault. I am glad that I knew this before the game started as I was seriously disappointed with the lack of story in the game. There was nothing much different in the world from hour 1 to hour 20! As for the ending section - better best forgotten.

          The characters themselves fare only slightly better. As RPG creations they are very good - each character has a different set of traits and must be developed and played with differently. The tank can build up his armour, whilst the sniper improves on his long range skills and pet bird. Great as avatars, not great as characters. You get to know little to nothing about them in the game so they lack personality. The story and characters had the potential to be so rich in this game, but they are not. An area that Gearbox can improve upon in 'Borderlands 2'. (3 out of 5)

          Longevity

          Two genres, with two different reputations for gamelife. The FPS is often too short clocking in at 6-8 hours, whilst the RPG is often 50+ hours! 'Borderlands' fits nicely between these two stables at around 15-20 hours. I actually think that this is a little short for the game and that the way the game wraps up so quickly towards the end suggests that Gearbox were rushed for time. There are achievements for reaching all the ranks as well as playing each character; if you wanted these you would be looking at a further 10 hours. This is not my style, so I judge game length on a single play through. (4 out of 5)

          Online

          Sweet co-op, games are nearly always better with friends. I have played countless below average games that would have sucked had I been playing solo. However, with pals the poor gameplay becomes an excuse for laughter and a chat. Co-op becomes even better with a quality game like 'Borderlands'. The 4 player co-op is seamless and throughout the full campaign. You can jump in and out of a person's game and it does not affect your save. Although the game can be tackled alone, it feels far more impressive with a bunch of pals. This game is a definite for fans of co-op. (5 out of 5)

          Graphics

          Some games have a troubled production and many believed this was the case with 'Borderlands' when news broke that they were redoing the graphics. Originally a plain old shooter Gearbox decided to go back and cell shade it all. This means giving the game a more cartoon based set of textures. It turns out that this was an outstanding idea as a game set in a bland desert world suddenly looks different from all the other grey and brown based games out there. The cell shaded graphics work a treat to give the game a unique feel. However, like many ambitious games with open worlds there is more tearing and glitches than I would like. On several occasions I walked through rocks etc. There are enough small issues with the graphics for me to drop them a point. (4 out of 5)

          Level Design

          'Borderlands' is another game that makes commenting on level design increasingly difficult. The world is more a series of hubs than levels, and most require you to do several things within them. As a series of maps they work well; with the run down docks standing out especially. Unfortunately, I felt that the desert setting hampered the hubs a little as they all felt a little too similar with various shades of drab colours. There was also an issue with the way that you warped from one area to the next, this gave a sense of disconnection to me. Finally, the final hub area felt far too rushed and left the game ending on a whimper. There is so much more that Gearbox can do in terms of level design in 'Borderlands 2' that I hope they really embrace the varied places they can set challenges, rather than another set of dusty bowls. (3 out of 5)

          Sound

          With its 'Western in space' feel, 'Borderlands' has some great ambience to it. The weapons sound great and the voices of the characters are awesome when they pop up with a quip or two. However, these quips are few and far between and there is in fact little use of dialogue throughout the game as a lot of the people are the strong silent types. I also thought that the music was decent, but could have been a lot more memorable. A decent job, but not excellent. (3 out of 5)

          Summary

          If I was being a rabid fan of co-op I would scream the virtues of this game from the highest building and give it a full 5 stars. However, although the game is an awesome 4 player experience it has a multitude of small problems that need to be addressed in future games in the series. Personally, I do not see this as a bad thing as if an excellent game has room for improvement, then things can only be better for the consumer. I would like to have seen a better narrative, a more coherent world structure and a conclusion that did not suck. Overall, these problems were small compared to the amount of fun playing the actual game is, but significant enough to prevent the game from being an absolute classic. (4 out of 5)


          Maker: Gearbox RRP £50
          Amazon uk £23.73
          Play.com £20.99

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            04.01.2010 15:14
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            Addictive game that really deserved more gaming time!

            Borderlands is a fairly new game that is available on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. I am reviewing the game that is for the 360.

            Borderlands is a mix of FPS (first person shooter) and RPG (role playing game), and combined they make RPS (role playing shooter), one of the first to be created for the Xbox 360. Basically meaning it's a shooting game from a first person point of view, which also comprises quests, missions and well thought out storylines.

            It has been compared to other Xbox games like Fallout 3 and Oblivion due to its role playing nature, and has been given great write ups from gaming websites and magazines, being called "completely original" with "fantastic graphics".

            One aspect that makes this game so unique is the graphics. Before this game, I'd never heard of the term "cell-shaded". When I first started playing, I was fascinated by the graphics of Borderlands, as objects far away in the distance looked realistic, but everything up close was cartoony and as if it was from a comic book. The detail on everything is fantastic, as on each character/villain/animal it's got all the proper shading as though it was a realistic drawing, but the vibrant colours make it cartoon-like. I then learnt that this style of design was called cell-shading and commonly used in comic books. This factor really makes the game stand out from others, and I've never played a game like it. The graphics make everything in the game really bold and colourful. The second I started playing I was completely intrigued to keep going.

            You choose from four different characters at the beginning. I chose Siren, the only female character - a common theme for me as I am indeed a female. I found this character very easy to get along with. Each person has their own special ability which can be a physical attack, an extension to your weaponry, or a magical power. Siren has the ability to launch herself into 'invisible mode', where she becomes unnoticeable for a short period of time and during that time can move about very quickly. It is useful in all stages of the game, especially at points where you have been overcome with enemies or become trapped between a few different villains and you can use this ability/skill to quickly escape and move to another point.

            Each character has a 'Skill Tree'. As you get further into the game, you get experience. This experience builds up to make you a higher level (the highest is level 50), and for each level you go up you can choose to add a skill to your Tree. There are loads of different options so I won't write them all here, but some examples are: making your character stronger, making his/her shield last longer, making their special ability last longer, etc. For my character, Siren, I filled up one section of the tree that made her invisibility mode damage enemies in the blast radius when she performed it. This was very helpful and gained me a lot of experience.

            I played this game cooperatively with my boyfriend and he chose the Soldier character. The special skill this guy has is the ability to lay down a gun turret which automatically shoots at nearby enemies. This is very handy if you're facing plenty of villains, as you can lay it down, crouch behind it for cover and just let it take care of everything for you! At the beginning of the game the turret lasts for about 30 seconds and you have to wait about 3 minutes inbetween usage, which seems like forever! You can use your skill tree to make the inbetween time shorter, to make the turret last longer, or even so that when you're standing near to the turret you and nearby friendly characters regain health AND ammo. This is probably the best perk of this character, and possibly makes this character the best in the game. When me and my boyfriend stood near his turret we both regained ammo and health, therefore removing the need to keep buying more ammo and health packs (therefore saving precious money).

            The other two characters available are Hunter and Beserker. Hunter reminds me of The Crow a bit: big leather jacket, make up, etc. The Hunter's special ability allows the character to release a flock of birds (even more like The Crow!) which attacks enemies, and this skill can get better the more you fill up your skill tree. Beserker is an interesting character; he is very big and strong! His special ability is a physical one and allows him to go into a fast mode where he becomes invisible, much like Siren's ability, and can quickly pummel his fists into enemies to take them down. This is a handy skill when there are lots of enemies surrounding you nearby as you can move around them from behind and beat them up!

            This skills aspect of the game is really motivational as it is difficult to choose which special abilities to give your character from the skill tree, and which skills will make your character 'best'. At any point you can reset your skill tree and reconfigure where all your level 'points' will go, but this will cost you money.

            The game begins on a bus driving through a deserted landscape, you can only see sand and tumbleweed in the distance. You get off the bus and approach some rocks which surround a small, deserted community (no mention of where everyone is) and a small robot called Claptrap introduces himself and begins to explain some of the story and what you must do. The voiceovers in this game are very interesting - the person who voices the Claptrap makes him sound very cute! (Though this does get annoying after a while!). You start with a rubbish weapon that hardly does any damage and you are level 1. We are introduced to a few of the characters, and a couple of villains. You have to shoot the villains; this is like a practice as it tells you what to do. A few more controls are explained and then you enter the first part of the map, Arid Badlands. Here you have to complete some introductory quests and this really helps you get a feel for the game.

            You can only use your weapon to begin with. Once you get to level 5 (not difficult to do at all) then you can start using your special ability to kill enemies. This is where the fun begins! The levelling up system is consistent and motivating, and with each level you are introduced to better weapons, better perks and allows you to upgrade to more powerful skills.

            There are lots of different quests and missions in this game, and you have to go to new areas to explore them all properly and to pick up more quests. Some quests are simply to kill Bosses or certain people, some are to talk to people, some are to collect plants or objects, some are to enter certain places. In return for completing quests you receive experience points to help you boost your level. You may also receive money or a weapon/shield as a bonus. Sometimes these can be amazing, but more often than not they're a bit pants so you can just sell them for money!

            There are seven different types of gun in this game: Combat Rifle, Pistol, Revolver, Rocket Launcher, Shotgun, Sniper Rifle and Sub-Machine Gun. These can be purchased from randomly-placed vending machines around the map. The vending machines are great ways to get your hands on more weaponry, for example, guns, shields, ammo, and other things like health packs and weapon perks. You can also pick these things up, most of the time from enemies who you've killed as they drop bits and pieces. Generally you'll find the better weapons are dropped rather than in a vending machine, though I believe that the method of finding weapons is a little inconsistent. Sometimes a complete nobody villain will drop a wicked weapon, yet a Boss (an enemy that was really tough to kill for a quest) will drop a weapon not even worth selling. The selling aspect of the game is another similarity to RPG gaming, as you can sell items for money to buy even better items.

            In Borderlands, guns are rated by colour as to their rarity so you can generally tell at ease whether they are worth anything/do much damage.

            Another brilliant part of the game is the vehicles. Once you've got to a certain level, vehicle pick-up points appear in certain places where you can magic a jeep out of thin air! You can have up to two vehicles at any one time, and if two of your teammates are in them and you wish to be travelling with them, you can even teleport to the jeep for ease of movement! The jeeps also have the ability to fire bullets or rockets which is brilliant in destroying enemies and makes getting around much much easier - allowing you more time to complete quests and get your level up!

            The higher level you are, the higher level your enemies are, which makes the game consistent and fair, and prevents the game from becoming boring - the more you play the harder it gets.

            It is quite an easy going game which doesn't require too much thought, though the storyline is a little hard to follow, and on my first play through I didn't pay much attention to it. It didn't make the game harder, but made me wonder a lot of the time where on earth I was and what was I doing!! From what I could gather you are sent to a different planet looking for an alien to collect something or other from it! Along the way there are enemies to kill, both people and animals, both of which will attack you. There is a map feature which helps you find your way by handily showing where you are and where you have to go, hence why I found it not too important to follow the storyline as I simply had to follow the path to go to the next bit. It probably would have made the game more enjoyable though if I properly understood the quests I had to embark on.

            Unfortunately I found the ending to be a bit of an anti-climax. Yet another Boss to kill, and yes it was difficult, but nothing spectacular happened which made me go "Wow! I must play that again!". Fortunately at the time Borderlands released a 'patch', basically an add-on which can be downloaded from the Xbox Live Marketplace, which is an additional bit to the game to make it longer. I was disappointed you had to pay for this patch, but due to the nature of it I quickly forgave the producers! It was a zombie version of Borderlands, where you are introduced to a new part of the planet, and instead of the usual villains, they are all zombies. The colours and tone of the game changed too, and everything was a lot darker and more intense. There are quests for you to complete throughout this patch, and I managed to complete it cooperatively with my boyfriend in about 5 days, which wasn't too bad. Not too long but not too short.

            A brilliant aspect of this game is the co-op ability. As previously mentioned, my boyfriend and I completed this together which was really fun. Though I dislike the split screen for the pure fact that I don't like sharing the TV(!), it was fun and engaging. I really like working cooperatively on games and Borderlands really encourages it by making it easy to use and enjoyable. You can have up to four people playing in one game, and I find this works best when you're playing online with three others. The online games are fairly easy to get into by selecting Quick Match, though it's best to match your skill level up to the other people in the game, therefore if you're level 30, it's best to enter into a game with other level 30s, so that you're all at the same point.

            You can also duel with friends both offline and online. I didn't really find much point to doing this - but you get a nice Xbox achievement out of it if you win a duel when you do it for the first time so it's definitely something to try out!

            Speaking of achievements, I found them quite easy to come by. I've never fully completed a game and received ALL achievements for them on Xbox before, therefore was pleasantly surprised to find out that when I completed this game I had almost all of the achievements. You receive achievements mostly by completing quests or gaining access to different territories. There are only a few achievements that you really have to put lots of effort into, and these aren't difficult to get, but can be a bit time consuming.

            The controls of the game are fairly easy to get the hang of, and are definitely more matched to RPG rather than FPS. They are quite generic to Xbox so if you're used to most controls on that, then it should be very easy to pick up.

            Overall it is a really addictive game with brilliant visuals. I completed the game cooperatively in about three weeks and to be honest I'm not really sure how I feel about that! As a FPS, three weeks on a game is actually quite a long time to complete it if you're playing a lot, but for a RPG, I found three weeks quite disappointing. Most RPGs are continuous and never ending, and whilst technically there is no end to the game as you can roam the Borderlands as much as you want, eventually you do run out of quests so there is no point to the game anymore. I think the designers could have made the game last longer, with more quests so it has the proper feel of a continuous RPG. Another downside to the game was that I feel there could have been better weapons nearing the end of the game, and also the 'Loading...' page inbetween different Borderlands areas was really long, I wish they could have speeded it up!

            Despite these points, this game definitely had me reeled in, and completely overtook my life for three weeks - I was even dreaming about it at night! So probably for the best it wasn't any longer.... ;)

            For any gamer, I really recommend this game. Though I've said a few downie points about it, Borderlands is an incessantly addictive game which is fun, enjoyable and brilliant to play cooperatively. Though I stopped playing it a month ago when I completed it, I feel that in a few more months when I've forgotten most of the story I'd happily pick up my controller again and replay it, but this time being a different character, and I reckon I'd love it!

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              03.01.2010 20:45
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              Not a must buy, but fun for all

              Borderlands is simply a very cool game, starting from the funky graphics and the weird characters, the endless amount of weaponary, theres something for everyone in this game.

              The most noticable part of the game are the graphics, dont expect them to be like anything you've seen before, however they have been used in a few games in the past. The graphics use a cartoony effect which is odd to look at but once you get used to it they arent so bad, do not dismiss the game because of the graphics as a lot of people will do so. The voice over for the characters is very good, its very entertaining to hear what the characters have to say, the story line is very good but can be pointless at some times.

              Borderlands in not simply just a single player campaign game, it also has many side missions which have to their own goals, which you can start and stop at any time. Reading the map is very easy so you can navigate through the world without any trouble and their is also a navigation bar at the bottom of the screen. Their is also an online co-op for you and your friends to play together, but enemies dont really stand a chance against four opponents. You can also level up through the game which allows you to upgrade your weapons to your own preference.

              They have added vehicles to the game which makes the game better than I expected, there are also rocket launchers and the vehicles have mini guns to add to the damage that you can cause. The best part of having vehicles is being able to run everything over!! However, there is a negative to vehicles and that is the controls are very awkward ar first and can take a long time to get used to.

              The only downside to borderlands is the loading times from one section
              of a world to the other, to add up to this nonsense is the loading images which are so boring to look at. As I said before the controls for the vehicles are awful and take a long time to get used to, they needed to be better for this game. The background music can also get annoying after a certain amount of time. Four and a half stars from me.

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              02.01.2010 23:51

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              great game and keeps you entertained for long periods of time!

              Borderlands is an interesting and fresh face in the first person shooter market. Namely because of its rpg like nature that goes with it. Who would have thought this would turn out to be one of its many great features!!

              Borderlands crosses the free roaming and explorative nature of fallout 3 and oblivion while at the same time throwing up to, get this 7 BILLION combinations of weapons for the user to choose from. Essentially there are 7 basic weapon types; rocket launcher, sniper, rifle, pistol, magnum, and semi automatic pistol. Eash with customisable elemental properties such as fire, ice etc.

              The multiplayer ability is integrated to an amasingly high standard with drop in drop out functionality aswell as the ability to duel your friends in arena's aswell as on the street in the free roaming environment. All in all if you like a game where you don't have to think too much about what your doing and can basically "kill and collect" then this is definately the game for you.

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