First Impressions: Borderlands

Last night, for some odd reason, everyone that I hang out with was unavailable for a multitude of reasons. Around midnight I decided that I was officially bored and didn’t feel like thinking about anything (Limbo and Portal) or feeling anything (BioShock and Dead Space), so I fired up Borderlands – which has been gathering dust for about a month. My sister’s boyfriend actually gave this to me as a gift through Steam, and I had been feeling kind of meh about it. I figured now was as good a time as any to try it out.

The opening cinematic is on the longer side, but cool in style – it looks and feels like you’re in the middle of a graphic novel. “Cool,” I thought. “I bet it only looks like this in the cinematic though.” Once the cinematic ends, you can choose from 4 characters on a planet called Pandora – 2 muscley “warrior” types (I assume that they’re good for melee as well as range), a hunter (range), and a siren (some range, but also stealth and deception). I decided to try the siren first as it was the only female character, and being a living, breathing female I like to play female characters when the option is available.

Once the actual gameplay began, I was pleased to notice that the graphic style didn’t change, so it was very cool to run around for a minute and take in the detail of the world.


The Siren and Claptrap


Pandora has a very "sketched" feel to it

Gameplay starts with a short-ish tutorial – you have a robot guide named Claptrap who runs you through everything. He’s a bit silly and if he were a constant companion, I think that he’d get old pretty fast. Luckily, he only hangs around for the first few minutes.

I only played for about an hour or so last night, but so far the graphics are what make the game shine. Gameplay is standard for an FPS – you have your standard weapons consisting of shotguns and rifles, etc. The game is also considered an RPG, so there are some of those elements – Rather than going for the larger end goal, you have quests/missions that need to be done: kill so many of these mobs, go find so-and-so, etc.

I wasn’t expecting much going into this game, and I think that that’s how it’s going to turn out, but I could be wrong. The game is single-player with the ability to play with others online, but so far it’s just a mindless, cool looking FPS. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you like a solid storyline, strategy, interesting characters, etc., this is not the game for you. However, if you want something that kills a bit of time, is fun in it’s own right and kind of runs like a movie, check this game out. Borderlands is available on several platforms, and the chances are good that you have one of them.


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