Ahh, the RPG. We've all played them, and most of us are particularly picky about them. Believe me, I am -- they must meet a certain standard, and most simply fall short.
The art style alone in Borderlands made me take a look, and… Well, I never looked back.
There is so much variety in this game, that you'll really never get the same play through twice, which is a credit to the replayability. According to the developers, there are more than 17 MILLION 750 thousand different weapons. That alone is… Insane! And it really makes the loot in this game worthwhile.
In most RPGs I play, the loot takes the back seat to the combat… With Borderlands, they're neck and neck.
It's the first game that's got me genuinely excited to find out what my prey will drop, and it's an amazing gameplay element that I've yet to find elsewhere. (I'm a HUGE Diablo II fan, but even in that loot-centric game, I focus more on combat and getting things done. The loot is too monotonous for me to pay it much mind.)
And, while the loot is amazing, as I said, it's neck and neck with the combat. And let me tell you, the combat is something else.
It took me a few minutes to get used to the shooting, but once you do, it's incredibly satisfying. The sound effects, visual effects, and just overall feel of the moment when that bullet exits the barrel… It's exhilarating, and will keep you playing.
Speaking of getting used to things, when you first start, you will have a choice of four character types (as is standard with RPGs).
A Siren, a Berserker, a Hunter, and a Soldier. i
I chose a hunter, due to his proficiency with pistols and sniper rifles, which I just love to use. Not to mention his pet, Bloodwing, who adds a whole new element of combat to the game, allowing you to send him off and rip your victim to shreds.
As soon as you get into the game, a little robot named Claptrap (who you may have seen in promotional videos prior to the release of this game) helps you out and shows you where you need to go.
He. Is. Hysterical.
It is obvious that the developers got a lot of inspiration for this character from "Gir," the robot in the Invader Zim series. The voice is very similar, as are the things he says. And I'm a pretty big Zim fan, so this was an awesome addition to the game, and I was cracking up at points.
After you're done with him, the game really unravels. You meet all sorts of characters, and are met with a bunch of mission options at once, including a town board kinda thing that will contain a lot of side-missions that you can complete for XP, cash, or equipment.
Most of the missions in this game aren't just "point a to point b, pick up object c and return to point a."
Some of them are, but even in those cases they've got you traveling into an area that is incredibly dangerous and you'll have to fight for your life to get in and out.
That said, there are other missions that take you on an adventure… I recall there being a mission fairly early in where I had to go around picking up tapes. I'm not going to spoil this mission by giving away any specifics, but it was my favourite mission… I loved it.
In most games with aspects like that, such as Bioshock where you can pick up the tapes and hear their contents, I'm dully uninterested.
In Borderlands, however, they are actually INTERESTING! The developers even injected some comedy into it, and I was racing from one to the other just to hear what happens.
This is a sign of great development and huge creativity. I've never been that interested in a mission like that before.
This game, being an RPG, also has an awesome leveling system. It's kind of easy to level up, up until you get to about level fourteen or so… Then it hits you like a brick wall, and you'll be playing for a while to get up one more level. Not necessarily a bad thing, but a definite immediate change.
With new levels come new skills and abilities, etc, etc…
Plus, there's online gameplay which is apparently amazing… Co-op, which is a lot of fun with RPGs. Unfortunately, none of my friends have this game yet, and I don't quite like playing with strangers, so I've yet to experience this.
But, from what I've heard, it really makes the game. That said, I've had a whole lot of fun playing it on single player.
All in all, this game is amazing. Incredibly addictive FPS RPG with a huge variety of weapons, awesome loot, and creative quests. Oh, and amazingly awesome visuals.
What more can you ask for?