Aug 29, 2010

Full Review: Borderlands (PS3)

My posts have been few and far between for the last month or so, and it has more than a little to do with my recent career change. However, some of my absence from the internet has to do with a near-obsession I've had with the RPG-FPS Borderlands (read my "First Impressions of Borderlands").

Needless to say, I jumped completely on-board with this strange, cell-shaded, Beyond the Thunderdome-ish romp of an action RPG, and I've only this past weekend stopped logging hours in it. I beat the game, hit level forty, and decided there was little else I wanted to accomplish.

I'm still not a fan of the online co-op (even though that's the way everyone says I should play it) and parts of the game toward the end get unbelievably tedious, but overall, it's pretty solid. My friends have been calling it "Cartoon Fallout," and I suppose that's a fair description of it.

But DAMN is that game fun! Beyond the endless trekking across sort of repetitive, desolate landscapes in the last quarter of the game, seeing a dude's head explode through the scope of a sniper rifle never quite gets old. I ended up overleveling for much of the game - once I realized that being underleveled would be a nightmare - and dominated entire sections of the game, blowing through missions and racking up HP, money, and guns like nobody's business.

I have to admit, I grew to enjoy maintaining my inventory like I would a garden, selling guns when all my slots were full, buying new and improved corrosive or shock rifles, watching my pockets grow fat and then using that money to purchase new guns, mods, or upgrades. It went well beyond playing a game. I'm sort of a clutter nut, so I hated keeping unnecessary guns. Even though I played the game using the Solder class, I became attached to the sniper rifles and abandoned or ignored pistols, shotguns, and SMGs altogether after a time. I didn't even really ever upgrade my grenades, because the sniper rifles I found came to be so overpowering.

The literally thousands of guns in the game kept the interest level high. Borderlands might have peaked for me had I been stuck with the same few weapons. And here's where I have to say that it's pretty dishonest to claim that there are thousands of guns in the game, since many of them are merely differently-named, differently-colored, or differently-statted (yep, I made it up) guns, but the constant upgrades gave me a strange sense of accomplishment. Like with my distaste for clutter, I found comparing the stats of guns and making a snap judgment to sell one in favor of another made me feel unnecessarily like a leader or a rogue or something.

Each enemy, like the player, has a level attached to him/it, so you instantly know what you're going up against. I was always keenly aware of when I had stepped into an area I wasn't ready conquer (due to the markedly higher number above the forehead of my enemy) and would thus haul ass out of there until I'd reached a higher level. Even though I hated the grinding, once I reached about level 25, the difficulty curve of the game leveled out, and I was able to move with some confidence throughout the rest of the game.

I couldn't tell you what the story was about (mostly because I played while listening to my iPod), but that doesn't matter. I've heard that the plot for Borderlands is kind of watery anyway, so that never got in the way of the game for me, either way. I was able to tune out much of the plot garbage in favor of killing things and upgrading my character. That's really the big draw of Borderlands in the first place. It's a bloody, goofy, fun game, devoid of any unnecessary self-seriousness, and I highly recommend it, if you can be patient enough to reach level 10.

No comments:

Post a Comment