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Game Reviews

Borderlands Review

In the FPS/RPG hybrid Borderlands, you're on Planet Pandora where there is rumoured to be a "Vault" that holds all kinds of treasures and you just happen to be one of the hunters after it. Right after you arrive, it just so happens the mysterious "Guardian Angel" suddenly contacts and starts giving you instructions to follow to find the Vault.



It's an FPS/RPG hybrid where you can experience points which in turn allow you to level up and spend points on skills. There's plenty of stats to go by as you would expect from an RPG if you want to beat those enemies and bosses.

You start off by selecting a character class which all have their own unique skills such as the Soldier being able to deploy a turret temporarily to help him out. Then you're given missions to carry out. Unlike most shooters where you can save whenever you want, there is actually save points that cost you money if you die and need to respawn. The fun thing is if you do die you get a chance to resurrect yourself by trying to kill off an enemy before you bleed to death.

Choose a class... Kind of.

There's plenty of quests which are mostly of the killing type but you do have the odd pick up quests too. Even though you gain experience from killing off enemies the XP is so small, most of the time you will be doing quests to gain the majority of your experience.

Vending machines have battery power...

Another point I should make is that while in RPGs you would expect to move onto a new group of enemies after levelling up for so long, here you're faced with the same old beasties and thugs out to get you.

It's kind of awkward picking up all the items but fortunately, you can hold down the pick up button to pick everything up at once. If you're going to be making money to stock yourself up on items such as med-kits of better shields, you'll be doing a lot of inventory management and picking up too.

Same old, same old.

That said, everything is mapped out very well with quest indicators showing where you need to go and a good log to keep everything in track. Nothing worse than going round in circles or neglecting a game then going back and forgetting what you were going to do.

Shops come in the form of vending machines that have battery life so you can't spend much time pondering what items or weapons to get - You have to choose quick which kind of increases the sense of survival in the game.

I can respawn!

Vehicles later come into the game which is a good thing because there's plenty of travelling back and forth. The funny thing is that they're almost "indestructible" because all they have a rechargable shield. As long as the shield doesn't go down to zero and you jump out in time, the vehicle stays intact leaving you to use its infinite supply of ammo to take out enemies or just to run them over. Kind of convenient when ammo can be hard to come by - especially during indoor quests.



The cell shading in the game looks great although there isn't a great deal of variety in terms of outdoor or even indoor environments. Most of the time you're looking at same dull, barron wastelands of Borderlands and the same could be said of enemies. Most of the time you're running over little Skags or just trying to defend yourself from the local thugs which gets pretty tiresome because their design doesn't vary much.

However, making up for the lack of variety is the comedy. Right from the start there's a bit of humour thrown in with the sketchy drawings and a monster being run over. There's characters with some pretty unique personalities coupled with some decent voice acting but, I don't think this game can beat No More Heroes in terms of unique style or comedy.

Claptrap the funny robot.

On the other hand, surround sound effects do a good job of raising the tension when you're inside and you can hear the psychos laughing in their hideous high-pitched voices nearby. The theme song "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" by Cage the Elephants is pretty catchy too.


Borderlands is an interesting FPS/RPG hybrid with an extended approach to the recent FPS games that allow you to speak with characters in the game world. However in the case of Borderlands, it doesn't really change the fact you're shooting most of the time so I would say it's more of an FPS - One with a boring, simplistic storyline that even the various hilarious lines can't help to make it more compelling to play in single player mode.

This is more of a game you would enjoy teaming up with other players online or over a LAN similar to the likes of Diablo.

Time Played 13 hours


  • The mix of RPG and FPS works quite well.
  • Quite a bit of comedy mixed in.
  • Quest log and map quite well implemented.
  • Large variety of rare equipment to be found and collected.
  • Pretty sleek cell-shaded graphics.
  • Surround sound creates some nasty moments.


  • Dull story compared to the bigger name RPGs.
  • Same old enemies most of the time.
  • Can't skip movies.

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