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Borderlands First Impressions

As far as the eye sees, only sand and rock. Plus maybe a skag or two trying to rip out your entrails!


If you like fighting hideous creatures, then maybe Borderlands is your thing. Personally, I prefer fighting a beautiful creature, because then I have something nice to look at while I’m extinguishing its life. (Seriously.) But that’s just me. Luckily Borderlands makes up for this huge failing (again, just me) by providing a great RPG/FPS experience, which they call a RPS (Role Playing Shooter).

So yeah, it’s already got me hooked.

I’m not the best shooter guy. My k/d ratio is usually between 0.5 and 0.7. So I’m not that good, but I like it a lot. So a game like this where it’s me and friends versus the console is just perfect for me. Add on top of that the role playing elements, and I’m definitely hooked. I love leveling up.

Like all the ads say, this game has a bazillion guns, but you only get to carry a very few of them. I hope that as I level up my carrying capacity increases because even though I’ve sold a bunch of guns I want to keep the ones I have just because I find them interesting. Too bad there’s no chest I can put them in, a la Sacred 2.

Like all the people say, the graphics are great. The stylized cartoony look is awesome, and it’s unbelievable how well it works with this style of game. To me it looks a lot better when I’m playing it than when I see it in ads or videos.

I’ve done a couple missions already, and leveled up a few times. Not every level up is a chance to actually improve your character however, which is unfortunate. But there is a different skill tree for each of the four character classes, which is great.

I haven’t played this game online yet so I can’t comment on that, nor on the supposed audio lag that lots of people are getting.

There are a couple gotchas. If you want to play two player split screen, all the characters have to be stored on one account, which sucks. It would be nice if my friend came over and we could play splitscreen, then he could continue playing at home online. But it doesn’t look like that’ll happen. I have one hope left: that the game creates multiple save files (one for each character) and that they can be moved between accounts seamlessly. That would solve the problem, but it’s a clunky solution at best, if it works. I’ll test it tonight. Another problem with the game is that in two player splitscreen mode, when you enter the menu you don’t see the whole menu. You have to scroll back and forth. I know why they did this – both players can enter the menu independently. But they really should have tailored the menu to the half screen it now occupies. A bit of laziness there on the part of the developers.

All in all I’m very happy with Borderlands. I’m not 75% done the game, like I am with Uncharted 2, so I still have lots more to discover. I’m glad to be playing two such great new games within weeks of each other. It makes my gaming heart full. Wait a sec, did that skag just steal it?

Update: There is an issue about playing this game with a friend, if you want to play both locally and online. See the support thread I just created on the topic.