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Review: Borderlands - PC, Xbox 360, PS3

by Steven Williamson on 26 October 2009, 16:09

Tags: Borderlands, Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO), PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Action/Adventure

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FPS Action Meets RPG Character Progression:

Version played - PS3

What is Borderlands?
Set in an urban, post-apocalyptic fantasy universe, on a planet nestled on the edge of the galaxy, Borderlands is Gearbox Software’s first-person shooter/RPG hybrid. Boasting a graphic-novel art-style and a content generation system that publisher 2K Games describes as “ground-breaking,” Borderlands features an EXP levelling system and traditional RPG-style quests that blend combat and exploration.

The story-driven gameplay centres on the planet of Pandora, where colonists have landed in search of precious mineral resources. Discovering that the planet harbours alien-life forces and no mineral content, many colonists leave while others settle on the planet in search for any alien technology that could make them rich beyond their wildest dreams.

Choosing from one of four classes: Berserker, Siren, Hunter and Soldier, you play as one of the fortune hunters as you carry out quests for cash and loot through mines, caves and scrapyards. Along the way you're tasked with eliminating any bandits or alien creatures that stand in your way. Character progression is shaped via a skill tree, where you can assign points to various skills such as improving melee damage or weapon accuracy, or increasing the power of your shields.

Exploration and looting play a significant part in Borderlands, but the majority of the gameplay involves combat. As you search the wastelands for a mysterious alien vault, you'll come across bandits and a variety of alien creatures, such as midget psychos or the vicious, snapping, dog-like Skags. Though combat happens in real-time, each enemy has a level as well, so the number-crunching game engine takes your current level into account, along with the weapon you have equipped, to deduct points per hit. As your character progresses through the levels you unlock new areas and get to tackle bigger enemies and more demanding challenges, earning better rewards as a result.

Borderlands features over 16 million combinations of weapon-types, from shotguns that shoot rockets to a rifle that projects lightning balls. In addition to vehicle-to-vehicle combat, Borderlands also features local and multiplayer co-op so that you can hook up to tackle the stronger enemies and pick up some sweet loot with the back-up of further fire-power.

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Gameplay Impressions overleaf...