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whatshot Borderlands PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 9.8
Graphics 9.8
Sound 9.6
Value 9.5
Developer: Gearbox Games
Publisher:
2KGames
Classification:
MA15+
Review Date:
October 2009
Reviewer:
Andrew Brian Lewis

9.7


Borderlands
Available on PC, PS3 & XBox 360

The game takes place on Pandora a sparsely populated planet that is a barren wasteland. The alluring factor that brings people to this un-hospitable place is the story of an ancient vault placed there eons ago by an extraordinarily advanced alien race. It is said that the vault contains great treasures of wealth and power. The main occupation on the planet is treasure hunter.

That being said any form of civilized government has disappeared and there are now small outpost of mostly mercenaries and bandits who prefer to shoot first and ask questions later. There are a few safe havens located in the borderland most of which are merchant run.  Dealing with these merchants is done with not only money, but favors as well. You enter their world as one of four mercenaries with the goal of trying to find the alien vault for yourself. Will you be the one to find the vault? Will you take friends to help your cause? Will you go in alone and hope for the best?  

In Borderlands you have to choose one of 4 mercenaries. Each one has their own unique gifts and fighting styles to choose from. Most players can find the one that best fits their gaming style.

Roland-Once a Crimson Lance mercenary he now takes the role of soldier. As a soldier he prefers the use of rifles and shotguns. His special ability allows him to deploy an auto turret that will lay down death to his enemies and provide him and his teammates cover fire.

Lilith-She is a siren who has the ability to phase walk. As a phase walker she can split herself between two separate dimensions allowing her to invisibly fight with super human speed. When it comes to weapons she prefers any gun with the elemental effects of incendiary, shock, and corrosive rounds.

Mordecai-He is a character that considers him self a hunter and those who know him do not argue that point. Traveling with him is his companion, a bird of prey, that he calls Bloodwing. As a hunter,  his preferred weapon is a sniper rifle, however he likes to keep a trusty revolver by his side for when thing get a little close for comfort.

Brick-He is a man whose name describes everything about him. His special ability allows him to go into a nearly unstoppable berserker state. While in this state of mind he prefers to leave his gun on his hip and let his fists do the talking. When it comes to a weapons, he prefers anything with an explosive nature.

When you first start you are dropped off just outside of a small outpost known as Fyrestone. You are accompanied by an overly cheerful robot who leads you to your first destination,  along the way the player receives tutorials of how to play. When you get there you find a old man who is an unconventional doctor to say the least. This Doctor gives you you’re one of your first quests. Quests from characters is not only way to go. There are also bulletin boards that people from the local areas post jobs, looking for those certain people with those special skills to carry out.

 
This is how most of the game progresses you accept quest that move you on to the next place you need to be.
 
Many of the quests are there just to give you a way to earn exp. money and equipment. There is also a set storyline that a good portion of the quests takes you through. Many of the side quests were written very well so that even though they are not part of the main story they still help to unfold the background of the people you meet and explain the main plot more thoroughly. The in game NPC characters have personalities that truly make you love the ones on your side and hate the ones that stand against you.

User Interface

There are so many good things to be said about the interface system the designers used. Everything with the UI system is advanced and extensive, but at the same time organized and simple to use. All items have level requirements to keep you from becoming overpowered too quickly and losing a sense of challenge. Each item has a rarity value on top of that to show...just to how special the item is.
 
The order from most common to extremely rare is white, green, blue, purple and orange. When you start,  you are only able to equip two guns at a time, though as the game progresses you will have four slots total. One for each space on you d-pad you can also rotate through them by using the (triangle) button.
 
As for your menus,  you have multiple ways to organize all of your items. The menus also allow you to compare items and show which stats are better.
 
When fighting enemies, the UI works like a FPS with a few changes head shots act as critical hits to the enemy. Every enemy has a health bar over the their head,  many also have an armor bar. Each shot tells you how much damage the enemy takes . When dealing damage to an enemy , distance, level and the type of weapon all affect come into effect.  When things get really hectic in the middle of a battle it can be hard to keep track of where the enemy is firing from...not to worry here. In Borderlands, as in many games of the type... You always know which way your enemies are attacking from...thanks to a danger directional bar on your screen that flashes to tell you...hey look this way pal!
 
When enemies drop items, simply walk over them and pick them up,  if you hold the appropriate button down all ammo, grenades and health items nearby get picked up. As for upgrades and weapons,  you have to choose each item you want to pick up. This is made easier since walking close to the item lets you see all of its stats and its value.  As for vendors,  many of them are actual vending machines where you can buy and sell items. You gain experience for every enemy you kill and completing quests. As you progress you also receive a fast travel system for places you have been a very useful thing in such a large world.
 
Visual/Audio

The games graphics truly are amazing. Everything is crisp HD quality. The style of the artwork is more that of a painted or a hand drawn picture than simple digital animation. It is truly artistic to look at it. The sound effects that accompany the scenery truly bring this world alive in every way imaginable. Running through the environment you hear your surroundings and the feeling of a monster attacking you from behind.  Playing with a sound system really is the best over experience,  it is a true audible treat. 

Co-op

You can join with up to three other friends in game,  either on one console, or through system link, or online. If you do like PvP (Player VS Player...) any time you and your friends are playing... if you smack a friend and they smack you back a duel begins. A few arenas set for the purpose of a duel have also been set to make things more interesting. The more people you have playing the more difficult the enemies and the better the loot.
 
 
Talent Tree

Each character has there own unique talent tree with three separated branches... each branch has its own benefits for solo and co-op mode. Choosing where to spend your talent points is a choice of preference. You gain more talent points as you level up. So spend wisely.

Cons

After all the time I spent in this game I was only able to come up with one negative aspect, that is the load time between areas. I timed it and it takes about a minute and a half of load time when you move from one area to the next. Each area is so large that you dont mind too much really..... because you spend so much time in the area it is worth it. So get to it Impulse Gamers!

Let the games begin!
Andrew Brian Lewis




 

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10/10

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