Friday, 14 August 2009

Hype-Pipe: Borderlands

With the recent delays of some of the games I've been excited to get my hands on in the next few months such as Bioshock 2, Bayonetta, and Splinter Cell Conviction, the latter causing me to find it difficult to get hyped about most of the other releases coming out as I had my heart set on stepping back into Sam Fisher's shoes. Sure there's Modern Wafare 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Assasains Creed 2, and Mass Effect 2, all of which I will be purchasing, but as you can obviously notice the pattern of sequels we can all expect more of the same from their previous counterparts. I want something new to play and I can't wait till December for Saboteur, but luckily for me, and you lot of course, I found such a game in Gearbox's Borderlands.

Borderlands is the bastard lovechild of the RPG and FPS genres and the nearest thing I can compare it to so you can get a rough idea is Fallout 3, but where Fallout 3 was a straight-up RPG that had shooting elements, also you wasn't confined to playing it as a FPS, Borderlands is a first person shooter first that also happens to contain all the main aspects of a RPG such as an in-depth character development system and the levelling up of skills and experience, Gearbox President Randy Pitchford has even stated in an interview that he got his inspiration for the RPG elements form the classic PC-Game Diablo, a game I can't recommend highly enough to you all, and for those that have played it you can get a rough idea of how the leveling up syestem will work.

Borderlands is set in a world that can only be described as the wild west meets Mad Max with the visual style of Crackdown and your first task when starting the game is to choose one of the four character classes. There's Roland the soldier whos expertise is weapons such as assualt rifles and shotguns, he can also deploy shields with gun turrets. Then we have Mordecai, a sniper who is extremely agile and comes equipped with a sword for close combat and a pet called Bloodwing who can also devolp skills as you level up. Next up is a siren called Lilith, a mage-like character explained by alien influences in this game, who has special abilities such as the "Phase Walk" which allows her to become cloaked for a certain durtion. Finally theres Brick, the tank of the group, his expertise is heavy weapons and his mammoth mitts that he can dish out a great deal of damage with when using his "Beserker Blood Rage" ability.

After picking your character you can choose to play through the campaign, which roughly takes 15 hours, thats without counting the 120 side missions and quests, and once you have fully completed the campaign you can start all over from scratch keeping all your stats and current equipment. Whats the point you ask? Well just like in Diablo the whole point is to horde money and the best items and as you level-up the more chance you have of getting the best weapons and items out of the possible 16 million....yes you read correctly 16 MILLION!!!. Using the games innovative Gearbuilder system, the games AI creates specific models of each weapon using different grips, magazines, barrel lengths, stock types, silencers, as well as extra special accesories such incendiary devices. In an early reveal to the press Randy Pitchford opened up a debug menu to show that there was just 2.5 million shotguns in the game.

Borderlands also has a 4 player drop-in/drop-out system at any point in the game, for example you can choose to start the game alone and if you get into some difficulties with some of the games larger and more difficult enemies ask a friend to drop in and help. There are drawbacks to this though, if you invite any higher level character into your game they will dish out more damage which means they can take out enemies quicker than you and mop up the experience points for themselves but its entirely your choice.

I wasn't exicited about Borderlands when it was first announced but when the game was delayed and then the new art style was unvieled earlier this year I was intrigued to say the least but with all the details about that game that has followed in the past few months, noticebly the comparisons to one of my favourite RPGs of all time, to say that I'm excited is understatement to how badly I want this game.Check out the trailer below and draw your own conclusions.


1 comment:

OffLine Notification said...

Arcade/shooting games may seem violent but actually it enhances strategic concentration. A better way of venting without harming anyone but the computer screen.