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Sunday, October 17, 2010

MORE LIKE HURRDURRLANDS: a borderlands review

 


HEY DUDE

YEAH YOU

YOU WANT TO AFFORD ALL OF THE fine wines, cruises, and fancy jewelry YOU WANT? THEN HEAD ON DOWN TO PLANET PANDORA FOR A CHANCE TO FIND THE VAULT!
YES, THE VAULT! THE FABLED ALIEN TREASURE TROVE, FILLED WITH LOST ALIEN TECHNOLOGY AND UNLIMITED WEALTH, SAID TO ONLY OPEN EVERY 200 YEARS! Sure, you'd have to worry about carnivorous Skags, psychotic prisoners set astray, gigantic, bird-like Rakks and some things I don't even wanna speak quietly about, BUT DANGER IS THE PRICE TO PAY FOR UNLIMITED WEALTH !

BORING PLOT STUFF:
Set somewhen in the distant future, on the planet Pandora, you or up to three other people can search through the vast wastelands of the desert-filled planet cooperatively in search of the aforementioned Vault. The game starts with four characters on a bus, run by local weapons dealer Marcus Kincaid, on its way to the "town" of Fyrestone. Then, you're introduced to the four mysterious characters:
MORDECAI
as "The Hunter"
Mordecai is a long range specialist, using sniper rifles and revolvers and his natural marksmanship to hit the where they hurt, all at a safe distance.
Taken from the Borderlands instruction booklet:
"At the age of 17, Mordecai won an Interplanetary Sharpshooting competition with a revolver. The other competitors, who were using sniper rifles, accused him of cheating and eventually got him banned from the competition for "unsportsmanlike conduct," although many witnesses noted that he didn't display any unsportsmanlike behaviors until after the accusations began. He now travels from planet to planet with his trusty companion Bloodwing, searching for "everything this freaking universe owes me," which Mordecai has defined as a better gun and unlimited cash"
His "Bloodwing" is his pet, which seems to be a mix of a bat and a hawk, is used by Mordecai to attack enemies from around cover and retrieve dropped loot, money or health restoring vials.



LILITH
as "The Siren"
Lilith is one of six women gifted with incredible powers, which are called "Sirens". These powers make her gifted in using weapons with certain elemental powers embedded in them, like Electricity, Fire and Acid. She does fairly with every weapon, but is best suited for SMGs. She has a special ability, dubbed "Phasewalk" where she renders herself invisible, invulnerable, and gives her a boost of speed for a short time. Upon leaving Phasewalk, she emits a shockwave that surrounds her, whose element can be changed with certain artifacts.



ROLAND
as "The Soldier" 
Roland, being a former soldier of the Crimson Lance, a highly trained private military of a weapons manufacturer, the Atlas Corporation, is proficient in all types of weapons, but specializes in shotguns and combat rifles. He has a special portable sentry called a Scorpio Turret, which not only locks on and attacks enemies automatically, but it produces a shield for artificial cover. It can be upgraded to release ammo, heal nearby allies, including yourself, or shoot an occasional missile. Its bullets can also be imbued with elemental powers.


BRICK
as Himself
Brick likes to punch things and likes to use explosive stuff, like Rocket Launchers and guns with explosive ammo. His special ability is to go berserk, which increases his melee attack, gives him resistance bonuses and regenerates his health.  That's pretty much all there is to it.

GAMEPLAY STUFF:
The game plays like your typical FPS, but with an RPG system put on it. You've got your pistols, your shotguns, your sniper rifles, revolvers, combat rifles, rocket launchers and SMGs. You've got some grenades, too, but who gives a dick. You also have a shield, which regenerates when either not taking damage, with the use of special items that give you stat bonuses, called Mods, or with special skills you can learn. The thing about this game that makes it special is that there are various variants of guns, like what part they're made of, like a shotgun with a sniper rifle, what stat bonuses they have, like some have higher fire rates than others, despite being pretty much the same gun made by the same people, and some, as was mentioned above, have elemental powers. Fire, which is good for unshielded flesh, can give enemies constant burn damage. Electricity can stun enemies and do massive damage to their shields. Acidic, or corrosive, damage works well on enemies with natural armor, like Skags, and can spread onto other enemies. Explosive bullets have a chance of doing extra damage with each bullet, which can damage other enemies nearby.

With each level up after Level 5, your character gains a skill point, which can be used to upgrade a character's health, attack damage, elemental resistance, shield regeneration, and much more. It can also give their special skill new quirks, like missiles and ammo packs on Roland's Turret. Each character has three "trees" to put skill points into:

Mordecai has a Sniper Skill Tree, which obviously improves his ability with sniper rifles, a Rogue Skill Tree, which gives your Bloodwing boosts in strength and makes anything it kills drop more loot, and a Gunslinger Skill Tree, which improves his ability with pistols and revolvers.

Lilith has an Assassin Skill Tree, which boosts her attacks, mostly when it has anything to do with melee or Phasewalking, a Controller Skill Tree, which makes attacks confuse or daze enemies, and an Elemental Skill Tree, which, as the name implies, increases the chance of elemental effects and her resistance to elemental attacks.

Roland has an Infantry Skill Tree, which boosts the performance of his weapons and his Scorpio Turret, a Support Skill Tree, which gives support bonuses to his teammates, like regenerating ammo, and a Medic Skill Tree, which helps heal his teammates and gives them regenerative bonuses.

Brick has a Brawler Skill Tree, which gives him benefits when Berserking or meleeing in general, a Tank Skill Tree, which increases his damage resistance and gives him boosts when his shields are depleted or he gets revived from being incapacitated.

The game revolves around doing multiple missions, at first to gain the trust of the locals, who will help you find the Vault in their own way, like giving you access to vehicles (make sure to get Auto Insurance, since the controls are a bit disorienting, since you steer using the mouse on the PC) or different areas or giving you new guns, Mods, more space in your inventory, or just cold hard cash. These mission vary, from killing certain enemies, or certain amounts of enemies, to shooting gunk off of a turbine or sewer pipe, to finding parts to a gun scattered around the land, which you get to keep once put back together. While exploring the dingy desolate deserts and trash heaps, you'll come across red and silver "Treasure Chests", which can hold many goodies, like rare guns and Mods. What you get is completely random, by the way.

MUSIC/SOUND STUFF:
The music didn't really stick out for me. Besides Ain't No Rest For The Wicked, but that don't count. The music wasn't annoying or anything, but there was anything to write home about. I do like the sound effects, like the sound you get when you get a boost from killing something and the sound of melting Psychos.

GRAPHICS STUFF:
Apparently, this game wasn't always going to be all celshaded and whatnot, but some sort of gritty realistic dealie. All I can say is THANK GOD they changed it, if that's true. Though some of the effects, like newspaper in water and the mountains of trash look sorta eeeeeeeeeh, I love the character models.

 I RAN OUT OF SHIT I WANNA TALK ABOUT, SO SYNOPSIS TIME

STORY: ONE THUMB UP, ONE THUMB SLANTED UPWARDS
Meh, it was nothing special, but hey, the dialogue and stuff was funny.

GAMEPLAY: TWO THUMBS UP
Pretty darn addictive, what with the leveling up system, the multiplayer and the thought of when you're gonna get your next, awesome weapon or Mod can motivate people to play through multiple playthroughs.

MUSIC/SOUND: ONE THUMB UP, ONE SIDEWAYS
Already said what I wanted in MUSIC/SOUND STUFF.

GRAPHIX: ONE THUMB UP, ONE SLANTED UPWARDS
See above, yadda yadda yadda

OVERALL: YEP YEP   

1 comment:

  1. I love Bored Lands

    Just beat it recently, finally.

    ReplyDelete