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Borderlands: A Bully of a Game

This review may be posted a little late for some, but I feel Borderlands is still a game worth talking about. First and foremost I feel I should mention that Borderlands was the first game I ever got for my PS3 and my first step into the current generation of console games, so my review may be a little biased. As of the time of this post I have played through and beaten the main game eleven times, twice for all four characters and then some.

Borderlands is an RPS (role playing shooter) set on the fictional planet of Pandora, where you play as one of four "vault hunters". The graphics are beautifully done in a cell-shaded style to make the game fit on the disk. The enemies that roam the planet are of average AI. If you get too close - they'll start attacking you, if you start shooting at them -  they'll do their best to dodge your bullets or (if they're human) take cover. Throughout the main story you'll come across several unique NPCs, only a handful of whom are actually memorable. Their character AI leaves them as statues in the place where you meet them, and their sole purpose in the game is to give you quests. Basically, they are vending machines that give you missions. One of them stands out from the crowd though, CL4P-TP or better know by his locally designated name: Claptrap.

 

Claptrap is without a doubt the most memorable and my favorite NPC, not only in Borderlands, but in all of video game history. He adds a bit of light-heartedness to the otherwise grim world. He dances, he sings, he makes you laugh. He also, gives you added inventory space if you find and repair a broken one. Claptrap is the only character in the game I would risk my life to save, if I had that choice. He spouts off several memorable quotes in the game, my favorite being "I command thee bridge to descend." done in a deep, medieval wizard type voice. I love you Claptrap... in a platonic way.

"Bazillions of guns: Gun lust fulfilled with rocket-launching shotguns, enemy torching revolvers, SMGs that fire lighting rounds, and tons more." This was taken from the back sleeve of my copy of Borderlands. It holds true. The amount of guns that are available is more than I can count and it's always fun to stumble upon a rare weapon that completely overshadows and overpowers the other guns in your inventory. What's even more fun is using those guns. The standard guns that are found throughout the game are fun to use by themselves, but find a gun that can incinerate your enemies and turn them into nothing but a smoke filled memory is even more enjoyable. Zapping your enemies until their brain explodes, shooting acid bullets at them until they melt, all in a day's work on Pandora. As you play through the game you'll find weapon crates that give you new guns, in the first couple of hours they always give you better weapons. After playing the game for a decent amount of time though, they tend to not give out guns that are useful. However, when you do find a gun more powerful than the one currently being used, it's one of the greatest feelings in the world and always brings a smile to my face.

It never gets old killing bandits and skags as you make your way through the game, but for even more fun I recommend purchasing all four DLC packs. From the zombie-infested waters of Jakobs Cove, to the robot revolutionaries of Tartarus Station, there is always something to do. And if you get tired of playing the game by yourself, go online and play with someone else. I recommend only playing with friends though, there are people online who have hacked the game and made guns that can kill anything with one shot and shields that never go down. What's even more annoying is when someone (for reasons unknown to me) creates a duplicate mission log that can't be completed and just sits in your active mission list. While these things may be annoying, they don't spoil the fun, I would also like to add that using the hacked weapons and shields is completely optional.

Borderlands is one of my favorite games, if not my all time favorite.  While the ending leaves a lot to be desired, I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of first-person shooters or anybody who thinks the FPS genre has gotten too stale. I would not recommend it to young kids though, because it can be violent... admittedly cartoonized violence but still. Bottom line, buy this game, play it, and thank me later... your welcome.

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