The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
In a genre that's rife with by-the-numbers sequels
and blatant copycats, Borderlands created a name for itself last year as a
first-person shooter like no other. Thanks to some exceptional DLC support, the
new franchise has continued to entertain gun-happy gamers for months.
Claptrap's New Robot Revolution is the fourth DLC pack released by Gearbox, and
after defeating the spunky robot's cybernetic army, we can't wait to see what
the next Borderlands adventure will bring.
Like previous Borderlands DLC, Robot Revolution
introduces the expansion's premise via an animated cutscene as soon as you fast
travel to the new location. Your wholesale slaughter of Pandora's ample goons
has made it easy to find free guns lying around the planet, which doesn't make
weapon manufacturing corporation Hyperion happy. In order to return demand to
the market, Hyperion creates an Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap, whose
job it is to kill you. However, after seeing his fellow robots being abused at
the hands of their cruel masters, INAC blows a circuit and begins his titular
revolution. As a result, Hyperion now wants you to kill the robot that it
programmed to kill you. Suffice it to say, the storyline isn't exactly Citizen Kane (a familiar complaint for
Borderlands), but the DLC maintains a gonzo sense of humor.
Claptrap has always been the face of Borderlands, so
it's nice to see the demented little robot get his moment in the spotlight.
From a gameplay perspective, his fellow robots aren't very hard to kill; they
will often stand completely motionless while they shoot at you, and their
rectangular shape makes them easy targets. They can be overwhelming in numbers,
however, and the exploding Kamikaze Claptraps killed me more than once. Even
when they were trying to kill me, Claptrap's brethren were so cute that I felt
a little guilty shooting them. Luckily, there's no shortage of other new
enemies to kill, as all of Pandora's previous inhabitants have been upgraded
with cybernetic components, including bosses from the other DLC packs.
The new locations are also impressive, showing off
Gearbox's knack for making gigantic and detailed environments. I would have
liked a little more variety in the scenery (it's mostly desert expanses and
junk heaps again), but the levels are sprinkled with plenty of treasure chests
that invite exploration. If you're looking for a reason to take your time,
these hidden goodies (plus collection missions and bonuses for multiple
playthroughs) will ensure you get your money's worth.
It took me about 4 to 5 hours to play through the
main story missions with a co-op partner, though the secondary missions can
double that, depending on how thorough you are. The DLC's final scene is pretty
underwhelming, but the payoff for quashing a robot revolution is well worth it;
after the credits, your employer at Hyperion gives you a key to the company's
"gift shop" - a basement containing 18 treasure chests. After picking up the
select few guns that were worthy of my arsenal, the leftovers were still worth
millions of dollars.
A room full of treasure is a great reward, but
the most intriguing moment of Robot Revolution came right before the final boss
fight. In an all-too-brief cutscene, Pandora's weapons peddler Marcus teases
that the treasure hunters are about to travel to a new planet named Eden 6. He
doesn't give any details about the planet (and alas the trip is unceremoniously
cancelled when INAP shows up), but he says that he has had a lot of crazy
adventures there. Could this be a hint of the location for a potential
Borderlands 2? Will it be more DLC? After all of the great content Borderlands
has provided so far, I can't wait to find out.
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.