After many hours, a few multiple game runs, and exploring every piece of DLC available; here is my long time coming review of Borderlands. Set in fictional barren world of Pandora, your selected one of four pre-created characters will be looting and shooting your way through a cell-shaded graphic world trying to open the legendary “Vault”. Questing, customizing your character, and upgrading weapons are all common ground for what you’ll become while playing which is giant loot whore.龙鲨乐园
You’ll start off by selecting one of four characters each with their own characteristics and abilities but sadly, the same story line. As you level up, via the experience/RPG element of the game, you’ll be able to customize your preferred character’s perk ability tree enhancing your gameplay and wrecking more havoc when joining a co-op game. There is a level cap right now of level 50 (61 if you purchase DLC) so you’ll need to spend your points wisely. The concept sounds similar to Fallout 3 but what I liked about Borderlands more is the action is faster and the level up system was more chaotic to your character.
The world of Pandora is pretty massive as well. Quests will have you backtracking to previous areas, unlocking new places, and meeting new people. You’ll be scavenging the very edges of the map looking for hidden audio files or weapon parts to complete objectives. Thankfully fast travel and vehicles are added into the gameplay to cut some downtime of traveling out of the way. Vehicles are great because not only do they speed up traveling but it’s awesome to shoot and mow down an onslaught of enemies in your way and watch their limbs disperse. It’ll take a long time to uncover all of Pandora but the payoff is worth it.
As mentioned earlier, co-op is implemented and at times, you’ll wish you had a partner or three to take down a boss. Co-op can be played on local 2 player split screen or through a pick up/private game via Xbox Live or PSN up to 4 players. Your gameplay strategy will change when playing with others, for example; you may be a run and gun type of player but when joined up with someone that has a stronger weapon cache and more hit points, you can switch to a supportive player sniping in the distance and providing hit point or ammo regeneration. There are a lot of ways to play your character via customization so prepare for any scenario. There is also a person versus person (PvP) arena to test your skills against other players. You can request to duel someone anywhere you stand but risk the chance of nearby enemies to shoot at you while out in the open.
Overall, the retail game is incredibly fun. As I stated earlier, you’ll kill to loot and pray that weapons box holds something bigger and stronger while it’s opening. It’s easy to get lost in the immense world and spend countless hours exploring. With the addition of a new game+ that opens up after you finish your first playthrough adds more re-playability to the game (enemies level up and drops are better after each new game+). If you enjoyed Fallout 3, you’ll love Borderlands; it’s faster, funnier (love Scooter!), and f*$&ing awesome. As Scooter would say, “Catch a ride”.
The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned
The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned is the first released DLC of Borderlands offering more quests, combats, and weapons. Upon fast traveling to the new location (which is the only way to get there), you’ll find a dainty, swamp area infested with, what else, zombies. The zombies are slow moving and easy to shoot from a distance but don’t underestimate them. They’ll spawn straight from the ground and can easily outnumber and overpower you should they get too close. This DLC offers a good few hours of additional play into an already lengthy game. The only downside is once all the quests are complete; there isn’t much incentive to return unless you want to xp grind on the zombies but you can always return on a new game+. Still, it’s a solid download and worth a purchase.
Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot
The second DLC, entitled Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot, takes the series in a different turn. Rather than questing and looting, you’ll be surviving waves and waves of enemies. Think Horde in Gears of War, Firefight in Halo: ODST, and Survival in Left 4 Dead. There’s isn’t too much to say aside from survive as long as you can. The longer you’re alive, the harder the enemies will become. Completely random, enemies will get bonuses added to the wave such as better accuracy or stronger weapons or you may get a bonus yourself like shotguns deal more damage or extra damage to body shots. It’s best to have friends in battles to flank enemies because when you’re alone, all the focus is on you and it’s hard to win. This DLC can go either way; if you like these survival modes then you’ll enjoy the Underdome Riot. If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea then save your money for the next DLC.
The Secret Armory of General Knoxx
The third, but hopefully not final, DLC is The Secret Armory of General Knoxx. Let me just start by saying this DLC will whip your sorry butt. I fast traveled to this area on my 2nd playthrough at a max level 50 character and died at least 5 times from the first group of enemies that ambushed me. Expect to die and die a lot. Enemies out level you and a majority of them have elemental weapons causing additional damage. They are not to be taken lightly. After some time, you’ll learn how to handle the tougher enemies, the frustration goes away, and the tables will turn. This new area is massive, comes packed with 3 new vehicles, lots of new quests, tons of new and upgraded weapons, lots of humor including more Scooter, an incredibly tough giant crab secret boss, and a level cap increase to 61. This DLC just adds something more enjoyable and captivating than the previous two released. When Gearbox released General Knoxx, they said it was “the best add-on content ever released…of all time”, I would have to agree.