Thursday, November 10, 2011

Off the List: Borderlands

I've played through Borderlands once before, but I just recently finished it for the second time, and I'm going to be adding the DLC to the backlog, so I thought I'd post some quick thoughts about the core game itself first.

Borderlands is an interesting fusion of the Action RPG (Diablo and its imitators) and First-Person Shooter genres, and it actually manages to do justice to both parts of its heritage admirably. Both the shooting and the loot feel solid and like they actually matter to the gameplay, and the story, while not exactly fine literature, gets the job done with no small amount of tongue-in-cheek humor and while the ending is lackluster, isn't so much so that you want your time back. The art style is also unique and fun - the dev team actually made textures out of their own concept art, so the entire world looks drawn instead of realistic, which is a really awesome touch. The game's not perfect (it's buggy to some people, unplayably so in certain cases), but it is a huge amount of fun, and it's been getting a lot of short-term sales of late, probably because there's a sequel planned. I'd certainly recommend it to anyone who likes FPSes and Action RPGs.

RPG notes: Spoiler warning, yadda yadda.

Pandora, the planet where the game takes place, is an interesting place. It feels post-apocalyptic at times, but it's really not - it's just a frontier world and all the violence, corruption, and shenanigans that implies. Oh, and rednecks. It's a fantastic reminder that even in high-tech science fiction settings, not everything is going to be shiny and full of holographic interfaces. The whole of Pandora is corrugated metal shacks, grime, dirt, and bandits. There's no central authority, and no law to speak of. That makes for a violent, dangerous place, but also one where you are pretty much free to act as you will. Something good to keep in mind when designing frontier worlds.


I also picked up the latest Indie Royale bundle.

PC games:

Borderlands: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned
Borderlands: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx
Borderlands: Claptrap's Robot Revolution
Fate of the World
Night Sky

Nonfiction Book:

The Art of Manliness: Manvotionals

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