Borderlands: It's gonna be addicting

Borderlands CoverI received Borderlands from my brother-in-law for Christmas, but didn't have the opportunity to play it until my other brother-in-law was over to visit and asked to play it.  I watched him play while trying out the new Miles Edgeworth game, but Borderlands really grabbed my attention.

He chose to play as a berserker, and after the initial bus ride cutscene, he was on Pandora and kicking butt.  The game was very open but it always seemed like he had something to do. There were a couple of quest givers, he was leveling up, finding new guns, shooting more and more enemies.  He played for about two hours and had taken out the game's first boss after a few attempts, and then it was my turn to give it a go.

I can't believe I left this game on my shelf for so long, it's... awesome. I haven't played a game like it since World of Warcraft.  The open world feels big and intimidating, but it's one of those perfect examples of sandbox non-linearity with just the right amount of linear guidance.  The quests keep coming and I just kept leveling up.  There were skill points to earn and bigger and better guns to collect. I'm already hooked.

Borderlands even does the different font-colored loot to signify what's really cool from the trash.  Right now I have a blue gun that lights bad guys on fire!  It does some insane damage over time, and looks like an NES lightgun to boot.  My sniper rifle is purple!  In WoW that would be some great loot.

Oh yeah, I'm a hunter, basically a sniper.  I'm usually not fond of this class, but it has worked out wonderfully so far.  After watching my brother struggle up-close with the variety of native Pandora wildlife, fighting long range seemed like the smart decision.  I snipe heads off from half a mile away and I was barely even challenged before I reached the first boss.  My guy feels like a vault god, and he's only level 12.

There's also this cool concept of "second-wind", if you get killed, instead of dying immediately you fall to the ground but still have the opportunity to shoot for a few seconds. If you manage to kill a baddie in that time, you get back up with a bit of health recovery.  It's almost like Gears of War where you're incapacitated for a bit before you're truly dead, giving your teammate a chance to revive you, but much better done since you can actually revive yourself.

I recently unlocked a vehicle which is a bit like a Warthog from Halo, but the controls are a lot more obnoxious.  Even after driving it around for a while I'm still not totally used to it, I feel like Halo's controls were "heavier" which suited the vehicle better.  At least you can still splat enemies in it, but you receive far less experience if you kill them that way (ala Mass Effect).

One of my other writers said he would do a first hour of Borderlands so I personally didn't do an official one, but if I had done one, it would be a: YES! I would keep playing.  The shooter/RPG hybrid works, and it's going to be dangerous for my sleep schedule.

Borderlands Hunter Bloodwing

My hunter's bloodwing clawing some guy's face off!