What happens when you take the character development from a role-playing game, toss in some quality first-person shooting action, mix it together with some of the best co-operative gameplay mechanics in years, cel-shade the lot and then dump a truckload of over 17 million different potential weapons over everything? Borderlands happens, that's what.
Thanks to Amazon you can now enjoy this fab slice of gunslinging, loot-hunting, frontier action for under £20 as the online behemoth is offering the PC game for a splendid £16.97, saving you nearly £7 on the nearest competitor (Zavvi - £23.95)!
Borderlands is one of those classics in terms of game design in that it's all about the gameplay itself. Too many games these days are far to concerned with being 'dark' or 'gritty' or 'realistic', whatever any of those mean; Borderlands, however, is mainly just focused on having a really good time.
The plot is relatively non-existent and is really only there to serve as a backdrop to all of the fun. Lured to the planet of Pandora by the promise of a sealed alien treasure nest called The Vault you and your fellow bounty hunting mercenaries trot off to see what you can do about opening it and swiping a lucrative pile of artifacts. Of course there are rival factions to take care of, with a massive range of humans and monsters alike put in your path to make said quest as difficult as possible while you have the chance to blow them away with an equally near-infinite bunch of weapons.
In true role-playing style, there are four classes to choose from at the beginning which provides the basis later on for some frankly riotous squad-based, tactical combat: there's the Hunter (long-range scout), the Berserker (tank), the Siren (mage with an invisibility cloak), and the Soldier (support gunner), all of whom are kitted out with skill trees that can be built up through gathering sweet XP.
It is this addition to the game - the scientifically titled 'Procedural Content Creation System' - that allows for the creation of weapons and items that can be randomly altered in a number of different ways from firepower to elemental bonuses, to firing rate and accuracy and so on and so forth. This also extends to the enemies' abilities as well, meaning that no two battles are ever the same. The sheer amount of possibility in this game is jaw-droppingly exciting.
There's a massively addictive quality to Borderlands. My old housemate clocked over 90 hours in the first week by living on coffee and Pro Plus because he got sucked into the 'Just One More Quest' cycle that is the bane/joy of any RPG fan. And don't get me wrong, Borderlands might have a solid RPG spine, but the trigger-happy gameplay is top notch too (no need for a VATS-style cop out here), and becomes incredibly tactical and hugely engrossing the more players get involved. We found it to be perfect for a wet and windy evening with a box of beer and a load of pizza.
Borderlands has a lot going for it, and has been the sleeper hit of recent months with critics and public going bananas over it. With gorgeous visuals and fast, furious action, not to mention a ton of replayability, you'll be hard pressed to find a game that gives you more bang for your buck at this price.
Thanks to emmajk42 at HotUKDeals