Wade Manns reviews Borderlands

Home Arts and Entertainment Wade Manns reviews Borderlands

WADE MANNS – The Corsair

By 2K Games and Gearbox SoftwareGenre: First-person shooter/RPG

Rating: Mature for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Mature Humor, Strong Language.

Players: 1-4 (single-player, cooperative)

On the world of Pandora, violence and bloodshed is common. Some unmentioned past apocalypse has made this world into a gigantic rubbish tip; many hostile creatures (some natively nasty, others mutated) and desperate, insane (sometimes both at the same time) humans roam the wastes. But a legend abounds of a great secret hidden somewhere on Pandora, the Vault, inside which lie treasures of unimaginable beauty and power.

Or so we’re told. Nothing is quite as it seems when you step into the shoes of one of four mercenaries, each with unique Action Skills, who have decided to seek the treasure for themselves: Roland, the Soldier, who is skilled in all manner of ranged weapons including his own personal Scorpio Turret; Mordecai, the Hunter, who prefers killing from a distance as well as with his trusted pet Bloodwing; Lilith, the Siren, quick as the wind with the power of phasing, doing a great deal of damage when she reappears; and Brick, the Berserker, who relies on his bare fists and can take an inordinate amount of damage.

The game plays out much like any first-person shooter; however, you have hidden stats, which are determined by leveling up, like many role-playing games. Use of a given type of weapon will increase your proficiency with it; farming (killing enemies for better and better items) is quite profitable with the millions of combinations of weapons; and, as you reach higher levels, grinding (killing enemies for experience) weaker opponents will net no tangible rewards. So, the game is basically an RPG with a shooter wrapped around it, albeit a VERY good one.

Multiplayer is handled quite well; up to four may join a server, each playing a different (or potentially the same) character; as more players join, Pandora’s denizens increase in strength. However, with many class mods (items that give a title and confer passive benefits) or level-up perks for each geared towards aiding comrades in multiplayer, the benefits of teamwork multiply.

There have been several DLC (downloadable content) packs released which extend the story and supply more of the tongue-in-cheek humor for which the game is known.

  • The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned sends you to Jakob’s Cove, a plot of land owned by one of the weapons manufacturers on Pandora, to assist Dr. Ned with stemming the flow of zombies which he’s unwittingly created. Or so it seems…
  • Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot is a series of challenges in the eponymous Underdome, designed to test your mettle and teamwork to their limits.
  • The Secret Armory of General Knoxx takes place after the main story; our fearless protagonists have angered one of the major weapons manufacturers, Atlas, and must stop assassination attempts as well as uncover a hidden cache lorded over by the eponymous General Knoxx.
  • Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution sees a new tactic being taken by the manufacturer Hyperion: their new Assassin Claptrap (the Claptrap is basically the protocol droid of Borderlands, helpful, annoying, but always funny – until now!) is assimilating the species of Pandora, turning them into robots themselves! Our heroes must stop the cybernetic menace and save the people of Pandora!

All in all, a wonderful game with a whole lot of replay value! I give it five out of five stars!