23 February 2010
I've spent my entire gaming life avoiding Role Playing Games. Mostly because I'm lazy and not fond of reading things on a TV screen. Also, I find most of the Japanese RPGs a bit unapproachable. Realizing this is a gaping hole in my video game enjoyment, I'm working to change it. I'm even considering giving the Final Fantasy games a try.
One of the (perhaps) unintended results of the success of Bioshock is that it introduced shooter fans to some simple RPG elements. I liked the game so much that I gave Fallout 3 a try - a game I wouldn't have touched a few years ago.
Which led me to Borderlands.
Of all the games I played in 2009, Borderlands is the one I can’t stop playing.
First, the game is a bit of a surprise. Blending a first-person-shooter with role playing elements in a post-apocalyptic wasteland sounded a lot like Fallout 3. I was doubtful that Gearbox Studios would pull it off. They did, beautifully. In the game you play as one of four deadly scavengers searching for The Vault – which promises loot beyond your wildest dreams – in a bombed out wasteland that is as colorful as it is bleak. In this open world you can stay the path by taking mission after mission that will lead you to the prize, or you can wander through the wasteland looking for adventure or loot. You’ll likely do both. Either way, you’re going to have a good time. You’ll have an even better time if you bring along some friends. The multiplayer package in this game sets the bar for casual co-op.
The shooting is as good as any first-class FPS and the role playing elements keep you coming back. Also, even though this game is set in a desolate land of death it manages to be funny and satiric while never taking itself too seriously.
A steady release of quality downloadable content means this game will stay popular until its inevitable sequel is released.
In 2009 everyone was heaping praise on Uncharted 2. I disagree. I think Borderlands was the best game of the year, and it continues to enchant.
By Victor Paul Alvarez