Crispy Gamer

Playing Borderlands

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My roommate and I just finished our first playthrough of Borderlands. We managed to do every single quest in the main story netting us a good chunk of PS3 trophies. We are now on our second run through and now we love this game even more.

Even simple skags in one of the first areas of the game have been proving difficult for my level 38 Brick and his level 38 Mordecai. We’ve only played the game split-screen, meaning we haven’t gotten the best loot or weapons. However, Mordecai does have x4 incendiary sniper and I have an x3 Explosive shotgun; both do massive damage.

The story in Borderlands is atrociously bad but, the gameplay and the gun fights are so much fun that I just don’t care. I adore almost any split-screen game but I truly feel that Borderlands may be one of the best split-screen experiences I have ever had. Menu navigation is annoying in split screen since you can’t see the entire interface but it is still doable and I’m willing to look past this flaw.

http://rebornonline.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/borderlands-e3-screenshot-1.jpg
Seriously, I’ve been waiting for a game like this. I enjoy MMO-style gameplay but I simply don’t have the time to grind 3+ hours a day for one level. Nor do I have the time to stare at my screen while waiting for party members to get their act together. Borderlands satisfies the itch of feeling like an MMO but playing like an action-packed shooter.

Scott Jones wrote a scathing review of this game when it first released, and it’s definitely worth a read is you want to see all of the flaws with this game. However, I feel that playing this game with the intent of writing of review does not give this game justice. If you were to run through this game in two or three sittings, the experience would likely be bland and repetitive, and Jones’ review reflects that feeling.

Borderlands plays like an MMO however, and I can’t even fathom how to properly review a game that has such a grand scale, such as World of Warcraft. The “everydayness” of play affects your overall perception of the game, causing you to fall in love with the experience of playing with friends. As a stand alone shooter, Borderlands would have a hard time being compared to Modern Warfare 2 but, simply put, Borderlands in more than just a shooter.

I guess my ultimate question is how do we, as game journalists, review games that are supposed to be enjoyed over months of play, and not just a couple of days? Having a review out quick is important but, is it fair to judge games while having to “marathon play” through them?

Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that question. What do you think?