Borderlands Previews

We seem to have overlooked Gearbox’s FPS/RPG Borderlands in the past, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to round up a few recent previews of the game. First up is GameSpot:

Borderlands uses a procedural process to generate its various guns in certain classes (handguns, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, and so on), but with many variations of firing speed, reload speed, and ammo properties (incendiary, acid-based, and so on). As soon as we started taking on the enemy bandits who came charging out of the mines with guns, we started coming across guns, guns, and more guns–either dropped by fallen foes, hidden in piles of bones left by predatory skags, or locked away in treasure chests. According to Gearbox, the game currently features more than 600,000 different types of guns and will likely have more by the time the game ships. So, throughout the course of the game, you’ll constantly be improving your character’s effectiveness in battle, either by picking up new guns (which can be stored in what seems like unlimited storage space) or by gaining experience levels and additional proficiency with whichever weapon you’re currently wielding at the time that you gain a level (which is currently indicated onscreen by a set of glowing white rings that surround your character).

Then IGN:

This is a mix of first-person action and role-playing. You pick a character class and then you proceed to level up over the course of the game, just like in an RPG. There’s even an experience point bar at the bottom of the screen that indicates progress to the next level up. When you advance in level, you can access a special terminal to modify your character abilities. Outside of that, you can get proficiencies in weapons by using them to kill difficult opponents.

A bit from Eurogamer:

The experience itself varies, too, thanks to Diablo-ish randomisation of combat within specific levels, which might as well be instances. We’re shown the Iridium Mines level, which splits the two players up on different paths. The bandits inside are holding hostage an alien artifact, which is a valuable commodity on Pandora, and the administrator of the nearby Newhaven Settlement wants you to get it back. The quest’s the same across game sessions, but what happens isn’t: in our case, the two players converge on a bunch of bandits sat around a campfire roasting a dog-like “skag”, and while one player distracts them with a sniper rifle the other assaults from the flank and cleans them out.

Something from 1UP:

Pitchford claimed this would be the first true role-playing FPS. It almost goes without saying a statement like that is sure to incite pages of discussion on message boards everywhere. Yet having only briefly seen its implementation, it’s hard to say whether the game will live up to its creator’s claims.

And, finally, AtomicGamer:

That’s when the bodies started to fly – the shotgun that the Soldier character had was a great backup weapon and would easily take limbs and heads off, while the Hunter character mainly was sniping from a distance and hitting the bandits that lingered in the back. With some powerful MIRV grenades that explode once and send out new projectiles that then all explode themselves, the Soldier was able to take out a few guys at a time. With some tweaking of skills via his “software” and a couple of passive increases in his rifle skill, the big, slow rifle the Soldier was firing was adjusted to reload faster and fire a little more accurately. With a full leveling system and unlockable and configurable skills that work inside cybernetic implants, the game seems to promise a lot of depth. As the game gets closer to release, we’ll see if that system holds up and keeps people coming back like Diablo did (and recent PC title Hellgate: London didn’t).

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