So, I actually bought Borderlands

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In reflection of what I said a few days ago, I’m in conflict and agreement with my points. At this stage I’m on my third attempt at the game, this point is almost insignificant, but a small technical issue meant that I lost my save three times because I have a partitioned drive, to fix this, create a desktop shortcut, and in the shortcut tab, add -nohomedir after your target e.g.D:\Steam\steam.exe -applaunch 8980 -nohomedir. If you’re using steam, set launch options with the same thing, add -nohomedir in the launch options text box. Bureaucracy Over.

From what I previously wrote, I had serious doubts about borderlands, worrying that the story was going to be inadequate, and that it was going to be one big, long, boring grindfest interspersed with a wafer thin story and mediocre gameplay. How ludicrously wrong I was. From what I’ve experienced, the central story isn’t really integral to the experience because the designers have put so much effort into slowly but surely revealing the world to you through a series of consistently satisfying sidequests that both perform the function of helping you level up, and building a story. The great part about these quests that that they have been designed in a way that avoids the predicted grind, and puts more effort into structuring side quests are more of a lead up to something greater, and regardless, any grinding still is very fun, this brings me to my next point.

The art style is something that was evenly anticipated and begrudged within the gaming community since some loved its stylistic, and imaginative approach to illustrating a world, whilst others really would have rather had something a lot more realistic. Personally I was a bit ambivalent in this situation, one hand I loved the aesthetic, on the other I feared that it may get a bit too messy with such simplistic textures. The art direction managed to strike an amazing balance that gives the game a certain unique personality and character, whilst enough detail and well devised lighting engines allow the graphics to remain crisp and defined.

GAMEPLAY…This was one of my main concerns, contrary to prior belief, gameplay is fantastic. The weapons feel fantastic, they sound great, and they’re a blast to use. In tandem with an interesting playstyle that could sit somewhere between Halo and Fallout 3, Borderlands succeeds in creating a balance that will suit a large variety of playstyles, something that is really accentuated in multiplayer. Role playing elements, although they have been marginalised for the sake of gameplay focus, are still there and are definitely not lacking in quality, providing a branched stats tree that allows you to create a unique character… and, and the guns..

Multiplayer oh multiplayer… This was truly an ordeal. First of all, Borderlands is rife with technical online issues which is a real shame, because online is where the real action is. A friend and I trawled through forums upon forums looking for a fix, after setting myself a static IP and forwarding all of the required ports, to no avail. It turns out there are two viable options are the moment. Host a public game and put up with 3 other people with no motivation to cooperate, and a crackly mic, or the preferable which was a real relief to find. Ok, multiplayer opinion eh? Personally, I found the way to go was to play with one friend in a private match, using Skype or steam chat since Borderland’s mic support is not push to talk, and is atrocious. The reason why I say that you should play with one other person is that I found when there were four of us, we really achieved nothing, and the game wasn’t that much fun. Maybe this is different if you know the rest of the people, and you all have functioning mic’s, but this is what I found. On the contrary, playing with one other person with a good microphone was an incredibly fun experience, allowing you to alternate play styles and take more interesting approaches to situations.

Well, my verdict in this quick note that soon became a review. Borderlands is definitely fun. In fact, I applaud the efforts of Gearbox Software since they have managed to create something that far outweighed my expectations by creating a game that combines solid gameplay, well structured missions, an amazing art style, and even the odd bit of humour. To anyone who is indecisive on buying this, just go ahead and do it, you will enjoy it, I know I am.

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