Twisting the RPG into New Destinations

Most RPGs generally have storylines with a set destination, and the game is all about the destination. “Borderlands,” however is one RPG that sets that aside, and puts all the action and fun in the journey. Set in a barren planet called Pandora, filled with bandits and scavengers, everyone is out for the Vault, said to contain the greatest treasure or power in the universe. Guns are cocked and ready to fire as everyone on the planet is searching for the vault’s whereabouts.

“Borderlands” puts a twist on the RPG element, as it is also an FPS game. Although the game involves guns, there is a leveling system involved with them: As you use a particular weapon, the level for it increases. This provides bonuses for that gun type, and promotes the gamer’s style of play. There are also four classes for the player to choose from, each specializing in a certain weapon type, and skills benefiting that weapon, furthering its strengths. There are support skills for each class, and an online multiplayer function is there to fulfill the purpose of those skills. Playing online has many advantages, such as fun with friends.

The controls are basic for FPS gamers, and the RPG factor involved gives FPS gamers a great taste of adventure. There is a standard inversion option, and a sensitivity bar for your cross hair movement. Difficulty level is determined by your class, as certain classes start off weaker than others. The game uses cell-shaded graphics, giving it a more updated look.

The game also has a few shortcomings. The lack of music gives the game a very boring feel. The heavy emphasis on playing alone makes the game quite boring at times. There are no other game modes, other than dueling a friend online, or just co-op on the campaign itself. The traveling system in the game relies on your patience to walk everywhere until you finally get a vehicle about an hour or two into the game. Even with the vehicle, traveling is quite long.

“Borderlands” also includes a great deal of humor. Right from the start of the game, the player encounters a robot named Claptrap. Claptrap himself is energetic and full of spunk. His idle actions are very much random and show a great deal of personality – he dances and gives a few obscene gestures, giving a quick laugh.

Overall, “Borderlands” requires a decent amount of time to finish. It is a fun game that involves multiple elements from two very different kinds of games, FPS and RPG, giving it a wide array of fans and something everyone will enjoy.

Simply put, if you’re a fan of “Fallout” or “Call of Duty,” you owe it to yourself to check this game out. Combining an excellent first-person-shooter with an extensive RPG, “Borderlands” is an adventure unlike any other. Like “Fallout,” there’s a great story here that helps you connect to the people in the world and the character you end up developing. The cel-shaded graphics play a huge part in giving the game its own unique feel as well, creating a FPS/RPG hybrid that will change the way many feel about shooters. The slew of downloadable content also provide an extra level of replayability, creating a game that will ultimately stand the test of time.

-Patrick Hickey Jr.

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