[Review] My Year in the Borderlands (PC)

This past summer my husband and I finished playing Borderlands 2. It took us a little over a year to complete both Borderlands games together in co-op. I was frankly sad to see it all come to an end, which might be why it took us so long to finish both games.

When I am reading a great book, or binge watching a great TV show, I often drop it for a bit to savour the experience. Aw man, sometimes it’s too good; I don’t want it to come to an end.

I felt the same way about Borderlands.

The hubs and I clocked in probably over a 100 hours of gameplay on both Borderlands games…You could say, for a while, visiting the Borderlands was a huge part of our leisure time.

Borderlands takes place on a planet called Pandora. Known to be full of mineral deposits as well as alien technology artifacts, Pandora was entrenched in a war between two mining companies. They were in a race to be the first to find this alien technology that supposedly is hidden in a vault somewhere on the planet. Both mining companies pulled the plug on the whole thing and abandoned the planet when they couldn’t find what they were looking for. They left their industrial trash and the residents of Pandora behind; most of whom were part of a penal colony used by the mines as drones. There isn’t much left to Pandora…it’s pretty much a trashy acrid wasteland. But, somehow the residents have persevered, developing gangs and a varitable Mad Max environment and mentality, willing to kill themselves to protect themselves, and attack you to take from you.

You play as a bounty hunter, attracted to Pandora for the ultimate Vault jackpot. On your journey you dodge bandits and mutant creatures to find this hidden treasure.

Borderlands, an action Role-playing First Person Shooter, was one of those games that I got a lot out of the actual gameplay. I always feel I can use the experience in switching out weapons and making sure I have enough ammo to see through a level. It was Pandora’s immersive atmosphere and interesting missions that kept me coming back for more. This game looked amazing for a barren planet, and at times felt a bit like home. Some of that rocky landscape on Pandora frankly reminded me of the outskirts of my hometown of Sudbury, Ontario in the 1980s…minus the mutant creatures and bandits.

The game surrounds you with an odd cast of characters that never quit for a pee break, a sandwich or a shower. Some have odd names like Moxxi, Dr. Zed and Lilith. Characters called psychos – these shirtless masked weirdos- saw it fit whenever possible to run up to you and suicide bomb themselves, or axe you. Not to mention ClapTrap – a talking robot with a superiority complex. This game never takes itself seriously, naming characters, missions and worlds in very tongue-in-cheek fashion.

And then there is the music!

DJ Champion? There is no heaven, and don’t talk about it! Better Cage that Elephant because there ain’t no rest for the wicked, and money don’t grow on trees…(not that there are a lot of living trees to be found on Pandora)…The rest carries your heart only long enough to beat it into an electronic metalheaded pulp.

I paid no particular attention to the plot in either Borderlands game while actually playing the game. Some would probably say I totally missed out – but I don’t think that way at all. I feel the games are mission-based with a story weaved in. You level grind with each mission, so that you can fight an end boss. It was fine by me to concentrate solely on missions. Borderlands kicked our asses, no doubt about it – but in a fun way.

Borderlands 3, also known as Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel! is due to be released this October. I am looking forward to seeing what that game will be like!

If you even have an inkling to play either Borderlands or Borderlands 2 after reading this, I can guarantee you an awesome gaming experience. Get your weapons ready and leave your life behind; you might just get sucked into a year in the Borderlands too.

5/5

Borderlands and Borderlands 2
Developer: 2K / Gearbox
Released: 2009 and 2012

 

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30 comments

  1. Wow, I don’t know if I could sink anywhere near that much time into a video game – good on you guys for staying with it! That is dedication.

    One thing, for clarification:

    You said “Some of that rocky landscape on Pandora frankly reminded me of the outskirts of my hometown of Sudbury, Ontario in the 1980s…minus the mutant creatures and bandits.”

    So, were the mutants and bandits on Pandora, or in Sudbury? ‘Cos I could believe it both ways…

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    1. I meant the mutant and bandits of Pandora. But, really, Sudbury can be a rough town. It’s cleaned up its act alot thanks to reforestation, but back in the 80s it was pretty barren thanks to INCO.

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      1. Haha I kinda figured, but it seemed an opportunity to be goofy too. 😉 Yeah, I went to Sudbury in the 80s and it felt like we were going to the moon, landscape-wise (though the drive took a good long while too). We did the Big Nickel and the science center, the usual rounds of touristy stuff. The science center was cool. But I haven’t ever been back, and the 80s were a long time ago. Hm. I’m glad they’ve replanted trees and cleaned up their act. I’ll bet it could be a really nice place!

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        1. Well, I grew up there, and my family (and the hubs’ family) still live there. It’s a far trip for us (at least 4 hours). We haven’t been back since x-mas. I don’t miss Sudbury like, “Man I really want to go back to Sudz!” No, not me. Lived there for 18 years, and wanted out.

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      2. Yeah I feel the same way about my hometown, sometimes. 18 years and had to go. But at least yours was a fair-sized city, with some stuff to do. My hometown had one main road, no stop lights (still doesn’t have one). Population… maybe 350, tops. Could be less. First year university, my residence building had more people in it than my hometown has. One building.

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        1. I’m 46 and still wanting out of Tbay !!! Hahaha…actually in the early 90s I went to The Big Smoke and got a big dose of big city life and I wanted to move there but than I came to my senses!…I think! Ha

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          1. It’s amazing to me all the people who were itching to leave Sudbury, left, then came back! My sister for one.
            I left, and admitedly tried to go back because of a boyfriend but back then tech jobs in graphics, multimedia and web design were hard to come by in Sudbury. No one was hiring except retail (and somebody shoot me).

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        2. Yes, geographically speaking, Sudbury is HUGE. There are things to do, but like Peart wrote, “No charms to soothe the restless dream of youth.” Same as it ever was.

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  2. Good review Mrs! I loved this game, spent weeks of my life in it. All the DLC is excellent too, particularly the pirate one. Treat yourself if you haven’t already.

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    1. Thanks, 1537! Yes, we have every intention to visit the Borderlands again with the DLC…but these days with my husband’s schedule, our weekends are our only time together and as you can imagine, get quite full with life’s little details. We’ll get there again, I am sure!

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  3. Nice point about the book you do and don’t want to put down – you’re hooked & want to keep going but you also don’t want it to end! I had that recently with Dave Eggers’s ‘the circle’ – a 5/5 (not just a rounded-up 4.75!)

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  4. 5/5. Nice.

    Truthfully it’s THIS kind of game that makes me want to buy a new system and get into it again. I’ve seen it played, I love the sci-fi elements, I love the visuals, and your review. So there ya go.

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    1. Kevin and I played on Steam – each on their own computer over LAN, and talked to each other using Skype, though Steam also has the chat feature. You each show up in the other’s game. It was fun!

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