ClapTrap

[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