Some thoughts about Borderlands

borderlands-looks-niceI finished Borderlands last week! It’s one of the few xbox 360 games I completed lately.  A game needs to be engaging for me to spend more than a few hours on it thanks to all the other games that I want to play and my backlog.

Things I loved about the game:

  • Diablo loot-a-thon + first person shooter + RPG: This is the main reason why I bought the game. I wished that Fallout 3 was more FPS-ish and thi s is the game that answered the wish.
  • Art style: it’s like a cartoonish, twisted, colorful Fallout
  • Gearbox: I have fond memories of them from their Half-Life 1 days.
  • Claptraps!

Things I liked about the game:

  • Driving vehicles was easy schmeezy
  • I didn’t get lost in the open world
  • Lots and lots of different guns
  • Online co-op was easy to set up and lots of fun with a buddy

Things I didn’t like about the game:

  • Joining a player’s game will make you automatically inherit all their available quests whether you’re ready for them or not
  • The story was pretty generic
  • I couldn’t turn my controller’s vibration off

Things I hated about this game:

  • The path to the end of the game: finally making my way to the vault.
  • The ending

SPOILER ALERT! I’m going to complain about the ending below, so if you don’t want to be spoiled don’t read it.

About two hours before the ending of the game, I was ready for Borderlands to end.  Everything from Old Haven up to the actual vault just seemed like filler because the developers wanted the game to be longer.  I was excited to finally see the guardians and it was cool to see them fighting against Atlas, but that part could have been shorter. The whole mission where I had to turn on the ECHO system was also tedious and back-tracky.

By the time I finally got to the last boss, I was pretty fed up.  I kind of expected a crazy last boss to climb out of the vault, since it’s a video game and all, but I was surprised that it destroyed Steel and her cronies.  For some reason, I thought Steel knew there was a creature behind the vault and wanted to control it.

I have to say that I died lots of times trying to kill that stupid squid boss until I figured out that I could glitch the boss by running under him. That way, his purple shock wave thing couldn’t hit me, his tenticles couldn’t do anything to me, and I just took my time pumping bullets into him

When I finally beat the boss, I was ready for a long cut scene explaining everything or at least something rewarding. But all I got was a couple-second long cut scene telling me the vault was closed for another 200 years.  WTF. How unsatisfying.

Then, I thought more about the ending.  It would be cool if the game tied ends up somehow by showing that the quest to open the vault and the opening of the vault is a cycle that repeats every 200 years and my character just plays a sisyphean role.  But I don’t think that’s what happened. The actual explanation of the ending was so simple that I just didn’t want to believe that’s what really happened.

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  1. says

    I don’t really know this game nor do I have the inclination to play it, but it sounds to me like a typical case of developer running out of budget so they never got around to doing that big CG sequence at the end like they always planned to….

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