Ranting While Playing: Borderlands


Oh dear god that pun was so bad it made me cringe. Oh well, going back up there to the title bar is too much work.

I usually post about games after I beat them, or at least when I can be bothered to do so.  Unfortunately, Borderlands has the magical realm of games I never finished along with Wolfenstein and possibly Bayonetta in the near future.  Why?  In short, it was terrible.  This is the part where the fanboys skip down to the comments section and flame me for having an opinion on the internet.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Who am I kidding? No one reads this shit.

My post apocalyptic adventure started much as all of my adventures do, with the game installing.  I fired it up, went to check the mail, and was very much surprised to see that the game had already installed over the span of about three or four minutes.  Big warning lights flared up when I realized that the game was only roughly double the size of Earth Defense Force 2017, a game that only needs the hamster wheel equivalent of a graphics card to run.

I loaded the game and was greeted by a fun little song followed by an obese Gir.  Oh good, I thought, perhaps there’s some charm sprinkled throughout what little content that was to be had.  I was wrong, of course.  I hosted a match and was immediately joined by several level 30 players who made it their business to shoot and melee me whenever they weren’t randomly scattering themselves throughout the wilderness, so I was quick to boot them and play alone.

As I scuttled through the wasteland it quickly became clear why the game had such a small footprint on my hard drive.  Gearbox had apparently seen how many yachts Blizzard had been buying with their Diablo and World of Warcraft IP’s and wanted a slice of that pie, so they densely populated the desert vast diversity of enemies.  By diversity I of course mean they used the same four or five character models over and over again with some slight palate swaps. Classy.

Personal experience paused, nagging issues commencing.

Gearbox may have successfully created the worst inventory system of any RPG I have ever played, and I’ve played Arkadian Warriors and Mass Effect 1.  Remember that nice feature in Blizzard games where equipment is automatically compared with whatever your character is wearing?  Apparently they didn’t.  Don’t you love how you can highlight armor and weapons in RPGs and be clearly told what type of armor or weapon it is? Too bad.

Don’t worry Bethesda, Gearbox must have noticed you too because they felt it was absolutely necessary to copy/paste your compass system into Borderlands.  The compass was very helpful in Oblivion and Fallout 3 because both games featured wide open areas where you could choose your own path to get to pretty much anything.  The direction of your objective was all that you needed to know because you were free to roam across the landscape in whatever way you saw fit?  This is not the case in Borderlands.  Here, we are forced to navigate multiple maps with ludicrous amounts of turns that generally were entirely linear.  This wouldn’t have been a problem if they had simply given us a minimap, but we are instead given a small arrow with a fetish for jagged walls and vast chasms.

Back to my journal’o’memory.

Let’s skip about ten hours in.  My Siren is now about level 25 and I’ve completed all of the quests in the first of two mission hubs in the game.  I’ve amassed countless useless items, I’ve spent a decent pile of points in a talent tree that does nothing more than add slight tweaks to the ability you start out with, and I’ve killed more Jason’s than there are fans of said movies.

My choices are as follows:

– Complete a quest where I kill another dozen Jasons.

– Complete a quest where I kill another dozen bugs.

– Complete a quest where I kill another dozen flying bugs.

– Complete a quest where I kill another dozen strange mammals.

– Complete a quest where I kill another dozen Jasons for some strange item the local hillbillies want.

– Go back to town to stock up on more identical quests while I unload my identical weapons.

– Set off on a vast expedition where I try to find where the fuck they hid the plot.

– Send the game back to GameFly

Oh hey, Uncharted 2.

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