By Oo Gin Lee
|Game Title Here
|» Price: $59.90 (PC), $69.90 (Xbox360), $79.90 (PS3)
» Genre: RPG Shooter
» Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
» Rating: 9/10
BORDERLANDS is one of those titles that combines so many genres that it either pulls off as a game that rocks or flops big time.
Like the Fallout series, the game is set in a nuclear wasteland. But it is primarily a fast-paced shooter with some role-playing game (RPG) elements.
Counter-strike fans will know that a head shot in this game is the best move to gun for.
Diablo diehards and fans of the dead Hellgate London will recognise the looting system where every gun you pick up can have loads of random attributes, like faster firing, chance for incendiary damage and recoil reduction.
World Of Warcraft fans will love the familiar colour coding of loot - white, green, blue, purple and orange - in ascending order of rarity and power.
For me, the mash-up totally worked.
Shooters are usually boring because they do not focus on developing the character but in Borderlands, your character - as in most RPGs - is the main focus.
Play solo and complete the quests, jump into two-man co-operative play (split the Xbox 360 screen for this), then go online to join forces with up to three strangers.
The beauty of it is that all the XP, or experience points, and loot that you gain in every game is automatically saved. So, your character continues to level up - regardless of the game mode - to the maximum level of 50.
Choose from four classes.
The Hunter, my personal favourite, excels in long-range sniper rifles with pistols as the secondary weapon. His pet hawk, Bloodwind, swoops down on hiding enemies to blow their cover.
The other classes and their special skills are:
- The all-rounder Soldier can create a turret on the spot, giving allies extra firepower and cover.
- The melee-class Berserker flies into a rage and regenerates his health while dishing out damage.
- The stealthy Siren, who turns invisible to make a sneak attack.
All of them can use any type of gun - combat rifle, shotgun, rocket launcher, revolver, sub-machine gun and sniper rifle - and they will each have the potential to be the best in their class-specific guns.
The Hunter, for instance, can increase the damage of sniper rifles. Combined with another talent that lets his bullets penetrate the shields of enemies to inflict direct bodily damage, this is clearly the 'damage' class - the mother of all destruction.
Also, as you use each weapon, your proficiency level in that gun-class improves and you get bonuses to stuff like damage, firing rate and reload speeds.
As you kill monsters and complete quests, you gain XP and level up for even more life and a talent point to spend at every level.
You are one of many vault hunters searching for the elusive paradise - the vault which was shielded and untouched by a nuclear holocaust.
Single-player mode becomes boring, as can be expected, after 15 hours. But multiplayer kept me going on: the monsters get tougher so you earn more XP per kill and, more importantly, the loot gets better.
Want that legendary shotgun that shoots rockets instead of shells or the lightning combat rifle that has unlimited ammo? Start calling in your friends, mate.
THE economy works against you - you are forced to buy high and sell low.
The only way to get filthy rich so you can buy everything is to cheat.
Borderlands has an amazing bug and here is how it works: your game is saved only if you exit the game normally from the menu, but not if you log out through your dashboard on the Xbox (press the fat Xbox button and select 'Go to dashboard') or press Ctrl-Alt-Delete on the PC to end the game from the Task Manager.
So create or join a multiplayer game with at least one other friend.
Drop all your stuff on the ground, exit the game without saving and re-join the game. Your friend can now pick up all your loot, so your backpack is still full. Ask him to return the favour and get rich together.
This story was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life.
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