One Paragraph Review: Borderlands

by Trevor Whatman

Borderlands shouldn’t be as wonderful as it is.  The narrative loses traction immediately, vehicles control as though you’ve just slammed six shots of Jägermeister, and 95% of the equipment is pure shop fodder.  Yet, Gearbox’s loot-driven shooter gripped me tightly and refused to let go.  Its striking visual style drew me in, while the light RPG elements and infectious online co-op sustained my interest.  Stat allocation and skill trees are rudimentary enough for newcomers to grasp, while providing just enough depth to satiate the hardcore audience.  Inventory management is cumbersome considering the sheer volume of gear, so be prepared for extended periods of “the menu game” when separating the wheat from the chaff.  The addictive appeal of Borderlands may be intangible, but it can not be denied.