Online Status Check: Borderlands

Gearbox Software's shooter-RPG hybrid is an addictive blend of loot hunting and cooperative play. Now that the game is in the hands of a larger audience, we wanted to see how well the game holds up in the real world.

When we played Borderlands for our review, the number of people playing numbered in the hundreds. Good enough to get a taste, but not indicative of real world performance. That's why we do the Online Status Check. Our thoughts and the thoughts of others, after this.

Finding Games: Fairly easy today, considering the Kotaku readership was nice enough to flood my Xbox Live Account with friend requests. Even before that explosion of Live friends, finding a Quick Match didn't take too long, about 30 seconds to find a game, then another 15 or so to join.

Sending requests and inviting friends via the pause menu is straightforward and generally reliable. What wasn't reliable, however, is getting an invite before having loaded my character. I could accept game invites that would do nothing. There were a few instances of trying to join games to no avail. The game would save, indicating that I was about to join a co-op game, then... nothing. My single-player game would continue as normal.

Matchmaking: Joining up with other Borderlands players at your level isn't as big of a concern, but when I did join a Quick Match, I was usually within 10 levels of my partners. Since Borderlands' draw isn't multiplayer versus, joining games with lower or high level players isn't a negative.

Reaction Time: Playing Borderlands via Xbox Live was certainly playable, but I did experience some lag during my play time. It wasn't bad, especially considering the more laid back speed of the game, but lag did have an impact on timing jumps in the game. Bothersome, when trying to jump up to a treasure that rests on top of a building.

General Consensus: The folks that I played with didn't have many bad things to say about the multiplayer experience, but I know I wasn't the only one have a few game invite issues today.

The Gearbox Software tech support forums for Borderlands aren't lacking in technical issues surrounding the game, many of them related to the online experience. The PlayStation 3 friends list issues that cropped up at launch may not have been resolved for everyone, according to the forums. Some folks appear to be having custom game matchmaking issues at higher levels and on second playthroughs. Regrettably, the number of issues affecting the PS3 experience appear to be higher.

PC owners can't weigh in on the experience yet. The game won't be available for them to play until the Windows version officially releases on October 26. You can experience the rage here.

Overall Personal Experience: Outside of a few failed connections to invites, the experience has been good. Not great, but good. Certainly good enough to hoof it around the Pandoran wastelands.

Obviously, we'd like to hear what you think about the experience so far. Since we don't have access to every version of the game, we're relying on you to help your fellow Kotakuites with information about the online portions of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions.


    The only issue i had with online play was quests. I had already done the quest with turning on the 3 big windmills? so when I joined another persons game I could not press the switch to turn them on. The 2 people I played with had no headsets and so i couldn't get a response from them when i was repeatedly asked them to come over to where i was and press the last damn switch.

    they never did and so I found myself forced to endure their stupidity until I had had enough and decided to go find another game.

    so yes, it was good not a great experience. unfortunately my friends are into single player games... so its a bit difficult to know if the matchmaking is working in my favour. It would be nice to see a flag next to each persons name in the lobby like in Resident Evil 5.

    loving the offline co-op

    great, not good ;o

      Agreed. Offline co-op is awesome. The only problem I had with it is that I first played the game at a friends house - when I recovered my gamertag (xbox 360) at home, my character naturally stayed on his xbox. Makes me want to get an xbox memory card...

    Watching the countdown on Steam is evil. It's like the damn thing is taunting me.

    So, anyone worked out yet why Australia is getting a "low violence" version of Borderlands? And what exactly it entails? Would be great for someone to clear the air, there's been a lot of heated discussion on various forums about the whole situation.

      Oh my god are we really? I fucking pre-ordered it on steam and not L4D2 because I thought it wasn't low violence. I don't have enough money to buy another copy either. Guess I'll have to find a pirated violent version and overwrite files or something? Hopefully steam lets you do that. GOD DAMNIT. Why was there no news about this, but heaps of news about L4D2 getting cut? ARGH.

      According to this thread, we are not getting a censored version - guessing that is why there was no news about it.

      Note to self - google first, then rage.

        Note to self - read threads before posting them as evidence. There is no proof in that thread, but there is no proof elsewhere that the game is censored, either.

        Perhaps Kotaku could ask them about this?


          I too so no news re: censored borderlands.
          My first thought wasn't OMGPIRACYRAGE but BULL**IT!

    Anyone have the retail release date for Australia?

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