Reader Reviews: Borderlands

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Jarryd does, as he teleports straight to the driver seat.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Jarryd Purcell. If you’ve played Borderlands, or just want to ask Jarryd more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Borderlands (360, PS3, PC)

Borderlands is a FPS/RPG that tries to find the middle point between the genres. It features four-player co-op and can be summed up as what Fallout 3 could have been (Really? Ed.).


Art Style: The cell-shaded art style is one of the features that stand out in an already feature-loaded package as one of the rarely utilised elements that, in this case, fits perfectly.

The balance between FPS and RPG: Borderlands does well to combine classic RPG elements such as loot drops and shooting, modern enough to appease the Call of Duty aficionado.

Multiplayer: Once you get into a co-op game, the game becomes a truly amazing experience compared to the singleplayer mode with the number of enemies multiplying and the loot becoming much more epic in all senses.


“Bazillions of Guns”: Yes, there are thousands of “unique” guns in the game, but they boil down to the same handful of archetypes found in every other shooter. The only difference between them is stats and their random benefits such as improved damage or accuracy.

Connection Issues: Borderlands is dragged down by poor connection issues that haven’t arisen since the mid '90s such as having to forward ports to connect to games or having to let a connection time out on each user’s computer before it will connect. There are workarounds but they should not be needed in 2009.

While the game is pulled down by minor issues, these issues can either be fixed yourself or are minor enough to not be noticed when compared to things done right. If you have at least two other friends to play with then this game will be a masterpiece. if you are playing solo, you will need to have some for love both the RPG and FPS genres.

Reviewed by: Jarryd Purcell

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    Did you add the "Really? Ed." bit David?

    I think Borderland's PC Multiplayer issues can be summed up in two points:

    1) P2P
    2) Gamespy.

      I certainly did.

      In terms of gunplay, heck yeah! Fallout 3 doesn't quite provide that FPS feel.
      In terms of RPG immersion Fallout 3 wins.

    "...what Fallout 3 could have been."...umm..Oh Snap, right?

      I've been summing it up as more like "Fallout Lite".

    In terms of the gunplay, it's exactly what I wanted out of Fallout 3. It's an RPG built on a FPS game, not the other way around.

    Other than that, they are almost incomparably different.

    "..what Fallout 3 could have been."

    Hmmmm.... It could've been a lot of things. A six foot mongoose with a cow for a head in gold spandex singing "Happy Days Are Here Again", for one thing, but it wasn't.

    Borderlands and Fallout 3 are very different games with some base similarities. Borderlands is essentially a FPS with basic RPG elements tacked on. Fallout 3, on the other hand, is an excellent RPG with some decent combat mechanics tacked on.

    It's like comparing apples with, well, something that isn't remotely of the same genus, perhaps not even in this same temporal dimension.

    Yes, it has been a long day....

    "Yes, there are thousands of “unique” guns in the game, but they boil down to the same handful of archetypes found in every other shooter"

    While i get what you mean (Fire, electricity, explosive etc.), it is not entirely true - there are some unique unlabeled features on some guns
    For example; I picked up a sub-machine gun which fired slow-paced, spiral-path rounds which bounced of all non-organic surfaces - i thought that was pretty neat
    another example is the wave-shotgun.

    What i'm trying to get at is there is a lot of variations that you wont know unless you try the guns

    Ive been playing borderlands and are about 3/4 of the way through. I find many reviews for these types of games (games which lean towards multiplayer/co-op) never spend much time dealing with singleplayer. Thought that I would add my two cents.

    Singleplayer Borderlands feels repetitive and almost pointless. The shooting is fun however, that is until you get sick of dispatching the same enemies over and over. There is little to no character in the the NPCs and the landscape is lifeless and boring.

    Definitely ONLY worthwhile as a multiplayer game.

      Though I wish I could play together with my roommates in the same house we can never join the same game even if we host it...

    Connection Issues

    Which version was reviewed, PC?

    ok yeah some clarifications i guess may be needed.

    1. the fallout comment i made was mainly in terms of the shooting gameplay complemented by the post apocalyptic backdrop, and yes the RPG elements of fallout are superior to borderlands.

    2. yes i played the PC version which i got off steam when it eventually got released.

    I have been playing quite a bit of this recently and i'd have to say there are some definite highlights let down by massive ruts.

    I love opening a weapons crate and finding something truly unique and awesome. Examples: A revolver that seems to gib everything it touches, a launcher that fires a twirling stream of rockets at your target and what appears to be some form of lightning shotgun. Guns & gunplay have definitely been done pretty well for an RPG here.

    What I found to be awful though was the story or lack thereof such that you really do not care about the world of Pandora, its inhabitants or even your own character. Another annoyance is all the boring grind quests...I have ended up not even reading most of the mission briefs and just slaughtering my way to wherever the mission marker tells me to go, then killing/collecting x amount of whatever.

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