Have you played… Borderlands?


Strange now, when Borderlands is as big as it is and as synonymous as it is with bug-eyed shrieking, to think back to the transformative and ambitious promises of the first few times we glimpsed it. The idea of an FPS with the mentality of Diablo was ahead of its time, and at the time seemed thrilling rather than, as is the case now, the most lucrative business model. And that cel-shaded look in the era of Gears of War? Woof-woof.

Oh, and it was Mad Max with randomly-generated crazyguns too. God, the concept was thrilling. The execution? Rather more conservative than we’d hoped, really. This was dead world in more ways than one, starkly limited in interactions beyond bullet-to-face, with a jarringly dour plot underpinning the vibrant look.

Still though, I enjoyed its essential feel, which was why Borderlands 2 going so far in the opposite direction – i.e. a screeching, ever-more-brash one – was disappointing. I wanted Borderlands Plus, I suppose. Or proc-gen Stalker, if I’m being honest.

Maybe the result wasn’t quite there, but I haven’t forgotten quite how exciting action games seemed when Borderlands was on the horizon. Hype is ultimately bad for us, of course, but in this rather hesitant age of mono-brand dominance and ugly monetisation strategies, I’d love to see something come kick the door like that again.


  1. BeardyHat says:

    I’m in agreement here; Borderlands goes onto my pile of “Got way too hyped and purchased immediately, only to be disappointed.”

    • shaydeeadi says:

      I think I started my third character and got half-way through with them before the rot started to set in. Despite the sequel claiming ‘more’ guns I felt like the variety in the original was a lot better.

      Solid game

      • KDR_11k says:

        They narrowed the range of stuff the game could give you in the second, reducing outliers. Though they also have this annoying tendency not to tell you everything about a gun in the tooltip. For example I had a Tediore shotgun that when thrown turned into a homing missile and kept shooting its remaining ammo while flying towards enemies. No indication of that in the tooltip and you get so many guns that you can’t just test them all to find these things out.

        The Borderlands games just feel so limited in what they let you do. In Hellgate London you had a whole quickbar for spells and items, in Borderlands you get one active ability, a grenade button and a bunch of boring passive abilities (they got better with those in the second game’s DLC characters and the Presequel’s cast).

        Destiny is similarly restrictive. These games feel like they don’t want the loot and RPG aspects with a design that negates many of them (Destiny especially but Borderlands had scaling enemies to a degree as well and level difference effects felt arbitrary).

        Personally I’m not a fan of the aesthetics of the game, don’t like the built-from-garbage buildings and trash and shit everywhere. The writing was often pretty bad as well, jokes really don’t work too well when they’re in a game designed for repeated play.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      I wasn’t initially interested, but when it came out I gave it a bash and enjoyed it immensely. The sequel was even better, more of everything I liked about the first one and less of what I didn’t. An unexpected delight all in all. (Making a third one was pushing it a bit. There’s only so far slapping baddies and getting gear with bigger numbers can carry a series.)

    • gummybearsliveonthemoon says:

      Same. I expected something Fallout-y with NPCs to talk to and little towns or something. Not 2D quest givers and Diablo-style weapon drops and MMO “kill 20 thingrats” quests. I got bored quick and cheated to blow through it. And good lord, the ending…

      The developers also made Half-Life: Opposing Forces. And they recycled their own final boss from that addon for this game.

      Feh. I know people who love it, but they played MP I guess. I thought it was a disappointment. I wasn’t disappointed by any game that badly again until Rage. Which was pretty much the same thing, but with driving and no final boss at all.

    • Premium User Badge

      MajorLag says:

      I had a similar experience. Bought it because people sang its praises, played 2 hours (according to Steam) waiting for it to get not-dull and not-grindy, but it didn’t. I have no idea what people see in it.

  2. shinkshank says:

    Regrettably, I have.

    I also jumped on the hypewagon, because the marketing campaign was tight and the idea sounded really promising. But then I got it and it had one of the dullest settings, most cringe-worthy scripts and least satisfying gunplay I can remember in all of video games. When I nail a guy in the head with a rocket launcher and he sells it like I just shot him in the arm with a pistol because he’s got a higher number? Yeah, your game just sucks.

    On the bright side, though, it immediately taught me not to ever trust Gearbox again. I guess I was lucky on that front, for some people it took as long as A:CM for that lesson to stick.

    • Rivalus says:

      Yes, it really kills the immersion. My only memorable moment was when me & my friends inside of a gladiator arena and must kill a large beast. In the frantic moment, I super punch the beast into submission, it felt really great. But after that, the level difference gave a bad taste.

  3. Konservenknilch says:

    Nope, since it’s not my genre, but it always looked really intriguing. Maybe I should play the TellTale one instead.

    • HiroTheProtagonist says:

      Tales From The Borderlands was a pleasant surprise. It still falls into some of the pitfalls of Telltale Games (choices really don’t matter that much, puzzles barely exist, etc), but the writing was surprisingly funny and engaging, the characters were well-balanced, and I felt the desire to keep playing to see what happened next.

      • Konservenknilch says:

        I really should then. I used to be a TTG fan from hour one, but kinda lost interest after Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us since they seem to have lost their sense of humour.

        Damnit, I still want Sam&Max season 4 and a new ToMI.

    • malkav11 says:

      It’s Telltale’s best game. Not kidding at all.

      • Durgendorf says:

        I’d put it right up there with Wolfamongous. Every time I play an action sequence anymore in a Telltale I think back to the “finger guns” one and smile, then wonder why they keep putting me through this.

  4. pookie101 says:

    Picked it up on sale after hearing it was good. Two attempts to play it with a total play time of 3 hours and I was bored senseless

  5. geldonyetich says:

    Borderlands is an odd case of a fun, solid, and relatively deep game that ends up boring. It has everything going for it, and blows it somehow. I think it’s probably because it has too much grinding and protracted campaign to sustain it. Less grinding, shorter campaign, they’d have been golden.

    I tried multiple times to get to the end of Borderlands 2 and ended up feeling too burned out. Ugh, more inventory management, more slews of enemies to slay? Enough! This feels like a job, a boring one!

    I didn’t bother to get Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel because one thing I didn’t need at that point was more Borderlands: I couldn’t finish the gob I had!

    • MikoSquiz says:

      The map is too big, the game is too long, there are too many sidequests and too many main quests and just plain too much stuff to do. This is not an unusual problem in the modern era of video games.

    • Doug Exeter says:

      Borderlands 2 really didn’t need to be as long as it was. There was a excellent place for the game to end and it turned out to only be about a 60% mark.

      Still never beaten it. I’m all for content but after a certain point it’s just tedious.

    • Doogie2K says:

      Yes, this is exactly my problem, too. It was boring. And the shooting never felt as satisfying as I’d have liked: I swapped back and forth between M+KB and gamepad, thinking maybe it had been optimized for the latter somehow, and none of it meshed.

      I played the second game co-op and got more out of it then. Then my online gaming partner died and I never bothered with the Pre-Sequel.

  6. Kefren says:

    I tried. I just got bored quite quickly, then reached a point that seemed too hard to get past (maybe my character choice or something). I was glad to uninstall. I’d expected some kind of STALKER Mad Max mashup, but it just seemed to be numbers and dumb shooting and more cowboy Western than Mad Max.

    I finished the Telltale Games Borderlands game last night. I enjoyed the story and music, though was equally as annoyed at the interface stuff as with all other Telltale games (can’t redefine keys, get nagged to create an account, unskippable reminders of what you did five minutes ago, spoilers for what you’ll do next etc).

  7. Gothnak says:

    I met my girl at a friend’s birthday party 7-8 years ago, had a nice time chatting, but she went back to Newcastle the following day. She was very shy and wouldn’t let me travel up to see her, or let me pay for her to visit London. She wouldn’t even talk on the phone, so it ended up the only way i found she would talk outside texting was while playing Borderlands on the Xbox.

    We started talking most nights while she shot things point blank in the face, i sniped and hoovered up all the weapons and in the end i convinced her to come back down for a date. After 2 dates, she moved in, and we got married a few years later.

    Since then we have played Borderlands 1, Borderlands 2, Borderlands the Prequel, all the add ons and for all the split screen co-op games we have played, it’s by far the best.

    I have never however played it on PC and never played it single player.

    In short, Borderlands co-op is fucking awesome :).

    • Konservenknilch says:

      Now that’s a good story for the grandkids ;)

      • Gothnak says:

        We’ll have to tell your grandkids, we just want to have sportscars and cats (Maybe not at the same time).

    • Kamestos says:

      That’s a sweet story. All my best, mate.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Well that was unexpectedly pleasant. Thanks!

      I also found Borderlands to be a good chat room, for what it’s worth, but I have no such story to follow up with. :)

    • Ejia says:

      The opener to this comment made me think at first that dating site spammers had replaced the work at home ones.

    • tolomea says:

      Kinda similar, my wife and I are both gamers although with different interests. The various Borderlands are the main thing we play together.

  8. Bullett00th says:

    Binged the whole thing with all DLCs in coop with a friend whom I shared a flat with back then, it was pure fun.

    Started B2 in coop a few months ago, both got bored to death within an hour. I have no idea why.

  9. thekelvingreen says:

    I haven’t played the first one, no, but I think the second one is great fun and I still play it.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I didn’t know anything about the hype.

    I played it fresh and found it fun. Sorta mindless, and the NPC voiceacting was grating as all hell (“This’s wh’r th’ cars live, getchu wun!”) but it was fun in a Diablo sorta way.

    Didn’t get why people were so mad about it, until I realized there had been all kinds of hype that I just hadn’t heard of.

  11. libdab says:

    Lighten up, guys, there’s an awful lot worse games out there! :)

    I’ve played all 3 games (or should that be 2.5?) and they may be a bit samey but they’re all good, undemanding fun.

    • HiroTheProtagonist says:

      True, but the bigger problem is that they’re practically all the same with barely anything to break up the monotony of “run here, shoot goons”. For comparison, Dying Light’s take on the first-person Diablo-style loot’em-up added in engaging parkour mechanics that could be used for completing quests or doing races, plus the multiplayer including a PvP mode that allowed a player to take advantage of special mechanics exclusive to an enemy.

      I played a little bit of Pre-Sequel and at first thought the whole oxygen management idea was cool as an added fold to the gameplay, but in practice is just meant you had to stand over the myriad of oxygen vents for a little bit, akin to crouching behind cover waiting for your health to regenerate. Besides that, Pre-Sequel felt exactly like the previous 2 games.

      • fray_bentos says:

        You got it all wrong, it is “run here, shoot goons, open loot box…repeat”

  12. Godwhacker says:

    I did play it. It wasn’t as funny as it clearly thought it was, and that goes double for the sequel with it’s reference humour and crap stabs at drama. I did like picking up the increasingly weird guns though.

    It was one of the games I thought of when I was playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I thought, “this is so much better than Borderlands in every single way”.

  13. Splyce says:

    I have found BL2 to be a hard drive resident for a while now. It’s far more satisfying to me than Diablo 3 for a casual sit down, kill ‘n’ loot ’em up, and I found the DLC to be surprisingly fun. Especially Tiny Tina’s D&D adventure. I think I got the complete edition for about $7 on a Steam sale, and its totally worth it when a few hours of uninterrupted, mindless fun is called for. And it still only takes a minute to get a full group of four for drop in multiplayer.

  14. nitric22 says:

    No one has ever done cel-shaded better than XIII in my humble opinion.

    • gummybearsliveonthemoon says:

      Now there’s a game I wish I could play again, and wish had got its sequel!

  15. Laurentius says:

    Yup it’s great. It’s FPS for people like me, who doesn’t dig FPS games. I like mechanics, I like it style and humor. And while I played and beaten BL2, it was s let down for me. BL2 mechanicly went with all trapings of fps genere and it got on my nerves. Oh well, maybe once in a 10 year cycle, some dev team will make another FPS without for example: “annoying flying enemies” that are in the fps games because “genere demands it” since I don’t even know, HL1?
    So I disagree with BL1 being conservative, it still should be even more Diablo FPS to my liking but it’s still unique mechanically.

  16. abstrarie says:

    I think it is funny that most people don’t mention how Destiny is pretty much a re-skinned Borderlands. Destiny’s gunplay feels tighter, and it trades the hot-topic edgy storyline for the narrative equivalent of watching paint dry, but systems wise it is the same: find random wacky guns that make bigger numbers pop out of your enemy. The main difference is that BL has more content than both Destiny games combined.

    -From a guy who from the first time he heard about Destiny thought it would just be Halo Borderlands, and who has continued to feel very smart every since. Also I hate Destiny. And Borderlands 2 is a lot of fun.

    • ninjapirate says:

      I decided to pass on Destiny simply because it wasn’t Borderlands 3.

  17. N'Al says:

    I absolutely loved it, even took down Crawmerax with some friends.

    Much like most here I’m finding the sequel a much harder sell, though. It’s just TOO MUCH like the first, whilst dialing the lunacy up to 11. If I hadn’t overindulged on the first I would possibly be thinking differently, but I definitely need to play the second in much shorter bursts.

  18. Chorltonwheelie says:

    Never took any notice of any hype and loved the game. Plenty of fun to be had.
    Always raise an eyebrow at folks who moan about something not being what they wanted it to be.

  19. DasBlob says:

    I played through the first one twice, plus all DLC, with a few months in between, which is extremely rare for me. It felt a bit unrefined and inherently repetitive, but the art style, humor and random guns made it feel unique (even if much of it is, objectively, as basic as it gets – like the quest design).

    The second one had more of everything (except better quest design) but felt a bit bloated, overdone and inconsistent. I finished it and half of the first DLC, but that felt like a slough already. And the trailers for the pre-sequel filled me with the same kind of dread as a towering pile of dirty dishes…

  20. GernauMorat says:

    Borderlands 2 is an excellent mindless murder and podcast/audiobook game. I’ve actually completed it in single player twice, saddo that I am – I like the lack of pressure and can play at my own rate.

    • grundus says:

      Only twice? I think out of the 30+ playthroughs I’ve done, only two were fully co-op – both with Maya. I did try with Krieg but I had the skill that enables friendly fire and at level 50+ that’s just asking to be constantly TK’d.

  21. gabrielonuris says:

    Unfortunately I have. On the other hand, this was the main little shit that taught me to never buy every DLC possible for a game that I still don’t know if it’s good. And my God, Borderlands is the worst game I’ve ever played in my life.

    It made looting boring, because it has only 6 or 7 weapons that gets random paintings and unusual stats every 30 seconds of gameplay (a shotgun that shoots bouncing thunders, seriously?).

    Oh, and it’s one of those shooters that made headshots useless because the enemy has a bigger number. If my copy of that game wasn’t a Steam key, I would burn it and toss the box in a highway.

    • KDR_11k says:

      I wouldn’t say headshots are useless, after all they deal much more damage but they aren’t satisfying because unless you’re using a high damage single shot weapon against a weak enemy you’d be emptying a whole magazine into a guy’s face to kill him and he’d barely react. Having good impacts and hit reactions is important for making a game feel good and… well, Borderlands doesn’t have that. Without the health bars and numbers you’d wonder WTF you’re doing.

  22. gnalvl says:

    Borderlands is far from perfect, but its premise of being a co-op open world FPS gives it a lot of replay value in spite of its flaws.

    One good thing about the series which doesn’t get enough attention is the gunplay and AI elements borrowed from Gearbox’s earlier series Brothers in Arms. Most weapons have a realistic, unusually-high amount of sway and recoil which stands in sharp contrast to the EZ-mode approach of weapons in contemporaries like COD and Battlefield. This lends a weighty feel to gunplay where lining up shots with revolvers and sniper rifles has a much more challenging-yet-satisfying feel to it than most other shooters.

    My girlfriend and I spend countless hours playing through BL1 and BL2 together, as well as additional playthroughs we did in 4 player sessions with our friends. There simply aren’t enough co-op shooters out there, so Borderlands remains one of the better options in the category even now.

    The game is prone to progression burnout, though I think it’s important to note that this is a common problem in most Diablo-esque loot-hunting games. Inevitably the skinner-box qualities which make the formula addictive early on result wind up feeling empty and repetitive as the player gains enough experience to see its treadmill-like nature.

    For one, the game drops far too much mediocre loot far too frequently. It inevitably feels like you spend less in-game time actually playing and far more time examining loots stats trying to decide which loot is worth picking up, and which loot is worth discarding. If the drops were less frequent, yet actually worth looking at when they did appear, the game would waste far less of players’ time.

    As others have mentioned, the weapon variety isn’t nearly as great as it pretends to be. Regardless of class, Sniper Rifles and Revolvers are the only types worth using most of the time (occasionally Shotguns, Pistols and SMG’s are pretty good too). Rocket Launchers, Combat Rifles, and LMG’s tend to be almost totally worthless as a result of bad accuracy, bad damage, or a shockingly stupid combination of both. Many manufacturer gimmicks like vibrating iron sights and exploding reloads tend to do more harm than good and don’t add real variety. For a scifi/fantasy game, there’s woeful lack of out-of-the-box projectile weapons like the flak, shock combos, and bio goo of the Unreal series.

    Aside from the aforementioned skinnerbox burnout problem, the XP and loot system is just woefully inconvenient for co-op play. In truth, you can’t easily “drop in/drop out” of your friends’ games if your characters aren’t close in XP, because someone will wind up badly under-leveled or over-leveled for the current missions and have a terrible time. Consequently, people basically have to start the game from scratch every time they want to play with a different friend in order to stay at similar levels, and this greatly increases repetition fatigue.

    Lastly, I gotta say that for a co-op series, the game doesn’t require nearly as much team coordination as I’d like. The “fight for your life” mechanic allows people to revive themselves rather than relying on others help, and gameplay often degenerates into each players on the team having their own private turkey shoot.

    Overall, I feel like the franchise really needs some restructuring to vastly reduce the emphasis on empty stat progression, and increase the emphasis on tight moment-to-moment gameplay where skill and decision-making mean more than grinding for OP loot.

    • KDR_11k says:

      And despite the countless guns the weapons feel less varied than Hellgate’s designed weapons. Hellgate had things like napalm grenade launchers and MIRV rockets as standard weapons (was it infinite ammo? Can’t remember…). These could of course drop as rare weapons with special attributes as well (which could be much more interesting than the variants Borderlands sticks onto rare weapons) but even the base versions tended to be quite varied. With Borderlands I’m not quite sure what higher rarity even does beyond just boosting the stats. In Diablo or Hellgate you knew that magical rarity meant 1-2 bonuses, rare was 4-5 with a crazier pool and uniques were their own thing anyway. In Borderlands… a blue weapon might have more damage than a green weapon of the same level requirement but that’s not even guaranteed.

      • gnalvl says:

        Yeah, there are a few rare “designed” weapons in the BL series that drop from specific missions or bosses, but they are extremely far and few between. Once or twice per game there actually will be something like a plasma rifle or flak cannon with fairly unique projectile characteristics, but due to the progression curve, it may not even have a relevant damage level when you get it… and even if it does, it still may go obsolete fairly soon.

        It’s a continuing problem with the formula that:

        1) If you really like a particular unique gun, you can’t actually keep using it because eventually the enemy progression curve makes it obsolete.

        2) Since the loot drops are randomized and there is no crafting system, you have no way to intentionally obtain a weapon with particular traits beyond merely hoping to get lucky with the drops.

        Consequently, weapon choice tends to feel much less like a tactical decision or even an adaptation of your particular playstyle… so much as a simple matter of picking up whichever items drop with the best stats.

        It almost seems like a deliberate decision to exclude a simple damage-per-second statistic from the stat cards which hover over weapons before you pick them up. It’s like Gearbox doesn’t want you to realize how simple/stupid the weapon selection process is.

        But the end result is simply a more tedious version of the same end result; weapon selection is simple/stupid AND players have to waste additional time running DPS calculations in their head before they choose to pick up a weapon. Then there are other stats missing as well (i.e. recoil, sway, projectile speed, the raw mathematic effect of elemental traits on damage) which add even more frustration over the lack of transparency. Inevitably, you discard items and re-arrange your inventory to accomodate a particular weapon, only to find that a deficiency in the undisclosed statistics makes it worthless.

  23. po says:

    I’d say that the majority of what makes the game boring is that it has way to much grind and RNG.

    It takes far too long to gain levels, so it takes a long time to get enough talents unlocked to make an interesting build (basically you’re really only getting started by the second playthrough), and a very large part of the leveling process has you going back to areas you’ve already done, to do stupid side quests like collecting fish.

    Then there’s the RNG you have with all those weapon/com/grenade mod variations, which make it hard to get your hands on a decent weapon, that matches the weapon bonuses you have for your class, and your com. And then it’ll probably only be useful for a few levels.

    Throw in inventory management where you never have enough space for everything that drops, so you end up constantly going through it to throw out the least valued items to pick up only slightly more valuable items, all so you have cash to try and get something out of a vending machine.

    Honestly, I think the only reason I got through all of the games, plus all of their DLC, is because I was save editing to get all of the talents, weapons, coms and mods, and constantly keeping them at my character level, so I wasn’t constantly having to try and find decent weapons, replace them as I leveled, and manage that tiny inventory, so I could just get on with playing the actual game and enjoying it.

  24. JigglyNaga says:

    I thought the Humble bundle worth a punt, and I ended up playing through with few hiccups (until the Arena-mode DLC, at least). The cel-shading alone kept me interested longer than I stick with most FPS, and it’s one of the few games where I’d actually consider playing the single-player campaign a second time.
    But far from brilliant. Inventory management (including lugging drops to the nearest vending machine) soon turned into a slog, and the bit that bothered me most was the plot delivery mechanism: Any time an audio clip was triggered by defeating one specific target in a horde, I couldn’t pay attention to the dialogue because I was still battling the surrounding goons.

  25. Eawyne says:

    I have always loved to play Borderlands, be it the original game, the second, or the third (I see it as a third).

    I just love the ambiance, the mindless rampage, the fact I just don’t get bored by either one of those games…

    don’t care about the hype, past or present. Just among my fav’ games, period =)

  26. icarussc says:

    Yes! And loved it. Played through all of BL2 with three mates in coop, and it was a wonderful, wonderful time. It’s not a perfect game by any means, but it’s got really good shooting fundamentals (as noted by some other commenters) and it’s a perfect expression of simple fun.

  27. Bahumat says:

    Wow, I’m way out of sync with RPS for once on this one.

    While I hear and agree with the game-system problems that dogged both games (everything eventually felt like a peashooter)…

    I felt like Borderlands gave us enormously fun, larger-than-life characters that were cartoony, but knew it and embraced it, and every single interaction I had with an NPC in that game either made me laugh or motivated me to go kill more bad guys.

    And how am I the first person in this thread to bring up the glory of Handsome Jack, The Man We Loved To Hate. A villain so good he’s worth mentioning in the same breath as SHODAN and GlaDOS, and altogether just as fun and monstrous in equal measure as they were.

    I’m ready to play Borderlands 2 all over again just to hear Handsome Jack’s voice, and shoot him in the face one more time.

  28. Rainshine says:

    Tried it. I made it a little ways — I want to say to level 20 or so? — but was playing solo, and hated seeing stuff drop for other classes. And finding out everything respawned if I had to save and come back later… All the guns, and hauling loot back to sell, only to die and have it take 3/4 my cash did not make a happy player. I was playing whatever the guy was that got to facepunch people, and I didn’t really want any guns at all though, so…

  29. mariandavid says:

    Fun games never to be taken seriously – which makes them about as good as you can get when you want to be ‘gaming’ as opposed to seeking enlightenment, depth, profundity and insight all of which can be found with greater ease and much less cost in books.

  30. Premium User Badge

    Risingson says:

    I gave it a long chance, but oh God it is boring. There is nothing I do in this game I find fun because you do it over and over so much.

  31. grundus says:

    I feel like Borderlands 2 was one of those games where yeah, it’s pretty shit at first, but if you stick with it for way longer than you should, it does get good – I mean, when you first start out, regardless of your character you’re just a person with guns, right? You might have a few skills that do stuff like increase your max health or magazine size, then by the end of the first playthrough (which might be like 20 hours if you don’t rush but don’t not rush) you’ll have gotten to the bottom of one skill tree which gets you one game-changing ability like, say, Zero’s skill to chain sword strikes or Axton’s that lets him drop two turrets.

    Then you get to the end of the second playthrough and now Axton can drop two turrents, but they also explode like nukes when you do so.

    Then you get to the end of the third playthrough and hit the level cap on the way, so now you can get really creative with the skills and I think that’s where the fun comes from because the game itself is pretty straightforward, but if it takes you 60+ hours to get to the peak then I’m not surprised most people I know hated it. I personally put 800 hours into it and could’ve kept going, but I took a long break, tried to go back but realised I’d forgotten a lot about the game, which I think speaks to how complex it gets in the third playthrough when compared to the first. I remember playing as Zero, mostly running past most of the mobs because I had the survivability of a gnat, then playing as Krieg and killing EVERYTHING because again, I had the survivability of a gnat except it was a gnat with vampirism and at least +700% melee damage.

    But yeah, I did complete several full playthroughs with my headphones off. I was also suffering from depression at the time, so make of that what you will.

  32. satan says:

    Might actually say I loved BL1, BL2 on the other hand…

    The story in BL1 was just survive, maybe find this vault, maybe find amazing treasure. The story in BL2 was… HEY BRO I’M THE BAD GUY YELLING IN YOUR EAR! HEY IT’S BAD GUY HERE AGAIN! YOU REMEMBER THAT CHARACTER THAT HAD THE BIRD? GUESS WHAT I KILLED THE BIRD I BET YOU’RE MOTIVATED TO HATE ME NOW-

    Fuck I’m annoyed just thinking about it.

    • fish99 says:

      By the end of my first playthrough of Borderlands 2 I was swearing at the game every time I heard Jack talk (which is every f***ing 5 minutes).

      If the intention was to make killing him satisfying, they failed.

      The way they killed off a certain character was incredibly dumb and annoying too.

    • Hidden Thousand says:

      Gods, that guy was driving me nuts right from the very beginning (and is the source of my suffering in Tales from Borderlands, and is also why I haven’t bought Presequel yet no matter the discounts). Not even the end of the game brought any relief.

      It was as if Gearbox thought they had no definite villain in BL1 and went all in in BL2….aaaand they overdid it. The game also lost some of the BL1 charm, which to me was, exactly this: roam and survive in this mad world with occasional humour. BL2 was more madness and more humour, and some more humour, and sometimes too much of it, honestly.

      I really like BL1. Spend a whole summer a long time ago playing it with my husband, and I don’t feel sorry about all the hours given to this game. I do feel sorry about not liking BL2 that much and about how Mordecai got a new voice.

  33. Targaff says:

    All of the negative comments here are well-founded and justified, and yet I still love the BL games – they combination of relatively mindless shooting missions and collecting random crap is a cathartic exercise that I happily sink into, knowing full well that it’s little more than a pretty version of the grinding I otherwise despise.

  34. malkav11 says:

    Beat the first one, found it largely unmemorable but anything’s fun with a good coop partner. The DLC had more going for it but also committed the cardinal sin of having only one fast travel point at the entrance, in each and every one (plus the first two originally had shitty DRM the base game didn’t) so we played one (General Knoxx) and moved on.

    Borderlands 2 was a huge improvement in every conceivable way, from writing, to story, to loot, to class design, but I’ve never gotten nearly as far because it’s obnoxious as hell to solo, my friend who played through the whole first game with me turned up his nose at the sequel inside 40 minutes (the “guns didn’t feel right”, apparently, which I find mystifying), and I’ve yet to find anyone else reliable to play with. Though I still have some hope for my most recent partner, who made it to the end of the train mission with me and may yet be up for more when we get around to it.

  35. drewski says:

    Yep, finished it. Got it in a pack with all the DLC but halfway through the first one the boredom overcame me.

    The combat is pretty sluggish when you’re not overgeared and I found the level progression largely pointless. You’re basically completely at the mercy of the dice rolls for decent guns, many times I found myself overlevelled for an area but because I’d had crap rolls for a bit, my weapons all struggled to make any impression on the enemies. The story is a bunch of wank and I didn’t find the characters interesting at all.

    Those few moments where you find a genuinely great gun or you’re appropriately levelled and geared for a quest line can be genuinely fun though. Overall it was reasonable but didn’t live up to my hopes.

  36. fish99 says:

    Initially I got bored of Borderlands inside an hour playing solo, but in co-op it’s a ton more fun and I’ve beaten it several times with my brother. The DLCs were really good too.

    Borderlands 2 is mechanically a better game, but the story annoyed me and with the DLCs the game ended up just too long.

  37. FordTruck says:

    *crosses fingers hope they do have you played KENSHI*

  38. k3zza_m4chin3_ says:

    The key for my immense enjoyment I have received from all 3 Borderlands games is the amount of time playing it in co-op. Borderlands 2, in particular, still remains one of the best co-op games i’ve ever played.

    From a single player perspective, it actually took me a few years to eventually finish off Borderlands 1, but i had no issue with BL2 and Pre-Sequel. By this stage the classes were much more fleshed out, and I had a lot of fun researching build orders and then going about farming the gear until I was very mighty indeed.

    Looking forward to Borderlands 3, but hoping they move on from the cel-shaded look, which looks very dated now.

  39. Cyrus says:

    Yeah, it’s the setting and humor that attracts me.

  40. mitrovarr says:

    I liked Borderlands ok. I didn’t expect to – it looked like a bland shooter with the worst parts of an MMO stacked on. It turned out to be a decent shooter with the worst parts of an MMO stacked on, but it didn’t ruin it. I had fun playing it through once and then didn’t touch it again.

    I still say that loot mechanics do nothing to improve shooters, though. Just makes all of the guns generic and similar, adds inventory management as a mandatory chore, and means the player has to spend a lot of time examining numbers.