Borderlands Preview


Creativity and innovation are growing themes in today’s videogames industry. Gearbox Software and 2K Games’ Borderlands is yet another genre-bending gaming experience that looks to offer plenty of both. Dubbed an RPS, or role-playing shooter, Borderlands draws just as much, if not more influence from massively multiplayer RPGs than from team-based shooters.

Players choose from four classes — the tank, the hunter (a sniper class), the siren (a magical class), and the standard, well-rounded soldier — before jumping into a large, open environment to accept, complete, and report on missions from various non-player characters throughout the game world. Operating alone or in a group of up to four cooperative players (split-screen, local area network, or online), players will gain experience points and level up, improving skills via a three-track tree that is different for each class.

The primary quest track will take roughly 20 hours to finish, while completionists will be able to spend over 100 hours completing side missions, fighting procedurally generated enemies, and collecting massive amounts of loot and weaponry. The game will also feature a dueling system and arena battles for more competitive players.

One of the most interesting aspects of Borderlands is the way it dynamically builds all of the players’ enemies and each of the game’s "millions" of guns out of the smaller parts that make them up. For example, a certain family of enemies may consist of many individuals, each modified with specific player-killing physical characteristics — blades, guns, acid spit, flame breath, etc. — as well as elite, supercharged versions know as "bad asses." Weaponry is composed in much the same way, out of the component parts of each gun. In this case, though, attributes such as firepower, accuracy, capacity, range, and others are also assigned at the time of weapon generation. For grenades alone, there are over 100 possible types. Because of the vast range of possible weapon configurations, a color-coded rarity system quickly alerts players to the relative value and efficiency of each one.

Also quite evident when first looking at Borderlands is its visual style, colorful animated art reminiscent of the comic-influenced XIII or the more recent Prince of Persia. Heavy, inked outlines and bright, caricatured models give the game a striking look, and the real-time day/night cycle displays the world in a wide range of light conditions during play.

Borderlands is scheduled for release this October on the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. GamerNode will have more coverage as that time approaches.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.