[2009] Borderlands

12 Dec

I have selfish reasons for enjoying Borderlands: to me, it’s everything Fallout 3 should have been, allowing me to finally experience the “what could have been” that everyone seemed so content to ignore with Bethesda’s game last year.

I’m aware that there’s much more to Fallout 3 than there is to Borderlands, but it’s all just fluff to make an already overly ambitious game look and feel bigger than it already is without making it any more fun to play. Fallout 3 was pure tedium, forcing numbers down the players throat until they came flying out of his ears. Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t find any of it fun.

I didn’t enjoy being weighed down while scavenging for items because I didn’t load up one of my stats as a baby as high as I should have. I didn’t enjoy picking those stats at all when I had yet to actually play the game, not knowing how important they truly were at the time. I didn’t enjoy the transparent conversation trees asking me if I wanted to be a saint, a sinner, or a fickle neutral. And I definitely didn’t enjoy playing an action RPG just pretending to be an FPS.

On the other hand, I enjoyed how the only point allocation in Borderlands pertained to an easy to understand skill tree, and that the points could be easily redistributed if you desired. I enjoyed the game’s eccentric characters, comic book style, and dark, pop culture-referencing humor. And I definitely enjoyed playing an action RPG disguised as an FPS.

I realize there’s a demographic out there that loves manipulating numbers, but I feel many others were swayed on Fallout 3‘s (admittedly awesome) presentation alone. Borderlands is stylish but also fun and carefree with nothing to weigh it down, which is more than I can say about Fallout.

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