Re-Play: Borderlands

Borderlands was originally released in 2009. It seems I was under the mistaken impression that I had actually completed it, that I suppose is the danger of playing it originally with 3 others who all reinforced this theory.

My good friend Dan suggested that we play through 1 & 2 again and this time properly. So for the last few weeks, 2 hours on Sunday mornings, we once again visit Pandora on our quest to find it’s vault. I had never originally bought the DLC for borderlands and only possessed the base game, I quickly learned that I was missing a hugely enjoyable part of the experience. I picked up the majority of the DLC from Humble Bundle and did a nice thing for charity all at the same time.

The visit back to Pandora was prompted by a few things, firstly Dan loves the Borderlands, so much that I’m not actually sure he hasn’t stopped playing it in some form or another over the last couple of years. Secondly Gearbox have done a fantastic job of bringing back the multi-player from death. Borderlands originally relied upon Gamespy (may it rest in peace) for it’s matchmaking, with it’s demise the online multiplayer for the game was dead in the water. I don’t wish to speak ill of the dead but the gamespy implementation was always a pain in the backside for our group and would randomly decide it wasn’t going to work, the new steamworks integration however is solid.

To me, 2009 doesn’t seem that long ago but 6 years is an amazingly long time, but Borderlands has held up well. Graphically I had two little niggles, the default 640×480 resolution made my eyes bleed on my 24″ monitor, this was quickly rectified and the game looks lovely at 1920X1080, it has aged well. Secondly Vsync, which by default is off and has no menu option at all within the games menus. You have to delve into the games .ini files to turn it on. I know it was 2009 but come on! If memory serves they got a bit of flak for this when it was first released as well.

So for those that don’t know, Borderlands is a first person shooter that although can be played alone, it best played CO-OP with up to 4 others. There are 4 distinct character classes each with their own skills trees that enhance certain abilities that benefit themselves and their other vault hunters. The description alone does NOT do the game any justice, the backstory is as deep as you want it to be but you would be missing out on brilliant story as well as brilliant humour and nods towards film and gaming culture.

As mentioned, it does lend itself towards Co-op play and is a little difficult to play by yourself, I never realised how much I actually missed on my first play through and I’m glad I’ve replayed it. We’ve jumped straight into Borderlands 2, a game that has pushed what made Borderlands awesome and just heaped more awesome on it.


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