Ok, I’ve looked at Borderlands and it’s probably not the pickup and play variety. It seems like WoW without the crowd; pure shoot and loot. You run around doing missions and tend to accumulate lots of guns with different specs. shoot, loot, sell, repeat. There’s experience points and tons of upgrades.
The art style reminds me of Crackdown, so does the drop action. You off someone then hit point numbers, XP, ammo, guns, and money shoot out of his ass. The gun’s are fucking cool and each attribute definitely makes a difference when using them, plus there are fun little perks like “chance to set on fire” and I hear that there are sweet amalgamations of weapons like a missile-launcher shotgun.
One thing I noticed was that the FOV is really tight, like claustrophobic style. I don’t feel like I’m fully out of sniper scope view for some reason. That make firefights a little tense, since she can get right up on you without a good peripheral hint that they’re getting close. The compass shows bad guys as red dots, large red dots if they’re aggro, but I found myself whipping around to make sure I wasn’t being jumped by a midget psycho. (Yes, midget psycho’s are bad guys that crop up every now and again, squealing and giggling like a clown, extremely funny the first time when you don’t expect it)
Also of annoyance but technically more “realistic” is when you utilizing the automated ammo, gun, medial vending machines, up to your nuts in stats comparisons and equipment, you can still be attacked. I was shopping for SMG upgrades, and hear this giggling and howling, then I started taking damage. I closed out the shop screen, spun around and blew the head off of whatever was bothering me, but it just shows that this game’s a little different than your average FPS or RPG. When you go into your inventory screen it also doesn’t pause the game. So switching weapons apart from your two currently equipped ones during a firefight may cost you some health. You can pause the game by hitting escape at least.
Oh and respawn. Like an MMO the enemies you brutally murdered respawn in just a few short minutes. I butchered an entire Skag nest, went over the hill to loot some shit, then shot a few more things, and when I went to leave the original nest of Skags was repopulated. It’s good in one sense because it gives you a nice/fast way of grinding for gear, money, and XP but for an FPS I wasn’t expecting the Doom3 Monster hole effect. As far as your death, when you die you respawn back to the last respawn point you physically walked past for a small fee. If you run out of fund I’m assuming your totally fucking dead.
In true RPG style as you level up there’s skill tree’s for different things. Just how Team Fortress characters have different abilities, depending on which core class you pick when you create your character (Hunter, Siren, Soldier, or Brick) you have a different set of abilities that you can train as you play the game. The solider is all I played so far and he has this auto turret called the scorpion that he can drop that has a shield you can duck behind. Add points to the scorpion to add more firepower, longer duration/damage, healing of teammates near the turret, added damage for player near the turret, that kind of stuff. Skill points are can go to your core skills, like weapon specialization and passive stats.
Along with Skills, leveling up increases your core stats, and allows you to use weapons with higher level requirements. For loot whores out there this gave follows Diablo-style loot rarity colors. From the Wiki:
Borderlands uses a classification system for gear that follows the standard color-coding system for RPGs. A common (white) gun would be average, an uncommon (green) would be slightly above average, a rare (blue) would be a premium gun, an epic (purple) would be a very strong gun, and legendary (orange) guns are the best of the best.There 3 type of orange,Light Orange, Orange and Dark Orange. Dark Orange being the rarest. The rarity of each gun is indicated by color as stated on the page of each gun. (See Category:Weapons)
White < Green < Blue < Purple < Light Orange < Orange < Dark Orange
For those who like to cut to the chase on loot value, the game gives you the trade-in value of the item at the bottom of the stat sheet and the specs are color coded (like in mass effect) to let you know what stat is higher (green) or lower (red) than your currently equipped weapon.
Like in Wow and other RPG’s if you trying to fight a character with a skull next to their name and health bar, you are in for some hurt. It’s best to grind up or do other quests until you’re about the same level. There is definitely the same WoW damage/difficulty ramp when fighting slightly higher level characters that are skulled. You may blast through their shield, but they won’t take anywhere near the physical damage you think that they would with the amount of lead your feeding them. All the while your shield and life is being pulled out of you like a nightmarish happy-ending.
It has 4 player coop, in sort of the same vein as diablo battle.net matches, since it’s an RPG. Monsters get stronger with more players entering the world, weapon trades are possible, and joint XP. it’s great for me because I like soloing games anyways, but there is the opportunity to team up if you’re the social butterfly of headwounds.
Anyway, I’m interested in seeing where this game goes as it’s pretty fun, but I’m sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, due to the RPG structure of this FPS. I loved Mass Effect, and this covers the combat (minus the non-realtime strategy portion), the weapon lust, and the character building, and it has a WoW open world (level gated) and grinding/loot model. An interesting mix, indeed.
On a scale to 1 – 100, I’d say, so far, it’s about an 85.