Developed by Gearbox Software, previously known for shooters such as Brothers in Arms and the Half-Life expansion pack Opposing Force, Borderlands is a first-person shooter and role-playing hybrid set on the desert planet of Pandora. Combining fast-paced action gameplay with a Diablo-style character progression and random loot system, it places a heavy emphasis on cooperative multiplayer and replayability. It also has a highly distinct visual style inspired by comic books and Japanese animation, featuring heavy use of cel shading and a Mad Max aesthetic.
The story in Borderlands is bare-bones and revolves around the player uncovering "the Vault", a mysterious and long-rumoured sanctuary of lost alien technology, riches, and more. Taking the role of a "vault hunter", the player has a choice between one of four character classes, representing sniper, heavy weapons, speed and balanced archetypes. Progression is made through the story by completing a large number of linear quests, and the game's open-world nature allows for both fast travel and vehicles to move between the large environments. Meanwhile, the game's most-touted feature, randomly-generated loot, allows for literally thousands of possible guns for the player, including rapid-fire shotguns, scoped pistols with electric rounds, and acid-spewing rocket launchers.
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