Borderlands Previews

Yet another pair of hands-on previews for Gearbox's Borderlands are available on the Internet for your reading pleasure.

The first is at GamesRadar:
Our tutorial began by following a small robot called Claptrap (terrible name), who soon becomes established as the game's touchstone for advice, missions and fluff about the alien world of Pandora. A few shootouts later in the town of Fyrestone, and we'd rescued a Dr. Zed, repaired a Med Vender and shot our fill of Skags a cross between attack dogs and giant beetles. They like human blood.

There's a nod to Fallout 3 that can't be avoided, and there's a sly wink to BioShock too. The game's world is open to an extent (central hubs are linked by new hubs loaded in as you enter caves and canyons) and detail is rich and constant. Whether it's the vending machines that dispense ammo, weapons, health, upgrades and combat items or the eccentric Wild West-style characters, everything helps create a sense of place not felt since BioShock's watery wastes.

And then we have another at GamingUnion:
Each of the levels are procedurally generated, so there will be lots of drops that don't appear in the same places each time. Another element is that if a player is downed, that doesn't necessarily mean they are out. They will have a brief period of time where they will be able to save themselves by downing an enemy. If this is achieved, they will get straight back into the action, ready to take down more enemies. Continuing on the trend of small things that are nice additions, the next is the ability to challenge other players to PvP. If someone is really annoying you, and constantly shooting you, it's possible to challenge them to PvP during a mission. The two players then square off and may the best man win. It's things like these, that will really help Borderlands to distance itself from the generic modern day first-person shooter.

On the way to objectives, there are numerous random encounters with local bandits. These look like they might be a slight annoyance, but they can probably be avoided quite easily, as travel usually takes place while inside a vehicle, which can be customised. The actual gameplay looks solid though. Due to the nature of the game, there are a ton of special abilities, and the action looks quite frantic, especially when playing co-operatively. The array of weapons is also quite impressive, and thanks to the art style they look great.