Borderlands Previews

Gearbox's Borderlands is the subject of two more hands-on previews, courtesy of the build that was on display at this year's GamesCom.

Beyond Unreal:
The world in Borderlands is believable. You play in a colorful, interesting wasteland with a variety of creatures and bandits. During the game, you help out various people in the world, fighting off bandits and accomplishing various tasks like killing certain bandit leaders. Along the way to accomplishing these tasks, you'll run into all kinds of random drops with weapons of varying strengths and abilities. You can pick up these weapons to sell them, to give to teammates or to use. During the course of my limited play time with the game, I probably ran into 100 different varieties of guns. While the guns belong to the same few classes of weapons (and ammo), they all do various amounts of damage and often have special abilities. For example, some of them have incendiary abilities, shock abilities, poison abilities... still others have attached blades. There are so many combinations and abilities that I simply can't mention them all here, but they are numerous and they combine randomly on drop (based on your level).

Somewhere amidst all this chaos, a whole bunch of other interesting things happen. The player controlling Lillith uses her Phase Walk - an ability that turns her into a sort of psychic ghost. Once invisible she sneaks into the middle of an enemy camp and then detonates, unleashing a lethal shock-wave. At another moment, Roland (the all-round soldier class) challenges Brick (the tank class) to an impromptu duel by smacking him in the face. Brick responds in kind, and suddenly a dome-shaped force field appears to trap the two mercs in a makeshift arena. The two duke it out, but Brick's massive fists give him the edge and he swiftly beats Roland to a pulp. This is no big deal, as these spontaneous fights are merely a bit of fun that allow players to humiliate each other. To show that there are no hard feelings, Roland later gives Brick a health boost by shooting him with healing bullets. That's right, healing bullets. I don't know who came up with this idea, but whoever it was they deserve a medal.