Borderlands Preview

WorthPlaying brings us their take on Gearbox's Borderlands, presumably after trying out the game during last month's GamesCom.
Borderlands is filled to the brim with RPG elements. The game is basically Diablo combined with an FPS title. Players do damage to enemies in classic RPG style, with each blow doing a certain amount of damage your character's equipment and stats to the enemy's HP. When killed, enemies drop experience points and loot, which can be used to further power up your characters. Each character has a series of equip slots. You can equip up to four different weapons at once, as well as modifications to your armor or grenades, which change various aspects of how they function. One armor upgrade may give you a larger shield bar, another may mean you take less damage from certain kinds of attacks, and a third may have terrible shield defense but will slowly regenerate your regular HP. You can make it so your grenades stick to things, bounce off things, explode on contact, or even make a grenade with smaller grenades inside. Your character's customization options are tremendous.

By and far, the greatest customization comes from the game's weapons. There are seven kinds of guns in the game: Combat Rifle, Eridian, Launcher, Pistol, Shotgun, Sniper Rifle and Submachine Gun. Each weapon has its strengths and weaknesses, most of which should feel quite familiar to FPS veterans. Pistols are fast and accurate but weak, shotguns are great at close range but terrible at distance, sniper rifles are slow but ridiculously powerful, etc. Eridian are alien weapons, which are powerful but rare. Weapons also can have different elemental effects, which means that you can have a pistol that sets enemies on fire or a shotgun that does corrosive acid damage over time. Any player can use any weapon. Some are more effective in the hands of certain classes, but anyone can keep a sniper rifle or launcher on hand. The more you use a weapon, the greater your skills get with it. There is not just one kind of each weapon in the game, but thousands. Weapons and equipment are randomly dropped and randomly generated, much like loot in Diablo. Kill an enemy, and he may drop a cheap submachine gun, or he may drop a super-rare machine gun with special elemental effects. The variation in weapons is tremendously huge. There are certain special guns you may find from completing quests, but mostly, the best stuff comes from lucky drops.