Borderlands Previews

With the role-playing shooter only a week from release, we have two more hands-on previews of Gearbox's Borderlands to report about.

EL33TONLINE starts things off:
To begin with you find yourself in what looks like an old Western town, but it's clear that you're some time in the future. In the future old Western towns will have vending machines that sell guns. There's a doctor in the town that gives you some quests to do. Anyone in the group can accept the quest and everyone's map is updated with the quest location and your hud is updated with the goals. My first surprise was that I felt like I actually knew what I was supposed to be doing. This is an odd experience for me in a multiplayer, team-based game. The current quest is displayed on the screen, the waypoint is displayed as a big diamond on your compass, and your co-players show as triangles on the compass too, so it's clear where everything and everyone is. If you hold tab down you can see the map, but for the most part I found it unnecessary.

With Rock, Paper, Shotgun following close behind:
There's not much (worldiness) to it, with only a handful of friendly and rather characterless NPCs. In fact, from what we've seen there's little general activity in the world, but there's nevertheless some evidence of more complex infrastructure: wind-turbines, powerlines, and a neat vehicle system. All this bodes well for the rest of the game, which should hopefully expand on the idea of Pandora as a world. Although there's constant combat from the start, Fyrestone and the surrounding area feels low key and preparatory, and once early missions unfold then that air of RPG is even stronger. The back and forth of minor quests, the mission dispensing characters and bulletin boards, the hit numbers bouncing from enemies, the stats and colours for weapon types I almost expected the badlands to open up and reveal some kind of (World Of Guncraft) beyond.