Borderlands Xbox 360 Review
Warning this is unproofread temporary version of the review that I posted to test out the links. It may often be incoherent, unorganized and difficult to get through. Read it at your own risk. A fixed final version should be posted by June 10th, 20013, if not sooner. obviously I missed that deadline, but my new target goal is June 20th or soon. When I remove this warning the proofreading will be finished.
The experience of playing borderlands is hampered by many unknowing nuisances that are constantly present and always perturbing you.
For example after completing a early side quest in Firestone, you can spawn of vehicle and drive around certain areas of the game, which is really fun and a quick way to travel and get around. I guess due to framework concerns you the only spawn two vehicles at the same time. I understand that the game could get really laggy is four people were driving around different vehicles at the same time. However what's really annoying is that each of vehicle only has two seats, and clearly in a four player game everyone should be traveling to the same destination. Why can't the game just have one vehicle with four seats? Also when you drive a vehicle by yourself you can also control where and when you fire the turret. But when you have a passenger they control the turret, and the only way you can kill enemies is by running them over, which also damages your vehicle making it more likely to explode. Since there are two different runner vehicles to spawn. One with machine gun and the other a rocket launcher, it would be nice if vehicles were equipped with both weapons at the same time and the driver controlled the machine gun which always fires forward and the passenger controls a rocket launcher which can be aimed independently of where the vehicle facing.
Another problem is the forced inventory management in the game. At the start your character only has 12 inventory slots, and can only equip two weapons, a shield, grenade, an artifact. As you progress through game you'll come across disabled claptrap robots in various dungeons and hard to reach places, repairing them will grant you a few more precious inventory slots. However even when your inventory is maxed out at 25 slots still not nearly enough given how many items are scattered about the levels. I mean ammo is usually pretty scarce in the game, especially if you're playing by yourself. So it's a good idea to carry around one weapon in every ammo type, that way you don't have to run back to a ammo machine in the middle of a dungeon, and risk death or all of the enemies respawning. There's also the problem of new weapons acquire not necessarily being tremendously universally better than the gun your currently using. When you acquire a new shotgun for instance, you might think that since it has doubled the attack power of the old shotgun is inherently better, and that you should probably sell or drop your old shotgun. However upon using it you'll realize that the fire rate is much slower, and the clip size is pitiful, with a super long reload time, so the old shotgun was actually more effective in practical use. Other times weapons will be almost identical to each other in stats, but due to differences in elemental damage some are far superior to others. For instance any weapon with shock damage is practically useless, acid damage is pretty good, but what you really want is burning fire damage which makes even the weakest guns effective at killing enemies who are even much stronger than you are. Another example is shields . Ideally you would have a shield with a high capacity, fast recharge , and fast health regeneration , more often than not however shields you find will only have one of these traits. So depending on situation you'll probably have to switch shields often, until late in the game and you find a rare uber jack of all trades shield for all seasons. It's also annoying that you can't tell what kind of scope or zoom features a weapon has before equipping it. Because of these problems will often find yourself hording good guns that are efficient at killing enemies, you'll actually carry so many around with you that you'll frequently fill up your inventory, and constantly have to either sell things or decide which items drop.
Another annoying thing is that the side quests to raise your inventory space usually must be completed in single player, since when your fun of other people they might not have the patience to look for the parts to repair the claptrap, or you might be ineligible for the quests in the first place, which leads me to another big problem with the game.
Quest eligibility in multiplayer.
When you join a multiplayer game, you'll still be playing the campaign only now with multiple people. The host of the game gets the most experience and has the biggest advantage, since everything is tailored to them including their progress in the game story. If you join someone's game, and your two or three missions behind or ahead of them in the main story, completing any objectives or quests will not give you any experience points or cash rewards. You also won't get any experience or money if you've already completed the objective before. This strongly encourages people to only play with the same group of friends at the same time, otherwise their progress in the story will become out of sync and there will be little incentive for the ineligible people to continue playing regardless of how fun the game is, since I'll just have to redo it again by themselves or with another group later anyway. Really the only point in joining a multiplayer game is to leech off higher leveled players and get better items earlyer than you normally would. Also in multiplayer any enemies or money or experience one member of the group acquires will be split among every player. Therefore this can be exploited by a low-level player say level 5 joining the game of someone who is level 45, who is killing level 41 to 48 enemies, thereby netting a ton of experience which will in turn very quickly level up the level 5 player to probably at least level 21 in only ten or so minutes.
Another problem I have with multiplayer is a matchmaking system. It would be great if when I choose custom game, all the games available in the entire world for that platform were shown. Instead the game checks to see what quests I am on in the main campaign, and then attempts to find multiplayer games at the same point in the story. The problem is that I may not want to play that particular part of the story, and the system can get confused through multiple playthroughs. So I could be level 50. But since I beat the game among the first quest of my second play through, and I'll keep getting matched up with level 1 or 2 players on their first play through because of it, which needless to say is very annoying.
Something else I don't like is that the game doesn't do a very good job of differentiating main quests objectives and side quests and sometimes they blur together far too much. For example early in the game after defeating the first boss nine toes, Dr. Zed tells you to check the bounty board to look for more work. There are only two jobs available to fix the runner system or go back to one leg guy for more quests. Had you played the game before you would know that getting the runner system online is part of the main storyline since you need the vehicles to jump a gap and get to the next area, and one leg guy's jobs are just side quests and busy work. When you're playing multiplayer it's important not to be too far ahead or behind in the main quest, but it doesn't matter how many side quests to completed. Which is why this is a big problem.
Another issue I have is enemy leveling. As you progress the game by yourself and these will slowly increase in levels, and dangerousness. So early in the game you'll see a lot of level 2 or level 10s, and in the final area you'll see level 35 or 40s. This makes sense I don't know what have much of a problem with it. The problem I have is that usually by yourself you can only kill enemies to levels below your current level. If you're really good or are overpowered you might be able to take down someone who is as many as three levels above you. So you'll be progressing through the game at a normal steady pace and then all of a sudden you come across a main story mission that requires you to eliminate a huge group of enemies that are three or more levels higher than you. So you're pretty much screwed. You could try slowly advancing and killing enemies, but it will take a long time to kill them and you might run out of ammo. If you die and respawn you might have to all of enemies over again since they'll have respawn as well. The best strategy to kill a higher level enemy is to snipe them, and then run away if they start chasing you, also annoying is that if you run too far away from them, their health will reset to full, or some times their shield will recharge faster than you can actually hit them, so there's no hope of killing them. Situations like these strongly encourage you to do them in multiplayer, but it might be difficult to find someone who is willing to help, at the same spot you are at and will agree to play at the same pace as you. Ideally you'd want co-op partners to be the same level as you and be at the same place in the story, however the level of enemies scales higher when you play with other people, so two players who can almost beat a section, will actually have more trouble and possibly get slaughtered if they team up, due to the difficulty raising. The difficulty scaling seems to favor groups of four players over groups of two, and if you just want help with one section you'd be better off asking for help from a much higher leveled player.
Something I noticed at least with the Xbox version is that the netcode is a little unstable. if there are three or more players in the game, one gets kicked by lag at least every half hour. It seems more likely to happen when doing a lot of quick travel. It's not too much trouble to rejoin the game if the rest of the team is on your friend list, but it still shouldn't happen in the first place. The game also supports local co-op and system link. The game runs well in spilt screen but disappointingly you can't have two players on one system and two players on another and play with each other locally, which is something I heard is fixed in Borderlands 2.
The Xbox version is also prone to freezing. I think this has something to do with the framerate getting too low during a firefight and then the game crashes, since whenever it happens it's always during a shootout.
character comparison. and imbalance:
There are four different character classes in the game: the soldier, siren, Hunter, and berserker. Each class has a different special ability attack, and set of skills to upgrade which further increases their stats and inherent abilities. The soldier can spawn a turret to kill enemies and refill supplies. The soldier has skills to increase the effectiveness of machine guns and shotguns. The Siren can go invisible to sneak up on foes and get melee kills. The siren has skills to increase the effectiveness of melee attacks. ?????? The Hunter can sick his falcon on a enemy to distract or kill them. The Hunter has skills to increase the effectiveness of sniper rifles. The berserker can go into a rage mode where you take less damage, and can box enemies bare handed. The berserker has skills to increase the effectiveness of rocket launchers. Each class has a distinctive character model which unfortunately can't really be customized very much, since you can only alter three sets of color, and changed their name. The soldier class is clearly the best since the ability to spawn a turret is so tremendously useful, especially when playing by yourself. Not only is it very effective at killing enemies of the level of the right way it can also fire rockets, drop supplies, refill your ammo or health or even revive downed teammates. The siren's phase walk ability lets her go invisible which is great for getting past enemy chokepoints. However you can't be invisible for that long, which makes it more useful to start an ambush with the help of older players, then to solo a area by yourself. Depending on how you level up you can do a lot more melee damage while invisible so that you can pretty much get a one hit kill on most enemies, but you'll be especially vulnerable once you re-materialize. The hunters attack falcon certainly doesn't suck, since it's great for killing a enemy at a distance or softening them up for you to later finish them off. However unless you upgrade a specific way it will be able to attack more than one enemy at a time, and it does trivial damage the bosses, which makes it not too useful when playing with a team or by yourself. If the berserker's rage mode allowing you to just take less damage and didn't force you to be unarmed and fight enemies up close, it will be great. However as it stands it's practically useless and is really only good for lessening the damage you take as you run away from a battle because you're about to die. I mean most of the difficult parts in the game are due to either snipers or enemies that's the acid in your face when you get too close to them, being unarmed won't help against snipers at a distance, and running up the acid spiters is just asking to die, even with reduced damage.
Every time you run out of health in the game, your character will be downed, and you'll have a short amount of time to kill an enemy and revive yourself. This was a very innovative feature when the game first came out , and since then many other games have ripped it off. As your time runs out the screen will get darker and you'll have more trouble seeing enemies, which of course makes killing them all the more difficult. In multiplayer other players can also revive you. If you run out of time and die anyway, you'll respawn at the nearest checkpoint, which is also usually a fast travel location. Every time you die you'll be penalized a certain amount of your money, depending on your characters level. The higher level you are the more money you'll lose. A bit of strategy comes in, if you're attempting to raid an area, that you know you're going to die a lot in, so you could purposely carry or drop all the items you want to sell in front of the vending machine, but not actually sell them until you've completely clear area, that way you won't lose the money you've just gained by selling the items from dying again. Every time you die 12 hours will pass in game time before you respawn. After two days in game time whatever enemies you've killed in the level will respawn as well. This can be disheartening when you overcome great odds to beat a very difficult area and beat a boss, and then learn that all the enemies you already killed have reappeared and are blocking the exit back.
Enemies stay the same level in certain area, Frystone level 2's:
When playing multiplayer, only the leader of the group, the host player can choose what the current objective is, and only they can see the quest progress and the objective marker, which can be pretty confusing for other players and very annoying when you're searching for extremely tiny items like flower seeds or empty bottles in dark maze like caves.
The game features a day night system, that seems the cycle every 15 minutes. Personally I wish that games with day night systems would have the option to turn them off, since the graphics and lighting always seem to look a lot better during the day. Regardless the main purpose of the system is to show the passage of time, since every time you die you'll respawn 12 hours later and all the vending machines in the game changed their inventory every 24 hours, which is actually half a hour in real time, if you don't die.
There are two kinds of vending machines in the game; one for healing items and shields and the other for weapons and grenades. Healing vending machines aren't too useful, since once you have a shield that regenerates your health, you probably won't need to buy health vials or med kits replenish it again. But in vending machines are much more useful , since in addition to selling basic weapons, you can also buy more ammo or purchase the ability to increase the maximum capacity of ammo to carry for specific weapon type . Vending machines deals of the day are interesting, since they'll offer a particularly rare or useful item that would be difficult to obtain at your current level for a inflated price. The problem is that the item in these deals often requires you to be 2 to 5 levels higher than you currently are to use it, and once you leveled up enough to use it, you'll be able to find similar items much better stats for free in chests or dropped from enemies, so the "deals" are usually rip-offs.
quick travel makes side quest too far apart.:
Periodically you'll be traveling around and come across a small group of four or five enemies. As you kill them you'll notice that more keep spawning, sometimes faster than the rate you can kill them, and pretty soon you'll either be overwhelmed and die, or continuously kill them until they stop spawning, and realize you wasted 15 minutes. This tends to happen more often multiplayer, but what gets me is that for all the effort it took to clear them out you are rarely rewarded with any items of significant value. Usually just a slightly above average gun, class mod, or a artifact you don't want. It's annoying.
It's pretty easy to duplicate items in the game with the help of the second character. All you have to do is drop the item you want to make a copy of, and have another player pick it up. Then simply turn off the game without exiting properly so it doesn't save that you dropped the item, and Bam now you have two. You can even duplicate items by yourself using a second account with split screen co-op. gygyg? A lot of people also use the duplication process to copy hacked items which kill enemies in one shot, or make you invincible. I feel that these items of course make the game too easy, especially with one hit kills. However selling some of them is a good way to make back some of the money lost by dying too much.
Graphics in the game are cel shaded, which I'm really not a fan of, but they did a great job and it actually looks pretty good. The cel shading is typically only noticeable on people, and on some enemies and weapons. Character models are nicely detailed, as are some of the living spaces for characters in the game. The only disappointment is that many of the outdoor environments are rather barren and plain looking. You could argue that it's because Pandora is a desert planet, but I still think it should be more detailed. Clearly things were compromised in order to incorporate multiplayer, driving, and the good frame rate on councils.
One of the problems with the game is that the levels are so huge, that it's easy to get lost, and it often seems like the landscapes are far too barren and lack distinguishing characteristics, landmarks for any reason to be there except to make the area larger. Some levels in designed just so you can drive through them. Which is a problem if you're walking through the area, or your teammates took all the vehicles, since it takes forever to even run across the map on foot. It often seems like outside of a hub area with one or two quest givers and a few enemies spawn points all of the rest the map is just filler to make completing quests take longer, and the planet seem more realistic. You can avoid long aimless trips and tons of backtracking by using the quick travel system to maneuver between hub areas of different levels, but often you'll still have a bit of a hike regardless. Something else that annoys me about traveling around is that the game doesn't have a mini map system, where a small portion of the map is displayed in the corner of the screen and shows what direction you're traveling on the map. Instead you have a compass with a green marker pointing in the direction you should be going to reach the goal of your currently selected quest. The problem is that much like the Crazy Taxi games the compass doesn't account for walls, elevation or the actual path you can take to reach the objective, it always points in a direct line. So if you only followed the compass you'll more often than not hit a dead-end, and then have to pause the game open up the full map screen from your inventory and backtrack to the correct path. However unless you remember when the turn, every few paces you'll have to again paused to check your map which gets incredibly tiresome almost immediately.
little voice acting:
The game starts out pretty linear since there are only one or two objectives for you to complete at a time. However when you get to New Haven it opens up a lot more than you may become overwhelmed by all the different side quests you can undertake. Then toward the end of the game after you have all the Vault keys it becomes very linear again and all you have to do is get the other end of the area. It just feels too uneven how some areas lack a sense of urgency to complete while others feel like a thrill ride. Basically what I'm trying to say is the pacing is uneven which can really derail a multiplayer session in the game. Borderlands is actually a fairly short game and it shouldn't take more than ten to fifth teen hours to finish it in multiplayer. By yourself however you'll probably have to complete at least most of the side quests in order to grind your characters level up high enough to complete the game, which could take as long as 30 hours. You also have the option after you beat the game to replay it two more times, the story will be the same, but the enemies will be a much higher level and therefore more dangerous and you'll obtain more experience, money, and much better weapons.
There are two kinds of boss fights in borderlands; one where the boss runs at you shooting which are usually pretty difficult and ones where you fight a giant behemoth of a monster, and as long as you keep your distance you can whittle it's health down slowly without much resistance. There are exceptions to the formula but most fall into one of two categories. That isn't to say that the boss fights are repetitive, in fact they're quite engrossing and intense, you just don't need a unique strategy to fight each one other than what you normally do with basic enemies.
one the strong points of the game is its enemy variety. There are both human and monster enemies in the game. Humans usually where skulls or helmets on their heads, and typically have a post-apocalyptic, shirtless biker gang ensemble going on. Creatures vary from doglike skags, brightly colored blobs, and insects reminiscent of the film Starship Troopers.
The main story of the game, starts with one of the four playable character classes arriving by bus on the planet of Pandora. Pandora is supposedly a prison planet, but instead of having everyone locked up, maniacs killers and thieves are allowed to roam free, and either fend for themselves or join games for protection. Pandora is also a fertile mining environment, which has attracted entrepreneurs, businessmen, and sleazy con artists all trying to get rich quick. The main plot of the game involves finding all the keys to open the mysterious and fabled vault, which much like Mega Man Legends supposedly contains the mother lode of treasure. Of course since it's a videogame, each of the main bosses holds one of the keys to the vault. Throughout your quest you'll be encouraged by a vision of a eitheral woman who will tell you that you are the chosen one, and where to go next to continue your journey. There isn't a lot of story in the game, it's mostly about shooting and collecting weapons. However there are cut scenes, and the narrative is just not featured very prominently. Most time you walk up to a character they'll say it humorous phrase or greeting, then you can read a paragraph of text where they give you a quest. Then after completing the quest they might congratulate you through radio chatter, and when you turn in the quest, you'll get to read another paragraph of text thanking you. I was disappointed that all the quests were spoken, especially since everyone who gives you a quest has a voice actor anyway. Maybe they're concerned about disc space on the 360 version , but that's still no reason not to include full voice acting on the PC or PS3 version. There is a lot of comedy in the story of Boarderlands, especially concerning the helper robots called Claptraps whose antics are very often charming and humorous. Occasionally however there will be a dark shift in the tone of the game, which is a bit jarring considering how whimsical the story usually is. I like the plot of borderlands, some of the quest descriptions are hilarious, but clearly you should buy this for the gameplay first and the story second, since that's certainly how the game was designed.
sidequests become pitiful:
what's very frustrating is that if you wait too long to complete a side quest, and are over leveled or too far along in the story it will be worth a trivial amount of XP and money to complete it, making it hardly worth the effort of the five minutes to one hour it would take to complete the quest you tending on how much traveling is involved.
After arduously playing through the game five times I think I can safely say that the hunter is the best character class. My criteria for judging the classes, was who was the best character early on, who could stay alive longest, who did the most damage to enemies, and what was the best class to beat the campaign by yourself.
I would say that the hunter is the best class since the damage bonus for critical hits, coupled with the increased sniper rifle damage means that you could take out any enemy in the entire game by yourself if necessary, regardless of how much higher leveled they are. He doesn't have the best armor, and the Bloodwing ability isn't too great until you level a whole lot. However maxing out his critical in damage and then solely focusing on getting them makes every weapon deadly, not just the sniper rifle. When maxed out the sniper rifle is so overpowered that you can kill everything in one hit. As long as you keep your distance from enemies, and pick them off one by one you should have no trouble staying alive. Even if you get downed, like say from a psychopath who snuck up behind you, you'll still have a chance to bail yourself out with a well placed critical hit with the shotgun or repeater pistol
I would say that the berserker is the second best class. Mainly because it's much easier to stay alive with him. Not only does the berserker of the greatest resistance to damage, but he also has the safest and easiest way to recharge his own health, by simply activating his rage mode. You can also exploit rage mode, by activating it when you think you're about to die, while making a hasty retreat. Final stand is also very useful since it makes it so that, you can be downed for 5 times as long and still be able to get to kill and be revived by a second wind. Plus the amount of health you'll have afterword will be 80%, instead of the normal 10%. Sure rage mode isn't that useful offensively, especially against large groups of enemies, but it does work well for finishing off one or two by themselves like bruisers for example. Rage mode high damage resistance and quick health refill is invaluable. I'm not sure why the berserker has part of his skill trees so focused on the rocket launcher, when it's not even that great even with all the perks abilities.
Everyone seems to always choose the soldier class first, including myself. People think that the soldier would have the easiest time soloing the game because his turret would act essentially as a partner for cover fire, and although it can be pretty deadly, the range of the turret is very limited, the duration that you can use it is too short, and the recharge time far too long, to be able to quickly go from area by yourself. Later on when you have maxed out practically everything he gets a lot better, but the question is how do you level him up in the first place? The soldier is the best class for ammo conservation since he has many abilities to regenerate bullets. It's also great to have a soldier on your team in multiplayer since he's probably the best class for support, due to the tourists ammo and health regenerative abilities. My big problem with the soldier, is that the current doesn't move, so have to lure enemies that you're having trouble killing to the turret in order to get any sort of use out of it. Plus hanging around in one spot is a great way to get hit because you can affect the dodge while maintaining position at the turret. Plus if you're downed, the turret disappears, which although it's probably fair balance wise, is really annoying.
A lot of people say that the siren is the best class, since you can use her phase walk ability to bypass enemies or get easy stealth kills. My problem is that phase walk, even when maxed out lasts for all of 15 seconds, which is hardly enough time to run through the entire area, and most of the time you'll just reappear in the middle of the group of enemies that they were trying to avoid in the first place, and be instantly killed. I also don't like that you can't fire any weapons during phase walk. And the main offensive use is to use artifacts that explode like a grenade radius both when you initiate and come out of being invisible and skills that substantially increase your melee damage by 150x immediately after phase walking. Another problem I have the siren, is that unlike every other character doesn't have a specialty weapon, or any skills to increase the damage of her attacks except for the aforementioned melee hits, with several other characters have as well. It just seems like playing as the siren is a tremendous risk with very little reward. Sure enemies will stop firing at you and being aware of your presence when you go invisible so you can run away, and refill your health, but it doesn't do much to help actually kill them. Basically the siren is best played in team game with other people, particularly if you have a hard to kill berserker save you if you make a mistake and get downed which will happen a lot.
Sometimes the waypoint marker on the map will be completely screwed up, and either be far too vague, or point to entirely the wrong area. This happened to me during the smoke signals side quest in Old Haven, where it kept directing me to the center of town, when it was quite obvious that the smoke was coming from generators at the outskirts of the city.
One of the main selling points of the game is that there are over 86 million different guns in the game. However since your character's inventory won't have more than 70 slots free at the most, you'll never be able to acquire all of them, and you'll have to either ignore or sell those weapons that you find due to the limited space. The 86 million number is deceptive, and I suspect it's probably more like 10,000 distinct and unique firearms, with the rest just being minor variants with slightly different stats, or elemental properties. I came to this conclusion since I had to replay the game six times in order to write this review, and I noticed that I was continuously collecting many of the same weapons with different characters at certain points in a game, even from randomly generated chests. I suspect that there are about 100 different guns that can appear in a chest or be dropped by an enemy depending on the current level of your character. As you gain experience and level up so will the pool of weapons expand and increase the number weapons that you can find in chests and increase the likelihood of finding better quality or rare items. When playing multiplayer, besides the difficulty of enemies increasing, so will the quality of items as well. The advantage is that you will gain more powerful weapons and shields earlier, however most items have a annoying level requirement to use them, so although it might be excited to find a new powerful sniper rifle, you might have to wait until level up two to six times before you could actually use it.
As I mentioned earlier, each weapon has several stats, that very even among weapons with the same name. If you can't immediately tell the difference, it's always a good idea to compare what the item is worth, since usually the one that costs more, has better stats. I would put basic common stats in this order of usefulness: rate of fire, elemental damage, actual base damage, capacity, reloads speed, accuracy and recoil. Elaborate. A rate that your gun fires at its key, since you can have a weapon that does 2,000 damage a shot , but if you can only fire it once every two minutes and there are six guys running toward you , you'd be screwed , unless it had a really wide area of affect. Even if your weapon does very little damage , if it has a high enough rate of fire , you could pump enough ammo into enemies quickly enough to take them out regardless . If at all possible you'll want to print much only use weapons with elemental damage such as fire, acid, shock, or explosions which is also the order of usefulness I would say. What's great about elemental damage is that the initial shot was fired, the enemy you hit will continue to take damage , like from being lit on fire for example for several seconds after you hit them. This is especially good for snipers or weapons that have long reload times, since it means that you could hit a enemy once, and then move on to other targets, since the residual fire or acid burns will finish them off shortly. Obviously the basic damage a weapon is capable of is also very important. Occasionally you find a weapon that will have a damage number of say 35, and maybe you'll find another similar one of the damage rating of 25x10. If you only pay attention to the first number and not the yellow blinking x10 then you won't realize that the second gun damage is actually 250. Multiplyed damage output is the key to getting powerful weapons , when you're still a low-level. Every weapon in the game seems to have a fairly long reload time regardless of the skills your character has, you'll still be wide open if you have to reload. Therefore having a weapon with a high-capacity, is the key to quickly killing groups of enemies and avoiding taking damage. This is especially true with shotguns and sniper rifles where having a faster rate of fire and a large clip are much more important than damage. Accuracy and recoil are pretty similar, and actually tied together . Accuracy determines the chance of you getting a target a long-distance, and recoil determines how inaccurate your shots will become in rapid succession. Both of these stats seem important, but the way enemies love to strafe around in circles, pinball between two cover points, and pop their head out randomly, you're better off going for critical hit, and shooting them in the head of close, then say trying to snipe them with a pistol at medium-range. There are also other modifiers to guns such as different kinds of scopes, or special properties like ammo or health regeneration or the chance to make enemies drop more money or items when killed.
Shotgun: The shotgun is by far the most useful weapon type in the game regardless of what class you're using. Shotguns are the third most damaging kind of weapon, but is the most practical to use in almost any situation. The main reason are the pesky psychopath enemies that rush you in packs with knives or shotguns, and usually deplete your shield in only one or two hits. A well-placed shotgun blast to their head, as they hesitate right before they hit you, will usually be a one hit kill. The only downside the shotguns is that you can't carry much ammo at a time, and they usually take a bit too long to reload. Always carry a secondary weapon with a higher rate of fire to bail you out, in case you accidentally downed, because you ran out of ammo, or reloaded at the wrong time. Even then though if you're lucky enough to have any standing over your body, if they get a critical hit a shot on them and be revived by a second wind right away. You can pretty much shotgun the whole game actually if you have a good enough shield, and if you have the right skills with the berserker class, you can even constantly rush with one, and not have to worry about dying.
Sniper rifle: it's crazy how useful sniper rifles are, you could literally beat the entire game only using them. Sure it would take longer, and you have to make a lot of ammo runs, but for the most part it would make things a lot easier. Most sniper rifles have a small clip, a slow rate of fire, and a horrendous reload time, but it's worth the trouble to use them when you can kill enemies five times as fast as you could with most other weapons. I think the reason why sniper rifles are so good is that they already do a lot of damage, then thanks to the scope you can zoom in and get critical hit head shots, for even more damage. Usually unless you're really under leveled you can kill most enemies in one, or two shots, five on the outside. If you ever get stuck on a boss fight, because you're too under leveled, it's always a good idea to try to take them out at a distance sniper rifle first, and then if they're still not dead and you run out of ammo rush with a machine gun or repeater pistols, and then switch to a shotgun to finish them off at point-blank range.
Repeater Pistol: speed go to weapon, work horse. Elemental damage, screwed when out of ammo. I generally use repeater pistols as my go to weapon what I'm not sure what I'll be facing, especially in frantic mob situations with multiple fast-moving targets where I'm not sure if every shot will hit. repeater pistols have so much ammo, and are powerful enough that you can just hold down the trigger and fire away wildly and come out unscathed. Generally you 'll want to have a repeater that does at least 90 damage, and ideally also has burning fire or acid damage as well. The repeater good damage, ,high rate of fire, and decent accuracy coupled with the cumulative elemental damage should topple most adversaries. However it looks like it will take too long or waste too much ammo, to kill something then switch to a shotgun or sniper rifle.
Machine Gun: At first I didn't think that Machine Guns were that great, since usually the damage is comparable to repeaters but with much worse accuracy, that causes you to blow through ammo very quickly. People always say that Machine Guns should only be fired in short controlled bursts. Well that cliché is certainly true here, since I had much more success once I adopted that strategy. Some of the advantages machine guns have over repeaters are it's higher rate of fire and much larger bullets that are easier to connect with. What I like to do is bursts fire at a enemy's head for a rapid succession of critical hits, which will usually take them out in only a few seconds. Especially deadly and useful with the Hunter class and his bonuses for critical hit damage and extra experience.
Revolver: The Revolvers are very similar to Repeater Pistols, except they usually do twice the damage, but at one third the speed and with a very small barrel. The rate of fire is key with Revolvers, always test out a new Revolver for yourself before you sell the old one, since a slow rate of fire, or dinky clip could make the new one useless.
Rocket Launcher: the problem with rocket launchers, is that they are entirely impractical to use as your primary weapon, despite the berserker class skill tree encouraging it. Rocket launchers usually do damage that is at least on par with sniper rifles, but can sometimes be as much as three times as powerful. The first problem is that every time I seem to find a rocket launcher, it's always a very low level, so that we does say 50 more damage than my sniper rifle would. The second problem is that despite firing rockets at people, the projectile is surprisingly small and most launchers are so inaccurate that you usually miss except when you fire at point-blank range, which would leave you susceptible to splash damage from the explosion. It also doesn't help that most rocket launchers have a very small capacity, and absurd reload time, so if you miss one or two shots you'll have to wait a minute and a half to reload the thing and then miss again. In fact I'd go as far to say as to avoid even bothering to pick up rocket launchers unless you intend to sell them, or want to keep one as a failsafe in case you run out of ammo with every other weapon type.
Sub Machine Gun: Sub Machine Guns are very similar to regular Machine Guns as they often do one third the damage and are far more inaccurate. This is why they puzzle me. Who does this appeal to? Is it only for people who love to use Machine Guns are currently out of ammo for it? Is the sole purpose of the Sub Machine Gun to act as a backup failsafe weapon when you're dry with your preferred gun? I just don't get it. Damage from Sub Machine Guns is usually so puny that you'll often have to waste one or 200 rounds to kill a single enemy, which makes a high-capacity useless. It's incredibly inaccurate as well, even when firing it in short bursts, it's still very difficult to get critical hit, and a futile effort to conserve ammo.
Grenades and mods lack of ammo, confusing. overall suckage
Each class has certain weapons that are their specialty. Something I noticed while we playing the single player with each character, was that I tended to get much more rare and useful items when I wasn't playing as a class that could really use them. For example I have a lot of trouble finding good shotguns or machine guns as the soldier, rocket launchers as the berserker, or sniper rifles as the hunter. But I'll find tons of great sniper rifles and shotguns as the berserker, and lots of cool rocket launchers when playing as the hunter. The only solution to this is to trade items with yourself by using another character with a different account in co-op, or actually going online play the game and trading with real people.
Getting critical hits is pretty easy, and since every time you get critical hit, you'll do double damage you should go for them whenever possible. It's so easy to get critical hits, since almost every enemies weak spot are their heads, which you were probably already aiming for in the first place. Some monsters like skags for example weak spot is the interior of their mouth, but it's still pretty easy to hit.
Controls in the game are pretty good. The left analog stick moves your character. Click and hold the left stick to run. The right analog stick is used to move the camera and aim your weapon. Click the right stick to perform a melee attack. The A button is jump. The B button is crunch. The X button is used to interact with objects and activate switches. The X button is also used to pick up items, and holding it down while in front of several items will cause you to pick them all up at once. When facing a new weapon holding down the X button will cause you to not only pick up the gun, but also immediately equip it, which can be pretty annoying if you do it by accident. The Y button switches weapons in the order of ...... The Right Trigger fires your weapon. The Left Trigger is precision aim, and if the weapon you're using has one, causes you to aim down the scope. The right bumper activates the character's special ability, such as the berserks rage mode, the soldier's gun turret, the sirens phase walk clocking or to unleash the hunters falcon Bloodwing. The Left Bumper is used to throw grenades. The directional pad is used to quickly switch between weapons, a different weapon can be set to Up, Down, Left, or Right in the inventory screen. The Start button pauses the game when in single player. The Back button brings up the inventory and stats screen. Use the Left and Right Bumpers to navigate the different pages.
When driving a runner vehicle the X button causes you to exit the vehicle. The A button honks the horn. The Y button cusses you to change positions from the driver seat to the passenger gun turret. The Right trigger fires machine guns. The Left trigger fires rockets. The left bumper activates a turbo boot. Pushing forward on the Left analog stick accelerates, pushing back on Left analog stick brakes, and when stationary is reverse. Move left or right with the Left stick to steer. The vehicle controls are very similar to Halo's.
health and shields. When you take damage in the game, it will first deplete shield, and then your health if you continue to get hit. Much like Halo, you sustain any damage for period of time, your shield will recharge, your health however won't unless you have a shield a healing shield or use a med kit. Unlike Halo you can actually equip different shields with higher damage thresholds, faster recharge times, and the ability to let out elemental explosion when depleted.
The graphics in the game are pretty impressive. Character models though depicted in a cartoonist style are fairly realistic looking. Everything in the game is cel shaded, which I normally don't care for, but it's well done here since the texture quality is very sharp, and I didn't notice any anilizing. Character and enemy designs are certainly one of the game's big triumphs, since they are distinctive, memorable, and blend together nicely, which makes it believable to all exist in the same universe. Lighting in the game is very nice, but sometimes certain outdoor environments look unrealistic at nighttime, and the overall lighting seems too uniform and consistent to be natural. Unlike most first-person shooters Boarderlands actually has a fairly consistent frame rate, that only drops now and then during frantic multiplayer battles, but that could just be lag. I did notice that the game stutters every time you get a message from the mysterious woman guiding you to the vault.
Music in the game is well done, and the licensed theme song no rest for the wicked was a good choice. I also enjoy a standard music that plays throughout the game, with its melodic, ominous , buzzing soundtrack gives off a sense of isolation and intensity. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be all that many different music tracks in the game, and you'll hear the same themes, over and over again within the first few hours of playing the game. It's also unfortunate that there isn't all that much voice acting in the game, since what little voice work there is in the game, is quite well done. Performances are believable as well as being a memorable. It's a shame that all the quests in the game aren't spoken. Your characters as well as enemies will often make comments during battle, or when collecting items, and it's too bad that they don't have a very big vocabulary, so little often repeat phrases far too much. Which leads me to frequently play with the sound off. Weapons in the game sound good and powerful, but there isn't enough variety or distinction to immediately tell the difference between two guns just by listening to them being fired.
Game is actually pretty gory, but it's rather subtle, so it's easy to miss. Killing an enemy with a head shot will usually result in your head exploding, which looks pretty satisfying. Enemies who burn to death will turn to ash, what I really like is when killed by electricity the flesh will peel off their skull, before the skull itself crumbles to pieces. Outside of heads exploding there isn't much dismemberment in the game, but I do like that most bodies stay on the field after you kill them.
fast recharge shield is better than slow healing shield