Recently, I’ve been playing Borderlands, a first person shooter crossed with an RPG, with excellent multiplayer support for co-op. (and PvP if you like that kind of thing)

The idea behind the game is a combination of levelling up, getting better weapons and items, and improving your own skill (using cover, working out where to shoot the enemies to get critical hits, and actually hitting those spots, etc)

The game is great fun on your own, and far more so with a teammate (or multiple teammates) – though some kind of communication between the team is important. The mic support for borderlands is very good, when you speak, the game transmits – I prefer this over push to talk, though prepare your ears for a teammate coughing or sneezing, and in the process deafening you completely. (woe woe woe)

The difficulty ramps up as you add more players, as does the loot – making multiplayer far more rewarding. It’s also more interesting, as you can chat, devise tactics, and decide who gets which guns. There really are a lot of guns, in lots of colours and flavours.

The game also looks and sounds excellent – the graphics are like a hardened up version of Okami’s style, with a more western look. Things can feel a bit dry and arid at times, but that’s the nature of the environment, and as much as possible there is good variety. The music is brilliant – it ends up getting stuck in your head, and the sound effects match the theme of the game.

The downsides – unskippable intro sponsors (can be fixed, but annoying), the claptraps (little robots) can be annoying if you’re trying to use a shop near them and they keep on ‘dancin dancin’. (but otherwise they’re quite cute), the stat compare takes a while to get used to, and some of the menus are still “consoley”, and don’t work well with a mouse. The story is also a bit weak – though I’ve not completed it yet, it probably won’t suddenly make amends – it’s a typical role playing ‘find treasure, kill baddies’ storyline. The story is missing, but it’s not a gaping hole in a game of this sort.

I was going to get some screenshots, but they’ll have to wait as they didn’t work. D: They’ll hopefully come in time. Nag me if you want to see and I forget.

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