Borderlands - Cheat Happens Game Review
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Borderlands
PC, Playstation 3, XBox 360

Reviewed on: PC

Developer:
Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
Rated: "M" for Mature



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     

I’ve got to be honest, on my first play through of Borderlands; I didn’t get it. Now don’t get me wrong, the title was stylish, hip and sported some unique visuals but I didn’t get what all the hype was about.
Then I played online and everything made sense.

When played with friends, Borderlands is a fast paced, hectic and addicting shooter with gorgeous cell-shaded visuals, but when played as a solo experience, it’s noticeably less impressive.  If you’ve got the friends to explore 2K’s barren wasteland, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget but if you’re going it alone, there’s far more impressive titles to dig in to.
Borderlands takes place on Pandora, a fictional planet once thought by colonists to be paradise, but is actually a barren wasteland. Still, hope persists in the form of a scattered radio transmission that describes the wonders of a mysterious vault.  You choose one of four characters, each with their own abilities and strengths and traverse the world of Pandora in search of the Vault.

"...one of the best looking games of the year."

 
   

The first thing you’ll notice in Borderlands is just how amazing the game looks.  You wouldn’t think that a monotone wasteland would be the source for such a unique aesthetic, but thanks to the game’s cell-shaded look, Borderlands is one of the best looking games of the year.  Everything, from the incredibly cinematic opening to the comic book style story progression is done incredibly well. There are a few hitches with the game’s aesthetics, like occasional lag when the action gets too hectic and some textures that take their time loading, but credit must be given to 2K for taking a unique approach with Borderland’s visuals.

Traversing the world of Pandora, you’ll get your choice of four very different playable characters. Lillith the Siren has the ability to teleport herself as well as become invisible, Brick the Berserker is a massive, hulking brute of a man, Mordecai the Hunter is proficient with revolvers and sniper rifles and Roland the Hunter is quite handy with healing and bigger artillery.  It’s definitely a unique cast of characters and unless you’re playing a 4-player co-op game, you probably won’t get to experience the major differences between each of them. The truth is that unlike similar games, you’ll get a different experience based on who you play as.

Borderlands plays much like an FPS, mixed with RPG elements. You’re going to be doing a lot of questing, and a lot of point allocation, but you’re also going to be doing a lot of shooting. Most often, these two genres don’t mix well, but somehow it works here. There are a lot of guns scattered throughout Pandora and shooting each of them feels uniquely satisfying to shoot. It may seem a bit sadistic, but there’s something addictive about fine tuning a large selection of guns to dismember your attackers (and yes, the animations make it even better).

"...you’re basically just changing the colors of your costume."

 
   

The level of customization in Borderlands is quite impressive. Each character has three different skill trees that you can build on as you wish.  Let’s take the soldier for example; you can choose to use him as a human weapon, upgrading his combat skills, or you can take the other route entirely and have his bullets heal his teammates.  The great thing is that you won’t have to do a lot of grinding (read: it’s still a major part of the game) to get experience points as you’ll get them for basically anything you do.  You can also customize your characters name and appearance, but this isn’t as deep as you’d think, you’re basically just changing the colors of your costume.

Let’s be honest, if you’re playing with friends you’re going to be having so much fun taking off limbs and collecting loot that you won’t even notice how lame the storyline gets, but if you’re drudging through Pandora on your own..I’m sorry. About midway through the game, the story dips, leaving you scratching your head all the way to the incredibly disappointing finale. Seriously, it’s one of the worst climaxes I can remember.

Borderlands is a unique and original experience that is engaging and unique for each player. With its unique cell-shaded, comic book style visuals and genre bending gameplay, you won’t find anything like Borderlands this holiday season, just don’t go in by yourself or expecting an engaging storyline. 

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Super Health, Super Armor, Mega Ammo, Add XP, Increase Level

While it’s not a huge part of the Borderlands experience, if you want to fully max out your character, you’re going to need to do quite a bit of grinding to gain the necessary experience points to level up. Luckily, the trainer from Cheat Happens makes this easier.  Go out to the wasteland and take out bandits and skags without fear of getting killed with the Super Health and Super Armor cheats.

Also useful are the cheats which affect your weapons. Later in the game, the action picks up quite heavily and it becomes hard to balance each battle.  Try using the no reload and mega ammo cheats to gain an advantage on the competition.
Really don’t want to go through the work of leveling up? Just go ahead and use the Add skill points, increase level and XP cheats. Come on…you know you want to…

 

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