The border between first person shooters and role playing games has been somewhat a matter of opinion in recent years. Nothing else has been quite as confusing as Borderlands. The developers in the run up to the release of the game asked for the game to be called a First person role player, a mixture of the two genres as it aimed to be both these things and hopefully become greater by doing so. Borderlands, however, is more much more interesting than its FPRPG tag line and is perhaps one of the most creatively rich games in recent times. At the moment, you can easily find the game lying around for £5 and that’s for the GOTY edition which comes with all the DLC that was released for the game.

The first choice you make in the world of Borderlands is to who you want to be for the rest of your journey. The choice isn’t superficial in the slightest with each character being massively different in how they play, their specialist equipment and also the abilities that they have to help them survive in the wastes of Pandora. In my play through, I played with the character Brick who specialised in heavy weaponry such as the rocket launcher. The most interesting part about him however was not in the weaponry he carried but in the guns that are attached to his body. When you unlock his specialist ability, Brick turns into a maniac and will conceal his weapons and instead use his fists. During this rampage he can absorb a huge amount of damage and becomes ultimately a walking tank. There are 3 other characters alongside Brick who also have brilliantly weird and wonderful abilities that all have their own advantages. The remarkable thing about these characters is that despite being completely different, when they work together they are unstoppable.

And that’s the one more great selling point of Borderlands, it is built head to toe with co-op in mind. Much like Left 4 dead, the game is fully playable by yourself (albeit without any AI followers on hand to help you out in your travels) but is best enjoyed with 3 mates around you tearing the place to shreds. The first thing you notice when playing the game is how brilliant the graphics are. Unlike any game in recent years, Borderlands definitely has its own distinct visual look and it really does make it feel spectacular to play.

You start your life on Pandora entering the city of Fyrestone, a settlement where few live and although many gravestones poke up from the sun beaten ground. You meet your first ally here and his name is simply Claptrap. A friendly do-gooder, claptrap is a mechanical helper who (alongside other models of the claptrap) will appear throughout your travels on Pandora. His high pitched tone and sheer stupidity welcome you into the war torn land almost blissfully. His antics depicting fun and carelessness are far from the truth in Pandora. Within minutes of getting off the bus which took you to Fyrestone, you are already facing off bandits taking them down one by one with whatever gun the character you chose specialises in. Clearing your way through the town tales you to a red box which will be your best friend in Borderlands as this is the weapons container. In any other game, this would be a rather mundane affair. In Borderlands however, there are around 7 billion (quoted from Gearbox themselves) different variants of guns within the game. Ever box you are almost guaranteed to find something new. Although the gun creation system is beautiful and somewhat revolutionary, it isn’t perfect evident in the way you can get multiple guns that are identical to each other apart from minor changes such as the amount of bullets it holds in a clip.

The campaign is full of missions to do and in true RPG style you can play around with what order you do them as much as you like. Although the world isn’t completely open with the world being split up into areas and not just one huge map, it certainly is a brilliant environment to explore and there are enough quests in the game to take you to each and every place in the entire map of Pandora. The same goes for the various DLC add-ons which add a huge amount of content to the game.

Of course, there are faults you can make with the game with some already being addressed such as the somewhat overhyped gun mechanic system and the rather closed open world. But with Borderlands 2 promising to make its way to our consoles and PCs later on this year, we can only hope these have been fixed and the game will become even more spectacular. There is no doubt about it, this is a series to watch.

Score 9/10: A game with the innovation and creativity rarely seen in today’s video game industry. It wasn’t without its faults but it made up for them in spectacular fashion.