A couple of days ago I spotted Gearbox's new IP, 'Borderlands', for £25 on Asda's (Walmart to my American readers) website.
I'd had my eye on this game for a while. I found it's art style intriguing, mumblings of 'It's Fallout 3 but co-op, online and local' drew me in, but it was an article, that detailed it's change in art direction late on in it's development, that highlighted to me that this game was a labour of love for Gearbox.
I've read this game described as 'gun-porn'.
A Monster Hunter for the west even.
I won't disagree with these statements at all.
It's the comparison to Fallout that is most irking.
Fallout is a game of masterful story telling with slow paced wondering, intrigue and trepidation as you scour the game's world.
Borderlands is an arcade-like, open world shooting gallery with very similar enemies willingly jumping into your firing line. The AI unable to comprehend that you're now far too strong for it and are about to open a can of whoop.
Don't get me wrong, I had A LOT of fun playing this last night, whilst Jen was out at a Bible Study, but this isn't a game I'm going to play solidly until 'The End' because I remain unsure if it really even has one.
Sure, it has a story (a paper thin tale that I really didn't care about) and a whole bunch of quests (I have no idea how many or any notion of whether they can be replayed after finishing them once.) but I immediately realised this game is one I'll pop in every once in a while to run and gun around but it isn't a 'play once from start to finish' affair.
I'm not disappointed with Borderlands, it's struck me as a great game but it won't be replacing 'Mass Effect' as my current game-novel.
If you like the sound of a put-down, pick-up again shooter-RPG then Borderlands is probably your thing and you should check it out.
If you're the kind of gamer who needs story to drive their action forward, look elsewhere.
I'm somewhere in between - and I'm going to enjoy it every once in a while as a kind of filler in between main courses or when friends come over and we just want to blow some stuff up.
(Impressions of Borderlands for PS3 after about 3 hours of play time.)