It isn’t a tactical shooter, and it isn’t a talky RPG. It steps back to the base level of both genres and then piles style and energy on top. It’s the opposite of feature creep – returning to why people wanted to shoot monsters in the face and collect shiny things in the first place. From what I played, it wouldn’t be wrong to call it shallow. It would be wrong to call that shallowness a bad thing. Pitchford again: “we’re dancing around innovation more than we’ve ever done before.” In the land of the endless cover systems, unbound carnage is king.
I haven’t played a mindless shooter in a while now. Sure, TF2 is fun when your team isn’t composed of 4 medics and 4 spies who can’t take out a single sentry gun, L4D is fun but I want to shoot something other than zombies with something other than a pistol or a shotgun. I must admit I miss I miss playing Unreal Tournament, there’s nothing like mindless carnage fuelled by a 6-barrel rocket-launcher.
Even with Dragon Age: Origins, Left 4 Dead 2 coming out at the same time, Borderlands suddenly became a very viable year-end treat. Killing stuff: check; rewarding for kill baddies: check; lots of guns; check. From what I read, Borderlands is looking to be a FPS primarily built on top of a Diablo-eque loot system on crack.
Still gotta hope there’s enough local or at least regional server support and non-brainless community to play with.