Borderlands - Interview & Hands-On
Raise a glass, then, to creative bravery and publisher balls (don't go delaying it now and making me look stupid, 2K). But before we get too intoxicated, what of this "risky" endeavour?
Set on the remote planet of Pandora, Borderlands thematically blends the lawless wild west and Mad Max-esque industrial desolation with alien technology and creatures. And structurally, it seeks to merge the intensity of a first-person shooter with the customisable depth of an RPG and the exploratory freedom of an open-world adventure. Add to that random weapon generation (with hundreds of thousands of possible combinations), and you not only have an awful lot to get right, but also a fair amount that could go wrong. So, yeah. Risky.
and from Gamespot:
To do this, the team at Gearbox has taken features normally found in dungeon crawlers and massively multiplayer online games--notably the scale of the world and the desire to clamber for loot--and thrown them into the mix with tried-and-true shooter mechanics. Though the game's stylized visuals will certainly catch your eye, digging a little deeper reveals multiple character classes, carefully tweaked skill trees, and guns. Lots of guns. We recently had the chance to take the game for a spin and get hands-on with a work-in-progress build of the single-player and multiplayer modes on the Xbox 360 and found that this is no ordinary run-and-gun game.
Edit: And! Alec Meer at RPS writes his hands-on:
It’s like Fallout 3. No, wait, it’s like Hellgate. No, wait, it’s like Doom.
Well… it has some of the core values of all of those, but a very different implementation. It’s an RPG-FPS, fundamentally. But unlike Fallout 3 and Mass Effect and Hellgate, this isn’t a first-person targeting reticule built awkwardly on top of dice-rolls and statistics. It’s statistics and dice-rolls built on top of a first-person shooter. That simple inversion is key to why Borderlands works – this is an action game first and foremost. You won’t find yourself lost eight phrases deep in a dialogue tree. You won’t find a precisely-targeted headshot failing to hit because of some invisible maths, and you won’t find that aiming somewhere within a 20-foot radius of someone automagically punches a bullet through their ches. You will find that hiding behind a rock or running away stops you from getting shot. As does shooting first, and accurately.
There's a summary of the recent press tour here at Gearboxity.
SP/MP: Single + MP
Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3