A skag roars in the distance, I turn and take a shot with my incinerating sniper rifle. A small amount of EXP pops up and my level DINGS! I allocate my new skill point down a skill tree that makes my Bloodwing stronger and I wade thicker into the camp of the enemy, readying my shotgun with six shots and knowing more loot awaits. This is Pandora, this is a looter-shooter, this is Borderlands.
When thinking about doing a start for Sit Down Sunday a ton of games popped into my head. I know I want to hit up titles like Gauntlet, Army of Two, Diablo, and Gears of War. That’s before I get into titles like A way out and Portal 2! With so many games out there it was hard to pick a place to start, but with me mentioning this title multiple times over the last week with its remaster I figured it was only fair.
It is hard not to smile when you start up a new character on the crisp new graphics and hear “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked” blaring. A song that forever brings this exact opening scene to mind. I ready up a character, in this case, Mordecai the Hunter, one of the easiest for solo play. I know that I want my Roland and Brick to be when my friends jump on soon. This is a title that is hard not to think co-op when you play, when the tougher the enemies the better the loot, and you always need a sweet legendary gun drop.
With work running late and a nap taking hold I didn’t get on early like I planned and missed my game night time with the friends, but that didn’t stop booting this up. I know soon enough I’ll have a gunner in my vehicle and more active skills flying out. You have drop-in co-op or the same screen co-op which I appreciate more every time I rarely see it. Getting that physical experience of screaming at a screen together is irreplaceable and something that grew my love of gaming over the years.
The updates are rich and look amazing in 4k. I quickly made my way off the bus and into Fyrestone, enjoying the updated Angel graphics as I went. The snap of the old Jakobs sniper as the bandits fell and if they got too close an explosion from the Gearbox shotgun they provided. Extremely powerful in the early game and devasting to these poor level one enemies. When they fell I settled in quickly to completing quests and soon finding my old friend Dr. Zed, no medical degree. I couldn’t help the grin I had seeing the old intro screens and getting giddy for the soon to be Borderlands 3.
There is now a nice golden key chest sitting across from Zed’s shop, but if you have played Borderlands 2 you save these bad boys until a bit later in the game. You start with seventy-five of the golden shift keys and they can go quick. After I turned in my fifth quest an achievement popped reminding me of the first time I rolled through all these little finds and returns quests. My good friend Hunter telling me to give the game a shot over Christmas break so many years ago. Nervous when Angel first asks, “Would you kindly help that Claptrap unit” as I rolled off of Bioshock.
My man TK Baha looks great perched on his chair laughing at his own jokes and making sure I don’t smell like skag. I like seeing him pre-DLC and enjoying his special shotgun as it waves through enemies. With co-op play going through the original over ten times I played all kinds of special guns, checking out all their unique benefits. A play style I strongly suggest is firing the gun you get a few times regardless of if it “says” it is weaker than your current one. Many of these rifles, rockets, and pistols having unique benefits that make up for their slightly weaker damage.
TK set me back on the path and soon I was working my way through Skag Gully.
My goal this early section of the game is to cause some damage to the local bandit population. The first big stop is taking out a local leader Nine Toes, wading in through a horde of smaller skags until you finally see the big man himself.
The battle was quick and sweet, but even now I remember the first time when I struggled. The humor of the game starting to hit you in the face as you realize you will have hours upon hours of sweet looting fun. You soon open the chest behind him, hoping to get something awesome and return to TK to continue on, but Zed to get paid. I mean come on, TK doesn’t have that kind of money.
Now when you want a good couch co-op there aren’t many more options you can ask for than this. You have each character feeling truly unique, the feel of each gun going down a different path and the fun of finding new awesome things with friends. Updates to the title like the graphics, the new head masks, and a mini-map are welcome and great for spicing up another play through. I remember having a driver play while I opened my map to navigate us in the original, great times, but the mini-map is still better.
Playing through just the main game will net many people about thirty hours of gameplay at a normal pace. The beauty of this title is it has all the DLC with it to give you another thirty or more. New Game Plus gives you a nice reason to run through again and hearing the level up DING is great until max level. Get to that point and maybe you can try to take on the raid boss Crawmerax.
I feel I don’t have to do much more to convince you to try this game out. Some people complain the art isn’t to their liking, but if that is stopping you I strongly urge you to give it another shot. Rarely do I run into a franchise that brings me back over and over eagerly. Borderlands is one of the very few, so if you haven’t gotten onto the Pandora hype train friends. It’s time to “Catch a Ride!”