Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition – Review
Follow Genre: Shooter Action RPG
Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Tested on: PS4

Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition – Review

Site Score
9.2
Good: Remastered graphics look great, Amazing game, Great gameplay, Fun story, Good soundtrack
Bad: If you've already played through all of the original game plus DLC, then this GOTY edition doesn't add much more
User Score
8.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)

The remastered Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition was brought out as a sudden surprise before the release of Borderlands 3! Its release was announced on the day it became available. We loved to play the classic game, and dove into this remastered version with passion. Borderlands is the original looter shooter game developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games, and hasn’t aged a bit. Although.. that’s what you might think, until you play this remastered version.

Story

Borderlands is a straight up classic almost everyone played at least for a little bit, but if you are unfamiliar with the game, know this: next to being a great first person shooter RPG, this game also has a fun story, which continues in the sequels of the game. The Borderlands series is known for its raw sense of humor and colorful bizarre characters, and you’ll encounter plenty of those when playing through the storyline.

The story of Borderlands takes place on the planet Pandora in the 29th century. There’s a legend of a hidden vault containing unknown riches on Pandora, free to take for whoever uncovers it. This legend attracts many vault hunters to Pandora, and your character is one of them. As you arrive, you’ll meet the funny robot Claptrap who instructs you to first acquaint yourself with the few local friendly population in a nearby town, before traveling the bandit-ridden wastelands in search of the fabled vault. Meanwhile, a mysterious female voice talks to you every once in a while, giving you instructions and motivation for finding this mysterious vault.

As you go on and follow the quest-lines, you’ll meet more and more quirky and peculiar characters, and learn more about the vault. You’ll learn it’ll open once every 200 years, and the next moment will be soon. You’ll also learn this vault is most likely alien in origin, and you’ll experience exactly how powerful these aliens were, as you’ll encounter their artifacts every once in a while. You’ll need to find several artifacts to be able to open the vault, but getting to these artifacts and to the vault itself won’t be an easy journey.

The remastered edition contains the original Borderlands game, along with the four DLC from the original game, which include more wacky NPC characters, additional quests, even better items and challenging new enemies.

Graphics

The signature comic-style line art graphics of borderlands has always looked great and is very forgiving for less-than-HD textures, but this remastered edition of the game certainly looks more crisp and more detailed compared to the original. It isn’t obvious when you play the game (and your memory will always try to convince you the original game was way better looking than it actually was), but if you’ll watch a side-by-side comparison video, you’ll see there is a world of difference in the level of detail and graphic effects (like gunfire) in the remake.

Sound

The soundtrack of borderlands is pretty awesome, sounding a bit tribal, electronic, and desolate, somehow, with a few folk instruments. It really captures the barren and hostile futuristic atmosphere of the game. Different environments have different music which fit the area, and of course there’s also engaging battle music whenever you get into combat. The sound effects are very good, and the voices are absolutely brilliant. Especially the NPCs have great voices, which fit really well to their characters. The game is fully narrated, including the cinematics, and there are subtitles available.

Gameplay

Borderlands is a first-person shooter, with RPG elements. The game is loot-driven, and set in an open, post-apocalyptic world. You can choose between four characters, each with a very different playstyle. Brick is a strong tank, which specializes in shotguns, rocket launchers and melee attacks. Roland is a strong character for support, which can boosts the team’s health and shields, additional to providing great weapon damage and a turret. Mordecai is a great and evasive sniper, who travels around with a deadly pet bird. Lilith is a close range striker who excels in elemental damage, and can turn invisible with increased speed to move around quickly between groups of enemies. Each character has three specializations to choose from in their skill trees.

You’ll get quests which will guide you through the storyline, and several side-quests you will encounter as you follow the main quest line. Each time you deliver quests, new quests will be triggered, and you’ll get a notification where you’ll find these quests. The side-quests aren’t strictly necessary, but they are immensely useful to level up for the main story quests, and they will provide some good gear and bonuses as well. Besides that, all quests are fun; they complement the setting of the game, are often quite silly, and the conversation(s) you’ll get out of the NPCs is usually hilarious.

You’ll get lots and lots and lots of loot in this game, and you’ll often find your backpack isn’t big enough to carry all (luckily you’ll be able to get backpack upgrades through side-quests). Of course you’ll get money and ammo drops, but most importantly, you’ll get to loot gear like shields, powerful class modifications, and oh-so-many weapons. Weapons have different properties like their rarity, firepower, rate of fire, and accuracy, and can have several elemental attack types, like corrosive acid, explosive,fiery, or static shock damage which depletes shields.

In combat you’ll be protected by a regenerating shield, and you can heal with either medpacks or instant health items. There are also health-stealing weapons available. If you take deadly damage, you’ll be able to revive your character by killing an enemy just before your character dies, or you’ll die and be revived at a quick save station for a bit of money. If you are in a multiplayer game, you’ll also be able to get revived by a teammate. You’ll be able to get around quickly once you’ve unlocked vehicles. These rides can also be used to kill all creatures you might encounter, and fight other vehicles. You’ll also unlock a fast-travel network, which will let you travel around even easier when you need to cover great distances.

You’ll be able to play this game solo, or cooperate together with up to four players. If you play local multiplayer, you can play co-op using split-screen. You can also choose to battle fellow players in arenas you’ll encounter throughout the world.

This remake also offers an improved UI, more challenging bosses, new items, and more customization options for you characters.

Conclusion

Borderlands is a great game: it’s the first game in a very successful and popular series, and this remastered version is a perfect way to experience this game again. The story is good and fun, the characters are gloriously peculiar, the combat mechanics are great, and the game keeps being good amusement which will get you to come back and play a little bit more. If you never experienced this game: get it. It’s worth it; you’ll have fun, whether you play alone or with friends. If you own the original on PC, you’ve probably gotten this remastered version as a free upgrade, including all DLC. You should take the opportunity to play it again; it’s a great way to get back into the setting of the game before the release of Borderlands 3.

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Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)
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Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition - Review, 8.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Anmaja
Anmaja


I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

1 Comment

  1. […] of new enemies, locales, and weaponry. You can find our various reviews of the series right here: original, Borderlands 2  and the Tales from the […]

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