I put in about two hours with this last night and I am feeling like an addiction is upcoming, just have to get some of you guys on to play coop. I took this from eurogamer review::
Co-op is arguably how Borderlands is meant to be played. While the quests in the single-player are adequate to the task of keeping you occupied and entertained, the ludicrous ramping of enemy numbers and power when friends join makes the experience far, far more chaotic, and therefore more entertaining. Being able to keep each other going in that Gears-of-War-buddy-system way means that large fights can roll on without you have to beat a hasty retreat from heavy resistance. The way the game scales, the character types overlapping, means that any number suits the game. Two or three players is just fine, no matter what the task at hand. The soldier character can even act as a healer, shooting health into his team-mates, while plenty of other passive effects from each of the characters boosts the group in various ways.
With four players, it's a riot, and they can drop in and out as you go. Campaigns are set up so you can get three other people to come in and join your particular quest arc. As the host it's your storyline people will enter, but they still benefit from being there: levels, weapons, and missions collected in the online game transfer back to everyone's single-player game, with anything that's out of your level band simply inaccessible until you've got to a higher level. I suspect playing with strangers might be a bit of a task, mind you, as there's no loot binding, and anyone can pick up anything. So watch out for loot-hoovers. Quote:
By this stage in the review the shooter fans are probably screaming to know what Borderlands is actually like as a shooter. Well, it's a better gun-game than Fallout 3, and that's because it is in many respects an fairly traditional FPS. It's got a Halo-style shield recharge, and whether you hit someone largely depends on your personal skill, although there is some spread and wobble in the different guns, which I presume is defined by the accuracy stat. Headshots do more damage, although it's a "critical" in this case, and that may or may not be a kill depending the other factor the game introduces: level difference.
It's not the case that the game simply levels up with you, although it does to some small degree. Enemies will be higher or lower level than you depending on the area you're in and the mission you are doing. Fighting enemies at a similar or lower level than yourself makes the experience rather like a typical FPS, with enemies taking just a couple of hits to go down. Higher-level or "named" enemies, however, will need to be pumped full of damage to be defeated. It's not realistic, but it is highly entertaining. Weapons feel right: the effects are beautifully moderated so that when you get something more powerful, with a higher rate of fire, you really know about it. Fast-firing bazookas are a near-comedy mode of killing things. Quote:
Nevertheless, the repetition in Borderlands is basically unavoidable, because the game is so long and so huge. While most shooters are over in a few hours, Borderlands demands considerably more time to get through. Despite the pay-off of ultraviolent gun action, it does get grindy, especially in a solo game. I lost track of quite how long it took me, but I'd estimate 30 hours, possibly less. This is enough time to get to the mid-30s, at which point the game is reset at a higher level. It's quite possible, therefore, to keep playing up to the level cap at 50, against a much tougher gameworld. This should allow you to max out the skill trees, which define the focus of the special abilities you exhibit in-game.
There are some other problems too, such as the character design. The four archetypes really aren't different or interesting enough. Sure, they all need to be suitable for single-player, but they're not cut out for classic character status, nor do their powers extend much beyond simply pumping out damage in different ways.
Mordecai, the hunter, has probably the weakest special ability, which is a bird. Initially I found this useful because it deals a significant amount of damage, but as time goes on it seems relatively unimpressive and often fails to connect with a target. I abandoned it and respecced (yes, you can reset talents and spend your skillpoints again, like in an MMO) for a more sniper-focused build.
The soldier character, Roland, has a turret. That alone makes me think that plenty of co-op games are going to see gangs of Rolands (as you can play with any mix of characters) running around together. The turret can pump people's health and ammo back up, as well as acting as cover. Lilith's phase walk, meanwhile, where she becomes a damage-dispensing ghost, is an interesting idea, as you can end up electrocuting and burning people with an hybrid area-of-effect attack. It's an odd mode of play, however, and some players are definitely going to focus on guns.
The one character who genuinely seems to play differently in an entertaining way is Brick, who can smack the living s*** out of anything with his berserk mode. Pump this up as you play and you end up with a close-range punch-monster, or a tank. Either makes for an entertaining mode of play. Quote:
Borderlands is unusual, playable, and an artfully violent step in an interesting direction for Gearbox. The story aspect of the game could have been better - I'd love to have seen the role-playing influence extend beyond stats, levels and loot - and the ending is a disappointment. Even so, this should be a favourite game of the year for a huge number of people, since it plugs into gamer impulses at such a fundamental level. We blow things up and collect the goodies. That part, at least, Gearbox has nailed.