Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
If You Were trapped on an increasingly depressing planet, with increasingly hostile inhabitants and vast stretches of parched desert, with thousands of different kinds of guns and buggies and vigilantes and explosions, what would you do? Aha! Trick question, you'd do exactly what you're doing now - sit about and read magazines - because we've just described planet Earth.
Of course, things would be different if Earth was in space (far-away space, we mean), and you'd most likely team up with exactly three friends and take on missions, levelling up and collecting increasingly powerful weapons with which to take down local wildlife. Until then, here's a game pretty much about that. And it's a pretty game as well, having been morphed from a dull-brown shooter, into a cel-shaded one.
Friends Like These...
The game's a triumph of co-operative online play. You'll be able to hop into your friends' games and, as your character is persistent, bring back shed loads of loot to help you out in your own adventures.
These little guys are skags, low-level pests on par with with fantasy rats. They come in different elemental flavours such as fire and ice, and can be crushed beneath the wheels of the game's various vehicles. Squish!
Scraps will be fast and frenetic, with a Halo-style recharging shield acting as your first line of defence, and a regular old cache of hit points sitting underneath that. Enemies drop lovely randomised loot.
The setting is Pandora, a distant planet with a distinct, dusty, lawless Wild West feel to it. It'll be a huge place too, taking hours to cross. Think Joss Whedon's Firefly, with extra guns and weird aliens.
At its core, Borderlands is a shooty-shooter game with some weighty RPG bells on. You'll collect XP for milling through enemies, and level up your proficiency in weapons by upgrading your science-fiction looking hardware implants.
One Man Army
The biggest feather in Borderlands' multi-feathered cap is the sheer number of weapons available. Over 500,000 is the official count, though they're procedurally generated, and often differ only in very slight ways.
The Game With a billion different guns comes from a developer with a billion different projects. Not only have Gearbox just finished work on Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, but they're also working on Sega's new Alien shooter, Colonial Marines, as well as some new unannounced stuff.
With Borderlands you've got a distant future, an alien planet, a vast array of weapons based around a handful of archetypes and factors, and some vehicular combat similar to Halo. To that end, the game will feature co-op play, which is always a treat. There'll also be a character development aspect, which should affect what weapons and armour you use and wear. Our faces hurt from making ever-more shocked expressions every time the weapon count ups, but keep in mind it'll function like those 99,999-in-l games you get in pound shops: endless variations on a few base ideas. Should be fun though.