The +15 Hood Of Hoodwinking

I’m a fairly social gamer, and one of my favourite game modes for any game is a co-operative mode. There are those, *cough* Laura *cough*, who prefer flat-out deathmatch modes, but I’ve always been more of a fan of keeping my human buddies on side while we cut a swathe through hordes of computer controlled baddies. So it was with this in mind that my ears pricked up recently, when a new thread appeared on our forum discussing a game called Borderlands. Somehow this game had managed to entirely slip by under my radar until about a week before its launch, but here it was, a first person shooter that you can play with up to four players together co-operatively. And lots of Ready Up-pers were buying it. I had to be part of this, and thus, I nipped out to the shops on launch day, procured myself a copy and headed online.

Clearly a shooter. There's explosions and everything.
Clearly a shooter. There's explosions and everything.

I feel that maybe now would be a good time to point out something I’ve frequently said before, which is that the only RPG I like is a rocket propelled grenade, and levelling up, quests, statistics and inventory management hold little to no interest for me.

That’s okay, though, because Borderlands isn’t a role playing game. It’s a shooter. Look, it’s got loads of guns, a nice cel-shaded style, and you can even run things over in cars (Often an important selling point for me, which probably explains my deep love of all things GTA). Sure, numbers indicating damage come up on the screen when you shoot baddies, but that’s just a nice graphical touch, nothing else, right?

Hang on, that looks like a skill tree...
Hang on, that looks like a skill tree…

It was when I came to play online with other people more familiar with RPGs that alarm bells began to ring. When you take a job in the game, I’d been calling that a “mission”. Other RUers were calling this a “quest”. Quest? That sounds like something from World of Warcraft or some kind of RPG – and I don’t play silly games like that. Oh no, no, no. Surely they must have meant “mission” and just said the wrong word. Later on I was given a mission (that’s right, a mission) by a character to go and flick on a couple of switches. The switches turned out to be less than 20ft away from the mission start point. I made a comment to one of my fellow players over my headset along the lines of “Damn, these people are some seriously lazy ****s!” and got back a laughing comment of “You say that like you’ve never played an MMO before!” I hadn’t. I wasn’t. Surely?

I was. And it didn’t put me off. Borderlands had cunningly lured me in with the promise of loads of shooting space-animals in the face with shotguns, and then cleverly manipulated me into carefully comparing the stats of hundreds of random weapons and shields on the off-chance of finding a blinder. There I was, applying elemental crystals to guns to give me the best effect against certain types of elemental baddies, and carefully allocating skill points for maximum effect. And I was enjoying it.

Getting people out of their genre rut is no mean feat, and I hereby salute the guys and girls of 2K games for successfully managing to get me to make that transition.


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5 responses to “The +15 Hood Of Hoodwinking”

  1. Rhyle avatar
    Rhyle

    Hahaha…I know the feeling – Fallout 3 grabbed me in the same way. Can’t wait to get my hands on Borderlands but it’s going to have to wait for xmas!

    Good post!

  2. Laura avatar
    Laura

    Hehe I got the achievement for taking no damage during a duel whilst playing with you, Tony 😛

    Awesome blog, it’s so true! Borderlands is genius 🙂

  3. MrCuddleswick avatar
    MrCuddleswick

    Looks like a good game but there’s just too much coming out right now. I agree with you on the coop though – I’m happiest fighting off hordes of enemies with friends. It’s great that there are so
    many coop opportunities these days – when I was young the best I could get was Gauntlet or Bubble Bobble. Nice piece!

  4. Darach avatar
    Darach

    Oh >.< you really tempted me with this blog.
    There's so much love going around for Borderlands at the moment 🙂

  5. Duncan avatar
    Duncan

    Great post Tony!

    If it hadn’t been for the co-op mode I doubt I’d have sprung for this one, but the RU community was just too strong. 😀

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