Posted on March 11, 2022 by Tooniversal
The Borderlands Experience
If you’ve been around my streams at all, you know I love recommending the things that I’m passionate about with others. Whether its Coca-Cola with Coffee or the hottest new single, I just want to share what I love with others because I think they may derive pleasure from it as well. As I look forward to Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands’ release March 25th, I’m reflecting on my Borderlands experience over the last few years. Though I’m late to the party with the Borderlands series, my appreciation for its style & gameplay are rooted firmly. So let me share my Borderlands experience with you; and give you some reasons to try it if you’ve never considered it.
Welcome to Borderlands
In the Borderlands series, you play a character who is a “vault hunter”. Vault Hunters search throughout the galaxy for Eridian Vaults which house promises of treasure & wealth for those that can get the key to unlock them. The game features open-world RPG elements, including unique playable characters with their own skill trees & special abilities. Its famed loot table makes it a favorite of fans, with seemingly infinite possibilities.
Borderlands 3 was released in September of 2019, & I vividly remember my friends RubyStatue & CreativeDude encouraging me to give it a try. I respectively declined at the time. I was deep into Fallout 76 & was focused on being a part of building the community on Twitch. I took a look at one of C-Dude’s streams of BL3, & decided that the graphics were too off-putting for me to try out. I guess cell-shading was a big hindrance for me at the time.
But around Christmas of that same year, some friends of mine from back home picked up Borderlands 2 GOTYE on Switch, & encouraged me to give it a try. It had co-op capabilities & it was on sale, so I took the plunge & went for it. I had no idea that Borderlands would have such a lasting impression on me.
Open World RPG? Sign Me Up!
Most viewers know about my content because of my ties to Fallout, but did you know that Fallout isn’t even my favorite game series of all time? My heart belongs to Elder Scrolls! The Elder Scrolls series introduced me to open-world gaming, even in its early stages with Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. It struck a tone with me that would shape the way that I consumed gaming & what I looked for in games to play in my spare time. Outside of Bethesda’s single-player RPGs, I’ve tried a few others, but I kept coming back to Bethesda for their compelling stories & industry-shaping game mechanics.
While Borderlands may not have some of the robust, seamless open-world elements, it does have the open-world feel that allows you to explore & complete objectives with a lot of freedom. In Borderlands 2, you’re only separated from the expansive map of Pandora by a loading screen to the next area. And with an excellent fast travel network, it’s easy to get where you need to go. Each area feels large enough, & the Catch-A-Ride system (please tell me you read that in Scooter’s voice) can spawn a vehicle to get you from one side to the other. Each area is populated with quirky side quests, unique creatures & bandits, & dynamic topography.
When you think of a full-fledged RPG, one of the best parts in the character creation. Modern RPGs have allowed customization down to the slightest detail. From eye color, to hairstyles, to scars & tattoos, you can play as a character that is only limited to your imagination. While Borderlands may not allow you to get that detailed with your character, it does offer some customization options. Each character is locked to specific person. Cosmetic customization is achieved through finding various head options & skins that can drop through out your playing experience. You may not be able to get those particular elf ears you wanted, but you can get a sick Pumpkin Head with an outfit representing your favorite in-game weapon manufacturer.
Aside from customizing your character’s outward appearance, each one has certain class with its own special ability & set of skill trees that are specific to them. From a dual-weapon wielding gunzerker to a beast summoning beast master, there is a wide variety of ways to play the series in a way that suits your taste; or choose something out of your comfort zone that you don’t normally choose in other RPGs.
Unforgettable Quirky Characters
Borderlands combines two things that can be challenging to blend well, but when done seamlessly, it can be a beautiful situation. These two elements are: humor & thrilling action. One piece of work that accomplishes this well is the movie The Fifth Element. Like The Fifth Element, Borderlands’ story is driven by a dynamic & quirky cast of characters. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the catchphrases & side quests they would send me on. This is combined with thoughtful & compelling storytelling that is presented in such a way that you resonate with both the strengths & weaknesses of each character. My favorite character (& almost anyone else who is a fan of the series) by far is Tiny Tina. This thirteen-year-old explosives expert will leave you in stitches with some of her lines in Borderlands 2. As silly & quirky as she is, she also presents some touching moments in one of the DLC expansions.
Loot, Glorious Loot
Borderlands puts the “loot” in the Looter/Shooter genre. Players have a plethora of choices when it comes to loot. Wikipedia credits Borderlands reaching World Record status with over 17 million possible gun combinations & the later versions having even more. You can spend time farming a particular enemy to receive a particular shield, relic, class mod, or weapon that suits your character & their build. Opening a chest is like opening a gift on Christmas morning. And the larger the chest, the more excitement it generates. Some chests have a chance to produce rarer loot than others, so look out for those chests in your exploration.
The Case For Borderlands
With Tiny Tina's Wonderlands releasing in two weeks, I wanted to share my appreciation for this series. My short list of reasons to pick any of these games up for yourself doesn’t even scratch the surface. If you’re like me & love open-world games, this series is for you. If you love a fun grind with seemingly innumerable loot possibilities, this series is for you. If you love a good story with characters that will make you smile long after you’ve turned off your console or PC, this series is for you. If you love flexibility within your gaming experiences, this series is for you. With so many opportunities & affordable prices, the Borderlands series will keep you entertained for hours to come.