GamesCom 2009: Borderlands Preview - Revisiting Pandora's Box of Tricks
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Oh Borderlands, Borderlands, my how you’ve changed. To think it was just over a year ago when we got to check you out for the first time and so much has changed since then. Sure, it may only be a new art style, but like I’ve said so many times before; it gives the title a second wind, a new personality and we’re sure it’ll give the title wings this coming October.

Borderlands is a role playing shooter that takes place on the lawless, bandit ridden planet of Pandora and tells the story of a group of misfits – each with their own motives for tackling the wilderness – who are searching for some powerful alien technology. You can choose to play the title as one of four characters; Mordecai (the hunter), Brick (the heavy), Roland (the soldier) and Lilith (the siren, essentially a mage); with each different class and character having their own specialities. For instance; Mordecai has access to a “blood wing” which is basically a flesh eating bat, Lilith can turn invisible for a short length of time with her “phase walk” ability, and Brick can activate a “berserker” mode that makes him relatively indestructible and makes his melee attacks brutally powerful for a short length of time. The reliance in the title is thrown on the game’s robust drop-in, drop-out 4 player co-op experience where the world’s difficulty level will scale dependent on you and your crew. You’ll be glad to hear that the characters are persistent and you take them with you everywhere, whether it’s single player, co-op over Live or split-screen.

Each character will have access to their own skill tree and can level up their skills accordingly allowing players to branch out on certain paths that will fit their play style. Gearbox pointed out that Roland was able to learn medic skills for instance and work up towards the medic healing bullets which sounds like be a great – and supremely fun – tool for the group to have at their disposal.

The game will be broke down into primary and secondary quests – of which we got chance to check both out behind-closed-doors. The primary quests, which are story related, make up for about 30 missions overall, with there being around 130 secondary (side) quests which will all carry their own rewards and bonuses. In the 30 minute demo we were treated to, we got chance to see the Gearbox co-op crew rescue Lucky from a barn in Lucky Quest, defeat a huge Skagzilla – the skag master – after luring him out of a cave with some bait in Big Game Hunting, and killing Mad Mel in Mad Mel’s Arena. The few missions we managed to get a good look at showed that the game boasted a good variety of missions – although, everything was heavy on the combat... like majorly!

There is a huge emphasis on looting in Borderlands which is probably why there is 3 million plus guns. It’s worth noting, in case you didn’t know, that the 3 million plus guns are procedurally created and they can differ in terms of clip size, firing speed, damage effects, stocks and different barrels amongst other things. The weapons themselves all have colour ratings on how powerful and how rare they are – think Too Human’s weapon and armour system. Purple are the “epic” weapons and to the delight of Gearbox’s co-op team they picked one up during the demo; “oh wow, I’ve got a purple,” “wow, a purple!?” You’ll also have access to some pretty fancy grenades as well and the incendiary grenades produce a nice fire effect when used. If however you take a bit of a beating – by the way you have regenerative shield, but not regenerative health – and you do manage to get taken out, it will initiate a “fight for your life” sequence. The “fight for your life” sequence is reminiscent of the Last Stand perk in Call of Duty 4, except if you get a kill whilst you’re down, you can get to your feet and continue in a weaker state. If that fails, one of your team mates can help you up.

If you get bored of fighting the local wildlife and wasteland bandits, you can melee your team mate and if they melee back, you can initiate a duelling session. At this point a dome will appear around the two of you and you can have a little spar with one another to find out who’s the champ – a little harmless fun but a welcome distraction that I’m sure will be used a lot throughout many a co-op adventure.

Getting around Pandora is fairly easy thanks to the inclusion of Mad Max style buggies where you can engage in some wasteland vehicular combat with the locals. The ability to drive as a two-some –we’re presume there will be bigger vehicles as well – and switch from driver to gunner on the fly is a nice touch... especially if you suck at driving like me... I have the uncanny ability to drive into a wall in the middle of a desert! If you want to get somewhere across the other side of Pandora quickly, you can take advantage of the planet’s Fast Travel system... providing it’s working in the area you want to travel to/from which we presume is controlled by the story.

The RPG elements on show were a mixed bag. On the one hand we got to check out the skill tree and how they levelled up, the huge amount of guns and ammo types, and the real differences between the classes... and they’re all pretty deep. On the other hand, we didn’t get to see much story or much interaction with the world and it seemed like more shooting and combat than anything else. You could chalk that down to the relatively short demo slots though; we only have half an hour and you can’t see absolutely everything, although we wish we could.

If I had to dig deep and put my finger on possible hang ups the title may have, it would fall squarely on two things; the story and how deep the RPG aspects really go outside the combat; both of which are hard to assess from a preview of a vertical slice of the game. Hey, I said I was digging deep. Other than that though, Borderlands is shaping up to be a winner and has something in there for RPG fans and FPS nuts alike. Have I said how beautiful it looks? Only a bazillion times, but the whole art style for me is a breath of fresh air from the photo realistic games that the market is currently saturated with. Expect to see plenty of content as well, with the main story taking around 15-20 hours to complete, but when you go through all the other side quests and what not, you’re looking at 60-70 hours. There is even a Game Plus Mode after you’ve finished that should you wish to play it some more. Quite simply put, Borderlands oozes class, style and charisma and we’re hoping for no hang ups this coming October.

Borderlands hits the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC this coming October 20th and 23rd in North America and Europe respectively.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 454
Comment #1 by drakehellsing
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 01:22:09 AM
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Game looks like crap. Saw a video of it and it doesn't interest me in the slightest.

Forum Posts: 210
Comment #2 by xXI A ROD IXx
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 01:28:19 AM
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This game is going to be so much fun! I cant wait to play it with my friends.

Forum Posts: 178
Comment #3 by Blue Thunder28
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 01:39:18 AM
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This looks so fun!!! I can't even believe it.

Forum Posts: 46
Comment #4 by Dead Giveaway
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 02:07:43 AM
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It's the only new IP i'll be getting this Fall.

Everything else is already tried & true. (Modern Warfare, ODST, Marvel & Left 4 Dead.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #5 by FRO
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 02:08:47 AM
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SICKKKKKKK, like fallout game meets graphics of crackdown

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #6 by Predator Raven
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 02:09:10 AM
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This game looks so bad. Gotta to go with #1. Bioshock 2 is going to be better.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #7 by hispanicplaya
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 02:18:06 AM
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mmmmm damn im tied btwn gettin it and passin it up.....i guess we'll see how it all turns out eh cuz once this dude brought up bio 2 WHICH IS DEF #1 on my list for next makes it tought to not wanna spend so much when one game might be waaaay betta than anotha...hmm ill wait for a review by GT =] then decide

Forum Posts: 22
Comment #8 by purplerogue
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 02:21:12 AM
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cant wait for it must have for me this with MW2 will keep me going for a long time

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #9 by hispanicplaya
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 02:23:59 AM
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actually now that i read it i think imma still go wit ma original instinct to get it...cuz jus as on of the upper comme nts stgated...crackdown meets fallout....def a match made in heaven =]

Forum Posts: 208
Comment #10 by xHHx CURT
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 02:47:29 AM
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if it wasn't 4 player co-op i wouldn't think about getting it, but there aint many out there... didnt like the first lost planet but im getting that to... look how much a small feature does...

Forum Posts: 311
Comment #11 by DeviousD
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 02:48:24 AM
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Must admit it looks crap "Crackdown meets Fallout" more like crack head meets outcast.

Forum Posts: 120
Comment #12 by DeadAtTheScene
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 02:49:03 AM
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i can't understand how anyone could look at this and think its bad. This game looks beautiful and has risen to my #1 game I'm getting for this season. Im extremely impressed with what gearbox has done.

Forum Posts: 109
Comment #13 by Evans214
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 03:03:11 AM
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Buying this on release day. Very excited, will be going for 1000 no matter how good/bad the game is. Send me a message if you want to partner up for the 1000.

Forum Posts: 53
Comment #14 by JT Gregory
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 03:04:37 AM
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@5 dont u thinthe graphics are more like the new prince of persia

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #15 by asilentboom
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 03:06:23 AM
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This game looks amazing to me though will definitely be getting this. I'm glad they incorporated splitscreen co-op also.

Forum Posts: 18
Comment #16 by BerserkMidget08
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 03:40:26 AM
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Sweet - yeah, without the multiplayer element this game wouldn't surpass Fallout but I think this will rack up more time than Bethesda's masterpiece for me.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #17 by Soama
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 03:49:38 AM
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Looks good, but as i said before, too many good games are coming out to make this a defonate buy. Maybe for christmas if im lucky.

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #18 by Jew Tremin
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 04:21:22 AM
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Good for you mate, glad you told us.

Forum Posts: 1207
Comment #19 by DJConnelly
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 04:23:31 AM
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Why do some people have such a problem with the new look on this game? There is nothing wrong with it! It's gonna be an awesome game.

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #20 by Muscle Blade
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 05:55:33 AM
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@Muffin Man

Is that some new kind of English your writing?

Here in Norway thats not the english we learn in school.

Forum Posts: 57
Comment #21 by Needle
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 07:00:58 AM
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already pre-ordered :)
i love it

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #22 by Woodzr
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 07:05:12 AM
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Game looks EPIC, first day buy for me =D

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #23 by Gentleman
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 07:12:59 AM
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Now I'm off to pre-order!

Forum Posts: 59
Comment #24 by zeroy042
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 07:15:25 AM
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this game looks awesome-

Forum Posts: 55
Comment #25 by DragonYen
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 07:21:20 AM
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I played the game (got to do some focus testing at Gearbox)... I'm still under NDA, so I can't really talk about the game, but I've already ordered it from Best Buy (which has a buy 1, get one 50% off right now -- or at least did yesterday) which works on pre-ordered games. I bought this along with Modern Warfare 2.

Forum Posts: 37
Comment #26 by Spartan C37
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 07:24:23 AM
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I'm slightly worried about the graphics but the game does look like a lot of fun...i'm on the fence here but i'm hoping when it draws closer to it's release date i'll be convinced to buy it :)

Forum Posts: 49
Comment #27 by Filapano
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 07:25:23 AM
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I got this fully reserved and everything.

They didn't even mention the PvP features in the article =/

Forum Posts: 14795
Comment #28 by Webb [STAFF]
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 07:42:54 AM
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PvP? You mean duelling? I'm pretty sure that's mentioned =P

Forum Posts: 1185
Comment #29 by MartyMcFly
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 08:16:54 AM
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This game looks amazing, as I've said many times. Can't wait to get my hands on it. This will be the best multiplayer experience of the year I'm betting!

Forum Posts: 1068
Comment #30 by The Bum-Mobile
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 08:36:20 AM
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I've been waiting for this since 2007, and man oh man, everything they've changed has been for the better it seems. Simply cannot wait for this one.

Forum Posts: 65
Comment #31 by ZoMbiE_DooMsDaY
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 08:59:06 AM
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Man this game keeps looking better and better I'm geting this game DAY 1. Looking for some buddies who are down for 1000G this game send me a Friend invite if your down.

Forum Posts: 331
Comment #32 by dragon strife 1
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 09:06:29 AM
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pre-order ages ago :), @1 tho, y did u bother to come on this tread if u hated the game already? kinda pointless,
Any way, goty :D

Forum Posts: 755
Comment #33 by l.maciver
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 09:09:03 AM
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cool, try the game demo if theres one first. but ill probly be playin many of the other new games.

Forum Posts: 496
Comment #34 by oRedBull
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 10:30:55 AM
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@1 you couldn't be more wrong

Forum Posts: 83
Comment #35 by totalstranger
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 10:41:05 AM
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this is a must buy.
looks like a lot of fun

Hopefully MS does not try selling Purple guns on the Marketplace for 1200MSP

Forum Posts: 239
Comment #36 by SuperWoody64
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 11:32:40 AM
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Graphics don't mean anything if the game sucks. Anyone remember Rise of the Machines for 3D0?

This game looks really really good to me though. Kinda like an FPS diablo of sorts. I'm sold.

Forum Posts: 501
Comment #37 by CrossFireZX5
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 11:58:49 AM
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Gonna be awesome Can't Wait!

Forum Posts: 1003
Comment #38 by Dr Popodopolus
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 12:00:42 PM
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LOL @35.

Must pre-order... like now...

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #39 by Fata1Stryke
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 12:11:40 PM
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Damn, I am pumped for this, hopefully a first day buy.

Forum Posts: 789
Comment #40 by mosin360
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 12:53:42 PM
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Been watching this game for a month now and I'm still just as excited. I got at least five friends buying it plus myself on release day. Personally I rather have more combat then rpg so this game will rule my 360 for months and more months with DLC.

Forum Posts: 87
Comment #41 by dylanmannen
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 01:35:42 PM
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this game looks awsom. going to get this on my B day in november :P

Forum Posts: 71
Comment #42 by adbailey18
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 02:03:42 PM
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Liking the sound of this game!! More I read and watch of it makes me wanna play right now! Anyone for some co-op punch up's, suckers lol. No seriously, I will be getting this game so up for joining a team to play through it :)

Forum Posts: 504
Comment #43 by padraiglovesyou
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 02:42:39 PM
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I'll be getting this the morning it comes out, been excited about it since day one :)

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #44 by Acid Mother
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 03:23:59 PM
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2-player RPG co-op was insta-sale from me.

Forum Posts: 462
Comment #45 by L1E
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 05:02:07 PM
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This game seems like it will be an amazing experience. I can't wait to play it.

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #46 by TrUe BoSs03
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 05:13:34 PM
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Why are people comparing this to fallout 3 this is a rentable game not a buyable in my list but if it proves to be good then i might buy it.

Forum Posts: 500
Comment #47 by Powerman1469
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 06:41:52 PM
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drakehellsing is a doucher

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #48 by Monoplay796
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 07:22:25 PM
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already pre-ordered ive been waiting for a loooooong time :)

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #49 by IDI xWHITE OUTx
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 08:13:03 PM
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Dayyuummm cannot wait. So much time put into the game and so much we will receive.

Forum Posts: 110
Comment #50 by TheATC
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 11:42:58 PM
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The E3 demo was amazing graphics and everything but is just terrible. Had a lot of potential.

Forum Posts: 1896
Comment #51 by Joker0fLife
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 11:44:55 PM
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@46 It's definitely a buy. I'm betting the only reason you bought Fallout 3 is because Fallout 1&2 influenced you. If this was Borderlands 3, you'd probably pre-order it.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #52 by stix3
Wednesday, September 02, 2009 @ 01:24:15 AM
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I have been waiting for this game since they put it out there two years ago. I cant wait much longer

Forum Posts: 41
Comment #53 by DipCheese83
Wednesday, September 02, 2009 @ 02:59:58 AM
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Fallout 1 meets Crackdown graphics. I won't be getting this.

Forum Posts: 3
Comment #54 by AFRO NINJA NZ
Wednesday, September 02, 2009 @ 03:27:39 AM
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Looks better now but purple guns? big as guy with purple guns is gonna look a bit odd.
already pre-ordered and gonna 1000/1000 it

Forum Posts: 17
Comment #55 by Here in NZ
Wednesday, September 02, 2009 @ 05:47:28 AM
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I hope I made the right choice choosing this

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #56 by Cymraegddraig
Wednesday, September 02, 2009 @ 07:08:05 AM
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Looks like a bit of mix between Fallout 3 and too human.

Hope its as good as some people make it out to possibly be.

Forum Posts: 32
Comment #57 by Vandiloo
Wednesday, September 02, 2009 @ 09:20:53 AM
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I don't think the people that say this game looks like crap are looking at the same game I am! I think this wiil be the sleeper hit of 2009. Also, when they say "purple guns" this is a reference to the color of the writing of the guns name in the description, not the actual color of the gun itself. This terminology comes from MMO's and indicates the quality of item. From worst to best: Grey(trash), White(commom), Green(uncommon), Blue(superior) and Purple(epic). Some games toss in other colors as well.

Forum Posts: 34
Comment #58 by Alex Goodman
Thursday, September 03, 2009 @ 08:26:12 AM
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@57 My thoughts too. It may not start off the greatest but if it's fun and the word gets around through friends then i'm it'll turn out just to be a sleeper hit.

Will be getting this, can't wait.

Forum Posts: 42
Comment #59 by Grimm Tim
Thursday, September 03, 2009 @ 12:42:08 PM
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This is either going to be pretty good or really bad

Forum Posts: 53
Comment #60 by Whatley2
Thursday, September 03, 2009 @ 03:33:23 PM
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Lol, "purples." Reminds me of my MMO days.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #61 by XxFalseshotxX
Thursday, September 03, 2009 @ 06:50:59 PM
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@1 - That's what happens when you try to bring down a game without reason, people trash you.

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #62 by bigmitch256
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 01:10:26 AM
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if i could only get 1 game this year it would be dragon age................but if i could only get 2 it would be dragon age and borderlands lol all joking aside this game looks like it could be as fun co-op as L4D and as as enthralling as fallout 3 i can barely wait!

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #63 by ANDAWOO
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 11:17:17 AM
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This game is going to be one of the top games of 2009. Just the way they are going about this game with the concept art style in the game brings a whole new aspect of gameplay to this game. Aside from the art style of the game the system they are using for experience is incredible, and with the endless combinations of weapons you can create and massive world to explore with up to three of your other friends. This is definitely going to be a game you can play for hours with out it getting old. And thats where this games major selling point is going to be.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #64 by scott1234678
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 01:20:10 PM
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looking forward to this one shall be a great game to play with my mates like the idea of xp and leveling up .

Forum Posts: 101
Comment #65 by Gorillaz951
Saturday, September 05, 2009 @ 02:51:38 PM
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I know it's been said many times by other users, but go troll somewhere else! Your opinion means nothing to us.

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #66 by MichaelMCP
Sunday, September 06, 2009 @ 10:14:00 PM
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I'm skeptical about whether or not so many weapons will play against it or aid it. Here's hoping it turns out good.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #67 by blaydium
Sunday, September 06, 2009 @ 11:25:59 PM
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This game has me truly excited, can't wait to get a copy! and to MichaelMCP, it won't work against it: The weapons are color coded for quality, so you can easily decide which is better. Trust me on this, you'll get used to it easy. Not sure if you've played Diablo2 or World of Warcraft hehe :)

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #68 by blaydium
Sunday, September 06, 2009 @ 11:27:13 PM
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btw #1 obviously is wrong ROFL!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #69 by CheesyToast111
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 05:01:47 PM
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Gonna be amazing, just hope its a big world and the online doesn't suck.

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #70 by Rampagin Sheep
Thursday, September 10, 2009 @ 12:30:19 AM
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Hoping this game pulls out the weapons like D2...It has a ton of potential...I've had it pre-ordered for a year now. And the fact that it keeps your character no matter what mode you're in will make it very interesting for online.

Forum Posts: 3
Comment #71 by FriendlyShinobi
Thursday, September 10, 2009 @ 04:38:14 PM
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It's got 3 bazillion guns I'm there. Also think that trolls suck. Too bash a game before you try it is narrow-minded and silly.

Forum Posts: 137
Comment #72 by Voxael
Friday, September 11, 2009 @ 12:40:58 AM
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I wasn't interested in this when I first found out about it. The more I see of it though, the more I want it day one.

Stupid chrismas line up...

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #73 by ReviewingJunk
Saturday, September 12, 2009 @ 05:46:25 PM
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i can not decide if i want this or not. it looks like a decent shooter or fallout 3 with a better art style. should i get it

Forum Posts: 1794
Comment #74 by Midnight Malice
Saturday, September 12, 2009 @ 10:21:24 PM
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same as #72 I am not big on cell shaded, this is close, but the more I see, and the more I hear about it makes me want it, but there are so many others to play, this will probably be good, but the timing for release couldn't be worse. I want it, but will probably only rent it, unless it is really good, or really long, then I'll just keep it from gamefly for a long time.

Forum Posts: 28
Comment #75 by l BANi l Shadow
Sunday, September 13, 2009 @ 04:59:37 AM
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looks good i'm gettin it

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #76 by mattman1127
Sunday, September 13, 2009 @ 08:45:40 PM
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Don't know about y'all but I hated Fallout 3. This game looks NOTHING like Fagout 3 anyway, so I don't know why people mention it. I can't wait for this game.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #77 by clownzombie333
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 03:58:20 PM
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I Can't wait for it looks great. Cant wait for the rpg with a fps mix other than falout 3

Forum Posts: 22
Comment #78 by Arcade R0b0t
Monday, September 21, 2009 @ 10:06:38 PM
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Forum Posts: 22
Comment #79 by Arcade R0b0t
Monday, September 21, 2009 @ 10:08:06 PM
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not really.

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Game Info
Gearbox Software
2K Games


US October 20, 2009
Europe October 23, 2009

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