Best Game of 2009: Borderlands

Borderlands swooped in, diddled my post-apocalyptic skittle, and I never looked back. The action-packed yin to (my personal 2008 Game of the Year) Fallout 3’s deliberately-paced yang, it was a great way to close out this otherwise droll year.


Truth be told, the individual components that constitute Borderlands don’t really make for a compelling game. The gunplay—while competent—lacks that extra “oomph” of more established FPS entries, and the RPG bits are bereft of the item slots, consistent narrative, intuitive interface, and deep character customization of conventional Diablo clones. I’ve heard people complain that it’s nothing more than a tech demo for a bigger and better game, and y’know what… I really can’t argue with that.

It’s the videogame equivalent of a 3AM gasoline station taco: you know it really isn’t that good, but for what it is, it’s good enough, and fills a need. I’m not exactly sure what that need is personally, but I think it has to do with shooting things with your friends and collecting more things that the aforementioned things drop. Gearbox deserves major props for probably being the first team to successfully meld the two most played-out genres in gaming (click-click-click loot games and first-person shooters).



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