Tips and Tricks - Borderlands

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Borderlands We finally cracked what makes Borderlands fun. It wasn't easy, and it took a few days. But after slogging away at splitscreen co-op and wondering for far too long what all the fuss was about, we get it.

Borderlands is an FPS RPG. It's as if Fallout 3, Halo and BioShock somehow mated and created a beautiful cel-shaded child. But as beautiful as it is, it's also shallow and complex at the same time. On the one hand, it's a very lightweight RPG with a few skill trees you can build as you level up. It's also disjointed and confusing and has more weapons than you can possibly handle, with confusing names and even more confusing menus to buy, sell and compare them. The menus are even harder to follow when playing splitscreen because you have to horizontally scroll to view them, even on a 42-inch widescreen TV.

Also, some of the initial challenges are out of balance. Early on, you encounter a guy named Bone Head. If you're not at least a level 10, you should run off, do some side missions and level up (11-12 is apparently ideal). Turns out, if you're significantly below an enemies level, you do negligible damage to them regardless of your weapon's stats.

Tonight, we went off on some overlapping side quests in Skag Gully and shot us some mutant dogs. And it was great. After a bit of practice, we rarely died and if we did get in trouble, defeating an enemy brought us back. More missions like these, please! We could do this all day.

Here are a few tips to help you get where we are faster:

  • Places with loot respawn each time you quit and reload your game, so go on a short expedition to grab cash, weapons and ammo each time you start until you get financially secure. Sell any cheap weapons you don't need for an added cash boost.
  • Once you have a shield, use it like you did in Halo. If it gets zapped, try to duck behind some cover until it comes back up. Upgrade your shield whenever you can.
  • If you're near death, you'll see "Fight For Your Life" on the screen. You could just respawn, but if there are weak or weakened foes nearby, keep attacking. If you defeat one, you'll get your second wind and be back in the game (albeit severely weakened, so try to grab some health right away if you can!).
  • You can heal a co-op buddy who is fighting for his life. But before you attempt to revive him, make sure the area is clear of nearby enemies. If you're interrupted, you'll have to start again - and you're vulnerable while applying the healing touch.
  • Learn your weapons so you can match ammo to them. Repeaters take pistol ammo. Shotguns work best up close, so they're great for taking down packs of skags but not so good at picking off distant enemies with shields. Grenades can help you take down an enemy's shields if he's not vastly higher in level than you. Also, you can crouch, so try to find a sniping position where you can get down out of the line of fire to let your shields regenerate and then jump up to take your next shot.
  • Health kits are pretty worthless since they live in your backpack, which isn't convenient to open in a firefight. (Hey, just like real life! Uh, who voted for the realism in a cartoon-y videogame shooter?!) Instead, rely on your shield and any instant health that enemies drop on the ground.
  • Activate and learn your special skills as soon as you can. Soldiers can summon a shielded turret and sirens can phasewalk (turn invisible), dealing a blast of damage both when they vanish and reappear. Other teammates have skills as well, but these are the ones we've tried.
  • Strafe and, if you're playing co-op, cover your teammates. Dodge and attack. Some skags spit acid at you. Learn to predict and avoid these attacks. Also, you'll improve your chance of a critical hit if you shoot a skag in the head while it's howling at you. Awesome!
That's all we have for now. Have fun and be safe in post-apocalyptic Pandora...

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This page contains a single entry by Gamewatcher published on December 29, 2009 11:30 PM.

Wii and DS Stuff - Castlevania: Adventure Rebirth, PilotWings, Rabbids Lab and Oregon Trail was the previous entry in this blog.

Audiophile - Zelda Reorchestrated is the next entry in this blog.

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