So Fallout3 was one of my most anticipated games, and a great game to boot, except for the fact that you couldn't kill kids, which i don't think would have been as annoying or noticeable if there wasn't a town full of annoying kids that you have to go through to complete the story. I am not an advocate of killing kids, which I think is the reason it got pulled, because no one had the balls to say that it was a bad idea to pull it out of the game. Fallout 1 and 2 let you kill kids, I personally think it should have been an extremely evil thing to do in the game, but the idea of a free roam game as epic in scale putting up invisible walls around certain characters in the game, based on their size is ridiculous. (I say based on size, because its a game, they are polygons, they do not have an age). For further reading on violence in video games check out this sick feature article by Michael Thomsen.
So back to the point, I've completed my first play through of Borderlands this past weekend (11/1/09) and the similarities to Fallout3 are definitely there, but it also pulls good aspects from a bunch of different games (World of Warcraft, Diablo 2, Halo 3, and Call of Duty to name a few). The driving and character movement have a very Halo 3 feel to them. The character layout and skill point resets give off WoW vibes, although in this day and age its hard to be an rpg and not give off WoW vibes. Weapon creation seems like a direct tribute to Diablo 2, and the weapons shooting feels like CoD, although the actual damage system is more reminisce of Halo again. The co-op is also very Diablo and Halo mashed together. And all of this on a world that seems like the word of Fallout 3 mashed into Metroid style compartments.
Borderlands seems to have found quite the niche for itself, it definitely satisfies the urge for both RPG and FPS very thoroughly, and although the story is a little flimsy, it seems to hardly matter because you will be so absorbed prepping to fight your way through the next area, or back through the area you just went through that by the time you get to a story element, your so happy you have a few seconds breather that you delight in it no matter how straight forward it is. In honesty I have very few complaint I can think of for this game. I was disappointed that there is not a chest somewhere where you can keep the guns you fell in love with early in the game. I had more than a few guns that i hung onto well after I stopped using them, just because they were my goto's for a good 5-6 levels and boy were they good, but once you level up they become useless, due to the giant gap in the damage dealt and life over anything more than 4 levels. I was also definitely a bit miffed by the contents of the vault. I do still hope that the contents will be different on the second play through, and if anyone has completed said play through let me know if it is different >.<.
Overall I was delighted by Borderlands. So much so that I started playing through a second time directly following my first completion of the game. I was happy to find some new variants in the baddies that you fight ("BadMutha" comes to mind here), and that they had knocked the loot up a notch. I re-speced my character at the beginning of the 2cd play through to a different branch of my skillz tree so it was almost like playing with a new dude. That said i'll be pickin up Dragon Age tonight and Borderlands will be relegated to some dust collecting duty, but it will be back at some point, I would like to complete the second play through in the least, or if i have a friend over for more than a minute a nice co-op split screen would be fun.
(Note on Multiplayer in Borderlands: In order to play Borderlands with more than 2 people in the same game you will need more than 2 xbox 360s and more than 2 copies of the game, as you cannot do split screen and on-line or system link play at the same time)