Borderlands is a science fiction first-person shooter with RPG elements that was developed by Gearbox Software for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It was first revealed in the September 2007 issue of Game Informer magazine. The console versions of the game were released in North America on October 20, 2009, and were released in PAL countries on October 23. The console version release for the Japanese market was made available on February 10, 2010. The Windows version was released on October 26 for North America and then on October 29 internationally.
Borderlands includes character-building elements found in role-playing games, leading Gearbox to call the game a "role-playing shooter". At the start of the game, players select one of four characters, each with a unique special skill and with proficiencies with certain weapons. The four characters are: Roland the Soldier, Mordecai the Hunter, Lilith the Siren, and Brick (a Berserker) "as himself". From then on, players take on quests assigned through non-player character or from bounty boards, each typically rewarding the player with experience point, money, and sometimes a reward item. Players earn experience by killing foes and completing in-game challenges (such as getting a certain number of kills using a specific type of weapon). As they gain levels from experience growth, players can then allocate skill points into a skill tree that features three distinct specializations of the base character; for example, Mordecai can become specialized in sniping, gunslinging with revolver, or using his pet Bloodwing to assist in kills and health boosting. Players can distribute points among any of the specializations, and can also spend a small amount of in-game money to redistribute their skill points.
Players start the game with the ability to use two weapons, but later gain up to four weapon slots, as well as slots for an energy shield, a grenade modification, and a class modification. Items collected but not used can be sold back at vendors for money that then can be used to buy better items. One of the key features of Borderlands is the randomly-generated weapons and items created either as dropped by enemies, found in storage chests about the game, sold at vendors in the game, or as quest reward items. The game uses a "Procedural Content Creation System" to create these weapons and items, which can alter their firepower, rate of fire, and accuracy, add in elemental effects such as a chance to set foes on fire, and at rare times other special bonuses such as regenerating the player's ammo. A color-coded scale is used to indicate the rarity of the weapon or item. It is estimated that the random system can generate over 17 million variations of weapons. The Procedural system is also used to create the characteristic of random enemies that the player may face. This allows for enemies of the same species to have widely-varying attacks: for example, variations of "spiderants" in the game could leap around and would jump onto players' faces, while another variant can roll up into a ball and attack people, depending on the content generator.
When in combat, the player can take damage if their shield is depleted, affecting their health. If they lose all their health, they must either wait to be revived by another player or attempt to kill an enemy to achieve a "second wind", or otherwise will be regenerated back at the last "New-U" station that they passed, losing a small percentage of their money in the process. Players eventually gain access to two-passenger vehicles, and can engage in vehicular combat with other enemies. Eventually, a system of fast transit points between the game world is available to the player; until then, players must walk or drive between areas to get around.
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Official Site: Gear Box
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