Borderlands Remastered | A KGK Review
This game is one major nostalgia trip for anyone who has been a fan of the series since the start. I mean hearing Marcus say “So you want to hear a story” just brought back so many memories of my family and I playing this game 10 years ago when Borderlands came out. I guess that is mainly what this game is for me. A nostalgia trip with some new elements added into the game.
The story for Borderlands one compared to the other games is the weakest in the franchise. I mean the game is rather disjointed and doesn’t explain things unless you read the information board for every mission you get in your log. This does affect the pacing a little bit but you can skip them and still get the story. It is just for a more in-depth coverage of the main story you will miss if you don’t read the info. The story pretty much consists of you doing fetch quests to help people out so they can give you parts of the vault key which will unlock the vault at the end of the game. This does get quite boring but the loot system in this game makes it all worth-while. I personally enjoyed the story in the remastered edition because I knew what to do to get into the story and after not playing it for a while it was like playing a new game. When it comes to all the side missions, I do like how every side mission does have a story and a reason for why you are completing it. For example, instead of saying go turn these turbines on without any reason why they create a mini story in which you are told why this needed done and that’s where the story for the game is over shadowed by the smaller side missions. In my opinion anyway.
Characters and voicing
The story houses quite a few memorable characters. Especially all the ones with their own cutscenes like Nine Toes and Dr Zed and more. They at least showed some personality and characteristics which made me forget they are just models and code. This is done rather well but there are some truly awful exceptions and I feel like those characters shouldn’t even have intros because they are that boring, for example a Rakk Hive has an intro. I mean the only reason why this is memorable is because it is the only Rakk hive in the game. That’s all. The voice work for me is also a bit hit and miss. The voicing is done well but only when the voicing works. I have noticed a bug where with some story missions (for me anyway) the voice over would cut off and you don’t even know what is being said. I bet this can be rather annoying when you are new to the franchise and playing Borderlands one for the first time. But the amount of memorable characters definitely over shadows the forgotten characters like Helena Pierce and Reaver. Seeing the character models in such great quality is amazing because it just shows how much this game needed to be remastered.
The main reason you play Borderlands is for the loot. Well I do anyway and I have to say the addictive loop of grinding to find the best loot possible is still here and it is better than ever. I truly got into grinding for weapons in Borderlands 2. I never bothered with this game. Now I am glad I have a reason to go back and try out all I have learned through the years to get the best loot like farming a certain boss for XP or good loot. The loot drop system in this game is something that I think should be brought back. You see in Borderlands 2 the loot that is dropped is randomized. Borderlands Remastered is the same yet if you see a regular bandit with a strange cool looking gun. He will actually drop that gun for you. I like this because it makes normal mob enemies have a chance to become just important as a boss. This does add intensity to every single encounter which is great in my personal opinion. Plus, the golden chest is back which a nice modernised touch to the game as it was implemented in Borderlands 2.
The skill system is rather simple compared to all the other games, but this was when Borderlands was a new thing in gaming and had nothing to compete with apart from massive MMOs like WOW. The skill system looks rather dated when you look at other games in the franchise. But I guess that is what gives the game its charm. The most recognisable change to the skill system is that when you have a class mod it gives you +2 fitness which increases your fitness skill by two points. This however isn’t shown on the skills menu which I thought they would change in the remaster edition, but I can get over that issue. The co-op is still as enjoyable as ever. I mean going in to fight the Destroyer with four people is a blast. Especially since Gearbox were bragging about changing the boss fight to make it more worth while and it is with increased difficulty and better loot. No longer is the stay behind the pillar tactic still viable. You now have to worry about what is coming at you from the skies.
One of the main draws for the Borderlands franchise excluding Tales from the Borderlands was the loot. The legendaries in the games are what people aim to own. The legendary and pearlescent weapons are great in this game and are pretty cool to own. Like for example you can get the hellfire SMG is a great weapon and extremely useful and very desirable as every shot adds fire damage including the initial bullet damage. It is just compared to Borderlands 2 the guns are rather lackluster. I still can’t find a skull masher pistol which is a legendary revolver which acts like a six-shot shotgun. Only very recently have I gotten to grips with the different weapons parts system for Borderlands. I mean I can see why so many people farm the same easy boss. Because the gun they drop may be terrible, but it can have different parts which could increase critical hit damage or decrease accuracy but increase mag size by 40 rounds like the Wildcat SMG.
Sound and gunplay
The sound for the game if you played it hasn’t changed that much but if you play the original version then play the remastered edition you do notice a slight change in sound which makes it more recognisable with what gun you are using. For example, you can notice the guns sound better when firing them and everything just feels, and sounds weighted which is nice. There was an issue with the original version of Borderlands where it felt clunky and slow to move and the gun play just felt and looked floaty. However, I am happy to say they addressed these issues and the game is balanced perfectly.
The Borderlands remastered edition as a whole is an amazing bargain as a whole package. I mean for £30 you get a game that has two playthroughs and four characters to play each on and four DLCs to complete. The significant value on offer is amazing. Granted it is a remaster which is probably why it is only £30. I like this game a lot. I mean this game is what really introduced me into the looting genre as we know it today. I would definitely recommend this game to anyone who likes a bargain and a game that can last a long time complete everything. I am personally thankful we have this game even made in the first place because it is where the looter shooter genre really began, and I honestly believe that without the Borderlands franchise we wouldn’t have games like Destiny or the division.