Borderlands Preview: Diablo with Guns, Looking Fun
"Oh, he's still sizzling," said a Gearbox representative. "Did he drop anything good?"
Imagine Diablo in first person, with guns rather than swords, hilarious levels of violence, and a large open world to explore. That's what Borderlands (PC, 360, PS3) is shaping up to be, based on the extended demo I was just shown.
Developer Gearbox is calling this an RPS, or roleplaying shooter, and the term certainly fits. All of the typical Diablo caveats are on display: the level bar, the skill trees, the story moments and drop-in, drop-out online play for up to four players.
Some extra details not immediately evident in the excellent walkthrough video:
- Each gun is procedurally generated, with statistics such as firepower, reload speed and magazine size also randomized.
- Weapon attributes are reflected in their appearance. A gun that glows green possesses face-melting poison.
- Chest drops are totally randomized, just like in Diablo. The producers were constantly looking for better drops.
- Skills are upgraded via software skill stations.
- Skill category examples are Gear and Physique. Some examples of talents were increasing the number of grenades you can carry, or increasing your reload speed.
- Proficiencies exist, such as "Assault Rifle proficiency," that are automatically upgraded in level.
- Vehicle driving looked exaggerated for fun; the dune buggy shown was making huge jumps in the fashion of Halo or Battlefield.
- All vehicles are designed with co-op in mind. Players can always trade places on the fly.
- Dynamic music system.
- Dismemberment is off the charts--limbs and torsos soar through the air, and explosions send enemies flying.
- There are no longer half a million guns in the game; there are, in fact, 653,000 guns.
I hope this does better than Hellgate London.