The first RPS (Role Playing Shooter) Borderlands burst on the scene with little enough fanfare but turned out to be a huge success. With a Mad Max post-apocalyptic vibe and a distinct cartoon approach the game was visually interesting and unique. The addition of different classes, special skills for each class, and a bewildering number of possible weapons made it seem like Diablo cross dressing to get into the Halo Reach party, but it works. The game is fun can be paced to suit your style and enjoys strong co-op play. But lets face it, it can get old at times. Destroyer of worlds…dead. Zombies…dead. Armory of Knox…empy. Claptraps….scrapped. Now what? What do we do with games that get old?
No, we don’t sell them on E-bay. Nope, we don’t use them as coasters. We don’t hang them outside in our fruit trees in hopes they will scare away ravenous, dirty little, fruit snatching birds. We take the game, and go where the developer did not. For though billed as a roleplaying game, Borderlands really doesn’t do much roleplaying. You cant influence the story. There are not multiple ways to end a quest. Most folks don’t say much beyond a greeting, if that. In fact, most of the time the only way you influence the story is by picking which gun is going to do the honors. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The trick here is to artificially create roleplaying elements that can breathe new life into your game. Following are some ways to breathe new life into your gaming sessions.
The idea here is to treat your team like they are suiting up for a specific mission. You head to the Underdome, drop off all your guns and goodies. Then pick the four weapons you will use during the mission, equip the grenade mod, shield, and class mod of your choice. Then roll. Any equipment you find on the mission cannot be used, only what you brought with you. You can pick it up, bring it home, and then take it on the next one but lets face it, you don’t know where that class mod has been. Take it home before you wack that puppy in and clean it with a wet wipe first drop it in a bucket of bleach. When you get back pick through your loot, then suit up for the next one.
Ignore the shops, they don’t exist. The only thing you can use shops for is buying ammo deck upgrades. The only money you get is what you pick up, no selling equipment at the shops. No buying guns, or ammo, you can only use what you find. If you must buy something for quest that’s ok, otherwise, no way Jose.
Ultimate Scavenger Hunt
Start out naked. Shoot off all your ammo. Put all gear in the Underdome. Then drop yourself into the firefight and get moving. Your first gun must come from an enemy, meaning you have to take them down in hand to hand. No ammo regen class mods or guns allowed. No using class mods until after you get your first gun. Try this starting in Old Haven….
This is one for co-op play especially for when you have more two players. Basically ignore the Second Wind, when a player is crippled they must be revived by a team mate. Go ahead, make your buddies stick their necks out for ya.
There is a bomb at a particular spot in the level and you are trying to get there in time to “disarm” it. Set a timer, watch, cell phone, coffee pot, whatever. Timer is up and you save and drop out. Or, set an “extraction” zone at a vehicle station and try to get there before Scooter cancels your ride.
Borderlands is fun, but like most things in life, too much of the same thing is rarely good for your health (this applies to sun, television, and clowns). So next time you look at a game and say “Meh”, remember, it’s not what you play, it’s how you play it.