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Borderlands Review

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Madder than Max

★★★★

Yanked from its original release window much to the dismay of many a post-apocalyptic shooter junky, Gearbox Software’s decision to delay was a smart one. What remains in place of the Dallas based dev’s shooter cum RPG’s original drab palette revealed in 2007 is a bustling cel-shaded blaster that, while slow to start with, ultimately hits its stride with aplomb a few hours in after the initial bump and grind.

Unfurling in the lawless dustbowl of Pandora, a Mad Max stylised hellhole seething with cannibals, critters and treasure hunters, Borderlands lets you pick from four gun-slingers, casting you out into this strange new world solo or in four-player co-op mode in search of The Vault, a mysterious room carved into a mountainside supposedly filled with alien technology and rich stuff.

An adrenaline pumper to boot, Borderlands owes more than a tip of hat to the world of Diablo; everything here is about looting and character customisation, but what you’ll gawp at most is the sheer volume of weaponry spooned into the game’s twenty and some bloodthirsty hours. While the story it weaves is a little thin, and the characters equally slim in witty banter besides doling out quests, Borderlands is a triumph in melding two genres with cracking accuracy.

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