E3 2008: Borderlands Updated Impressions - Driving, Shooting, and Tons of Guns

We stop by the 2K Games booth at E3 2008 to revisit this futuristic cooperative shooter.

E3 2008 is underway, and GameSpot is on hand, covering such games as Borderlands, the upcoming co-op shooter from Gearbox Software. The game will offer cooperative online play for up to four players, and will feature role-playing game-like character advancement as you progress through the campaign. We watched a demonstration of a two-man cooperative run on a mission to retrieve some alien technology from the clutches of a tribe of bandits who were hiding out inside a mine.

The two characters in the run were a soldier character and a scout character, though each seemed to be able to use a great variety of guns, and each had no problem driving a vehicle. At the start of our run-through, the two players hopped into a four-wheeled jeep-like vehicle with a mounted gun and immediately began sparring with a bandit vehicle, which they eventually dispatched in a spectacular, fiery blaze. They then floored it on the way to the mine, leaving behind a bit of roadkill by squashing a skag, the aggressive, doglike aliens that inhabit Borderlands' planet of Pandora. Skags are apparently afraid of vehicles but won't hesitate to attack lone players on foot.

We arrived at the mine to find it guarded by a handful of skags, which had a tendency to make flying lunges at nearby targets. After dispatching the aliens, the duo advanced on the mine, which, as it turned out, was also guarded by an unusually large alpha-male skag, a creature that was much tougher than the normal aliens and much more aggressive. After finally disposing of all these foes, the duo entered the mines and began to encounter bandit gunmen...and that's when the guns started to drop.

Borderlands uses a procedural process to generate its various guns in certain classes (handguns, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, and so on), but with many variations of firing speed, reload speed, and ammo properties (incendiary, acid-based, and so on). As soon as we started taking on the enemy bandits who came charging out of the mines with guns, we started coming across guns, guns, and more guns--either dropped by fallen foes, hidden in piles of bones left by predatory skags, or locked away in treasure chests. According to Gearbox, the game currently features more than 600,000 different types of guns and will likely have more by the time the game ships. So, throughout the course of the game, you'll constantly be improving your character's effectiveness in battle, either by picking up new guns (which can be stored in what seems like unlimited storage space) or by gaining experience levels and additional proficiency with whichever weapon you're currently wielding at the time that you gain a level (which is currently indicated onscreen by a set of glowing white rings that surround your character).

We watched as the team of soldiers battled their way through the cavernous bandit lair, taking down increasingly tough enemies equipped with force shields that were able to protect them somewhat from our gunfire. The demonstration ended just as the team tracked down the alien artifact, only to be ambushed by the bandit leader.

Borderlands seems as if it has plenty of unusual things to offer: cooperative play, drivable vehicles that work best with more than one person onboard, a role-playing-like system of character advancement, and a seemingly limitless variety of shiny new guns to pick up. The game is scheduled for release later this year.

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Discussion

57 comments
jad206
jad206

there IS splintscreen..

mslug8
mslug8

what, there is only 600,000 guns, i was expecting at least 1 billion!

blueguykisame
blueguykisame

abBandon: yea it would be nice if there was splitscreen... -sighs- ohwell I might still buy on ps3.. looks surpirisingly good.

_AbBaNdOn
_AbBaNdOn

without offline splitscreen co-op its just a rental.

pancreasjuice
pancreasjuice

when they say 600000 guns, does that mean 600000 guns each with slightly different stats and a different name, or are they gonna make a large enough base of standard gun catagories? either way more co-op=more fun

GodsPoison
GodsPoison

Holy crap thats a lot of guns, aparently well get everything from pistols that shoot shotgun shells too a machine rocket launcher! Wonder what kind of Melee weapons, if any, exist?

twofifty
twofifty

I wonder how the ammo system is going to work. i really hope its going to be something likefor each gun, the ammo can be picked up from any another gun that uses the same ammo and is the same kind (pistol, shotgun, etc.), instead of having to hope to find another identical gun or forcing the player to drop the gun when its out of ammo or something. game looks great tho.

GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

Will there e bots to fill the vacant slots where there should e real players? How good are they?

tevic
tevic

what about a single-player campaigh ?

tadfoot
tadfoot

Keep it going guys wow this game looks like somthing to try. Can't wait, and wow 600,000 guns i am getting this game even if it cost a leg.

TheTenth10
TheTenth10

hope the targeting will be good and you won't have to do the same spot over and over again like in all FPS to get the perfect timing to kill the mobs

Jackyll87
Jackyll87

This lots of gun stuff will be crap. If you find a powerful enough gun early on you wont pick up another gun for a long time. Also if there is no visual cue I'd be damn frustrated reading stats of each and every gun to find out if its more powerful than the one i am carrying.

funnysplay
funnysplay

Three buddies, and 600,000 different types of guns. Yeah count me in!

snaker49
snaker49

i want more guns.............................

Hungry_bunny
Hungry_bunny

Damn, i wonder what the best super-hax weapon will be like...

Slinky_Turtle
Slinky_Turtle

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ahmedbilal1993
ahmedbilal1993

I dont thin I can use all those guns just in one go...

wishiwasuber
wishiwasuber

Sounds to good to be true if you ask me. Theres a lot of time between now and '09 but im keeping my eyes on this one

blaze_adeel
blaze_adeel

600,000 GUNSSS?? WHT DA....?? IF THESE 600000 GUNS INCLUDE THOSE LASER GUNS LIKE HALO 3 THEN NO THANKS I AM LEAST INTERESTED !!! "I DUNNO WHY PPL LIKE HALO SOO MUCH I BOUGHT HALO 3 N IT WAS A WASTE OF MONEY N TIME "

orgzon
orgzon

The more guns, the more fun! (:

Macgyver40
Macgyver40

an amazing arsenal of guns could be a great game

Duke_51
Duke_51

600, 000 different types of guns... what the hell....?

grambyte
grambyte

Guns + A lot = good combination if u ask me. Looking forward seeing more of this.

chrissp26
chrissp26

The voice acting on the first trailer was dreadful. The video itself looked great. Lets hope the game is good.

chechak7
chechak7

Guns a lot of gun's need a lot of gun's ohhh

dkjestrup
dkjestrup

Fallout 3 = Oblivion with guns (hated oblivion) Borderlands = Diablo with guns (loved Diablo)

sidious
sidious

This game is on my top five most anticipated games list, along with Fable2, Fallout 3, Champions Online, and EndWar...

Ludovic
Ludovic

End of 2008? That's great news! I was bummed when they announced that the game would be delayed. The possibility of a late 2008 was still in the air, but nothing sure about it. The sooner I can get my hands on this the better. Then again, it's not like Far Cry 2, Fable 2, Fallout 3 (what's with the F and the sequels this fall?), Shaun White Snowboarding, POP, GOW2 and some others games like FIFA or NHL won't be enough to keep both me and my Xbox 360 busy this fall.

e1337prodigy
e1337prodigy

I hope if works well in single player too.

Shakezulah
Shakezulah

I've been looking forward to this game more than any other since that GI issue came out last August. I'm so happy to finally see something new on it. It looks absolutely amazing in every way. I'm also happy to see that the gun count has risen that much more. I cannot wait to play this game.

KA12NAG3
KA12NAG3

this looks good. 600,000 guns, maybe more?

carstairs
carstairs

Co-op shooters usually disappoint, so I want this to be good.

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

isn't it a bit crazy to have 600,000 guns?:o

H_U_R_D
H_U_R_D

this game looks unbelievable

DukeEdwardI
DukeEdwardI

it's basically a guns version of diablo! sweet!

Cube_of_MooN
Cube_of_MooN

600k typees of guns? Isn't that a bit... much?

MikeyOfLamb
MikeyOfLamb

over half a million guns...omg how frekin amazing is that? wow.....

dn3datomiced
dn3datomiced

I really want to see a video of this game in action.

Benihana7
Benihana7

Nice; I've been dying for something new on Borderlands.