Do old games hold up?- Borderlands 1

So my friend Rockstar and I have recently replayed Borderlands on stream. We are doing a playthrough of the whole series in chronological order to celebrate the release of Borderlands 3 on September 13th, but it recently got delayed.

One important thing to mention- we did not play the remastered version. We already owned the original Xbox 360 version, and it is backwards compatible on Xbox One.

As we were playing through, I noticed that some things that were happening in the game would probably turn off the modern gamer, but some things still hold true. I’m going to run through and list some of what I thought was worth mentioning here, and if you think of anything that I missed, leave a comment below the article. So without further ado, let’s get this started.

Story

Overall, the story was still good. It isn’t the comedic genius that Borderlands 2 is, but it has its moments nonetheless. This game was originally meant to be a darker, more gritty game, but as it goes on it intersperses humor in more and more. Spoiler alert: the final boss fight is really anti-climactic, but they changed that with the remastered version to make it better.

Quests

The questing system is still, in my opinion, the worst thing about this game, excepting the final boss fight. There are so many side quests, and the reward system isn’t the greatest for these. You would take a side quest from someone, or a bounty board. You turn the quest in, it’s a gamble whether you get six more side quests or not. For the story missions, the rewards are decent, but you’re not guaranteed good guns from them. You have better luck finding them on boss drops and in the world at large. The side quests mainly give money and experience, which is useful, but after a while you want something more. Rockstar actually raged on stream about this, it was something. We then decided to not finish this run (we had beaten it before) and move onto Pre-Sequel.

There are a lot of side quests in this game, and it doesn’t seem to end…

Characters

The characters in this game are great. From Scooter, to Angel, to Claptrap, they have have distinct personalities and unique flair. Their dialogue isn’t as polished and engaging as in Borderlands 2, but it’s still good. The Vault Hunters you can play as are all fun too, so pick one and play how you wish.

Enemies are decently leveled, and it does give warning when you’re facing something at a higher level than you. However, something that goes throughout the Borderlands series is that fights are either too easy or too hard. There isn’t really an in-between.

These are the four base characters you can play as. All fantastic.

Loot

Millions of guns and items! Most of them are common white guns and items and don’t sell for a lot. There are a few that you will use, and some that you will out-level and wish you could keep, especially legendary weapons you find early on. This is the way that all of the Borderlands series games work. Quests give you items as rewards, but you’ll mostly just sell them. The best drops come from boss farming, and even then it’s a low chance of spawn, but that’s how you get the majority of the legendary guns and items in the game.

Look at all that loot! Most of it will be sold.

Verdict

This game isn’t perfect, no game is no matter what reviews say. However, if you want to see where the looter-shooter genre began, or if you want to play through the beginnings of the Borderlands series, grab this game. The original edition is flawed, but it was 2009 when it came out, so it still gets a pass from me. I still enjoy this game, especially with friends, despite the ludicrous number of side quests.

If you’re looking to play but don’t want to deal with 2009 UI and stuff, get the remastered edition. It adds a lot of quality of life improvements from Borderlands 2 like updated merchants menus, a minimap, and a better boss fight at the end of the game so it’s not so anticlimactic, among other things.

This game does hold up for the modern gamer, as long as they can focus on the story and not get hung up on too many side quests. This is easier to do if you play with friends, which is how the series is designed to be played anyways. It’s a blast to play co-op, pick it up and give it a try with a friend.

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-V

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