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Genre: Action
Min OS X: 10.6

Borderlands: Game Of The Year Edition
January 31, 2011 | Jon Carr

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Critical Hit!

Mac OS X: 10.6.4 | CPU: 1.4 GHz Intel Processor | RAM: 1 GB | HD Space: 10 GB Graphics: 128 MB - The following cards are NOT supported: ATI X1xxx series, NVIDIA 7xxx series and Intel GMA series.

Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition recently landed on the Mac thanks to the efforts of Feral Interactive. Not only is it a fantastic game, but it also holds the distinction of being the first ever Mac port of a game using the Unreal Engine 3. Feral's hard work has certainly paid off. Read on to find out why.

The release actually comes in two different flavors, the regular version and the Game of the Year Edition which has all 4 DLC packs included. If you get a boxed GOTY copy (digital also available) it has a nicely drawn map of Pandora inside. For reference this review is of the GOTY edition.

Borderlands is a unique creation among its genre, in that it tags itself as an RPS, a Role-Playing-Shooter. Though it's much more "shooter" than "role-play" it's still a fair term to describe the game. The brainchild of Gearbox software, Borderlands sets you as one of 4 mercenaries on the alien world of Pandora, out to find the ancient and mysterious Vault, said to hold incredible treasures. The role-playing comes in terms of the 4 different classes (mercenaries) you can choose, as well as their branching skill trees which can be pretty different even among two of the same class. Each mercenary also has their own special "Action Skill" which is a unique ability that has a cooldown.

You have Brick the Berserker, who acts as a tank, able to go crazy and punch everything to pieces while laughing maniacally; the Hunter who acts as the game's long ranged sniper class; Lilith the Siren who is a hit and run character with a lot of elemental damage attacks; and Roland the Soldier who is a real team player, able to regenerate ammo, enlarge your clip size, and even heal your wounds by shooting you. All the characters are fun to play, and come with their own personality and quips, weapon focus, and play-style. Skills and guns are well balanced and evenly distributed, which means there is something for everyone to enjoy. Character classes all look the same by default, but the "New-U" stations give options to change the color of your outfit and hair color. It's not that deep but it's enough to satisfy those who want to change from the basic look.

There is a sort of free roaming linearity to Borderlands in that you can only go so far before you have to complete a specific story mission to unlock the next area, but every "level" is vast and asking to be explored for loot and side missions. You are also free to travel to and from any current area you can access, which works well since certain areas are particularly entertaining to play in. You can zoom around in vehicles, or use the fast travel system to instantly teleport to different locations.

Throughout the story different NPCs will give you missions, which range from the serious to the silly. You may have to slay the leader of a bandit camp in one instance, but the next task requires you to shoot bird droppings off a windmill. This sort of light hearted humor pervades Borderlands, and it fits well the mood it aims to set. A few characters really stand out such as the foul-mouthed mechanic Scooter, and the insane scientist Patrica Tannis.


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