>Me and my level 36 Soldier finished Borderlands early Sunday morning, and after selling off my excess loot and giving my skills a re-spec, I decided to screw around with the Playthrough 2 mode and see if it would really be worth playing through a second time, and about two hours later I forced myself to turn off the 360. That shit is dangerous; I was getting ridiculously awesome loot drops just outside the very first town.
I remain totally amazed at how much I enjoyed Borderlands, especially considering that I have absolutely no idea what the story was about, or who anybody was, or what I was ultimately supposed to be doing. I’m even more amazed that I never really cared about any of that stuff. My main focus was leveling up and getting better gear, and that remained constant even as I began my 2nd playthrough. The story is ultimately irrelevant. It would be nice if a sequel addressed this specific flaw, but the mechanics of the game itself are so well-designed that I’m not entirely sure I’d notice, one way or the other.
The only time I was bummed out by the lack of story was at the game’s ending, which can’t even be called “ambiguous”, as that would imply that something actually happened. And it’s really only a bummer because it was the first time since I’d started the game where I wasn’t engaged in some sort of forward motion, towards something. The game’s promise of the Vault was just vague enough to keep me somewhat interested, even though I couldn’t really tell you what of the game’s missions were actually about, besides going to point A and killing a bunch of people, or going around the map to collect certain items. I never really questioned why I was doing any of that stuff, as long as it meant that I was getting XP and new guns. If the game had even touched upon that element, in a sort of meta/Portal/Bioshock way, that would’ve been nice. Instead, the game’s ending just felt obligatory, as in: the game is over now.
If Modern Warfare 2 weren’t arriving tomorrow, I could easily see myself spending another 10-12 hours playing through again, and even more than that if I somehow didn’t hit level 50.
Also spent a little time with the 360 version of Dragon Age: Origins, which is… a little disappointing, although to be fair I haven’t really sat down with it and allowed myself to get sucked in. I will say, though, that it feels awfully weird; I keep expecting it to have real-time combat, and it most certainly does not, and I suppose I’d be more into it if I were playing it on the PC.