So I played Borderlands for the first time this last weekend, and I’m reminded of what my friend Don said about it when he first told me about the game. “Diablo meets Fallout.” After … uh, probably about sixteen to twenty hours into the game, I think I can back that up. Holy. Crap. I’m trying to think of a game that was more immediately satisfying to play. I think I have one, maybe two complaints.

So, bad news first. You spend a lot of time in Firestone. There are only, like, four enemy types. Sure, you have bandits that roll up different guns and stuff, but merciful Zeus skags gets old. Add in rakks and those weird lobster-things, and you have four. Pre-Searing Ascalon has more varied enemy types than that, and it came out four years earlier. The beginning could use some more stuff. I don’t count the midgets.

Two more commonly-occurring enemies would have been fine. Some deadly plants and a giant worm-thing would have worked. And maybe some some beetles. Actually, bugs would have worked really well for the beginning of this game because it already has the Starship Troopers vibe. Less than an hour of Diablo 2, gives you zombies, skeletons, yeti, the fallen (plus shamans), and corrupted rogues.

The other complaint I have is that, what with weapons already having an “accuracy” rating, it would be nice if there were a bit more in the way of auto-targeting. Maybe a function that can be turned on/off if you want to eyeball every shot, but trying to run and point a gun just to hit can be a real pain. The game is touted as a “roleplaying shooter,” it would be nice to have more of the former and less of the latter.

The game’s expanding territory in the beginning, leading up to Sledge, has a feeling reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I think the beginning of San Andreas has great pacing throughout its introduction (which is all I really played) of the game’s setting and mechanics, and Borderlands does a pretty good job of introducing the world and its characters. I particularly like the comic-esque splash screens.

Cookiemonger and I are playing a cooperative game, and we’re gearing up to take on Sledge’s Hideout (she’s already played through and beaten the game at least once), while in single player, I’ve slogged my way up to Gravestone Mine or whatever it’s called. The character of the different locations could use a little work. It’d be cool if they got an introduction and a comic splash screen like the NPCs.

I’m sort of dreading the part that comes after Sledge, because I’m afraid it won’t live up to the quality of the first part (not without its flaws), and that I’ll lose interest. We’ll see.