Borderlands (XBox 360)

by PaulEMoz

This one was raved about by... well, everyone! And when zavvi decided they would sell it for £17.99, it seemed rude not to, despite the fact I'm not usually a fan of FPS games.

Having said that, Borderlands is kind of like a cross between Diablo and Fallout 3, with almost every enemy you defeat in the post-apocalyptic landscape dropping loot. I like this in a game; it gives me far more incentive to keep playing when the game is constantly giving me stuff.

Rather than having you create a character, Borderlands gives you a choice of four, each in a different style. This might be a bit restrictive for your average dice chucker, but I appreciated the ability to just pick someone and jump straight in.

Ahhh, I love the smell of charred bandit in the morning.

Better than the accessibility, though is the weaponry. Borderlands must surely contain the biggest arsenal in videogaming history. Every day, the shop (sorry, vending machine) will have a new range of artillery for you to buy, with some very imaginative and sick stuff to pick from. My favourite so far is the sniper rifle that sets things (and people) on fire. It's bizarrely entertaining to see the experience points you're receiving leaking from a character as the flames take his life force away.

You'll also find special weapons at key points in the game, usually after defeating a boss character or completing a task for someone. Things like this really help to keep the game fresh and exciting, as you're always wondering what you'll find next.

Throw in a solid and very entertaining multiplayer game, and in Borderlands you've got one of the best games of 2009. I'm very glad I took that punt for eighteen quid... that was a bargain.