Borderlands Soundtrack Review


2 mars 2010, 18h33m

For the last ten years a release of a new franchise has been quite a responsible and high-profile mission reminding of a space probe launch somewhere to Saturn – much investment, long flight and no guaranty of finding anything useful on the planet. New universes are reluctant to take roots, are often whimsical and naughty, and it takes a long way for them to rise from the dunghill. One can just look at the bunch of sequels and prequels released this year so as to realize this simple truth. So a postapocalyptic shooter with cel-shaded graphics (hey, comics!) and RPG elements like in Diablo couldn’t be more unexpected. One can only envy courage of 2K Games sponsoring the project. Welcome the winner of the Innovation Award!

Several colonization ships journey to Pandora (Hello, Avatar!) to lay a foundation for the future civilization. To the colonists’ disappointment there appears to be nothing useful on the planet, just interplanetary garbage and a legend about “The Vault“ (a supposed mysterious treasure trove), which is worth only of being told to little children as a bedtime story. Those who have money without much ado leave this cute minor planet. The rest try to create a society and rob the weak ones. So it’s our turn to show up, settle in and find The Vault.

Strong plot is definitely not the main best part of Borderlands. Weapons of all type, calibers and freakish colors rule the day. It’s not even the size of gun arsenal that impresses – it’s quite standard by the way – but the modifying system luckily borrowed from Diablo. By the wish of a random number generator an astonished player can receive a gun with an extended clip, sniper zoom, speed firing of an assault rifle, and if to go on dreaming with a possibility to roast an enemy to death with a successful shot. When gathering such toys becomes the main objective of the game then the plot fades into the background.

Right balance, adequate realization of the gameplay, awesome graphics and never tiring music are a recipe for Rogue RPG success. Borderlands is interesting like a FPS – every new gun evokes crazy excitement and demands to be brought into action. A mix of cartoon cel-shaded graphics with naturalistic canyons full with rusty junk, lopsided fences, slimsy but still working wind generators and other staff obviously shows that the authors have a good taste. Setting together with the seamy side of life makes you remind of unforgettable Fallout. Though here attempts to add seriousness are quite short-term. The main difference is in the atmosphere and the latter depends on music, we know it well.

Gearbox Software didn’t scrimp on the atmosphere and gathered a wonderful star crew under its wing: Jesper Kyd, Cris Velasco, Sascha Dikiciyan, and an actual audio producer and sound designer of Borderlands Raison Varner. Tim Larkin, an author of several Myst soundtracks, was spotted in a bonus section and percussion by MoozE can be heard in some Kyd’s tracks. You willy-nilly will expect some wonders from the album but don’t cherish illusive hopes – the music was originally designed for the game and first of all it performs its direct duties.

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