The original Borderlands was a game I passed over on release. I thought it was mainly about its co-op, like Left 4 Dead. During an arid patch for FPSs, it was recommended as having a good SP campaign as well as co-op. That was absolutely true and I fell for the game hook, line and sinker :)
The Borderlands games are known as First Person Shooter Role Play Games (FPSRPGs). There is character development and levelling up, like Fallout 3, but with a less extensive choice of abilities. However, even more than Fallout, your progress is all about shooting. In fact, the key feature is a system of procedurally generated guns and gear (and enemies). Consequently, there are a “gazillion” guns to find as you progress through the game. There is always the promise of an even better gun just over the horizon :) I couldn’t get enough of it.
It got even better when I found some like-minded friends to play co-op with me. The co-op is designed so that up to three players can join your game. The game increases in difficulty, the more players involved. If any or all players drop out, then the game reverts to being easier. This makes it one of the best co-op experiences you can have.
I’ve been lucky in having a group of like-minded friends and we have started characters dedicated to our co-op campaigns and so gear and level up together. Even though the game is quite “cartoony” and certainly has a sense of humour, there is a deal of strategy if the players genuinely work together.
The Borderlands franchise has become my most played games, finally overtaking Painkiller after 10 years. Check out each of the games for more detail.