hunters? Check. Mutants and monsters? Lots of 'em. Guns? More than
you've imagined in your wildest boomstick fantasies. Borderlands Legends
has all of the components that ultimately make Borderlands so gosh darn
starters, the next expedition to Pandora won't occur on on your console
or PC: This is a top down action shooter for iOS, which launches on
October 31 for $4.99 on the iPhone and $6.99 on iPad. Legends pits the
original four vault hunters--Mordecai, Lilith, Brick, and
Roland--against seemingly endless waves of enemies.
takes place between the first Borderlands and the second, but there's
not much here in terms of story. Whether or not that will end up
affecting the game's long-term appeal remains to be seen--but if our
demo was any indication, there's still plenty of shooting and looting in
store. Each randomly generated mission starts off simple enough, as
small numbers of gun-toting jerks come at your four individually
controlled squad members (sorry, no co-op play this time). You'll have
to tap and drag each of the vault hunters behind cover to provide them
with defensive bonuses, while simultaneously placing them in strategic
positions to fend off hostile forces.
practice, Legends plays sort of like a cross between a tower defense
and horde-mode game, and it can get pretty hectic. Some missions are
downright ruthless (a doomed-from-the-start encounter with General Knoxx
comes to mind), and we found ourselves getting overwhelmed by enemies
at times during our demo. Thankfully, each of the vault hunters is
equipped with special abilities that'll come in handy during just such
occasions, and anyone who played the original Borderlands will recall
most of these. Mordecai can summon Bloodwing, Brick can activate
Berserker mode and punch stuff into pieces, Lilith can Phasewalk, and
Roland can summon his turret--but all the characters have more than one
special skill at their disposal.
give experience points and often drop cash when killed, which you'll
pick up by tapping the screen. Once you've got a fat wallet, you can
thin it out by visiting a vending machine and purchasing new gear for
your squad. Shields, utility items, and, of course, guns are all
available here, and there's a staggering amount to choose from. Because
each character only has access to one type of gun, it's easy to quickly
compare and equip stronger firearms with a couple of quick taps.
limited gun access doesn't detract from the experience, especially
because each character has a skill tree that enhances his/her role. This
system works like it did in previous Borderlands games: Level up, and
you get a skill point that can be spent however you choose. Turning
Brick into a walking tank while beefing up Roland's turret yielded
pretty decent results in our demo, but each character has more than one
option available when it comes to skill tree builds.
hard to imagine Borderlands as anything other than a first-person
shoot-and-loot-fest, but Legends is a logical expansion of the franchise
to the mobile market. The top-down perspective really translates well
to touchscreen controls, and, best of all, Legends seems to retain all
the things we love about the series. As if we needed another way to feed
our gun-lust addiction.