Borderlands is a first-person shooter roleplaying game. I picked it up to give it a second opinion, since the first attempt a few years back didn't go over well. I was pleasantly surprised while playing through it.
As I said it has aspects first-person shooters and roleplaying games mixed into one package. Meaning it doesn't just aim for one audience or the other, it makes an attempt to reach both. I'm a fan of both genres and I like how they combined them.
Art and Story:
The art of Borderlands fits the story. Think Mos Isley, but planet wide and you have Pandora. A world filled with bandits, alien life forms, and annoying robots all trying to kill you. The art has a rough cut to it to match.
As far as actual story goes, you play as a Vault Hunter in search of a mythical Vault. The four characters each have their own basic styles and skill trees. For spoilers sake I won't go any farther into specifics.
Here's an in-game shot that I took. Believe it or not, that's an SMG I'm using.
You can play Borderlands with keyboard and mouse controls or a controller. For the most part it's a standard FPS control system, so nothing really weird. I prefer using a controller myself, but players can use whichever method they prefer.
The leveling system is your basic RPG style system. You get experience for killing enemies and it's effected by enemy level. As you level you get points to put in your skill tree to customize however you like. If you want to do more damage, there are skills for that. It all depends on how you like to play.
Here's what my skill tree looks like at level 25.
Your gun choices make a difference on your character stats. If you use SMG a lot your SMG stats will be high. As you progress in ranks on a gun you also get bonus experience towards your character's level. I'd recommend trying out weapons early and finding two or three you'd prefer over the others. I chose Combat Rifle as my main, but I didn't really set a definitive secondary weapon.
Here are my proficiency levels..
There's a lot to think about when you're playing the game. if you're not paying attention you could mess up and do something you didn't want and off-balance your character for the rest of the game. I gave the game an 8 out of 10 because although it's enjoyable, but there's no replayability. The game is repetitive and only deviates when a new enemy type appears.