Borderlands by 2K Games (videogame)

2K Games. (2009). Borderlands. [Video game].

Genre: First-person shooter, Action, Adventure, Humor, Science Fiction

Reading level/ interest age: 17+

Plot summary:          

Borderlands is a first-person shooter that was released in 2009. Players are able to choose from four unique characters. Brick focuses on hand-to-hand combat and specializes in heavy weapons. Lilith is a magic-based character suited for sniping. Roland is well-rounded and serves best as support. Lastly, Mordecai’s abilities focus on technology and upgrades.

Borderlands is set on the mineral-rich desert planet of Pandora. Entrepreneurs interested in mining were drawn to the surface and decided to set up shop. The planet quickly drew a large crowd and colonies began to form. The largest company, Atlas Corporation, searched for a vault rumored to contain great riches. During the hunt, Atlas accidentally encountered an alien species. Before fleeing the planet, the company loosed Pandora’s prisoners who took over once the world was abandoned. 

Vault Hunters are a band of misfits undaunted by Atlas' failures and eager to find treasure. The unknown alien race appears to be mostly dormant for the time being leaving treasure seekers free to search for the vault once more. However, winter is coming and the amount of alien sightings is increasing. Find the vault and make it off the planet before Pandora decides your fate.

Reader’s annotation:

Welcome Vault Hunter! Choose your character wisely to make way across the desert in search of treasure. Oh, and watch out for Skagzilla…

Information about the author:

“Founded in 2005, 2K develops and publishes interactive entertainment globally for console systems, handheld gaming systems and personal computers, including smartphones and tablets, which are delivered through physical retail, digital download, online platforms and cloud streaming services. 2K publishes titles in today’s most popular gaming genres, including shooters, action, role-playing, strategy, sports, casual, and family entertainment.

“The 2K label has some of the most talented development studios in the world today, including Firaxis Games, Visual Concepts, Irrational Games, 2K Marin, 2K Australia, 2K Czech, Cat Daddy Games and 2K China. 2K’s stable of high quality titles includes the critically acclaimed BioShock®, Borderlands™ and XCOM® franchises, the beloved Sid Meier’s Civilization series, the popular WWE 2K franchise and NBA 2K, the #1 rated and #1 selling basketball franchise*. 2K is headquartered in Novato, California and is a wholly owned label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.” (2K Games, 2013).

Curriculum ties: N/A

Booktalking ideas:

1.       What is your favorite character to play and why?
2.       What did you think about the game’s ending?

Critical evaluation:

Amazing and fun game-play. The characters are wild, the guns are huge, and the achievements legendary. Though the storyline is insignificant, players are kept entertained with ever-increasingly difficult bosses. Downloadable content includes an all-out zombie slaughter at Dr. Ned’s Island and Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot provides a challenging, endless wave of bad guys to pump bullets into. The art style is different from other games but the feel and movement of game-play are familiar to those who have gone through other 2K Games like Bioshock. 

However, the non-playable character (NPC) Claptrap quickly becomes annoying. Players cannot kill off this never-ending stream of dialogue. The game also promises great riches but the end vault is virtually empty. This is greatly disappointing but is more than made up for with special abilities, over-powered guns, and interesting enemies. The game also recently released a sequel that is no less entertaining. Players should look forward to having fun and do not have to pay attention to the storyline.

Challenge issues:

·         Violence
·         Language 

Defensive Maneuvers:

·         Have the library’s collection development policy memorized and on hand in case a situation arises.
·         Keep positive reviews on hand to refer to or hand out when needed.
·         If the book has won any awards, mention them to the patron and briefly explain the award.
·         Listen to the patron and practice good customer service skills when communicating. Let the customer know where or if he/she can escalate his/her complaint.
·         When necessary, cite sections of the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights or refer to the ALA's Strategies and Tips for Dealing with Challenges to Library Materials.

Why included:

Borderlands is funny and amusing and serves no real purpose other than entertainment. I think that many teens would enjoy playing such a game.


2K Games. (2013). About Us. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from

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