|Developer(s): Gearbox Software
Publisher(s): 2K Games
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac OS X
Release date(s): October 20, 2009
Genre(s): First-person shooter, action role-playing
Mode(s): Single-player, 2 player local split screen, 4 player online cooperative and multiplayer
Borderlands begins some time after the Dahl Corporation’s abandonment of Pandora; several fortune seekers, including the player, are drawn to the planet by its legends of an unopened Eridian Vault. After arriving at the town of Fyrestone, the player sees an image of a mysterious woman, the “Guardian Angel”, who is aware they are here to seek the Vault and directs them to follow her instructions. The player meets a man named Dr. Zed and the doctor helps the player through the beginning of the game. The Angel eventually leads them to collecting one of the several artifacts needed to open the vault. This causes Patricia Tannis, an archaeologist/scientist, to contact the player and urge them to collect the other three pieces of the Vault key. Tannis reveals that the Vault opens every 200 years and the time of the next opening is approaching. At the same time, Commandant Steele of the Crimson Lance, a well-outfitted mercenary force in the employ of one of the game’s several mega-corporations, Atlas, threatens to declare martial law over the planet and demands the vault key pieces.
While the player is able to secure the second and third Vault key pieces without incident, they find that the final piece is not where it is expected. Steele contacts the player, revealing that Tannis had betrayed them and that there are in fact only three pieces, then proceeds to cut off the planet’s ECHO network disabling further communication with the Guardian Angel. The player infiltrates the Crimson Lance’s headquarters and finds Tannis locked up; she claims she had no choice but to betray the player under force, but urges the player(s) to restart the ECHO network and to prevent Steele and the Crimson Lance from using the key. After restoring the network, the Guardian Angel urges the player to hurry and stop Steele. The player finds, as they approach the Vault, that the Crimson Lance are in combat with alien Guardians; after bypassing both forces, the player finally arrives at the Vault, too late to stop Steele from using the key. However, when the Vault opens, Steele and her guard are wiped out by a giant monster that is attempting to escape the vault. The Guardian Angel explains that the monster is called the Destroyer, imprisoned in the Vault by the alien Eridians long ago to prevent it from destroying the universe, with the Guardians present to prevent anyone from opening it. The player is able to defeat the monster, sealing the Vault for another 200 years. It is revealed that the Claptrap from the beginning of the story is really an Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap made by Hyperion. The player is also shown that the Guardian Angel is a Hyperion satellite orbiting around Pandora communicating with the player through the ECHOnet.