We were as excited as anyone else about Gearbox Software's PC version of Borderlands, an RPG-oriented first person shooter that boasts strong single and multiplayer gameplay. The only problem is, no one can really CONFIRM that on the PC version of Borderlands. Using the GameSpy account service for logging in was the first sign of bad news. Not due to the service itself, but the fact that Borderlands relied on this connectivity to couple with the in-game hosting and lobby systems. Other frantic multiplayer games, such as Valve's Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 benefit from a streamlined, though still imperfect, lobby and connection system that couples directly with a user's steam login.
We leveled up and got ready to invite our friends to play Borderlands and were promptly greeted with a connection timeout message. No sweat, it was probably just a network hiccup. We tried again–still timed out. Okay, perhaps its a firewall configuration issue. A little digging led us to the port forwarding recommendations for hosting. Updated the network and retried. Once again, a connection timeout occured. The same scenario continued through attempted to host a public multiplayer, then private multiplayer.
This brought back such wonderfully painful memories from the dial-up days of Doom and Hexen multiplayer:
1.Configure settings on phone with friends.
2. Hang up.
3. Try connecting.
5. Call back.
6. Confirm settings.
7. Hang up.
8. Try connecting.
Thankfully now we have Skype and access to our network firewall, so the process at least FELT more productive, though the results clearly said otherwise.
It's really quite a shock that a game marketed so heavily as a cooperative RPG would be released with such apparent connectivity issues. Nearly half the Borderlands PC market seems to be unable to join forces, leaving many of us fighting the fight alone. This could be very damaging to the initial impressions of Borderlands in the PC market, which is a shame since it has been receiving such optimistic previews from most sources. This possibility is made more probable because the PC version of Borderlands had a longer market release window than the console versions. Fans are less-than-patiently waiting for some type of patch or improvement to this matter.
Games mentioned in this article:
| Borderlands (PC) | Borderlands (PlayStation 3) | Borderlands (Xbox 360) |
| Left 4 Dead (PC) | Left 4 Dead 2 (PC) | Left 4 Dead (Xbox 360) | Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox 360) |
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