When I put Borderlands 2 into the console, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I had heard some news about the game, but I stayed out of the loop for most of its development cycle. I don’t have as much experience with Borderlands as most people, because I was a late adopter. I picked up the Game of the Year Edition a little over a year after it came out and played through it with a group of friends. It’s not that I didn’t like Borderlands, that’s not it at all, but there was just something about it that drove me to keep the much anticipated sequel under my radar. Nonetheless, I preordered and attended the midnight launch. I knew the game would be good but, like I said, I wasn’t sure how good because I didn’t follow it.
With little to no hype, I’ve always felt playing an amazing game is that much better. This most definitely applies here. Borderland 2, as of right now, has four difference characters. You can play as Axton the Commando, whose abilities involve placing turrets, Maya, the Siren, who can lock enemies in place, Salvador the Gunzerker, who can duel wield any two weapons, and Zer0 the Assassin, who can place a hologram and turn invisible. The game starts you off five years after the events of Borderlands. Handsome Jack, the antagonist, is trying to rule the planet Pandora. He has an evil corporation called Hyperion that seems to have unlimited amounts of robots at its disposal. He also vowed to kill all the Vault Hunters. What a jerk. The Vault Hunters are then contacted by Angel, an AI, who tells them they have to save the original Vault Hunters (The playable characters from the first game) and kill Handsome Jack before he awakens the most powerful monster locked away deep within the vault on Pandora. Oh yeah, and there is a powerful new element called Eridium that makes sirens powerful and stuff.
The gameplay is more of what you already love. There is nothing in Borderlands 2 that feels like it wouldn’t fit in the previous entry. It really is the perfect sequel. The story is longer, it’s more refined, there are more enemies, and of course, there are a bazillion guns. I found it kind of odd, however, that you can’t fully customize your character’s colors. Instead in this entry, you find skins for your body and head. This is good though, because it’s way more fun finding and unlocking new outfits for your characters than it is having every color at your disposal off the bat. The controls are tight, the shooting is fun, the vehicle combat is a blast and there is a lot of room to explore. This game is the perfect game to play with friends. It supports up to four players cooperatively. It enhances the experience a lot if you enjoy it with a few buddies. Be prepared for hundreds of side quests, and at least twenty hours of story missions. The game isn’t too hard, but it’s also not too easy. When you die, you will respawn at a checkpoint close by. If everyone on your team dies, then the enemies will fully heal from the previous battle. Also it’s mind-numbingly hilarious, as Borderlands should be.
The music is much more appropriate than in the first game. I felt it became boring after hearing it in a lot Borderlands, but in Borderlands 2 it is much more plentiful in style and composition. It gives the combat a fresh scent to it, all while enhancing the environments you’re exploring with memorable sounds. There isn’t any point in the game where I found any sound effects annoying, although repeated dialog happens often. The Environments you’ll be exploring are excellently designed. You’ll traverse tundra, industrial, wasteland, mountains, and even grass lands. I found myself enjoying the vastness of the landscapes quite often. Portions of the game are very beautiful, to the point where I would stop and stare for a few minutes. That being said, it has its share of scarred territory that while exploring, you’ll feel legitimately sorry for that area of the planet. This drives you even more to kill Jack, since he seems to love the idea of ruining nature.
There are a few points where you might say “Well that’s kind of dumb”, an example being, Jack’s corporation is the same corporation that revives you when you die, even though he is trying to kill you. Or when Hyperion seems to have unlimited robots, but instead of just sending more robots out when you damage one, they send a repair drone out that opens the security door allowing you to slip in. Little things like that made me say “That could have been executed better”, but at the same time the game is supposed to be humorous so it doesn’t really take away from the overall story. The one problem I had with the main game is how rare good guns are. White are common, green uncommon, blue rare, purple very rare, and orange are ultra-rare. I understand that “Rare” means hard to find, but in my 35+ hours of gameplay I only found three or four purple guns and one orange gun that dropped when I beat the story. I feel that they should be a little more common, although I’ve heard in New Game +, which I haven’t started yet, they are.
Borderlands 2 is an amazing game. It’s definitely going to be a Game of the Year nomination on my end. It’s a must own for anyone who can get their hands on it. It is the epitome of what a Role Playing Shooter should be, action based, story driven. The multiplayer is a lot of fun and will leave you begging for more. I found myself laughing out loud on multiple occasions and enjoying the plot. If you enjoy Role Playing Games or First Person Shooters, you will enjoy Borderlands 2. As I said before, it’s a must own for this year in gaming.
*Hours of Fun
*Top of the Genre (Role Playing Shooter)
I give Borderlands 2 a 4/5.