- Developer: Gearbox Software
- Publisher: 2K Games
- Platform: Windows PC, PS3, Xbox 360
- Release Date: September 18, 2012
- Genre: First Person Shooter/Tactical RPG
Gameplay: Borderlands 2 is the much awaited sequel to the highly addictive, and highly awesome Borderlands. Gameplay wise not too much has really changed. Still present are the 3 bazillion guns, shields, and grenades. Also present still are a large variety of interesting enemies. This time around though, you have to go into fights thinking just a little bit harder than you might have previously. In the original Borderlands the elemental weapons (Caustic, Fire, Shock, and the newly added Slag) were a nice touch, but I found that I never had to use them. This time around though, if you aren’t carrying a few elemental weapons you’re going to find that battles are a whole hell of a lot harder than they have been previously.
Talking about enemies, the AI in Borderlands 2 is VASTLY improved. New enemy types, such as Nomads, have the ability to direct their peers to do things such as flanking you. The “Rat” and “Stalker” enemies provide unique challenges, especially stalkers, as they are able to completely disappear from the battlefield at any time.
Also present in Borderlands 2 are a host of amazing returning/new NPCs. Scooter, Dr. Zed, CL4P-TP (or Claptrap), Mad Moxxie, have all returned in Vital NPC rolls, and Claptrap is just as annoying as always (he even sings dubstep if you’re lucky). The new NPCs fit perfectly in this new world: from Ellie the Belly (who is absolutely badass), to Tiny Tina (the littlest Demolition Expert), there are just so many memorable characters.
All of the original Vault Hunters (playable characters) have returned as NPCs, and occasionally battle partners. In the 5 years since the original Borderlands, all of the characters have moved on somewhat, so getting to see where they are now is interesting. Roland has become the leader of the resistance, Lilith has become a super powerful Siren and the leader of a group of bandits, etc.
This humor from the original Borderlands has been kicked into high gear. From enemies known as “Bonerfarts”, to Claptrap only referring to you as “Minion”, they’ve pulled out all the stops to make sure you’re laughing pretty much constantly.
A new feature present in the game is your “Badass Level”. Basically as you hit certain objectives (kill 100 psychos, couse 10,000 points of Caustic Damage, etc.), your “Badass Level” rises. At each badass level you are awarded with 1 Badass Token, which you can spend on small passive bonuses that are used on all of your characters system wide. 1 point will initially buy you a 1% increase in a skill (Say reload speed for example) which may not sound like a ton, but after sinking say 10 badass points into it, you’re reloading lightning fast. It is worth mentioning that each point spent on a skill gives diminishing results (so 10 points in reload speed only gets you like 6.5% increase in the skill. Nothing mindblowing still, but it does make a difference eventually). The awesome part is that there is no max badass level, and since it is account rather than character specific, you can just keep leveling indefinitely.
Also present is an improved multiplayer mode that I have yet to get my hands on. It promises an increased enemy presence, and better loot though, so I’ll get to it as soon as I find a friend who can play with me.
All in all, if you’re a FPS fan at all you’re going to absolutely adore Borderlands 2.
Sound and Graphics: Sound wise, Borderlands 2 is pretty amazing. The soundtrack is nothing short of amazing. You’ll learn quickly that every area has a distinct sound (to fit in with the unique areas). The Dam for example plays hard rock in the background constantly, and although you probably won’t hear much of it over the constant gunfire (or your hilarious talking Shotgun) when you do it’s breathtaking.
Anyone who has seen a trailer for this game, knows that it is superbly stylized. Characters and environments have a distinct look, but it is uniform, and they made sure never to break the style. The game is absolutely visually stunning though, each of the areas of the game (or levels if you will) has something about it that is unique. In the original, environments were largely brown and deserty. Not so much this time though, while you do have some very brown levels (such as The Dust) you will also find yourself fighting through luscious green wildlife preserves, and icy blue glaciers. Point here being that visually, Borderlands 2 is much more interesting than it’s predecessor.
Replayability: From the long (and interesting) main story, to the hundred-something side missions, you can expect each play-through of Borderlands 2 to rack up a good 30-40 hours. Much like the original, there is a New Game + mode, in which you get to keep all of your weapons/skills/whatever, and you can play-through a second time with harder enemies, and better loot. For sadist, there is a play-through 2.5, which promises to include a boss that the game guide promises will take 4 max leveled characters (And you can’t reach max level without beating the game at least twice).
In addition to the numerous side missions, there are all sorts of things out there for completionists. From the hidden “Cult of the Vault” search, to finding the best loot possible, you can easily expect to sink a few extra hours into each play-through.
Also present are not one, but 3 different arenas for you to fight through. Unlike Mad Moxxi’s add-on in the original, these domeu kes promise to let you keep your loot and experience, which means they are worth spending some time on before the final boss fights.
Also keep in mind that there are 4 (soon to be 5 thanks to Gaige the Mechromancer coming out next month) different playable classes, meaning that if you really want the full Borderlands-Experience, you’re going to need to beat the game multiple time with multiple characters.
Final Thoughts: As a hardcore fan of the first game, I had high hopes for Borderlands 2, and I’m super happy to say that the game has more than lived up to each and every expectation I had for it. From the creature slaughter domes, to the amazing new gun and grenades, to Maya’s vastly improved Siren abilities, this is a seriously polished, and nothing short of amazing game to play.
I’m honestly amazed at how well they did this time around. The original game had a few boring sections here or there, but there is no boring hum-drum this time around. You’ll be absolutely enticed until you’ve hit the level cap, and knowing the franchise, that cap will be upping as soon as they toss out their first story DLC.
Rating: 10/10. Honestly the best game I’ve played in a very very long time. I’d rate it an 11/10 if I didn’t think that was too cheesy. I just can’t wait for the DLCs already.
tagged as: Borderlands. Borderlands 2. Borderlands 2 Review. Review. Gaymer.
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