Borderlands 2 is the sequel to 2010’s well deserved GOTY.It’s been 2 years since we got our shooting and looting on but now is the time to go back to Pandora and finish what we started.
In the original Borderlands game the story was pretty much nonexistent and to be honest I didn’t really care.This time round Gearbox has created a story that is quite cool and worth following but, then again it’s Borderlands and you don’t need the story for the game to be fun.
You’re a vault hunter, trying to free Pandora of its evil occupants and their leader Handsome Jack, the CEO of Hyperion.As you can imagine Jack’s a bit of an idiot and often throws out some funny dialogue.
You play as one of four characters; Axton the commando, May the siren, Salvador the Brick and Zero the assassin.I have only used Axton and can therefore only comment on him but, he is pretty cool.I like how the turret gun deployment can now shoot 360 degrees rather than the original restricted 180 degrees.
You can now customize your character by equipping skins that you find throughout your travels.This could be something that some people really love and enjoy but to be honest I really don’t care what my character looks like in an FPS where I can’t see them anyway.
Smooth as silk just like its predecessor Borderlands 2 feels and looks great.Cel-shade art style and bright colours are everywhere and this time you may even stop to look at the sites and skies including the aurora borealis.
Even though you’re on Pandora again, it’s not the same.There are so many areas, all of which have their own unique look, feel and enemies, and like the original Borderlands, you travel to different areas through large holographic type gates.Vehicles are just as terrible as they were in the original Borderlands due to their clunky, unfriendly controls. Getting about on foot is much better, not just because of the horrible vehicles but mainly because you don’t want to miss any of the great loot that you could find.
As we all expected, there are millions of weapons you can get your hands on all of which are randomly generated. These weapons are unique and come about often but as we all know it’s the purple and orange ones that we want because they’re the rarest. You’re able to sell and purchase weapons and shields etc from vending machines but this can also be done through specialist people as you could in the original.Because you often feel like you have just found “the best weapon imaginable”, you will find yourself selling everything that isn’t at least blue.Missions are set out the same as they were in Borderlands but this time there are a few missions that can have different outcomes.By this I mean that I may have had to collect something but I can choose who I give it to depending on the reward I want.I love this idea because there is nothing worse than constantly getting guns and money when you’re desperately trying to find an amazing shield or artefact.
You will loot for about 80% of the game due to the sheer amount of interactablestorage cases, boxes, safes etc and the enemies themselves dropping a bit of everything.In the original Borderlands you had to pick everything up and to be honest this became a real grind. Now you’re able to walk over necessity items like ammo and money and you only have to physically pick up weapons, shields and Eridium. If you do come across a storage case that won’t automatically give you the contents, just hold “X” and all items that you’re able to carry will automatically go into your back pack (not including weapons)
Eridium is found throughout the game and can be used as currency in the Black Market.The black market is where you purchase upgrades such as the ability to carrying more SMG ammo, more storage space in your backpack for found items and also more space in the bank.The bank is a place where you can store found items that you don’t want to sell. Another great idea that was greatly missed in the original game.
The menus are worth a good mention because of the improvements.Each of the sections such as missions, skill tree and large map are set out as blades similar to the old Xbox dashboard.This allows you to comfortably compare and equip weapons and it looks great.On top of this there is a new blade whereby you can attach attributes to yourself.There are many challenges like collecting X amount of white weapons, killing X amount of X creature etc and once you have completed the given task(s) you’re rewarded with a token that can be used to slightly upgrade shield recharge, weapon damage and many other important things.I love this idea but often forgot that I had tokens to spend. This meant that I would stumble upon the page and have about 10 or more tokens to spend… this was good!
The writing in the original Borderlands was pretty good but this time round it’s brilliant.There is plenty of funny one liner/tongue in cheek dialogue and that’s just from the random enemies.Actual story characters have a shed load of witty comments giving you plenty of lol moments.
Clap Tr4p is still suffering from ADHD and can be a bit annoying at times, but to be honest he isn’t as involved as he was in the first game and I kinda miss him.I am disappointed by this and hope that there will be some DLC that will bring him back into the limelight like he deserves.
Speaking to the characters can be a bit tiring because some of them have a serious case of verbal diarrhoea.If you get bored of listening to characters face to face and want to continue your journey you can, and instead their dialogue will be played through your ECHO unit, a radio type unit that allows communications between allies.The ECHO is not the best of devices though as speech is very quiet. If you’re in the middle of a battle you will most definitely not be able to concentrate on both and because you don’t want to die it’s the voice communications that suffer.
Co-operative is as deep as it was in the original due to the simple drop in and drop out gameplay.Matchmaking is a lot better because it lets you know if you should avoid that particular game due to the hosts experience level and story progression.
It’s worth noting that if you want the best loot you should play co-op as often as you can because that’s where the best drops are.
It’s hard to say because of how great the original Borderlands was but Borderlands 2 improves on everything but the vehicles.Gameplay, visuals, guns, enemies, story, fun, loots… EVERYTHING!!! If you never got round to playing the original I have two things to say,