Review of Borderlands 2

by Paul

Borderlands was a fantastic game. Gearbox software set themselves a tough challenge of topping it, but I'm glad to say they did.

Four new vault hunters are lured to the frozen wastelands of Pandora, five years after the events of Borderlands.

After The Destroyer was, well, destroyed, a rare mineral - Eridium - started seeping through Pandora and Hyperion Corporation member Handsome Jack wishes to take advantage of this - it's your job to stop him.

Borderlands was critically acclaimed and a personal favourite of mine. As with all good series, sequels are notoriously hard to pull off, but Gearbox needn't worry - it's amazing.

Campaign

The mean feature that I loved about the Borderlands campaign was the comedy behind it. Ever since Borderlands 2 was announced, I was worried that the humor would either be over-done or non-existent. Thankfully, it's neither.

As shown in the trailer above and below, Borderlands 2 is, to my taste, a hilarious game. Most of the laughs are created by frequent encounters with the lovable Claptrap, a small robot who introduces adventurers to Pandora.

The campaign's story itself is strong too. While Borderlands' storyline left some feeling somewhat disappointed, Borderlands 2 fixes the cracks in the original whilst also paving its own.

As mentioned in the Doomsday trailer, Borderlands 2 has 87 bajizillion guns. It might sound like an exaggeration, but guns from loot chests littered around Pandora are randomly generated meaning that the amount of unique guns could reach 87 bajizillion - if it were a real number.

Optional side missions also play a strong part in the Borderlands 2 experience. While they're not necessary, they have their own mini stories and also provide a lot of the quest-only guns.

After you've completed the game once, you can opt to enter playthrough 2 which sees every enemy scale up to your level. It also sees all of the random loot that's generated souped-up to fulfil your enemy killing needs.

If that's not enough, you can do it once again, entering playthrough 2.5 to acquire even higher levelled gear and guns and trust me, you're going to need it.

Aside from the quest bosses, there are plenty more bosses found towards the end of the playthroughs. Gearbox have designed these bosses with end-game content in mind, so if you aren't near the level cap, you're not going to stand a chance.

Step forward Terramorphous the Invincible, the first post-quest boss you're likely to have the misfortune of encountering. He lives up to his name as you'll struggle to defeat him alone. Even teams of two or three have had problems.

After Terramorphous, there's loads more bosses to sink your teeth into, but you'll have to encounter them for yourself!

Graphics & Audio

Borderlands' comic-style art is easily identifiable and is certainly unique in terms of art styles for this genre. This time, the game seems more colourful with less grey colours which is a welcome change.

The guns aren't as varied in looks as they were in Borderlands which is a shame, though there is still a large amount of variety. It's nowhere near a deal-breaker but it did irk me.

The audio for the guns is also somewhat disappointing. Again, for me personally, the guns do sound similar and if that's something that annoys you, it may prove to be a problem.

However, the massively varied areas of Borderlands 2 paired with the great voice artists employed for the vast array of NPCs more than make up for the potential downfall in gun audio and graphics.

The Caustic Caverns
The Caustic Caverns

Multiplayer

If you liked the multiplayer in Borderlands, you'll like the multiplayer in Borderlands 2. Mostly because it's exactly the same, but that's what suits Borderlands. Why fix what's not broken?

Teams of up to 4 can battle through Pandora. The varied character classes are suited perfectly for co-op gameplay as each vault hunter has unique abilities that mesh together to form an unstoppable force.

If you don't wish to team up against the forces of Pandora, you can challenge each other to duels and prove who the toughest hunter on Pandora really is. It's a good feature which is rarely seen in games today.

There's big benefits to teaming up. The more people, the higher levelled the loot is and the more frequently it drops, so if you want the best gear out there, you're going to have to team up!

Take on Handsome Jack alone or in a group of up to 4 players
Take on Handsome Jack alone or in a group of up to 4 players

Summary

If Borderlands, like me, left you wanting more, Borderlands 2 certainly will not disappoint. It's got great characters, a solid storyline and tons of re playability thanks to the random aspect of the loot.

DLC has also been announced and if it's anything like it was in Borderlands, which I have full faith that it will be after seeing the brilliant job Gearbox have done with Borderlands 2, it should be hours more entertainment.

The humor is fantastic, the gameplay is great and with a handful of extremely tough bosses, it definitely will take a while to complete - especially with an additional 2 playthroughs.

The different vault hunters will have you playing the campaign from start to finish numerous times as each of them do provide a different feel to the game ensuring that each playthrough is enjoyable.

I'll leave you in the capable hands of Sir Hammerlock - my second favourite character in the game - only beaten by the wonderful Claptrap.

Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 furthers the distinct blending of First Person Shooter and Role Playing genres to create the true evolution of the Role Playing Shooter. Team up with up to three o...

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Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 furthers the distinct blending of First Person Shooter and Role Playing genres to create the true evolution of the Role Playing Shooter. Team up with up to three o...

View on Amazon

Borderlands 2 Deluxe Vault Hunter's Edition

A new era of shoot and loot is about to begin. Play as one of four new vault hunters facing off against a massive new world of creatures, psychos and the evil mastermind, Handso...

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Borderlands 2 Ultimate Loot Chest Limited Edition

A new era of shoot and loot is about to begin. Play as one of four new vault hunters facing off against a massive new world of creatures, psychos and the evil mastermind, Handso...

View on Amazon

Updated: 01/19/2013, Paul
 
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Paul on 01/10/2013

Here's one of them: https://twitter.com/ECHOcasts ... I think they ended up letting one "hack" the other's twitter feed, was pretty hilarious to watch unfold though :P

JoHarrington on 01/10/2013

That's hilarious! What were the Tweets? 'Just pwned a player in Pandora'?

Paul on 01/07/2013

Always worth a second watch! They even set up twitter feeds for the DLC characters at one point

JoHarrington on 01/07/2013

Yes I did. I watched them at the time too, when you were all throwing them at me. lol

Paul on 01/07/2013

Did you watch the trailers? They're hilarious even if you've never heard of the game :P

JoHarrington on 01/07/2013

I remember the excitement amongst so many of my friends when this came out. It's good to read what all the fuss was about.

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