I feel the only way to start this review is with BOOM BOOM RATATAT … they were gun noises, God I love guns. I have found both Borderlands titles to be very addictive, with hours of fun, especially with a group of friends. The qwerky humour and tally-ho gun slinging action is what made the Borderlands games so awesome. The only thing we don’t talk about is the ending to the original, ever. I mean seriously don’t go there, especially since its now officially a taboo according to the English dictionary. But it has to be brought up at some point, even Borderlands 2 rips into its predecessor’s shoddy excuse for an ending! Before I start this properly though, I want to give massive credit to the 2K team who really do reward their gaming fan base with extra content, just because you bought their game. I.e in the case of Gold keys which can be used in game for randomly generated loot!
If you’ve played Borderlands before and loved it, this second instalment will get you whooping with joy to once again take up the throne of being a vault hunter and to kick some Skagg / psycho ass. What’s better is that this sequel is a lot bigger with some extremely cool diverse environments. Ranging from the Frozen Wastes to the arid bleakness that is the Dead Sands, they can all be blasted through in your custom paint job vehicle. If you haven’t played it before and you want a game to fill in the time as well as have a laugh with mates, then Borderlands 2 is for you. If you want to get lost in the middle of nowhere facing off against hordes of wildlife – not to mention be the centre of attention where it’s up to you and only you to help save the world – then you should give it a go. If not than the words of Liam Lynch, “Yeah, whatever!” come to mind.
The game begins in the freezing Tundra where a guy called Handsome Jack (who happens to be one of the best bad guys I think I’ve encountered in a game since … like … ever) is attempting to wipe you from the planet. The reason being is that you’re vault hunter, and let’s just say he isn’t too fond of vault hunters. Things aren’t looking great for you, but then you meet old Claptrap who makes one epic return in this action packed sequel, being as socially awkward and unsuccessful in his exploits as ever.
The game is based around stat based weapons and items, which will get better the further you get into the game. With weapons and items having a rarity colour scale based on how good they are (from white – basic, to pearlescent: creamable). There is also a return of the gun/ gear manufactures which all have their own uniqueness. For example, if you’re a sniper, Jaccobs will be your choice for high end damage while if you want an excessive rate of fire (spray and pray), than look no further than the Vladoff range. The weapons and shield mods can also be more or less effective based on if they have elemental damage or not. The element damage of a gun will play a big role on how you tackle certain enemies. It’s elementary my dear chap, so if you’ve played Pokémon, you’ll be fine.
The four character classes to choose from are fairly similar to that of the original, bringing a sense of familiarity that will ease returning players back into the Borderlands universe. There’s the commando, the Assassin , the Siren, the Gunzerker and the latest addition, the Mechanic. They all have a great sense of individuality and playing any two classes won’t feel the same. It also means that you will have to take a different approach to the game, which brings in the individualism and use of team work when playing co-op. Though a commando having another Turret as an ability … seriously this is Pandora, why can’t they give a commando the ability to summon a mini tank or something?
There is the return of some familiar faces, including the main cast from the original, who will make a reappearance from the original Borderlands, such as the likes of Marcus, Dr Zed and Scooter. There have been a few cool new additions to the townsfolk such as the chocks away old chap; Sir Hammerlock and the most disturbed thirteen year old to grace our screens since Kick Ass’s ‘Hit Girl’; Tiny Tina.
The cell shading graphics does bring a sweet touch to the style, giving the game a great feel; it makes the environments feel harsh and desolate, yet beautifully dynamic at the same time. To sum it up Pandora is a complete wasteland that is truly huge and not to mention full of crazy bandits and suicidal midgets ready to throw away their lives by trying to ‘have at ye’.
What makes the game so great, you ask? Well thanks for asking, other Kailios. I really enjoyed the storyline myself and the overall game play did have me coming back for more. Not to mention that, like the original, there is the a lot fun to be had. Going crazy with a titanic amount of different weapon combinations, all in a bid to find a different way of decimating those pesky bandits and co.
Though I must add that a sad returning factor I found is that most boss fights are not always massively satisfying and generally, when you have found yourself a relatively good set of equipment, they will hardly be a challenge at all. What ever happened to boss fight mechanics in games? Another down side is the driving stages being yet again fairly boring, yes things go boom and squish but, besides that, nothing particularly exciting.
Moving on, the game itself has a good amount of playability; about 35 hours+, which is quite a bit when compared to other games now-a-days. The story missions are reasonably well laid out and there are plenty of alternative missions to keep you side tracked if and when you feel like it for additional rewards, mostly pointless fun to be had to break up any tedious grinding. Quests, such as finding a parody of the TMNT’s hideout, is a brilliant addition. Once you’ve cracked it on normal mode, be prepared to go through it all again on true vault hunter mode, with better and more badass loot. This does, however, queue the grinding part, once you’ve got so far or completed the game and want to take on the higher end dungeon bosses, to take them down you will most likely require you to grind a boss for hours and hours. I don’t know but let’s just say…. Conference Call can go f**k itself.
Overall 2k Games have definitely started off another fantastic game which promises tonnes of add-ons throughout the year. If you want a game for big bangs and some quick laughs, or if you’re bored of the standard FPS layout, than I would say this will be right up your street, definitely one to check out.