DM's review of Borderlands 2

Gearbox Software created a new genre with the release of the first Borderlands. For the first time, Gearbox managed to successfully blend RPG elements with FPS gameplay and the result was a massive cult hit. Borderlands succeeded with over-the-top action with a massive world and a chaotic cast of characters. The game was mostly regarded as widely successful with a few minor gripes and Gearbox now returns with Borderlands 2. Have they managed to improve on the first Borderlands? Let's find out.

Regarding the cast of characters, you're given a new set of vault hunters to choose from instead of being able to jump back into the shoes of the heroes from the first game. You're given the choice between four new classes to choose from this time around; Axton the Soldier, Zero the Assassin, Maya the Siren and Salvador the Gunzerker. For the most part, they all play relatively the same in regards to what weapons you can use, but it's their unique skills that sets them apart. Axton on one hand is able to toss down a turret, which once upgraded can blow apart your enemies with deadly rocket launchers or even spawn a second turret. On the other hand, the Gunzerker can duel wield weapons and every kill he racks up, improves his durability, speed and strength. Having all these unique skills for each class makes it quite the challenge picking between each character.

As for the supporting cast, Borderlands 2 assumes that the gamer has played the majority of the previous games DLC's and includes characters from the respective added content. Luckily, none of it is needed to truly understand what goes on in the game's main plot as Borderlands 2 explains all that is needed to know about their history. An additional surprise that Gearbox threw in is the return of the four Vault hunters from the original Borderlands; Lilith, Roland, Mordecai, and Brick. While they are un-playable, they serve as the leaders of the resistance and essentially guide you in your efforts to take down the maniacal Handsome Jack. You'll find yourself fighting against them from time to time, but for the most part, they remain as quest-givers.

The plot itself barely goes beyond a revenge story. Handsome Jack has taken control of the Hyperion Corporation and as such, has declared himself the leader of Pandora. Wiping out all resistance in his path and utilizing Pandora's resources to his advantage, the people of Pandora group together to form the Crimson Raiders, bent on eliminating Jack's control on their home. One of the weak points of the original was the lack of a proper story and while Borderlands 2 makes a slightly better effort this time around, it's not a notable one. Luckily, the supporting cast is interesting enough to carry the dull plot and keeps you interested enough to keep pressing forward until the end. The game does boast it's own set of collectibles in the form of audio recordings. Some will tell the story of Pandora in between the games and through the words of the heroes of the original game, while others will focus on the leading cast of Vault Hunters.

The mission structure in Borderlands 2 will be familiar for fans of RPG's. You speak with a specific character to receive a quest and are sent off at their request to do them a favour. One of the biggest annoyances while making my way through the side quests is the constantly recurring "fetch" quests you're sent on. The world is enormous, there is no doubting that, but when you're sent running back and forth across portions of the map only to grab the most redundant items, it becomes a chore.

Easily the most redeeming quality of Borderlands 2 this time around is the absolutely comical dialogue. The conversations to be over-heard between the cast of characters is simply priceless and you can't help but chuckle at some of the topics being discussed. The cel-shaded visuals make a return and while they haven't improved much over the original, the style remains unique and a pleasure to look at.

In accordance with the popular tagline, Borderlands 2 returns with 98 Bajillion more guns for your pure enjoyment and it's here that Gearbox truly succeeds. While there is only a certain amount of weapons to choose from; Assault Rifles, Pistols, Shotguns, Snipers, etc, almost each weapon you find while looting has it's own set of statistics that set it apart from one another and it's almost guaranteed that you won't find another gun identical to the other. The gameplay remains the same and quite honestly for the better as the gunplay was arguably the best part of the series and it's enjoyed even further with a group of friends by your side, eliminating everything in your path.

Borderlands 2 and Gearbox deliver again with the award winning gameplay and ridiculous cast of characters that will keep you occupied for hours on end and while the story might fail to grip the gamer, it does a better job that it's predecessor.

Final Score: 8.5

28 Comments
28 Comments
Posted by Xanni15

It's about time. :P

Bookmarked.

Posted by Deranged Midget

@Xanni15: Ha, I know.

Posted by Lvenger

Nice review. Though there can't really be 98 bajillion games in that game. Can there?

Edited by Deranged Midget

@Lvenger said:

Nice review. Though there can't really be 98 bajillion games in that game. Can there?

Heh, not that many guns but the amount is overwhelming.

Posted by Lvenger

@Deranged Midget said:

@Lvenger said:

Nice review. Though there can't really be 98 bajillion games in that game. Can there?

Heh, not that many guns but the amount is overwhelming.

Guns I meant games. Guns damn it! Though it would be a great game if there were games within the games. Like Inception. It could be called Gameception :P

Posted by Deranged Midget

@Lvenger said:

@Deranged Midget said:

@Lvenger said:

Nice review. Though there can't really be 98 bajillion games in that game. Can there?

Heh, not that many guns but the amount is overwhelming.

Guns I meant games. Guns damn it! Though it would be a great game if there were games within the games. Like Inception. It could be called Gameception :P

LOL! Trust me, I wrote down games in my response as well :P

*steals Gameception idea*

Posted by Lvenger

@Deranged Midget said:

@Lvenger said:

@Deranged Midget said:

@Lvenger said:

Nice review. Though there can't really be 98 bajillion games in that game. Can there?

Heh, not that many guns but the amount is overwhelming.

Guns I meant games. Guns damn it! Though it would be a great game if there were games within the games. Like Inception. It could be called Gameception :P

LOL! Trust me, I wrote down games in my response as well :P

*steals Gameception idea*

What the...

*Calls a crack team of lawyers to sue Deranged Midget's ass"

Posted by _Zombie_

I agree with everything except the bit about the plot being dull. I thought it was surprisingly good, especially when compared to the plot (or lack thereof) from the first game. I also don't think there were that many fetch quests. In fact, I only noticed two or three that didn't have some form of variety to make them enjoyable.

Posted by deadpoolrules

DAMN!I was going to do a review of Borderlands 2.Nice review

Posted by batfan36

NO ONE CARES.

Posted by k4tzm4n

*reading*

@batfan36 said:

NO ONE CARES.

I do and clearly others do as well. You're free to say why you don't like the game, but a post like the one you made it completely pointless and inflammatory. Don't like a thread, don't post. It's that simple.

Staff
Posted by Deranged Midget

@ZombieBigfoot: To each their own :) Thanks for reading!

@deadpoolrules: Thanks mate and I encourage you to post yours! I'm interested to see your thoughts!

Posted by k4tzm4n

Very solid and fair review. I agree and nicely done!

Staff
Posted by deadpoolrules

@Deranged Midget said:

@deadpoolrules: Thanks mate and I encourage you to post yours! I'm interested to see your thoughts!

Thanks.And don't worry,just let me beat the game and play as every character possible.I want to do a full job :D

Posted by Deranged Midget

@k4tzm4n: Thanks dude! :)

@deadpoolrules: Haha, take your time! It's a huge game!

Posted by _Zombie_

@Deranged Midget: I don't think anyone can disagree on the fact that Jack was a great villain for this game, though.

Posted by Deranged Midget

@ZombieBigfoot said:

@Deranged Midget: I don't think anyone can disagree on the fact that Jack was a great villain for this game, though.

He is and as I mentioned in my review, the dialogue was absolutely amazing. Everytime Jack spoke, I found myself just chuckling.

Posted by _Zombie_

@Deranged Midget: Same. It was almost hard to hate him for most of the game, because of how funny he was.

Posted by Deranged Midget

@ZombieBigfoot: He was a little psychotic but I never really hated him.

Edited by redbird3rdboywonder

I really enjoyed discovering Angel's secret and shooting Jack in the face and and also great review DM

Posted by Deranged Midget

@redbird3rdboywonder: Thanks mate, but you should probably put a spoiler tag on that :P

Posted by Xanni15

Amazing review, DM, really good, this could easily be a published review in a game magazine or on the front page of CV. I'm certainly going to recommend this to Razza for her community spotlight thread.

Like you I was slightly let down by the plot, not that the first had an fantastic plot or that either game really relies on one, but putting a little more effort into it couldn't have taken that much effort. I mean, the multi-player is awesome and it's a lot of fun to just go around shooting people, but some parts are too simple. As someone else said, at least they make Jack a respectable villain who the player feels must be taken out. Plus, the online is just full of people looking to trade crap all the time. x.x

Pre-release I wondered if this had a shot at GOY but it appears like it's AC3's to lose.

Posted by utotheg38

@batfan36 said:

NO ONE CARES.

lol why?

Posted by Deranged Midget

@Xanni15: Wow dude, I'm extremely flattered by that compliment! Thank you!

Eh, this will be possibly nominated by a few venues for Game of the Year, but I don't think it's winning.

Posted by Xanni15

@Deranged Midget:

You're welcome, it's the truth. I hope the reviews keep coming. :]

Posted by Deranged Midget

@Xanni15: :)

Oh they will, don't you worry about that!

Posted by pooty

The hype about Borderlands 2 made me do something I swore I would never do.....Play a first person shooter. But i started with Borderlands 1. The first four days of playing were not very exciting. Then I got a sniper gun. Then my torrent. then my elemental weapons......now i'm hooked. Can't wait to play Borderlands 2 now. As for plot, i couldn't care less in any game I play. So if that is the only "bad" part, I KNOW i'm going to enjoy number 2. If you can do a review of "Dishonored" that would be great!!!

Online
Posted by Deranged Midget

@pooty: Thanks for reading and if you loved the gameplay, you won't be disappointed with Borderlands 2!

As for Dishonoured, I have to play the game first then I'll review it, but I think I have enough time before AC3 ;)