Published on September 22nd, 2012 | by thoseguyspodcast0
Borderlands 2 Review
Borderlands 2 was a game I dreaded having to review this year after the massive debacle that was diablo 3. The last thing I wanted to do was to play another loot hunting game. Thankfully I have been pleasantly surprised. In fact this review is being posted later than expected because I could not pry myself away from the game. Gearbox has kept the same tried and true formula of its predecessor but makes small improvements to almost every aspect of the game. This time around borderlands is a much more refined experience. Gearbox has truly surpassed all my expectations.
Gameplay: Borderlands 2 features much of the same gameplay as before, collecting loot, doing quests fighting bosses the usual but everything has been improved. The shooting mechanics of borderlands 2 are solid with literally thousands of guns to choose from. Between gunning down skags with assault rifles, or landing head shots on psychos from afar the various gun types all feel rewarding. Walking over ammo or health will be picked up automatically; menus are no longer obtuse and cluttered and have been significantly streamlined. Small touches like the commando being able to pick up his turret to recover some cool down are just a few examples of the hundreds of small improvements borderlands 2 has made. Enemy variety is also much improved, in the original Borderlands you spent a decent chunk in the beginning fighting nothing but skags. The game does a much better job of varying up the enemy types this time. From venomous spiders, bullymongs, engineers to bandits the enemy variety is impressive. There are a plethora of enemy types even early on in the game keeping the game from getting as redundant as the original. There are four classes to pick from all with unique abilities in the game which all have very distinct play styles. I could spend ten pages explaining all the small upgrades Borderlands 2 has made. The only complaints I have in the gameplay department is that classes for pvp are still rather unbalanced and the vehicle sections are still as poor as the first game.
Graphics: Borderlands 2 is also a remarkably beautiful game, its cell shaded art style suits it well and fits in with the unrealistic and cartoonish nature of the game. Attention to detail seems to be quite high with little touches like falling snow flakes melting on the players screen adding a very nice final touch. Borderlands will have you traveling from freezing arctic environments to junk yards and barren deserts, all the locations look great and give the player a very distinct feel. The only real knock against the graphics is that there seems to be an incredible amount of pop in after load times and when entering cities. This doesn’t really distract from the overall experience simply a by-product of being so late in the console generation.
Story: The story in Borderlands 2 is also much improved, the original story was pretty mediocre and lacked a satisfying ending; this has been remedied in the sequel. The Story of the four vault hunters trying to take down the evil leader of the Hyperion Corporation Mad jack is surprisingly compelling. A few times during the main story I had my jaw hit the floor from some very well placed plot twists that you would not expect from a humor focused game. Between the fantastic voice acting and the witty writing the story will engross you in a way the original never could. Did I mention the witty writing? Within the first 15 minutes of the game I was literally laughing out loud at the games dialogue. The original game’s humour was extremely hit or miss, however Borderlands 2 has a much more crafted sense of humour taking a lot of dark tones which is suits it well. A great example is a side quest where you help scooter write a love poem for a girl, it is so bad she ends up killing herself after reading it.
Overall Borderlands 2 makes a thousand baby steps in the right direction that make the overall package a great experience. Some may complain the game shares to many similarities with the original, but I simply see it as an extremely refined experience. Borderlands 2 is a case of success by a thousand small steps which is far better than death by a thousand cuts…I am looking at you Diablo 3.
Final verdict 9/10