Well, it’s been five years since the original Vault Hunters — Brick, Roland, Lilith and Mordecai — opened the first Vault on Pandora after battling bandits, Crawmerax, Moxxi’s Underdome, Colonel Knoxx, Claptrap’s Revolution and the Atlas Corporation. After getting the loot, the Vault Hunters went their separate ways…that is, until Handsome Jack and the Hyperion Corporation decided to find another vault — and mine Eridium and destroying Pandora’s environment in the process.
Gameplay (Out of 10)
Overall, this game is far more accessible than the first with easier transitions between bosses and areas. The game sets you up by fighting enemies that preview and prepare you for the tougher versions of it. For example, the Nomads prepare you for the Shock-Nomadic which prepare you for…well, I’m getting ahead of myself. For newbies to Borderlands, it’s far easier and “accessible” compared to the original with many missions giving the Vault Hunter “rare” loot. Unlike the original, the enemies now work more cooperatively, seek cover and work as a team. Besides that, the gameplay remains much the same — shoot and loot. Most missions are basically the same, aside from the bosses. Unlike the original, with boss fights, often the new Vault Hunter has assistance from the original Vault Hunters.
Now there are five classes — the Assassin, the Gunzerker, the Mechromancer, the Commando and the Siren. All have their strengths and their weaknesses. As for their original counterparts, Salvador the Gunzerker is closest to Brick; Maya the Siren is closest to Lilith; Axton the Commando is closest to Roland; and lastly, even though this may be debatable, Gaige the Mechromancer with her Deathtrap may be closest to Mordecai and his Bloodwing.
Unlike the original, each of the companies have significantly different properties. Maliwan is still the best elemental weapons, but it does have competition in Hyperion and Tediore.
For the veterans, some elements from the original Borderlands. What is most apparent are no more storage of health vials and no more gun-proficiency leveling. These changes either force one to adapt and think more methodically and strategically, if playing alone, or resort to cooperative gameplay.
Overall, the gameplay deserves a 9.0 out of 10.
Graphics (Out of 10)
The graphics are similar to the original Borderlands — a tad cartoonish, but this time, they run on the Unreal Engine 3. You either love it or hate it, but I love it. Overall, I’ll give it a 9.5 out of 10 for the minor glitches that appear here and there.
Sound (Out of 10)
The sound is pretty amazing, particularly the NPC voices of the enemies (especially the midgets and goliaths.) Overall, a 9.8 out of 10.
Barring somewhat most of the tedious “tutorial” missions in the beginning, playing the campaign in single-player is quite enjoyable. The references to the previous Borderlands is a nod to those who played the game before and actually quite funny (at least some of it). All in all, the Scooter and Ellie missions were probably the most humorous and enjoyable while Dr. Zed’s missions were the most intriguing.
This is how the game was meant to played — still. Having a couple of friends join you in the fight against Handsome Jack is great fun, especially with the latter boss fights and arenas. It can get pretty frenetic and kinetic as three more people join the game. Case in point: two gunzerkers and an assassin battling level 30 enemies in an arena gets pretty chaotic pretty quickly in round 5.
Overall (Out of 10)
This game is not made for loyal-bound Call of Duty or Battlefield fans where the FPS is fairly straightforward with minimal complications. Borderlands 2 deserves a 9.4 out of 10. It is a solid follow-up to the original, but with the story and changes, this game lacks the charm that the original Borderlands had.
- Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt DLC sets off for Borderlands 2 Jan. 15 (joystiq.com)
- 5 Things You Should Know About Borderlands 2’s Next DLC (kotaku.com)