Jump back into Pandora with new guns, new Vault Hunters, and the same old humor.
Borderlands 2 starts out much like the first Borderlands. You are a Vault Hunter on a bullet train commissioned by Handsome Jack (the protagonist turned antagonist from the first game) hauling Vault Hunters on a new mission in Pandora. The game quickly changes as Jack’s true intentions come forward, or so it seems. Borderlands 2 is filled with plot twists and turns at every corner, it is a faced paced Action Shooter with Role Playing Game elements that keep you playing one bullet at a time.
Borderlands 2 was built on the Unreal Engine and plays just as you would expect had you played the first game. If you did not, imagine Call of Duty (or any other generic first person shooter) doin’ the deed with World of Warcraft (or other generic MMORPG), 9 months later the baby would be the Borderlands franchise. You kill enemies and complete quests to get experience, which allows you to become higher levels and equip better guns. There are an infinite amount of randomly generated guns in the game (they claim a bazillion, but does that number even exist?) so you can always find something unique. For instance I found a gun that screams every time I shoot it.
The sound in Borderlands 2 is very enriched and gives you the immersive feeling that we’ve come to expect from today’s market. The music is a mix of punk, rock and euphoric sounds of symphonic remnants. There has not been a time where a set song plays over and over again in my experience thus far, however I’m sure that the soundtrack has a limit. The gunfire is as realistic as I’ve ever heard (sans the special guns that make different sounds as a sort of gimmick) and the voiceovers are what you’d expect the characters to sound like, and overall great. There are some times when you kill enemies and they curse you out until they are dead. They did a great job on the voice actors and there is a lot of talent here.
The environment is an icy landscape that does dip a little further south into some of the desert areas of Pandora that we are used to from Borderlands 1. They did a great job not recycling the same areas, so the play through feels very crisp and fresh your first time through. The areas are detailed beautifully and paired with enemies that you’d expect: Yetis in the Icelandic areas, Scaabs (wild dogs) in the desert areas, and bandits thrown about. The environment itself does not pose as much of a danger as I’d like, but I chock it up to the relaxed gravitational pull of Pandora, which is obvious when you jump or fall, you kind of get this “floaty” feeling indicative of low gravity.
There are a slew of vehicles this go round, all with customizable skins, weapons and drive packages. The vehicles now feature a boost feature which speeds them up, and you do not take environmental damage for driving into walls, making crazy jumps or running over enemies. Which is a good thing! Unfortunately, your vehicles health points do NOT regenerate like your life does from finding health packs, so be careful! Fortunately, it does not cost anything to deploy a new vehicle as long as you’re at a catch-a-ride station, which are placed throughout the game.
All in all, Borderlands 2 gives you a fresh new environment to play in. It is very reminiscent of the first game, which I was not a huge fan of, but improves upon its predecessor with better controls, more weapons variation and a faster more streamlined play. Is this game worth a buy? Yep, I’d definitely buy it as it’s chocked full of action and fun for a good 20-30 hour play through. I don’t feel like the replay value is there, as there’s not much room for different quests and activities a second go through. If you’re looking for a great game this winter for your children, stay away from Borderlands 2; there is a fair amount of violence and sexual innuendo as well as some pretty racy languag. Definitely deserves it’s ESRB rating. You can purchase Borderlands 2 from your local retailer for 59.99 or via digital purchase from major online retailers such as Steam, Origin and Amazon.