Banner by Ramon3110.
Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
North American Release Date: 18/09/2012
European Release Date: 21/09/2012
Trophies: 1 | 2 | 9 | 39
Trophy guide: Borderlands 2 Trophy Guide by Davey
Borderlands 2 is the sequel to the original Borderlands, which was a huge success among everyone. With Pandora returning as the setting, a new set of Vault Hunters to play as, more customization options and over a hundred bajillion guns and grenades to choose from, Borderland 2 hit the stores with massive hype backing it up and boy does it live up to it.
The game has your standard FPS controls, from shooting, running, throwing grenades, zooming in, crouching, jumping and other things that are part of every other shooter out there. They are, as expected, smooth and comfortable to use, and even allow for personalization in case you don’t like shooting or jumping with the pre-determined buttons. Thanks to this you can jump back into the game at any given time without worrying about not remembering the controls.
Unlike other FPS out there, Borderlands 2, like its predecessor, has different characters, each one being a different class that offer different perks and abilities. The classes in question are the Siren, a “witch” with incredible psychic powers, the Commando, a hardened soldier that may release a turret to aid him in battle, the Assassin, a ninja that may turn invisible and deal high damage from the shadows, and the Gunzerker, a tank that can deal high damage and use multiple weapons at a time. Obviously every class has different proficiencies and how well they suit up to your game style depends on how you customize their skills.
As with the original Borderlands, the game has borrowed quite a few RPG elements, like the health and shield bars, leveling up and status ailments. Like in the previous game’s leveling system, you level up by completing quests or killing enemies which grants you experience points, which increase your level and increase your stats and health. Naturally, this isn’t the only thing they increase, for after level five, they grant you a skill point which you may accommodate in your pre-determined class’s skill tree, which will grant you different bonuses that will, in turn, turn you into a killing machine. How well your skills work and how efficient you are with them depends on how you play the game, which let’s one experiment multiple times with different classes.
With so many skills to choose from, you'll most likely find yourself playing the game again.
Thanks to these RPG elements, the game turns into more than a shooter, especially thanks to the status ailments. Each status ailment has a different use. Fire is extremely useful against flesh, so hitting a Psycho enemy with it will deal higher damage. Acid is very useful against armor, so it’ll be your best friend against vehicles and robots. Electricity is effective against shields, so electricity-weapons will be favorable against most bosses (since they always have a shield). Finally, there’s Slag, which will make whatever enemy that you cover in it receive higher damage from other status ailments. Thanks to this, the game offers more variety than just popping out of cover and shooting bad guys ‘till they drop, specially since some enemies are resistant to an element and, unlike the original Borderlands, sheer bullet damage won’t hurt them.
As mentioned before, the game has over a hundred bajillion guns and grenades (and equipment, too!). This is thanks to some randomizer Gearbox programmed into the game, which allows for you to find many different kinds of weapons with different stats and abilities. For example, you might find a grenade that, when launched, will explode into smaller grenades that’ll explode into even smaller grenades that’ll cover your enemies in acid or a sub-machine gun that’ll deal electricity damage to whoever it hits. This makes the game even more entertaining for you’ll often look out for different guns or equipment that suits your needs or the situation at hand or simply because they are insanely powerful.
Another added thing is the “badass rank”, which increases with every challenge you complete. Challenges consist of different tasks that range from killing x types a kind of monsters, to dealing x damage with a certain element or to kill x numbers of enemies with a weapon. Completing this will increase your badass rank which will, in turn, reward you badass tokens that you can then redeem for a few added bonus to your character (like increasing your reload speed or your melee damage). The greatest thing about the badass ranks and the perks you unlock with them is that they aren’t locked to your character, but to your profile, so even if you start a new game you’ll have all those stat bonuses added to your character. Awesomeness!
So much customization!
In short, the game borrows the same things it did in it’s predecessor and cranks it up to eleven, making the experience even more entertaining.
Borderlands 2 has the player back on Pandora, this time as a different set of Vault Hunters than those of the original. Now, the objective isn’t to find the Vault, but to stop Hyperion Corporation’s boss, Handsome Jack (no, he isn’t handsome), from opening it again and bringing doom unto Pandora. As if wanting to destroy/conquer Pandora wasn’t a good enough reason, Handsome Jack tried to murder you and your comrades, so this is isn’t only social service, but a vendetta, too.
Handsome Jack. Millionaire murderer CEO and all-around asshole of Hyperion Corporation.
Unlike the original Borderlands that lacked any real story development, an actual drive to finish it and mainly lived from expositional elements (like ECHO messages found in side-quests) that told you a bit more about the world of Pandora, Borderlands 2 has a set story full of twists and familiar faces that makes you want to keep playing. It no longer feels like a simple fetch quest after another, specially since you’ve got an actual drive to reach the end, which is Handsome Jack, with some badass parts and plot twists in-between. To make things better, the previous game’s humor is still intact, so you’ll keep laughing with every new conversation.
The side characters are also much more entertaining and hilarious and a bigger involvement than just giving you quest after quest or selling you items. Not only do old faces return, but some of the newer faces are so hilariously insane that you can’t help fall in love with them. Handsome Jack is also the antagonist that many games should have, with adjectives like “murderous”, “egocentric”, “charismatic”, “hilarious” "memorable" and “evil” being just some of the ones that make him stand out.
Some of the side characters are quite insane.
The Borderlands are also quite different when compared to the way it looked in the original game. Snowy settings are very common, with wastelands, caves, rivers of acid and others making appearances throughout it. This makes the game much more varied (as well as the enemies) and, even though you’ll most likely find yourself backtracking due to a new quest objective popping up or something similar, you never really sense that “been there, done that” feeling unless you’re too troubled by backtracking.
Borderlands 2 offers a multiplayer component similar to that of LEGO games, since the online has a drop-in/drop-out system that allows you to join any person’s game and leave it just as fast. This lets people connect easily and get to play right off the bat with their friends (which makes the game even more entertaining), which in turn makes the enemies of the Borderlands stronger so you both can’t just breeze through it as easily.
There’s also the much missed split screen feature that most games seem to be ignoring for unknown reasons. This feature works perfectly (even more so on gigantic TV screens) and allows you and a friend to laugh even more when playing.
Some enemies might be a little hard to murder alone, so don't hestitate to ask for help.
Another great thing is that, even if you’re stuck with a beneath-average internet connection, Gearbox’s servers are great and the connection is very stable. Although I suffer from a slow (and bad) internet connection, I had no issues whatsoever joining other sessions (or having friends join mine) and the lag was minimal at best. Props to you, Gearbox!
The game features the same cell-shaded graphics that the original did, which, coupled up with the game’s unique art-style, make the game stand out on and has a vibe of it’s own. Pandora and it’s characters look very well, and the animations are top-notch, too. Although some of them might be awkward, they’re in generally very fluid, even the lip sync, which rarely has an unnatural look.
Coupled up with the sweet looks is great voice acting that makes the characters stand on their own and a score that, while not incredible, fits the setting and environment, specially when fighting hordes of monsters or bosses. The rest of the audio isn’t anything special but works. After all, you’re not expecting there to be a bajillion different noises for all the weapons available in the game.
Now, anyone who played the original Borderlands most likely remembers there were a few glitches and bugs (mostly related to playing online) that resulted in one not being able to finish quests or in the save data getting corrupted. I’m glad to say that they have been practically eradicated and that I’ve yet to experience any. If anything, the only troubles I’ve ran into consist of enemies getting stuck on the floor or a structure, allowing me to easily kill them.
The trophies for this game are rather standard. Complete x amount of story missions (and the story), kill y monster, complete this many objectives, etc. Nothing out of the ordinary and nothing too hard, either. The only bothersome parts consist of finishing every side quest, every level 1 challenge and killing a certain monster that’s rather hard to kill. That aside, the plat is moderately easy, even more if you use this handy guide to help yourself.
Borderlands 2 separates itself from the rest of the shooters out there by implementing the greatest things it’s predecessor had and building up on them. This game is seriously fun (specially with friends) and is a serious contender for the game of the year.
Much better than the original, with so many guns and features that’ll make you play and play and play. And play.
More interesting and varied than the first one. Handsome Jack and the rest of the cast make the experience even better.
Fluid as hell, and even if it doesn’t bring anything new to the table, it works very well and makes the experience even better.
Outstanding, even if it lacks a little on the audio department.
Overall: 9.5/10 Super Brilliant