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Borderlands 2 Review: Pandora calls again

by unt1tled

posted September 20, 2012 @ 8:40PM
blog posts

filed under Games



They brought back Duke Nukem from the dead and released a successful new franchise in Borderlands built on action, humor and personality—developer Gearbox definitely has many talents up its sleeve, so it’s no surprise that the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC sequel to its original franchise offers all of this and so much more. Though Borderlands provided roughly 100 hours of solid gameplay, players were somewhat let down by the sudden ending and far too many deserts, so Gearbox knew it needed to step up the game with Borderlands 2.

The sequel introduces four new vault hunters: Axton the Commando, Zer0 the Assassin, Maya the Siren and Salvador the Gunzerker. A man known as Handsome Jack has lured the quartet to the land of Pandora in search of the vault and its hidden treasures, but it seems Jack might have a few extra plans in store for the hunters.

In terms of plot, Borderlands 2 is a true, direct sequel, taking place only five years after the original quartet sought out the treasures of the hidden vault. For those who remember the story from Borderlands that said the vault could only be opened once every 200 years, this group is seeking a different, perhaps even larger vault.

Borderlands had one major hook aside from its quirky characters bursting with personality: guns, and plenty of them. The same can be said for the sequel; whereas CEO Randy Pitchford stated that the original title generated 17.75 million different weapons, Borderlands 2 offers considerably more than that. The amount of guns and variations that a player could potentially pick up far surpasses that of even any MMO. In fact, the lure to keep going and try to get just another gun is incredibly addicting, putting that aspect on par with MMOs as well.

Having such a large variety of weapons also means that enemies will die in many different ways, depending on what the bullets do when deployed. This eliminates the rut of most games where enemies will simply keel over in the same manner from the same damage, especially since the player will need to continually switch weapons as he finds better ones.

Borderlands 2 eliminates the bore of deserts in every direction with plenty of new landscapes. Now Pandora features several different environments, from lush green grass to an urban sprawl and more. This is due to the discovery of Eridium, a power source that Sirens in particular see as a golden ticket to ultimate personal power.

Like its predecessor, Borderlands 2 allows players to go through the game alone or with up to three other friends taking on the roles of the other characters. In a similar vein to Diablo II, the difficulty increases the more players are in the same game; combat feels rewarding whether you're playing with one person or a group. Luckily, Borderlands 2 allows you to reset your skills at any time for a small fee to make the perfect character for both solo and group play.

Arguably the best part of Borderlands 2 is that there seems to be no difference in quality or story in between platforms, which makes it simply a matter of preference when deciding which system to purchase the game for. The game features the same superior quality and stylistic cel-shaded graphics as its predecessor, and no parts of the game have been removed in between consoles or the PC. Borderlands 2 shows that Gearbox can make lightning strike twice, leaving us already anticipating Borderlands 3.


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