Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
Platforms: PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Out Now!
Price: $59.99 (Buy Here)
The amazing Borderlands from Gearbox Software and published by 2k Games has a sequel, Borderlands 2. You’ve probably heard of it. The FPS-RPG hybrid taking place on Pandora is a game that has garnered much attention from both the gaming public and media. Does it live up to expectations? Is it a game worth your money? Find out in our review below.
For the Console version review, please refer to this link. Players planning on picking up the PC version might also want to check it out for comparative purposes.
Borderlands 2 is the sequel to the original Borderlands that was released a few years ago. In this sequels story, we follow the adventure of a vault hunter a few years after the vault in the first game was cleared. What makes this games storyline more interesting though, is that there is more of an actual storyline arc to the games narrative than the first game had.
The storyline of Borderlands 2 has some amazingly epic moments as well, which makes this game superior to the first from a story perspective. For instance, there is a character known as the Firehawk (who is a returning character from the first game) and almost every part of the story that involves her in some way is either absolutely epic or absolutely hilarious. I think that she is easily one of the most fun characters in the game.
Speaking of the characters in the game, many of them are incredibly well designed and scripted. They all give out amazingly hilarious dialogue but it never seems out of character or just for laughs. You’re giggling at what they’re saying because it absolutely fits the scenario. This is good for the story because it’s keeping you engaged the entire time instead of just directing you to the next plot point to kill more mooks.
I don’t think there are any characters in the game that will fail to entertain on some level. However, some characters are clearly way more entertaining than others throughout the story. My favourite character would have to be Tiny Tina – the little girl who loves her explosives, talks like a gangsta wanna-be and has such amazingly hilarious quest lines and dialogue. Please have a DLC spin-off that has a really long quest line focused around her. Please.
Overall the story in Borderlands 2 is hilariously awesome. It is so awesome that enters badass territory, which is always a massive plus (especially for a game that strives to be just that). Fans of fun and story will definitely love this game.
Do you know what the first Borderlands didn’t have enough of? Guns. I think there was only something like three million different combinations of stats and attributes in that game. So what have Gearbox done to alleviate this issue? They’ve added a couple of more attributes to the mix, meaning that there are now even more guns than before.
Seriously though, the gameplay in Borderlands 2 is incredibly similar to the gameplay in Borderlands. This is definitely not a bad thing. Complaining that Borderlands 2 plays like Borderlands is like complaining that steak tastes like steak. Sure you might not like steak, but there really isn’t anything else that it could taste like.
So anyway, for people who have yet to actually play a Borderlands title, this is how it rolls. You choose a character from four different classes, customise your appearance and then drop into the world. From there you have to complete quests, much like in a role-playing game for experience, loot and cash.
What makes this game interesting though, is that not only do you have to shoot enemies to damage them, but the amount of damage you do is entirely dependent on the stats of your weapon. This means that you could be the best shot in the world, but if you’ve been really unlucky with loot drops or have not been switching to weapons with superior stats, you can and will get owned quite bad. This need for better loot gives the game a kind of Diablo feel to it, where all the loot is randomly generated and finding the best piece of equipment is almost completely luck dependent. The best example of this is how lucky I got at the start of the game with a gold item drop. I’ve had it since I was around level 4-5 and was still using it well into my 20s.
On the PC, players are able to integrate into the Steam network to host and join games with friends and random weirdo’s. This is a good option for PC gamers as most of us are already connected through steam and it makes inviting players so much more easy. Not only that, but Steam makes sure that your game is always at the correct version, meaning that you won’t accidentally miss an update and no longer be able to connect through servers.
The game is also controlled through the Keyboard and Mouse as well as a Gamepad, which means that players will be able to play the game in a manner that is most comfortable to them. This is unlike the console versions that force a controller on you, meaning that people like me that absolutely suck at FPS’ on a controller will be able to use the superior control scheme of the PC, making the experience all that much more enjoyable.
One thing that I really liked about the gameplay in this game was that falling from long distances does not hurt you. This actually makes traveling a lot easier. It’s a bit unrealistic, but so is the rest of this game.
Overall, from a gameplay perspective, players that love games with a plethora of loot and most importantly, gamers that love showing off their phat loots to their friends are gamers that will absolutely love this game. Gamers like me.
Borderlands 2 features an amazingly cartoony look and feel that mixes well with the kind of carnage that both the players and the world bring with it. Even better about the PC version of the game is that it is clearly the superior version visually, as it has a multitude of amazing graphical options and the ability to output at true levels of HD. None of this upscaled 720p nonsense. True 1080p.
What I really liked about the visuals though, was that they haven’t really been altered from the original aesthetically. However, some of the characters introduced in this game are far more creative than the characters introduced in the first.
As I mentioned in the Story section of this review, this game has an amazingly well written storyline and dialogue components. I think that the dialogue is half of what makes Borderlands such an appealing series. If it wasn’t for the writing, this would definitely be just another generic shooter with RPG elements tacked on top.
The music in this game is also pretty cool as well. It adds to the intensity of some battles, whilst also giving some areas a feel of size and scope. The weapons also sound quite amazing.
Borderlands 2 is a must have game on any platform that it appears on. However, due the increased performance behind the PC, I would highly recommend purchasing it on this platform over any other. The game also controls much better on the PC. You should definitely pick this game up if you have not done so already.