Borderlands 2 is a hybrid First-Person Shooter, RPG game focused on over-the-top co-op play, and set in the open-world game environment of the planet Pandora. The second game in the game series, Borderlands 2 raises the ‘loot and shoot’ action of the original game with an even larger and more detailed world to explore, an updated gun system, a new cast of characters and character classes, and integration of storyline with action.
Major features: I reviewed the original Borderlands here, basically saying that it was over-the-top fun … so long as you didn’t pay too much attention to the pseudo-RPG bits. For most people (particularly on consoles), what Borderlands delivered was just what they wanted. While the developers still tout the RPG-lite elements, now they are more concerned about the integration of EVERYTHING – story, RPG-lite elements, shooter mechanics, the gun and item modification system, and making everything bigger than before!
And in general they have succeeded in every way. I complained before about how everything interesting happened in the first few hours of the original game; now you will encounter cool stuff throughout. Whereas before the weapon systems, item systems, and skill trees seemed like they were each designed by different teams; now they are all coordinated. Whereas before you had bazillions of weapon options; well, that is the same, only BIGGER.
I do not claim to be close to DONE with Borderlands 2 – I have played several hours with all four characters, but the breadth of experience will have me playing into the New Year! But everything I have seen in these couple of dozen hours shows me the great improvements that Gearbox has made to an already-successful formula. To me that is great – where so many franchises seem content to churn out nearly identical clones until gamers (or viewers, for that matter) abandon the franchise, Gearbox has a game that is better in every way than the original, shows they have listened without pandering, and is a great PC shooter that everyone should check out.
Ease of use/Overall performance: One of my biggest complaints was that the original Borderlands was a sloppy PC port – so I was THRILLED that the sequel plays perfectly on the PC. I jumped right in and found the mechanics worked right without having to tweak sensitivities or settings at all.
Would use again/recommend?: Absolutely! Borderlands still falls on the ‘mindless’ side of shooters, but WOW is it fun. Hour after hour just fall away as you slog through Pandora.
Suggested changes/wish list for updates: Nothing!
Here is the hands-on gameplay review:
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