Type of app: First Person Shooter
Platform/where to buy: PC; available at Steam
Developer: Gearbox Software / 2K Games
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:
The awesome folks at 2K games have been generous and provided us with an extra Steam code to give to one of our readers! As usual, the winner will ONLY be announced through the Newsletter. So enter below with a comment noting your favorite FPS weapon, and make sure you are subscribed to the Newsletter to find out if you are the winner on Saturday!