on September 18, 2012
At the risk of being ignored right off the bat, I must admit the first game never hooked me. The style and heart was all there, but some mechanics just felt a bit out of place and I felt like the game dragged on in the early portions and the interesting moments were few and far between. I'm happy to say that this game no longer suffers from that.
From the intro that once again wonderfully sets the tone, the to sense of humor that is much more prevalent throughout the game, to the finer handling of some of the controls I am finding that this game exceeds its predecessor in all that ways that tell you the developers were truly trying to make a great game and not just jump aboard the money train with a quick sequel. They've even gone out of their way to provide additional settings that most other developers seem to leave out. The field of view slider was a great addition to me because a bad FOV will set my head spinning within thirty minutes, but I've been able to play this game for hours at a time without any issue.
The environments are beautiful and often a lot more detailed than you would expect to be, and I never find myself looking around trying to distinguish one portion of the game from another. While there seems to be some recycling from the original game (unless the bandits have been redone and they're just dead too quick for me to tell!) there is also a lot of new things to be seen, and some of the characters they introduce had me grinning on a fairly regular basis. But then I'm a sucker for well-placed sarcasm.
The game itself is pure fun. A lot of the earlier mechanics are the same, but the special abilities and some of the talents feel a little more well thought out this time around instead of gimmicky. One addition that I've yet to make up my mind on yet is the bonuses you can unlock using the tokens you receive for completing in game achievements such as killing 50/100/etc of a monster, using 1000 bullets, etc. It certainly makes getting those achievements more exciting because now there is a tangible reward to it that you can use to boost your damage, shields, recharge timer, and a few other things -- but I wonder if after you pile the stats on for a while it starts to make the game far too easy. These bonuses apply to all of your characters, not just the character you unlocked in on, but the good news is that there is a way to disable it if you find it's making the game too easy for your taste.
Also, for those of you like me who lived through the complete frustration of getting co-op to work in the first game, opening ports, fighting with Gamespy, and then getting dropped at random, I was extremely excited to see the ability to use steam for this purpose. It makes getting your party together so much easier and I am so glad that they went this route. They seem to have learned from all of their mistakes and the result is a truly fantastic game. If you liked the first game, consider this a great expansion. If you just couldn't get into the first game like me, you might still want to poke around. You might be surprised.
on September 18, 2012
I really was looking forward to this game. Me and a friend were joking around getting amped up for it about 15 minutes before the unlock on STEAM and man were we amazed. We started out doing the story and the challenge with people in Coop makes it really fun. We had 4 friends in our game from the start and had a good time with no problems game side other then scrambling for ammo. Ammo shares when 1 person picks it up now. If you thought Claptrap was hellarious in the first game you'll have fun with this one.
This game actually rocks. Rocks? More like it Kicksass. The game looks really good and runs really nice on my machine. Cranked the graphics up and no skips at all that I noticed. The weapons are really cool and fun. I was kind of worried about the Coop play but we never had trouble at all with it. Made it to the first town area before we threw the towel in last night and lets me say its bigger than any town in BL1. The place was really done well. Got to see some people from BL1 which was cool. Voice acting is really good to. We found some slot machines in the town to..wasted all of our cash but had a blast doing it.I didn't recieve my pre-order stuff last night but the Dev's said it was a bug. No big deal honestly. I was having so much fun playing the game with our errors or launching bugs that I wasn't worried about the pre-order items.
my only gripe with it was the install. game unpacked fine but had to run a CNET or framework program and once it finally got done had to restart my machine. After the reboot it ran the program again. I finally just skipped it and went straight into the game with my friends. Also speaking of friends you can actually join on the main screen of the game which is really nice. You dont have to wait for a invite or anything.I've only played for about 4 to 5 hours and having a really good time with it. Anyways like I said before...If you enjoyed the first you will not be dissappointed. 5/5 from me.
on September 18, 2012
The return to Pandora has fulfilled the hope of the fans. Borderlands 2 is a fun and exciting installment to the franchise, as well as being an excellent FPS in its own right. In this review, I will primarily give first impressions for people trying to decide if it is worthwhile. I've played roughly 9 hours so far, spread across three characters (Axton, Salvador, and Zero) all of which have their Action Skill. As of now, I intend to revisit this review after I play through the initial story.
The general mechanics of the previous game have stayed the same. The game has a heart of an FPS while wearing the garb of an RPG. The game play is the standard shoot and fight, much like every other FPS. Like every other FPS, standard gunfight tactics are given purpose by a story (a good one so far). The RPG elements add a variety that is lacking in most other FPS. Specifically, the collection of experience to unlock new skills and the ever changing inventory and weapon improvement add a new dimension to the otherwise familiar game design. There is little substantial difference to the general approach between Borderlands and Borderlands 2. Both have the same inventory slots, the same three-branching skill trees and the same randomly generated equipment. The new menu system is a nice touch. It is a little easier to use than the old one and it has some nice features that were absent previously. For example, it is far easier to recognize what items are equipped and to distinguish between guns in the inventory. I haven't noticed anything significantly different between the last incarnation's multiplayer and this one.
The Characters seem well balanced and more varied than last time. While the general idea of skill specialization continues from the first, the new trees are more focused and will lead the players toward particular play-styles. In comparing Axton in Borderlands 2 to Roland from Borderlands, I noticed that Roland's skills had a focus, but easily could adopt a different play-style for the situation. Axton, on the other hand, feels like he is going to be very efficient at a particular play-style, but not as easy to "switch hit" for various contexts. That said, Axton has a lot more 'tricks' than Roland did as well as having the skills be a little bit better than Roland's corresponding skills. The other I noticed about the characters is how the class mechanics are sorted. While it seems like all the old archetypes from the old are in the new, they have different approaches that drastically change how they are played. Axton is, as suggested, as re-imagining of Roland, their roles are similar. The other three classes have a different approach however. It appears Zero has the old Phasewalk ability (although altered) and the melee focus of Brick. This makes Maya and Salvador of Borderlands 2 play differently from Lilith and Brick of Borderlands. Their abilities are similar in spirit, but not in play-style. Salvador has an extreme gun focus (as is appropriate for Gunzerkers), that keeps him further back and less exposed than Brick was. I haven't played Maya yet, but I have a feeling that something similar will happen with her. I point this out as my girlfriend finds Zero's mechanic very difficult to use compared to Mordecai from Borderlands, even though they both have the assassin/sniper archetype. Don't just assume that the same character aesthetics will result in the same play-style.
Graphically, the game is even more beautiful than before. I've been to two locales, and already I noticed that they spent more time on the aesthetics of the environment than last time. The icy tundra environment and the dusty badlands are uniform and enticing at the same time. Landscape variation and objects create a more interesting area than they had in Borderlands. The environments are detailed, artistically arranged and stunning. I understand the story enters jungles at certain points and I am really looking forward to that. The detail of the characters, friend and enemy, are highly detailed. Every time I look through my scope or turn in a mission I notice new details. It has significantly higher detail than Borderlands and it makes for a much more immersive experience. The bold outlines are brought back to maintain that Borderlands style, but there are more subtle details added to make things new and interesting. I like comparing old items to the newly skinned/meshed ones and the improvements are noted.
I have few complaints, but these are noticeable enough to warrant 4 rather than 5 stars (although I think 4.5 is more accurate) and so I'll mention them. The one that I notice the most is how resource heavy this game is. My computer isn't top of the line, but it runs Skyrim on full with no hitches. However, in certain firefight my frames-per-second dropped tremendously. While in single player, I don't care, but in multiplayer this causes problems as enemies don't slow down. Of course, these slow points where heavy in the particle effects, usually when someone is on fire, explosions are going off and electricity is arcing from enemy to enemy; so it doesn't happen often, but it happens. The other intensive resource intensive part is when in the menu; this really bugs me. I notice cursor lag and menu switching lag while in the menu system, particularly the equipment/inventory page. The gameplay lag is forgivable given when it happens, the menu lag is obnoxious and hopefully can be cleaned up with a patch.
Overall, Borderland 2 is a great game. I highly recommend it to both people familiar with the franchise as well as people who are looking for something new. The design and feel of the game are well thought and implemented. Borderlands 2 should provide an enjoyable experience to everyone who plays it.
on April 10, 2013
Borderlands 2 is not a complicated game. It's a first person shooter (FPS) which is focused on all-out shooting and looting. And more shooting. And more looting. And then some more.
What makes the game so entertaining, then?
There are a few key areas. The first is the setting and the characters, both of which are steeped in humor and pure entertainment value. The graphical "style" of Borderlands 2 contributes to this -- it follows from the original Borderlands in following an animated comic book style of graphics, but upgrades this significantly with lighting and colors beyond what we saw in the original. This graphical style is supremely appropriate for the kind of setting and characters, and humor, that the game contains, because the game is not aiming for a "realistic" feel, but rather a more contrived, less serious, more funny, and ultimately more entertaining one. And this works to beat the band. It keeps the game light-hearted and fun, which makes it a great game to play after work in the evening as compared with a more "serious" game.
Another core area that makes the game great is the loot/leveling model. Although the game doesn't feature the same loot explosion/loot pinata effect of the original, nevertheless loot keeps flowing, and one of the core enjoyments of the game is comparing and optimizing your loadouts. And many of the weapons are just very, very entertaining to use. In addition, each class has a signature power which can be built upon and upgraded and which defines playstyles that are markedly different for each class despite the fact that the game is essentially a shoot and loot game.
The game is, in many ways, a hybrid of the loot system of an "action RPG" like Diablo or Torchlight, on the one hand, and a first person shooter, on the other, with a lot of humor thrown into the mix. It makes for a very entertaining game to unwind with, and ultimately an enjoyable and relaxing gaming experience. Frankly, this game is just pure fun to pick up and play, even if you are not generally a shooter fan. Highly recommended.
on September 23, 2012
I'll start out by saying I never played borderlands 1. Also I don't have a lot of extra money to buy video games so I carefully researched this game before buying it. Most of the reviews said it was great but there were a few things about it that worried me. The main complaints seem to be that the single player experience felt fairly empty and that it is mostly a co-op game. Some were also saying the game play is very repetitive and quickly became boring. Within a few hours of playing I was relieved to discover my worries were unfounded. This game is exceptional in just about every possible way. A true work of art. Maybe one of my all time favorites.
It's billed as a loot based game, like diablo. I guess that is true but the loot in of itself would be worthless if the core game play mechanics were no fun. I absolutely love the combat in this game. The art design and physics are excellent. The targeting is precise and the combat very satisfying. The variety of enemies and their art design are addictive to look at and interact with. It reminds me of the addictive aesthetic of World of Warcraft. The world is huge and beautiful. There's 4 classes of guns(that i've discovered so far) pistols, shotguns, machine guns and sniper rifles as well as grenades and shields. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. It's truly satisfying to cap a bad guy with a wide array of weaponry and watch all the different ways in which they die. When you fire an incendiary round into a marauder he catches fire and screams while flailing around before dropping to his death. It's so entertaining to watch.
My character is only level 9, so I know there is so much of the game I've yet to experience but I can already tell they really nailed it in every area. They understood what makes for a good addictive shooter and really accentuated all the right elements. I was kind of bummed I could only equip two different types of guns at the same time and my backpack space was so limited and then I discovered the city of Sanctuary and all the merchants that sell upgrades so I can equip more weapons, carry more things, store items, switch them between characters and god knows what else.
There's just the right amount of role playing elements to make it feel like you can shape your character to your play style as well as feel that addictive compulsory feeling when you want to get just that one more level, that one more gun or finish that one more quest. They don't over complicate things to where you have to become a mathematician to understand how to gear/spec your character. Everything is so well balanced between fun and depth. I'm a bit older of a gamer and have "played it all" and I quickly become bored with recycled games with upgraded graphics/complexity(skyrim for example) but this game was such a breath of fresh air.
I can't wait to get back into the game and discover new levels, weapons, abilities, let alone co-op play(which I haven't even tried yet). They really did strike the perfect balance between a shooter and an rpg game. Leaving out the more esoteric elements of each genre. I would recommend this game to just about anyone. If you haven't played the first one than you really are in for a treat. Some of the Borderlands veterans are saying its not much of an evolution from the 1st one but more a refinement of many elements. So it looks like if its your first experience with Borderlands you are getting in at exactly the right moment!
on June 12, 2014
WOW - I've never seen such a HUGE game. This thing goes on and on. The maps are large and action is free-flowing. You can roam around to your heart's desire.
Each 'area' / level is different to the next. You could be in a desert for one mission and in the Arctic for the next. And each level itself is huge in terms of the physical map area as well as the missions that can be completed in each. You may finish a level and then come back to the same level later to do a side/optional mission.
There are hundreds of different guns, grenades, power-ups, shields, etc with different stats for each level. I've been battling for over 200 hours and the game is still not complete!!!
Bad guys take many forms from robots, to wild animals, to Zombies, to regular soldiers. So cool!
The only thing I don't like is if you die whilst battling a boss (and the boss is almost dead), when you re-spawn, you have to start all over again with the boss (whose life is back up to full again). But that's part of the fun I suppose.
For the price - this is a definite 5 star / thumps up.
on April 9, 2013
Borderlands 2 improves on the first game in almost every way, except for requiring the player to complete the game more than once to achieve the highest level. I understand offering a New Game +, but to make part of the game literally be "Play the game again" just seems like lazy, sloppy development. While the graphics are slightly better than the original, Borderlands 2 has barely improved on them. Only offering post processing effects, and not better graphics, make Borderlands 2 look dated. The graphics of the original were not planned out, and were a product of being strapped for development time; it would have been nice to see a graphics overhaul and not the addition of standard graphics options. As for the story, it's practically the same as the first. Vault Hunters show up, fight many of the same enemies, and then do it over again, then the game ends. Borderlands 2 remembers to bring the loot, and it brings a lot of it; although you may find that most of it is junk and you will find good weapons you will stick with throughout the majority of the campaign. It becomes tedious to go through all of the weapons, and the menu system doesn't make it any easier.
- Humorous Characters
- Tons of Loot
- Long Story
- Tons of Unlockable Content
- Dated Graphics
- Reused Enemies
- Forced Second Playthrough
Fans of the first game are sure to find more to enjoy here, and everyone else may find some fun to be had; especially if they have a group of friends to play with. If you didn't enjoy Borderlands, then there really is no reason to try out Borderlands 2, it's almost the exact same game; from look to feel, it's easy forget you are playing a sequel.
on February 13, 2013
I never played the first Borderlands, so I didn't know what to expect and was completely blown away. Everything about this game is amazing from the graphics, to the missions, voice acting, storyline, weapons, etc. This is one of the few FPS with a long, polished, incredibly well thought out single player game with memorable characters and great side missions. I've already beaten it twice and just bought the DLC. It's well worth buying.
on November 19, 2012
When I got the original Borderlands, I had fun. There were still quirks. Quirks that made me unsure if Borderlands 2 would be a step ahead or a failure. So, I'll try to break up my review into two parts; Borderlands 2 compared to Borderlands and Borderlands 2 on it's own (which I may refer to as BLT a few times).
There are many improvements and changes to Borderlands 2 as opposed to Borderlands 1. First would be the story. By that, I mean there's actually a story. Borderlands 1 was quite linear and probably less than 10% of the people who get a special intro scene hold little to no value to the player. Even the villain General Knoxx was enjoyable as far as the story goes, but was a let down once you fought him. Borderlands 2 on the other hand has actual heroes, a definite villain throughout the whole game, and lots of side characters who do more than talk to you through text bubbles. This greatly improves the satire of the whole game compared to the first, as well as other aspects. Likewise, the battles against the villains mentioned in the story is rarely just a tedious objective that doesn't live up to the hype (there are still tedious objectives and some lost hype, but not as often or extreme).
Gameplay is pretty similar. There's still more guns than you could care to bother mentioning, except now I guess there's MORE more guns than you could care to bother mentioning. In the first game, it got tedious to determine which gun was better than the next. I even found I would have to shoot the gun in combat a few times before I realized I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with the thing. Borderlands 2 is a little different. While there are more guns, the gun brands have now become easier to differentiate each weapon. This way, you can determine which brand you like more and eliminate half the more guns than you could care to bother mentioning. This also helped finding out the brands I liked in order to use every gun to its fullest (I was avoiding assault rifles and pistols before finding the brands I can trust).
Leveling up in Borderlands 2 is a bit more entertaining as well. While the leveling up in Borderlands was fun and I didn't see much problem in it, I now kinda feel my skill points were just perks and my special ability took center stage for a brief period. Examples of this would be Roland's turret, which, while effective, basically shot the crap out of everything for a little while and then went away. I actually found Lilith's phasewalking (while horrible at destroying anybody) made the most adjustments to in game strategy. In this game, it seems the characters I've tried have affected my strategy and skill point distribution much more than the first. That's probably the only reason I feel that Borderlands 1 might have been a bit stale in this area, because Borderlands 2 adds much more to it.
Elemental weapons are still here, and seemingly more effective, but less necessary. In the first game, I found I would want a variety of elemental weapons in order to fight off different enemies. In this game, I do find deciding on an elemental weapon is easier, but I don't feel the need to use as many. Perhaps this is a bonus. Perhaps not. I'm not really sure where I stand on this.
::On Its Own::
The story, while enjoyable, and has a much less linear feel to it, is not very surprising. Even though I had moments in combat where I had this feeling of being one with the story, and even though I felt a bit sad when it was all over, the story itself is nothing specatcular. This game's strengths rely mainly on it's gameplay and cooperative play (which, in turn, may add to the story). There are not many games out there that offer what Borderlands 2 does to a cooperative FPS. I don't know how much you can call it an RPG without your characters saying anything past a critical hit kill(maybe next game they'll make a cameo) or rarely having options of what your characters do (to kill five bonerfarts or not to kill five bonerfarts). Considering I'm not even sure what defines a roleplaying game, and if you want to call it an RPG because you gain levels and have magical guns, then you may. I just wouldn't play this expecting something like Skyrim or Final Fantasy.
As far as gameplay goes, one can really get into the combat situations. Between the special abilities, skills points, and different guns, battles can be frantic, strategic, arduous, and fun, all at the same time (generally, most battles in this game fit at least one criteria while being fun). There are moments where running from checkpoint to checkpoint can get old (such as running through a long map you already beat 10 levels ago to set a midget on fire). But it still beats playing a few hours just to beat one mission (friggin' General Knoxx's Armory).
I originally thought this game would be less fun by myself. In some ways, it is less fun. Carrying items with limited capacity (maximum of 27 with all the upgrades) which makes picking up half the guns difficult and general playing with yourself aren't things everybody enjoys (... yeah, that's a sentence, I guess). Still, I am rather enjoying my play through I got myself to do by myself (I am my play I got myself to do myself...?).
If you're unsure of whether you want the a console version of a PC version, I recommend PC. I played this on Xbox 360 with one brother and on the PC with another brother and I like the PC version more. At the very least, if you want to sign up with a shift account, keys are easier to enter on PC. Also, the Xbox 360 Controller works with the PC version quite well.
If you played the first Borderlands, you may find many things in this one a welcome addition. Such as comparing guns, more unique skills/perks, and a much better story. I have yet to try any DLC aside from the Mechromancer (which, I enjoy), so I can't say if they did anything about the travel stations in the DLCs (something I found a major pain in, again, General Knoxx's Armory). Maybe I'll update on that later.
If you haven't played the first game and are looking for a nice cooperative game, I can recommend Borderlands 2. If you're more interested in a cooperative shooting game, I strongly recommend this. If you're looking for a cooperative shooting game with leveling up features, it's hard to think of something better.
on September 19, 2012
If you thought the first borderlands was good. (187 hours good) This one just blows the first one out the water the auto loot system is sick. Now instead of running up to cash and ammo and holding down E it RUNS TO YOU. No more running around like mad man trying to collect the cash and ammo on the floor. No weapon design and Different reloading animation, dual weiding for the short steroid freak.
Simply just great. Freaking 10 stars if I could