Borderlands 2 is a growing phenomenon on my game shelf. Particularly because of the fact that I have to wait on long intervals between each time I game because my co-op buddy won’t let me play unless he’s playing too, so we have to coordinate and both have to be free at any given time. Kind of annoying but oh well, at least we take the game nice and slow and sponge it all up.
Lately we’ve been playing it a lot more what with assignments being handed in, opening up a lot of free time. In between trying to figure out what to do in Mass Effect 3 and running through yet another playthrough of Dark Souls to prepare for both game’s DLC’s soon this month, we’ve gained a lot of Borderlands 2 experience and insight, I would assume.
Clearly the thing that made Borderlands 1 so fantastic was the co-op and Gearbox games did not disappoint with the second game. The co-op mechanics of being able to revive each other are age-old but they fit snugly into the whacky world of Pandora. We’ve come across a multitude of challenges where our co-op skills are tested and ultimately bring us out on top. I can’t imagine every playing Borderlands alone, it doesn’t feel like that kind of game. The fact that you can bring up to 3 other players and yourself into a game and shoot tougher enemies for more epic loot, that just brings the badassness of everything over the top.
There’s a special something about PvE (player versus environment) multiplayer. In multiplayer games where you are pitted against other people there’s less emphasis on bonds between players as once that game or match is over, you’ll probably never speak or work with the other player ever again. With Borderlands, you’re pitted against the entire campaign with people you may or may not know, whether you like it or not you’re going to create some kind of bond.
Gameplay is on the whole pretty awesome, it’s not too easy but not too hard at the same time. The more people that join your game, the harder the enemies become and the more rewarding the loot is. The game also shifts from night to day and there are achievements linked with the time of the day in-game. Speaking of achievements, there are thousands of in-game achievements relating to purchasing guns, running over enemies, and certain mob kills.
Can’t deny the adrenaline the fast paced combat gameplay Borderlands gives you. Combine your guns with your special power and your co-op buddies guns and powers, taking on multiple enemies has never been so fun. It’s amazing, you’re never standing still, always moving and always shooting. This means that there is very little downtime and probably have something to do with the addiction to this game, you’ll never want to put down the controller again!
One key difference from its predecessor is the focus on story. There is clearly a more carefully cut path for the main line quests, even if you somehow manage to get lost amongst all the side quests you’ll definitely somehow end up back on track with the main quests. And if you don’t get lost amongst all the side quests, you’re bound to have an obligation to complete some of them sooner or later.
The main the story is obviously to hunt down Handsome Jack and complete all the challenges laid before you until you reach him. Handsome Jack is this huge entity that just hangs over your head the entire game as he radios in from time to time to taunt you and get you all worked up which just engorges your appetite to beat his ugly face in.
It’s also interesting to note the continuity of characters through Borderlands 1 to 2. The playable characters in the first game come back as important entities in Borderlands 2. Roland and Lilith are key leaders in the resistance that resides in the city of Sanctuary. You first encounter Lilith when you start searching for Roland and because I am a Siren and so is she, those powers she showcased spurred me on through the game. Roland is the Crimson Raider leader. Mordecai and Brick get re-introduced much later in the game. The fact that they come back is a huge win for Gearbox games and the overall story of the game.
Talents and Customization
Gearbox has done well with implementing little easter eggs in the game, in-game objects that add to the amount of customization you have over your character. Of course, you get the base palet, but you can change the way you look to some extent. Although customization isn’t as great as it is in other games, it’s still enough to give you a unique grasp over your own character.
Each player 3 sets of talent trees that branch out in completely different angles and have some sort of benefit to your play style. It’s also possible to mix and match talents from different trees. The Siren talents from the healing tree combined with the fire tree create a deadly combination for phase-lock that both heals you and AoE damages enemies around that enemy. Talent customization is something you don’t see a lot in first person shooter games, then again Gearbox has done very well with combining the excitement of loot gathering with the adrenaline of shooting stuff.
Borderlands 2 is a great game and the developers have done an amazing job with combining the previously RPG exclusive loot system with first person shooter action. Talents, loot, intense story and above all, amazing co-op experience is what makes this game fantastic. I expected nothing less from 2K and Gearbox games. Definitely worth a shot if you’re into either FPS games or RPG loot based games.
Borderlands 2 will be getting its first DLC on October 16th. It will feature the addition of the Mechromancer class to the story.