It’s time to take a trip back to Pandora. You remember your first trip? Roland, Lilith, Brick, and Mordecai searching for the vault with the help of CL4P-TP (more commonly known as Claptrap) put you in the middle of a grand adventure leading to an empty vault. Or so you thought…Something has changed, and now a new set of vault hunters are going to Pandora with the vault in their sights, and you get to join them. Does Borderlands 2 live up to the experience provided in Borderlands, or is it just more of the same?
As I said, we’re back on Pandora with four new vault hunters. Your new cast consists of Salvador the Gunzerker, Maya the Siren, Axton the Commando, and Zero the Assassin. Did I say four vault hunters? If you count the upcoming October 16th DLC, a fifth vault hunter appears on Pandora: Gaige the Mechromancer. Since your last visit to Pandora, a lot has changed. You’ll visit new areas and see new parts of the planet, and more. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the sheer variety of available weapons. Borderlands 2 has the same feeling of awe and “kid in a candy store” selection that its predecessor did, but enhanced with even more.
The Borderlands 2 gameplay experience itself is also very nice. Whether you’re new to the franchise or not, the controls are very easy to grasp and remember. Additionally, whether you’re new to the franchise or not, Borderlands 2 has a lot to offer. Returning from the first game are the character-specific skill trees. From a guns-blazing hothead to a distance/support character, you can level yourself to take advantage of your own play style. On top of that, Borderlands 2 still features four-player co-op, which is always my favorite part about any game. Not necessarily four-player co-op, but the inclusion of co-op at all. If you’re looking for a multiplayer experience to share with your friends, you’re going to have a hard time finding a game that beats the experience Borderlands 2 provides. On top of that, Borderlands 2 finally allows split-screen co-op to participate in the four-player online co-op (though a split-screen connection can’t play host). Expanding the Borderlands experience are Borderlands 2′s “Slaughter Domes.” Trust me when I tell you not to play these solo unless you’re really good and leveled up higher than the recommended level for the dome. There will be three Slaughter Domes in the game for you to find if you pre-ordered the game from GameStop. If not, you’ll simply have two available until the third is released as DLC at a later date.
Nothing is perfect, however, and Borderlands 2 is no exception. Granted, its imperfections are simply matters of it being so good that you want more, but I’d say that’s a great problem to have. I would love more areas to visit, more people to shoot, and enemies even harder than Terramorphous. Yes, harder than Terramorphous. I want a boss that will make me go crazy and possibly cry in my sleep. As we all know, though, Gearbox is hard at work on at least four pieces of DLC, so one can only hope that they are everything that I’m hoping for and more.
If you haven’t played the first Borderlands, be prepared for some kick-ass graphics since Borderlands 2 runs off the Unreal Engine. Honestly, when I happen to find out a game is using the Unreal Engine I have a smile on my face, since a lot of great games have used it as well. As you can see in the picture above that’s what you’ll be seeing graphic wise from start to end, which is well done. I’m not including the boss battles, enemies, and NPC’s you’ll meet either. The graphics in Borderlands 2 blow away what the first game brought us. When it comes to the in-game audio, music, and acting Gearbox Software did a nice job. Everything sounds right on and in sync when it comes the audio, such as running around, interacting with the NPC’s, firing a gun, or any area of “sound.” The music in the game is pretty bad ass and something to enjoy as you play. I wanted more Wubs when I found out that Claptrap would Wub only every once in a while. As for the acting within the game, whether it’s the NPC’s or the players, it’s right on and very good acting; it’s as simple as that.
Overall, I’d say the game is a hit and that Gearbox knows how to make a very entertaining franchise. If you’re looking for a great time playing solo or with friends locally or online you’ve picked the correct game. Borderlands 2 offers hours of game-play, fun times, and a wide selection of characters to play as. Honestly, if I made a list of Game of the Year titles, this would be on that list. The gameplay, co-op, and the overall fun you’ll have is what makes this game so good and worth the purchase.
- Great game for co-op
- Great voice acting and music
- Hours and hours of gameplay
- Massive environments
- Multiple playthroughs with continued leveling
- Wish the game included more areas (potential for DLC)
- Level cap could do with an increase
- Not as much wub wub as I expected
To see where this review score falls in our scoring range, please read our review scale guidelines.
Borderlands 2 was provided for review purposes. For more information on Borderlands 2, please visit www.borderlands2.com.