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Borderlands 2 is a game that's been out for some time now. It's been forgotten about these days, with Call of Duty: Ghosts and Grand Theft Auto V, however, you shouldn't forget about this amazing game.
Borderlands 2 stars you, a badass vault hunter ready to save the world from Handsome Jack. The plot is cheesy, but is a great port to what really matters here, the gameplay. The characters are hilarious, with some amazing character development, awesome writing and just general cool and memorable characters.
The graphics aren't realistic but have this unique shaded graphics that look better than Call of Duty, for sure. The main star of this game is the gameplay and the looting and that's what you'll be coming back for.
If you didn't like Borderlands that much, chances is, you might not like this one. However, Borderlands 2 achieves and fixes its mistakes from its predecessor. The gameplay feels much smoother, the looting seems more rewarding and the overall feel of the game is much better.
Guns are randomly generated, and like the Diablo series, you'll be grinding for guns all day long. It's extremely rewarding when you see a legendary gun burst out of a boss. The generated loot is what makes this game amazing and have this awesome replayble vibe to it. Even when you're done the campaign, you'll be coming back for more.
All in all, I don't want to spoil some of the most rewarding aspects of this game. The downloadable content is coming out strong and you'll gain hours of more campaigns because of it. This game is something you don't want to miss anytime soon.
Borderlands 2 is the second installment in this frantic first-person shooter franchise, brought to us by Take Two and Gearbox Software. Released in 2012, Borderlands 2 has already claimed several of the top accolades associated with FPS's, not to mention the coveted X-Play 'Game of the year' award. It also won 'Best Shooter', 'Best Multiplayer', 'Best Character' and more. I get the feeling before I've even started, that this game is in little need of a review - the awards it has already won speaks volumes in itself.
~~~Gameplay and Storyline~~~
(Spoiler Alert) The opening credits sees the four playable characters on an unsuspecting journey to a city called Sanctuary, a place - as its name suggest - to be tranquil and harmonious. The 'leader' of this city goes by the name of Handsome Jack, which is somewhat ironic seeming that his face is actually glued on and is not his face at all (you'll understand if you play it). Anyhow, Handsome Jack is in search of an infamous group of individuals known as 'Vault Hunters' - people who planet hop in search of vaults. Although at first Jack may seem quiet, belligerent and comforting, he does in fact have a hidden agenda - and its about now this train gets hijacked by machines that attempt to kill the vault hunters on board!! Touché Jack, touché! Did I forget to mention this game is full of surprises? And so sets the backdrop for the main quest line. Find Jack. Kill Jack - before he unleashes his army of robots on the world and awakens a formidable beast known as The Warrior. Now for the good stuff!
Borderlands 2 does not play like most first person shooters (FPS). Take the likes of Call of Duty or Battlefield, a pair of very serious, somewhat white-collar games which do nothing to challenge the expanses of modern FPS's. Borderlands 2 however, takes the biscuit. The gameplay is utterly mind boggling. Every aspect of the game has been crafted to a superb standard, to the smallest of Skag Pups (a dog-like enemy recurring throughout the game) to the largest of Badass Constructors (a robot-spawning robot and the bane of my life). Small and subtle additions are what truly make this game magnificent; headshots result in tiny red letters reading 'Critical Hit'; Handsome Jacks hilarious commentary via your Echo device (a device each character is fitted with that gives the player access to their inventory) and the almost endless amount of Badass challenges that make the game re-playable dozens of times. This is by no means a FPS that was created to fit the niché as it exists today, this is a game that was created to push the limits and boundaries of what is considered a leading FPS.
Honestly, I wasn't expecting much for the graphics. Scrolling through various trailers I thought that the graphics looked fairly poor and in all honesty put me off buying the game initially. It reminded me a little of TimeSpltters, a game some of you may remember from the good-old days of PS1! The graphics, although not as disappointing as first thought, are pretty decent considering the cartoon-like nature of the game and although they were never going to be mind-boggling, the graphics certainly exceeded my expectations - especially if hooked up to HMDI!
The game engine is superb. Each player has the space for four equipped guns, a shield, a grenade, a class-mod and inventory space for up to 28 items. Weapons can be looted, bought or awarded for completing quests. All equipment, including weapons and shields are rated in order of rarity - the rarer the item, the stronger it is. White items are the most common and orange items are the rarest! That feeling you get when you see an orange item on the floor in the distance is quite satisfying! Although confusing orange weapons with dropped money (which is yellow) is equally as frustrating!! Class-mods boost some of your players skills and can really help if your struggling to defeat a Badass opponent. The amount of different loot that can be found and used is extreme, with hundreds and thousands of weapon combinations available. Some weapons have the ability to burn, corrode or shock an opponent. These weapons are super-effective against certain enemies, for example a fire weapon is super-effective against flesh enemies; whereas a corrosive weapon is super-effective against a metal enemy! Like the overwhelming majority of the game, the weapon and equipment system is superbly well thought out! You can even gamble your hard-earned money away at Moxxxi's bar for the chance win that first prestigious orange weapon!
Upon release, there were four playable characters. They are; Axton, Maya, Salvador and Zer0. At this present point, Gearbox have introduced 2 additional characters in add-ons and DLC's. These two additional characters go by the names of Gaige and Krieg. These two characters are downloadable characters only and require additional fees if you want to play as them. Each character has an 'Action Skill', in essence this is an ability specific to that character that they can use during combat to aid the fighting. After using an action skill, a cool-down phase is initiated - a period of time the player has to wait before the action skill can be used again. They characters respective action skills are as follows;
*** Axton (The Commando) - Sabre Turret - A deployable turret that can be called upon when the fighting gets tough.
***Maya (The Siren) - Phaselock - This ability allows Maya to suspend an enemy in the air where they remain unable to fight for a short period of time.
*** Salvador (The Gunzerker) - Gunzerking - This allows Salvador to use two weapons at once for a limited amount of time.
*** Zero (The Assassin) - Deception - Zero casts a hollow project of himself which enemies confuse as Zero himself, allowing the player to remain undetected.
Each character can be enhanced and upgraded to suit the playing style of the user. This is done by incorporating 'Skill Trees' - which is a concept pretty self explanatory. As your character levels up, you are given skill points to spend and use on your respective characters skill trees. Each character has three skill trees, containing 9-10 different skills and abilities that can be purchased. Each skill tree works toward a different skill, and completing a skill tree can come with devastating effect. Each character can only have one skill tree completed, as a completed skill tree gives the player a special ability that can be used when initiating the action skill. It sounds complicated but its anything but! For example, I have completed the game a few times and played with all 4 character - my favourite being Salvador. Salvador's skill trees are: Brawn, Gun Lust and Rampage. Completing the Rampage skill tree enhances Salvador's gunzerk ability, making dual-wielding weapons last much longer. The Brawn skill tree on the other hand targets Salvador's health regeneration and fire rate - and so customising your character becomes completely diverse and the combinations of abilities are indefinite (Gearbox claim that each character has millions of combinations - a truly mind-boggling claim). Additionally, Badass Ranks are awarded after completing in-game challenges. Badass Ranks allow for further customisation of the character, allowing the player to enhance things like fire rate, critical hit damage, health regeneration, shield regeneration and more. This two-tier customisation truly make the possibilities endless to what type of character you wish to create.
You may recognise some of the non-playable characters in the game (if you happened to play the previous Borderlands) such as Mordecai and Roland - as these are the playable characters in the previous game. They serve vital in assisting the vault hunter in defeating Jack - and they bear some overwhelming similarities to the playable characters in the game. Roland and Axton, Brick and Salvador - have such similar characteristics that one might assume Gearbox 'copy and pasted' the character profiles from the previous game - they are THAT similar.
The character Handsome Jack (the main antagonist) won the award of 'Best Character' from X-Play and as soon as you switch the game on you can see why. The creators at Gearbox have created a character that is hugely memorable, charismatic and audacious and it is easy to see why the acclaim for this character is such. His witty remarks throughout the entire game, coupled with his humorous disregard for human rights and lack of moral understanding make him truly sensational and credit to Gearbox Software in designing such a character. Other characters - notably Claptrap (your robot best friend) - also have an overwhelming bearing on the game and are vital additions to the story-line and add to the humorous nature Borderlands.
The multiplayer function available in Borderlands 2 is average. Personally, I did not buy the game for its multiplayer function and so the multiplayer did not dampen my thoughts of the game. Most FPS's feature multiplayer games like 'Team Deathmatch' and 'Free-for-all', but Borderlands 2 focuses on the questline - and so the multiplayer sees you working together with other combatants to complete quests. Although you can fight other players in your party, there are no team games like many rival shooters include. Also, in order to play multiplayer you have to download a 'Compatibility Pack' (don't worry, its free) which in my case took 20 minutes to download - quite annoying if you've just got yourself pumped up for some brain-splattering action! Players can trade and duel for weapons and money - there is also (I probably shouldn't say) a glitch which allows players to duplicate weapons, making it completely viable to have an orange weapon in all 28 inventory slots!
All-in-all, this game is absolutely sensational. The awards and critical acclaim it has already achieved speaks volumes in itself and any words I might say right now do not meet the prestigious nature of these awards. The game engine, character customisation, challenges and gameplay are truly magnificent. I have completed the game 3 times over and continue to play - it never gets old! The vast amount of character customisations, weapons and equipment unlocks available are all additional factors that persuade me to play over and over again. A credit to Gearbox Software. A credit to Take Two Entertainment. A credit to the world of First-Person Shooters!
I never played the first Borderlands, so I can't really compare to that, and usually prefer playing RPG's, but now and again just get the urge to shoot things. I kept hovering over the purchase button on Xbox live (£49.99) and ended up getting it second hand from Ebay for £18.
You play a vault-hunter (kind of like a tomb raider - you end up with the loot) on the planet Pandora, which is under the draconian oppression of Handsome Jack of the Hyperion Corporation, and he too is looking for the last vault. Your long term goal is to prevent Jack getting to the vault, and reach it yourself, by means of accepting missions from NPC's (some story-led, others optional), leveling up, and assigning your preferred upgrades. The story is very good, being layered from various sources in the game, and there is plenty of comic humor to keep it light hearted.
There are four classes to choose your character from, Siren, Assassin, Gunzerker, and Commando. Each has their own set of skills, so there is a class type to suite everybody's preferred play-style. You can also play co-op (4 players in a single game) and the different classes really compliment each others abilities. So far I have only played Siren and Assassin. As you complete missions and kill mobs you gain XP points, allowing you to level up, and choose your abilities from your characters skill tree; you also receive badass points that can be spent to benefit your character, like increasing maximum health, increasing melee damage, etc.
For killing mobs there is a vast array of weapons that you find through looting, or purchasing. From 6-shooter pistils that fire all 6 rounds at once then explode like a grenade, to sniper-rifles that set the target on fire. A lot of the weapons do elemental damage - fire, corrosive, etc - and some of the mobs will be resistant to different elemental attacks; fortunately you can carry 4 firearms that you can swap between (starts with 2, the other 2 spaces being unlocked as you play), and more can be carried in your inventory, along with grenades of various types and shields. When you are killed, you do not lose XP points, and the mobs will respawn after about 30 minutes, so early in the game I had to start farming kills just for XP to level up to be able to kill the area boss. The mob respawn rate can be a blessing and a curse - you can farm XP, but when you get to the end of some area's, you have to backtrack the way you came to get out again, and have to kill the same mobs again, which can be a pain if you just want to turn in your completed mission so you can go to sleep/work/whatever.
The graphics of Borderlands 2 are stunning. Instead of the common attempt at photo-realism, a lot of Borderlands 2 is like a cartoon, with exaggerated features and bold colours. It might sound garish, but it works really well, and really adds greatly to the enjoyment of playing. The environment is best described as post-apocalyptic redneck America meets Firefly, but this varies from desert area's to desert environments.
I can't fault Borderlands 2. Usually there will be something in a game that bugs me, but the only thing here is the mob respawn rate, and that can be good or bad depending on your situation. So 5/5 from me. If you like to control your characters development, kill shedloads of mobs, and not take it all too seriously (honestly, the humor is good) then I highly recommend Borderlands 2.