In 2009 Gearbox released a game which blended two different genres and stuck them together. With the high action and intensity of a first person shooter plus the character customization skill trees of a role playing game, Borderlands was born. Fast forward to 2012 with millions of fans of Claptrap and Borderlands series alike, the long awaited sequel is released loaded with 87 bazillion guns.
It has been five years since the vault from the first game was opened. Releasing a very rare and valuable mineral, Euridium. Among the many treasure seekers descending on to the planet is the the Hyperion Corporation. One of the galaxies biggest gun manufacturers led by a madman whose self given title is Handsome Jack. Both being the first on the planet soon after the vault was opened. Unable to find it themselves they have enlisted the help of bandits and vault hunters where players come into play.
The intro of this game does a great job of setting the tone. Players start out on a train, enlisted to help Jack search for the site of the new vault, welcomed with a sign "Welcome Vault Hunters!" It is not long before players are quickly betrayed with the sign changing "To your doom" and being attacked by Hyperion loaders reminiscent of a ED 209(from robocop) and Hal 9000(A Space Odyssey: 2001) put together. Even with the loaders dispatched, players are then duped with a Handsome Jack mannequin blowing up the train and leaving players for dead in the snow. Welcome to Pandora.
With his perfect timing and smart alec mannerisms, Claptrap finds players in the wreckage. Also betrayed by Handsome Jack and the last of his kind enlists Players as his "minion" to help get revenge. Players choose their class, and begin the journey to the demise of Handsome Jack. While there was no real main bad guy in the first Borderlands, Handsome Jack more than fills the shoes in this sequel. If I were to describe him the best I could, he would be a mad maniacal comedian of a villain. Every step of the way goading you and making fun of your failures and accomplishments alike in the most hilarious mannerisms.
Much like the first game players have four classes to choose from each with some new abilities with additional 5th class as a DLC. New to the second installment of Borderlands is Salvador the Gunzerker (replacing the berserker class from Borderlands) who can make his enemies quake in their boots with his duel wield two guns. Maya as the Siren can use her psychic abilities to grab enemies and can even use enemies to her advantage. Axton the Soldier has a portable turret that can bombard enemies from walls and ceilings. With last but not least Zero the new Assassin can deceive his enemies with a ghost to distract enemies and sneak up behind them. Players can level their perspective classes and gain points that they spend on abilities, each with unique perks. One of the great additions in Borderlands 2 is the option to re-spec their class where players can reset their points and use them however they see fit.
Along their travels players will meet the characters from the first games, Roland, Lilith, Mordecai, and Brick along with some new faces to help in one way or another. In the game players will spend most of their time however they choose. With various quests and missions to go on, Pandora is a sandbox to explore. Locales are galore in this sequel with much treasure and loot to be found. Loot is acquired through by eliminating enemies, completing quest (some with different loot dependant on choices) and just laying around to be found.
Unlike most first person shooters, Borderlands offers a lot more than the run of the mill first person shooter game type. While traditional first person shooters use regular guns, Borderlands 2 offers elemental gun types each with a special element and effect on enemies. Corrosive guns eat at armor, fire guns are good against non- armored enemies, electric guns shock enemies, with the final and new element guns: slag (a by product of the Uridium), which deals double damage when combined with the other elements.
Once players have completed the main campaign and all quest they can start again with a new type of class or jump into multiplayer. Depending on preference multiplayer is Borderlands 2 gooey center. With multiple options like split screen co-op(which is a rarity these days) or hop online with three other players for cacophony of madness. The beauty of this is that the more players that are in a game the better(and rarer) loot will be, making things a whole lot more fun.
With Borderlands 2 there's just a little something for everyone in this game. Players can play however they like -- whether they go solo and level up their different classes or join a party and just go crazy Pandora is their sandbox in which to play. A funny and engaging story and characters make for a great experience. Whatever style player play this game at, it's sure to be lots of fun.
Final Game Guys grade: A
- by Sebastian Marco for news10.net's Game Guys
(2K provided a PS3 copy of this game for review.)