Borderlands 2 is set 5 years after the first game. Since the Vault was opened, a lot of things have changed. Handsome Jack, president of the Hyperion Corporation, has turned Pandora into a nightmare, killing all in his lust for the next Vault. As a Vault Hunter, you’ve come to uncover its secrets, but are thrust instead into a rebellion against Handsome Jack. The main plot isn’t that enticing, but the characters and excellent writing more than make up for that. It’s a hilarious game strewn with clever, raunchy, and inside jokes galore. Cheesy stuff and predictable plot aside, it was quite enjoyable.
If you haven’t played the first game, here’s the breakdown: first person shooter meets Diablo RPG. You can still choose four classes (Siren, Gunzerker, Assassin, Commando) to venture forth on a variety of quests. Each class offers a unique play style like the Assassin’s stealthy, melee emphasis. You gain levels, loot for new weapons, and broaden your skill tree. You can solo it, but the real appeal is the CO-OP of up to four players. It’s a lot of fun, but it suffers from a cranked up difficulty, slow beginning, few warp points, and heavy, heavy grinding.
At first glance it may seem like Borderlands 2 is the same game, and ultimately, it is. It takes about 5-6 hours for it to really open up and showcase what’s changed. While that may turn some players off, the grind is the core of the game. Graphically it looks the same, but thanks to a brighter color pallet and more varying environments, everything is much more vibrant. The story, soundtrack, and voice work all get a premium boost, making it a more cohesive and immersive experience aside from the kill and loot everything motif. And talk about bang for your buck; this game has hours of content and more!
Borderlands 2, no doubt, is awesome. All in all it feels like the game Gearbox wanted to make in the first place. That said it feels like a lot of the same. Thankfully what remained great from the 1st game remains great here. It would have been nice to see a few more improvements on the mechanics, but hey, why fix what’s not really broken? So grab a partner and get to loot hunting already!
Score: 4/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on October 4, 2012 via my Examiner account before the website shut down. Check out the supporting video review on the accompanying YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.