Tuesday, December 11, 2012

AGTurbo Reviews Borderlands 2

Friend-of-the-site AGTurbo is back with a look at Borderlands 2. As we all scramble to play through the games we missed in 2012, is the follow-up to Gearbox's gun-gasm worth your time?

Borderlands 2 from Gearbox interactive is a FPS RPG with co-op play up to 4 players. It improves on the core mechanics of the first game in many ways to make it a more complete game. Borderlands 2 has a much more solid story compared to the original. The narrative creates a greater sense of history, succeeding in incorporating the four vault hunters and other characters from its predecessor. Borderlands 2 also has a clear antagonist through Handsome Jack.

Guns. Lotsa guns.
Borderlands 2 is huge, it is a technical achievement. The in-game map is the equivalent of Borderlands 1 and all 4 DLC packs into one game, and then there is some extra content. All told, it is easily three times the size of Borderlands . Whereas, Borderlands' was mainly desert, Borderlands 2 features artic, tundra, volcano, and desert environments.
The minimap is the most noticeable HUD upgrade. It makes traversing through Pandora a lot easier compared to the first game. Another addition was holding down X (on the 360) to collect all possible inventory in a loot chest instead of individually pressing a button for each item. Another nice feature Borderlands 2 added is the ability to use all the weapons, regardless what character you play as.

Borderlands 2 introduces the Badass Rank, which gives small percentage bonus for 12 stat categories. After killing a certain number of creatures, or looting a certain number of objects, you can redeem the rank for tokens to level up skills by small percentages. They also introduce slot machines where you can win excellent guns, or Eridium which gives the player the opportunity to hold more ammo or store more items. While it is rare to get jackpots, in the slot machines, you at least win a gun every 4 spins which was enough to keep me pressing X. While there are more combinations of weapons compared to the 1st game, it seems more homogenized. Even though there is more combinations of weapons it doesn’t feel like there is more variety between the weapons.

I took my time completing 99% of side missions and in all it took me 45 hours. 35 of those hours I played alone. For the Vault Hunter, New Game Plus mode, there are new tougher enemy varieties, which keeps Borderlands 2 challenging. A welcome feature in Borderlands 2 is the ability for your character to easily switch to 1st playthrough mode and new game mode seamlessly.

While Borderlands 2 does a lot of great things to build on core gameplay, for the people that didn’t like the first game, it would still be a tough sell. The gameplay has been improved greatly, but it is still the same type game. Of the 45 hours I played through Borderlands 2, the missions still boil down to "shoot this many bad guys, kill this boss", and fetch quests.

4/5 stars
AGTurbo is a man's man.

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