Like a bright and colorful bullet, and just about as subtle, “Borderlands 2” whizzed right into its September release and has been topping sales charts ever since. The sequel to the 2009 hit is slated already to be potentially the fourth highest grossing game of 2012 behind the upcoming “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” “Halo 4” and “Assassin’s Creed III.” While it is impossible to predict the sales records just yet, “Borderlands 2” is absolutely a title that gamers should not miss.
Much too many gamers’ chagrin, Claptrap is back and ready to take the vault hunter of the player’s choosing on to the start of the campaign. Whether the choice is assassin, commando, siren or gunzerker all classes ensure an action-packed adventure with far less limitations than in “Borderlands.”
Although all classes could use different weapons in the first game, certain classes were limited in the ability to be skilled in particular subsets. Now players can easily have anything as diverse as a siren whose specialty is sniping or a gunzerker whose specialty is elemental damage.
Whereas in the first game the story was more of an afterthought it is definitely weaved in more often to “Borderlands 2.” However, the plot is probably the game’s weakest point. While there is absolutely a much stronger effort than before, it has a very clichéd story. It is almost as if the creators chose plot elements off of a mad lib: (Fill in name of hero) saves (Place) from (Name of enemy).
Contrived or not, the story serves its basic purpose of giving the player a reason to shoot and loot to their hearts content and repeat as much as necessary. The treasure’s where the fun’s at in this game and is a part of what makes it so addicting.
While the sequel follows a similar format of the first in which random characters of Pandora assign missions and objectives, it is ultimately the craving for upgrades and more glorious loot that keeps the player engaged. And the new “Badass Rank” rewards players for playing with multiple characters.
By completing objectives similar to a trophy/achievement format, players receive upgrades for not just the current character but all characters on their console’s account.
The developer, Gearbox, has definitely outdone itself. It is clear that they took into consideration a lot of the flaws in “Borderlands” and worked assiduously to ensure they were fixed this time around. With the weapons, it doesn’t seem like they simply copied and pasted with different colors; each weapon has its own unique feel as well as best way to use it.
Perhaps most noticeable are the backgrounds considering how often players see them. While repetitive and stark in the first game, they have become vivid and bright in “Borderlands 2” it undeniably makes the game more interesting to look at.
“Borderlands 2” does not have an elegant story nor is it particularly complicated, however it does not claim to be either. The controls are easy to grasp and the game is very accessible to new players while not neglecting the fans of the first. What it lacks in polish it makes up for in heart and is really just a fun ride. Isn’t that ultimately what gamers are looking for? If so, they’re in the right place.