Review by djinni204

"I usually hate sequels because they are worse, but not this one."

First and foremost, I played the first Borderlands. I don't know about other people but I THINK that the first game was awesome. But its a type of awesome where it can be improved upon on the next installment.

I was excited about Borderlands 2. However, when they announced Borderlands 2 I was a bit iffy since the original vault hunters aren't back as playable characters and basically everything will be changed save for some key NPCs. I decided not to follow any news whatsoever after that and just remembered the release date as I want what is inside the new game to be a surprise. That and the fact that I will just treat it as a new game that's not related to the first Borderlands, in case I end up hating the game.

Fast forward to September 2012. Release day. Got my pre-order and pre-loading done. here's what I found out. But before that, if you are in a hurry and just want to find the TLDR version scroll all the way down.

GRAPHICS:
The new graphics are; in one word, SEXY. I personally think it's like transporting yourself in a comic book world, looking at comic book graphics and then turning yourself into a comic book character; shooting and blasting comic book enemy heads. Or tentacles. Or robot parts. Well there's a lot to blast. In fact even the environment can be blasted thanks to the new PhysX added into the game. Not only can you see burnt, electrified, exploded enemy body parts, you can do the same thing with walls, drapes, barrels, hell, even water.

Of course, that is if you have a HIGH END computer system otherwise you'll have to put up with good graphics, not awesome graphics. In short, no complaints in this department.

SOUND:
I've always hated reviewing sound. Why? because I'm not a pretentious "audiophile". So here's is my break down for this game's sound/music.

Do guns in game sound like real life guns shooting bullets? CHECK. Does the effects like shock, corrosive and flame sound like electricity, acid splash and fire? YES. Do human enemies sound and talk like normal humans? NOT necessarily. They sound more disturbed and that's GOOD. Now do those enemies getting electrified or burnt or getting shot at sound like what a typical person would sound like? YES. But better. Yes, it's good. Lets move on.

CONTROLS:
Fantastic. I prefer the combination of keyboard and mouse when I'm playing my first person shooters and the feedback is good. No lolly gagging, no hot-key not responding no input lag. Everything is great. But for those of you who prefer the controllers, well there's that option too. I tried it for about ten minutes and hated it. Not because the controller is not working with the game, but because I don't like using controllers on my FPS in general. But for the sake of "testing" I endured. I gave myself a pat in the back after for even lasting that long. You should too, but telepathically.

Oh as addendum, if you don't like the controls you can hot-key everything the way you like it. SO if you don't want WASD for movement and prefer ESDF sure. Do what you want. It's what clap trap would want. Overall, amazing work.

GAME PLAY:
Here we go. The reason why gamers actually play games. Where to start. If you played the first Borderlands this would be an easy explanation. Take Borderlands and then add ten times the awesome. That's Borderlands 2. Now for a more in depth one. I will be using bullet points for this one instead.

* Customization
You can change your face, your armor, as well as the cars you ride on in the game. There are some default colors, and then there are others you can win or get as a loot.

*Casino slots
Now there's a decent money sink in the game! You can get your Eridium( yes Eridium not the chemical element Iridium) which is another currency for something in game other than cash here as a prize. As well as guns and more custom skins!

*More GUNS
This is a mixed bag for me. I like some of the guns but the naming of them, not so much. But that's a minor complaint. It just feels like a bunch of preschoolers named them. And no, I'm not just talking about [MINOR SPOILERS:] Bandit manufactured guns.
Anyways, the guns are more accurate(I find, personally) than the previous game. Now you can headshot like you're supposed to.
And if that doesn't excite you, they also ADDED talking guns. That's right. You read it right. TALKING. guns. So Badass.

*BETTER grenades
The new effects of grenades are awesome. I won't spoil them because it's awesome the first time you see them in action.

*New Classes
I thought I would hate the new classes but I don't. They are kind of similar to the old vault hunters but different enough that you can tell they are not the same characters, and not just some copy paste protagonists.

*Awesome Antagonist
I personally LOVE the villain in this game. Yes you will probably hate him but he's lovable too.

*Better story line
It's not really much if you are comparing it to the first one, but an improvement is an improvement. However, the banter between characters and even enemies are miles better than the first one.

*Better QUEST MARKERS
This is a big one for me. In the first game you will be in the area of that diamond quest track marker searching for that piece of item you need for the quest and not find it. Here at least there's an arrow that tells if the item you are looking for is at the bottom or top of you. AWESOME.

*BETTER QUESTS
Now not as dull as the first game's quests. One type of quests that grind my gears though, and that is the TIMED QUESTS. Blah. Otherwise they are more fun to do. There's tons of optional quests that give good reward so don them when you can!

*BADASS points
Yes, that's an actual thing in game. You collect BADASS points the more you get the more BADASS TOKENS you will get. What are they for? Stat boosts. exchanging tokens net you small statistical improvements on things like gun accuracy, gun damage, melee damage etc.
They have diminishing returns so its not overpowered.

* SHARED LOOT
I hated this in the first one and I hated this in the second one. I know you wont have to worry about this if you play with just your friends but the point of a multiplayer game is to play with different people, NOT just your FRIENDS. NOT HAVING separate loot per person prevents this in a way because people are greedy. If they don't know who they are playing with, they don't care no matter if you set the loot rules or not. They will dash for that shiny.

REPLAY VALUE:
With four characters to choose from and some challenges to complete as well as skins to collect, there's a lot of replay value. Plus the DLCs that will probably come in the future. Win win in terms of replay value. But if you don't like boss farming as well as playing different characters and just want to beat the game, then this might seem like a short burst of fun for you.

And so, here is the TLDR version pros and cons style.

PROS
+Customization
+Controls, graphics, and the new PhysX, as well as sound
+More loot
+New/more guns and grenade effects
+Better game play than it's predecessor
+Better story line, better dialogue
+Way more things to do in game(challenges, badass tokens etc)
+Better Quests/ Better Quest markers

CONS
-Might get repetitive for some people(games usually are though)
-Shared loot(this is a personal opinion as to why, read my 2 cents on it up top)
-Not so great gun names


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/28/12

Game Release: Borderlands 2 (US, 09/18/12)


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