Review by Flare_Dragon123
"Nothing New is Old Again... wait..."
I should preface by saying I wasn't a massive fan of the original Borderlands. It did successfully merge Halo FPS style with Diablo 2 Loot madness and skill trees while holding a brilliant art style, but I've never liked the character of claptrap or the games Teen Rated humor.
But I'm a massive fan of anything Diablo Clone, and Borderlands are Diablo Clone games.
Seeing as how the first game left me feeling somewhat dissatisfied after a while (I played until roughly level 25 and the grind fest just got too hardcore and not unique enough), so I had a list of things that I personally wanted to see and feel was different in Borderlands 2.
1. Class Differences - One of the biggest issues I had with the original Borderlands was that you had to plug through five levels to get to what made your characters unique. Everyone knew how to shoot every gun, and even had access to all the weapons relatively quickly, making the start of any new character one of the most boring experiences ever.
2. Loot Quality - When the original Borderlands came out I was happy with loot. Now that Diablo 3 has effectively ruined random loot grinds for everyone, seeing one hundred grays drop is no longer so fun.
3. Clarity - Okay, far be it for me to say, some of Borderlands information windows made no sense to me. I understand accuracy, but what does fire rate stand for, maybe it could've told me the gun was full auto before I sold it for 40$
4. Meaningful Loot Boxes - Okay let me go out on a limb here and say that this is one thing every WRPG has. Part of the fun of the game comes from one mantra, "Anything Good can come from anywhere at anytime," thus the only issue is that Borderlands had a severe lack of meaningful loot boxes. You were only going to get that powerful legendary item out of a boss or a boss chest, and there aren't exactly a whole ton of those lying around.
5. Something New and Different - Borderlands was Diablo 2 on a desert planet with guns. Which effectively made it Fallout 3 meets Diablo. What was unique was the cel shading cartoon effects slammed against mature lines and material. Unfortunately, so much of the original Borderlands was vanilla revamps of old mastered game design, that what was new and original hardly shined in comparison. But it was there, there was a lot unique about Borderlands. It was new and different. I just wanted them to expand that a bit to the other mechanics as well.
So now allow me to actually discuss each of these five points in relation to Borderlands 2.
So how did it deliver?:
1. Class Differences - Okay, you still have to wait until Level 5 for any talent points. This is only made worse by the fact that the first 5 levels in this game are even slower than the first game.
2. Loot Quality - Added weapon stats, meaningless arrows, and what feels like a lot more trash.
3. Clarity - This is seriously important. They added a fifth measurement to the guns now (I think its added anyway) and there's a new element. Seriously, this game, which feels like it has to explain the X button and all its wondrous functions, and also hand hold me with a mystical angel AI lady through the whole game won't stop to tell me that the damn gun is semi-auto or auto. There's just some things I need to know game, you aren't telling me them.
4. Meaningful Loot Boxes - What's really sad is that they added challenge achievements to open the meaningless ones. So now its slightly less of a headache?
5. Something New and Different - Replacing big brown unvaried landscape with big blue unvaried landscape IS NOT DIFFERENT!! That being said, Borderlands 2 has done one thing that I think can be carried over, and that is achievements that mean something. Your achievements carry over to a Badass Rank for your profile. You buy various upgrades with these ranks that then carry over to every single character you have. That is righteously powerful. Unfortunately the upgrades are incredibly small and the list of stuff you can upgrade is randomly generated, and there's so much that can pop up that only giving you five options all but destroys any chance to specialize.
I listened to a review that said, "Borderlands 2 is not simply more Borderlands."
At this point I looked at the game I was playing and the game he was playing and I think he should go back and play Borderlands again.
What I'm saying is, if you played Borderlands and liked it, you are going to be very happy.
However if there was even one thing, anything at all, that you think needed to be improved, do not expect it.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 09/24/12
Game Release: Borderlands 2 (US, 09/18/12)
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