Friday, September 21, 2012

REVIEW - Borderlands 2 (360/PS3)

Bazillions of guns, sassy robots, and shoot n' loot action. That's right partner; the highly anticipated sequel to 2009's Borderlands is out now, and I've put it through its paces.

The game begins five years after the events of the first game. A man named Handsome Jack has named himself Dictator of Pandora and proceeds to commit all sorts of dickbag acts. As one of four heroic badasses, it is your job to put a stop to Jack's dickbaggery and save the world.

The story, as with the first game, is largely unimportant. It's not that it's bad. Not at all. It's just incidental to the whole killing and questing process. I'm the type of person who usually reads every bit of lore and flavor text in every game I play (much to the chagrin of my co-op partners), but after awhile even I was like "Alright, let's just go kill stuff". I imagine there are plenty of people interested in the Borderlands lore, and for them there are a plethora of things to tickle their fancy. Many characters from the first game make an appearance, and there's a cast of new characters that are sure to make your list of favorites.

Like Tina here; the twisted tween with a a vocabulary that would make Samuel L. Jackson say "Motherfuckin' damn mothafucka!"

Even if the over-arching story doesn't interest you much, the dialog definitely will. Well written and laugh out loud hilarious, you won't want to miss anything out of anybody's mouth. The CL4P-TP (Claptrap) machines in particular provide a list of hilarious one liners in their usual rambling series of non sequiturs. In fact, the game as a whole seems very more comic in tone. And that's saying something, as the first game was also incredibly humorous.

Also very comic in tone is the graphics (that's a sweet ass segue, folks). Using the same unique style of cel-shaded graphics as the first, the world and the characters that inhabit it look straight off the page. The colors of the landscapes can sometimes be very drab and muted, which I guess can be expected from a mostly barren Mad Max style world. But sometimes the game can show a range of colors that really make the graphics pop out.

It's like a damn Skittles bag up in here.

For the uninitiated, Borderlands is a First Person Shooter/RPG hybrid. With a heavy emphasis on co-op- you will embark on quests, run through dungeons, find loot and level up your skills. All of the combat plays out in the usual FPS manner.  What makes these games work so well is that both aspects of its gameplay work well on their own. The gunplay is solid and exciting, and the questing and looting is addicting. There's tons of quests and sidequests, and loot is everywhere.

Borderlands 2 is not a difficult game. Even if you find yourself in over your head, after "dying" you enter a last stand mode, where killing one enemy brings you back to life. If you do manage to actually die, you're taken back to the nearest checkpoint marker with only a loss of money to show for it. And with money not being too terribly important (most of the gear you need will be found or quest rewards) there's not really much consequence. Add in the fact that when playing co-op your partners can revive you and dying becomes a non issue.

"I am become badass, destroyer of robots n' shit."

 The framerate can get a little dicey, especially in splitscreen where you will sometimes hit Powerpoint level of frames. That's understandable to an extent, and I imagine most will be playing it online anyway, but it really can become unplayable for short stretches of time. Also there are some minor glitches with quests, with things not activating like they should or things disappearing. A restart, or leaving and re-enetering the zone always seemed to fix it though.

The real problem with this game, if you can call it that, is that there's nothing much really new here. There's of course new areas, new enemies, new quests, and new characters. But I couldn't shake the feeling that this was simply a massive expansion pack to the first game. It looks, feels and plays almost exactly the same. But as the only other game like this is the first Borderlands, just more of it is still pretty exciting.

If you liked the first Borderlands, you're probably already playing this. If you didn't, there's nothing here to change your mind.


  1. A good solid "Borderlands out of Borderlands" score.

  2. Gorilla With Bucket Of UrineSeptember 24, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    I don't need your goddamn reviews to tell me what I should, or more importantly should NOT be buying. I can make my own decisions.

  3. Gorilla With Basket Of DaisiesSeptember 24, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Thanks for the review. I appreciate your straight forward approach to explaining the game to us. This is a good review because you did not include any unnecessary BS. Keep up the good work friend.