Reviewed For: Xbox 360
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher; Developer: 2K; Gearbox Software
One of the most anticipated games of 2012, Borderlands 2 was destined for greatness as soon as it was announced. The first Borderlands game deserved all of the attention it got being one of the most refreshing games of the current console generation. Borderlands 2 was nominated by many for game of the year awards, but did it really deserve it? The short answer: Yes.
Story Worth Listening To
The first thing about Borderlands 2 is that the story is actually worth paying attention to this time around. In Borderlands, the story was not important in the slightest. The only plot provided was to find a vault and open it. There was no real sense of purpose other than to have whatever was in the vault. No real antagonist added to what was a lack luster story from the start and just had me paying attention to the latest mission received. I am glad to say that Borderlands 2 is much better in this respect. First off, there is an actual antagonist known as Handsome Jack who is in charge of the Hyperion Corporation. They seek to open another vault and in doing so cause a lot of violence and mayhem throughout Pandora. They need eridium to open this vault which is a rare element only found on Pandora. As the player, your job as the new vault hunter is to stop him and open the vault yourself. The addition of few set pieces and characters who have more depth really make Borderlands 2 a more complete experience. Also, Dameon Clarke, who voices Handsome Jack, was awarded with the VGA best voice actor of the year.
Bigger, Better, Smoother, and Longer
The title of this section should tell you everything you need to know about the Borderlands 2 experience, and its humor. Many of the game play issues that were present in Borderlands are now gone in its predecessor. Possibly the biggest issue with the first game was its frame rate problem. Rest assured it has been resolved and even the biggest of battles run as smoothly as the game does when just simply walking around. There may be an occasional spike in FPS, but when it does happen, it does not last for more than half a second. You also won't have to mash the X button to pick up money or ammo anymore. The in-game menu is also cleaner and everything is easily readable. Simply run by it and the game will do the rest for you. Other than that the same game play from the first game remains but is better than ever. The game still has plenty of missions, money, and guns to keep you satisfied. Not to mention the skill trees are back and with improvements.
The More The Merrier
Although still fun when playing alone, the best way to play Borderlands 2 is with friends. The first game had this feature as well, but it suffered a bit from lag. There was usually a good half second between when you pressed a button and your character would actually preform the action. Fortunately, Gearbox knows how to fix things and there is no noticeable lag when playing online this time around. Matches are also found quicker than most shooters on the market. With more people come harder enemies, but with harder enemies comes better loot, so its an even trade. With co-op being pushed so heavily in both games, you would think they get it right the first time, but I suppose it is better late than never.
CL4P-TP is Back
With all of the amazing game play also comes more of the humor that the series is now known for. The only game I can think of with similar humor is Conker's Bad Fur Day and that was released 12 or so years ago. Sometimes tongue in cheek and other times laugh out loud, Borderlands 2 will make you laugh at least a few times if not plenty more. However, although meant for a mature audience, you may feel a bit immature laughing at some of the dialogue in the game. With things like "wall sphincters," or "bonerfarts," the game might have you thinking about weather or not you should be laughing. I experienced a bit of deja vu when listening to some of the humor, but overall it's still funny and quite unique for games today.
Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better
The only real problem with the game is the enemy A.I. They get to roll out of the way and are able to take cover behind walls or boxes. They are also incredibly accurate, being able to hit you over and over even if only an inch of your body is showing. Not to mention the game throws a lot of enemies at you at once in some situations. You on the other hand have your gun, grenades, and specific class ability. I normally would not think about combat maneuvers or a cover system for Borderlands 2, but if they thought about it for the A.I, then it would have been nice to be able to roll out of the way of a melee attack or slide behind cover. Also, you can't seem to hit anything that moves in this game either. Unless the target is standing still, more times than not you will hit nothing, but air. These are not issues that break the game, but sometimes you can feel as though you are at a huge disadvantage and it can become frustrating. All I can say is: expect to die.