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A Game Review on Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360)

Updated on January 10, 2014
Box art for Borderlands 2
Box art for Borderlands 2 | Source

**This review was written by my younger brother Jimmy Perazzo and edited by me.**

Borderlands 2 has definitely proven to be a masterpiece with plenty of intense action and a compelling story. This cartoon-like first person shooter has matched, if not succeeded what the first Borderlands had accomplished. When you first start Borderlands 2 you awaken to a train crash; a train crash that is meant to eliminate you, and your Vault Hunter allies. After awakening you come across a cute little robot whose intentions are to get off the glacier with the help of his new minion, which happens to be you! The Borderlands 2 story takes place on the planet of Pandora a vast and rich landscape filled with psychopathic killers, war robots and plenty of hideous monsters, like the infamous Skag.

You take up the place of a Vault Hunter who is trying stop the most evil entity on, and ruler of Pandora, Handsome Jack, beside the rebel group know as The Crimson Raiders. Your desperate struggle to acquire the key to a mysterious Vault, and stop the annihilation of all life on Pandora from the sacred Warrior, takes you from the glacier to the tundra to the desert and many more areas.

There are four different classes you can choose from. There's The Assassin who's a coldblooded killer and master at the art of assassinating people; The Siren who's a skilled magic user able to gain control of the battlefield using otherworldly powers; The Commando who's a skilled soldier, great for suppressing enemies; And The Gunzerker, the most bad-ass gun slinging, head bashing, monster the world could ask for, his only intent is to drop bandits, creatures and robots like flies. In later downloadable content they will be releasing the Mecromancer class among others.

Gameplay screen shot
Gameplay screen shot | Source

Each class you can choose from gets its own set of skills. For the Assassin you can choose if you want to specialize in sniping, hand to hand combat, or just guns blazing. You can choose the skills in these groups by leveling up. Once you put a skill point into hand to hand, you can freely put your next one into sniping if you wish. The Gunzerker skills range from Brawn, which strengthens your attacks while offering up a better defense; Rampage, which helps you utilize your special power; Gunzerkering; which allows you to duel wield while also regenerating your health and ammo supply; and Gunlust, which just enforces your love for guns and ups your weapon stats. The Siren's skills consist of Cataclysm, which gives you bonuses to dealing fire and Corrosive damage; Harmony, which lets you heal and revive you teammates; and Motion, which allows you to control the battlefield using shields and mind control. As the Assassin you can choose from Sniping, which enhances your ability to snipe enemies; Cunning, which helps you in overall combat; and Bloodshed, which greatly increases your ability to melee. The last class is the Commando whose skills are Survival, which helps you be able to survive better and last longer; Gunpowder, which allows you to be a more successful killing machine; and Guerilla, which increases everything about your special power, the Sabre turret, an automated turret that kills everything in its path.

Character customization and Badass Ranks are great additions to this wonderful game. You can change the look of your character using different skins that you pick up, be it through a drop from a monster or a quest reward. The skins will either change the look of your helmet or head attire, your outfit or shirt and the way your car can look. You can change your look at any of the quick change stations, and to change the look of your car you will have to go to any of the car dispensers. Badass Ranks are personal ranks you acquire through doing challenges such as "Kill 25 Skags" or "Deal 100,000 electrocute damage", while each challenge completed will move you closer towards achieving a Bad-ass Rank, and a Badass Token. Badass Tokens can be redeemed for stat bonuses such as increased maximum health, or elemental damage. The amount of Badass ranks you can get is practically infinite.

Screen shot of skill tree in Borderlands 2
Screen shot of skill tree in Borderlands 2 | Source

Borderlands 2 offers a huge selection of gear and equipment that come in different levels of rarity going from most common to rarest in the order of white, green, blue, purple and orange. As seen in one of the quick tips, "just remember, When Grandma Burps, Patrick Obeys" which stands as a slogan to remember the order of rarity. Some of the equipment you can come across as you play Borderlands 2 are Relics, a special item that grants the user invaluable bonuses depending on your play style. Then there are class mods which increase some stats and sometimes even skills. Shields are one of the most important aspects of the game that keeps you alive, adding extra protection on top of the health you already have; Some shields offer special bonuses like when your shield is depleted you become a living nova constantly exploding for a set amount of time killing anything near you. That is just one of many special effects shields have. Just remember another priceless tip from Borderlands 2 "Shields are just like friends, the best ones come with additional benefits". Last but not least is the grenade mod! Grenade mods enhance your average grenade to unimaginable heights. The grenade mods work similar to a shield, in which the better grenade mods offer additional benefits such as pulling any enemies in the area toward the grenade before a devastating explosion.

Guns. Can't live without them, can't live with them. Borderlands 2 offers a gigantic selection of weapons from several gun company's ranging from "Milawan" to "Tediore" with each company making its own style of weapons. For example, Milawan weapons are always elemental, like Corrosive which are great against robots, or Fire which is great against flesh etc. Borderlands 2 has thousands if not millions of different guns, so don't be afraid if you don't get that special someone. There are plenty of fish in the sea.

Screen shot from Borderlands 2
Screen shot from Borderlands 2 | Source

A new addition not seen in the first Borderlands is the Black Market, a system of trading a rare mineral called Eridian, only obtainable by opening containers, quest rewards and killing enemies. In the Black Market you can buy mainly storage upgrades such as how many ammunition each gun type can hold such as sub-machine guns, machine guns, pistols, shotguns and sniper rifles. You can also increase bag space and much more. The Black Market can only be accessed from the city of Sanctuary .

The feel of the game play and controls are basically the same as Borderlands. The ease of game play is quite good, with not that many glitches at all and everything is fairly easy to understand. The immense open world concept of Borderlands 2 allows players to explore as much as they wish giving a lot of gaming opportunities. Borderlands 2 offers normal or Vault Hunter modes. Normal is a play through of the game which takes you from level 1 to around 30 to 35. Vault Hunter mode is a second play through of the game allowing you reach level 50, the max level, Vault Hunter difficulty is much harder than normal, requiring teammates to help you accomplish certain missions or objectives.

Multiplayer, the foundation of most popular games, also plays a big part in the Borderlands 2 experience. You join in on a fellow Vault Hunters struggle for survival, a maximum of 4 people can be in a game at one given time, the more players there are in a game, the harder the enemies are, and better loot! If someone takes that awesome weapon you fought so hardly to get, you can always challenge someone to a duel while wagering that particular item "To the victor goes the spoils".

Borderlands 2 has far exceeded my expectations, going on my top 10 list of the best games I have played. With only one glitch I encountered out of my 23 hours and 44 levels of game play I can safely say that Borderlands 2 was masterfully done and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to have a extremely fun action packed adventure.

9.5/10

Borderlands 2 was released on September 18th 2012 for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3

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