Borderlands 2 - June 2013 edition
Borderlands returns with a bigger and better sequel
Even before video games were created, men have always had a fascination of what the world would be if it experienced a nuclear fallout and all that remains were a desolate land filled wit mutants creatures and gangs that killed each other to survive and vie for power. These ideas were then transferred to books such as Neil Shute's On the Beach, as well as movies like Mad Max. Even video games ventured into this wasteland with games such as Fallout series.
Most of these post-apocalyptics titles have a serious tone to them, playing on audience's imagination of how a world without order would be like. All that changed when Gearbox released their smash it game borderlands in 2009. Borderlands took a different route with its colorful cel-shaded graphics, insane and over-the-top characters, and a locale that was desolate yet beautiful to look at. It was just packed with endless hours of fun.
Now, after 3 years since its debut, the sequel to borderlands is finally here. Borderlands 2 is everything a sequel should be - bigger, better, and jam-packed with explosive goodness that no action games should pass up. Despite taking place in a post-apocalyptics world, there's nothing gloomy about this sequel. If the world ended up like this after a nuclear war, we would want to be part of it too.
Why? Because it's super awesome. Read on more to get a clear picture of what awaiting you in Borderlands 2!
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Second verse much better than the first!
Creating a sequel can sometimes be a daunting thing. It doesn't matter if it is a comic book, movie, paperback novel or game. Once something is deemed perfect or close to it, fans and critics will scrutinize every little detail of the sequel to see just how it measures up to its predecessor.This is especially true when it comes to games as gamers have learned that sometimes developers tend to lose their way when they focus on a sequel, thus making it an utter piece of rubbish. Many asked the same question when it cames to borderland 2 - how will it live up to the greatness that was Borderlands?
If you have never experience Gearbox's first post-apocalyptic first-person role-playing shooter game, here's my little recap about four Vault Hunters who traveled to the planet of Pandora to uncover the Legendary Vault in search of treasure and fame. The story was quite forgettable but but what really made Borderlands fun was its exciting and adrenaline-pumping gun fights, seemingly endless amounts of loot,kooky yet lovable NPCs, beautiful cel-shaded, and the enjoyable mayhem that was multiplayer co-op.
Seeing as how fans were clamoring for more, Gearbox then went on to release four DLCs for the game. Each DLC added even more loot and mission
for players to take part and each one had its own charm. The base game already had a good amount of replayability but these DLCs gave players even more reason to try out the other character classes and dive right back into Pandora.
So far Borderlands 2, Gearbox took everything fans loved about the first game, improved on what needed fine tuning, and created yet another awesomely entertaining game that will definitely have players screaming more. The story still isn't Pulitzer material but it is much more engaging than the first and sets a darker tone in the wasteland that is Pandora. That being said, I still found Borderlands 2 to be leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor in so many ways.
Enjoy your stay in beautiful Pandora!
Borderlands 2 is set five years after the events of the first game. After the original Vault Hunters fought their way through droves of enemies, they finally made it to the Eridian Vault and uncovered its secrets. Many gamers felt the ending was somewhat anti-climatic but Gearbox has done a great job in tying up all the loose ends in the sequel. We learn that Handsome Jack took credit for the Vault Hunters' action and claimed the wealth of the vault, which allowed him to take over the Hyperion Corporation thus gaining control over Pandora. His promise is to clean up the lawless planet and to that, he devises a plan to exterminate all of Pandora's inhabitants and industrialize the planet. This is where the new Vault Hunters come in as they have to find a way to stop Handsome's Jack plans.
Borderlands 2's story may all sound gloom and doom but the areas you will visit in Borderlands 2 are nothing short of breathtaking. If you were expecting the environments to be just an endless desert wasteland, you will be gladly mistaken. Borderlands 2 comes with brand new areas such as cool blue frozen tundras, nauseous acid-filled swamps, and modern industrialized cityscape just to name a few. And thanks to the cel-shaded art style, the game is just a wonder to behold as it looks like a hand-drawn piece of art. Graphic novel and comic book fans will definitely get a kick out of playing Borderlands 2 as the game looks like a comic book comes to life.
A veritable cast of freaks!
Like the first game, Gearbox managed to create yet another stylish way of introducing the character classes and also show players how they got to Pandora. After the Ã¼ber cool intro video, players will then be able to select which class they want to play before their romp in this wasteland. The characters in Borderlands 2 are quite similar to the four previous Vault Hunters and each one caters to different type of gamers. While you and a friend may pick the same class, how you build that character is entirely up to you. Each character has three skill trees as well as abilities they benefit not only just the player but his teammates as well.
One of the complaints about the first game was that characters weren't really customizable and looked the same save for a few color schemes. This time around, Gearbox has given gamers a bit more controls of what their characters looks like. At the start of the game, players will already have three types of head to choose from and over 15 color schemes that makes their characters unique. Throughout the game, by completing quest and gaining achievements, players will have access to more heads and colors with awesome and funny names, such as the "why so serious?" theme which is an homage to the Batman's Joker. When selected, players will then done the signature colors of Gotham's Clown Price of Crime. This adds quite a bit of diversity to Borderlands 2, especially in multiplayer: you can have four friends using the same class but each looking very different.
While we are on the subject of characters, the planet of Pandora is just filled with wacky and zany characters. Players will also meet up with past characters such as the hilarious but tragic robot CL4P-TP, better known as ClapTrap and also the other four Vault Hunters who play an integral part in your crusade to take down Handsome Jack. Most of the important NPCs you meet sport unique design through most of the other NPCs looks the same. This same treatment is accorded to enemies as well. Despite the similar designs between NPCs, Gearbox has done an amazing job with the character's voice-acting and script-writing as Borderlands 2's characters truly feel alive. In places like Sanctuary, you will hear NPCs talking to each other about what has been happening in Pandora and their worries. Enemies will scream taunts and even when they die, they are never loss for funny one-liners. To give your character a bit of personality, he does the same whenever he makes a critical hit kill or if there is a "Badass" ranked enemy around.
Enemy AI in Borderlands 2 has also been given a slight tweak and this time, they won't just rush head on to try and kill you. Instead they will use cover, try to flank you, or even flee when they are close to death. They may all look the same but there is a wide variety of enemy types and players have to learn what their strength and weakness are. One of the coolest enemy to encounter in the game is Goliath who wears a helmet. If a player manage to shoot the helmet off, he goes berserk and attacks his own gang members but also grows in strength. It's best to stay out of his way and wait for your enemies to damage him before swooping in for the kill. Its things like this that makes Borderlands 2 a lot more challenging and more strategic instead of just running and gunning at your enemies. That strategy would most likely get you killed because players aren't able to carry any healing items. Instead, you can only pick up health injectors from enemy drops or containers.
As a final note when it comes to AI, I would like to mention while the enemies are definitely much smarter, I still found them doing some weird things once in a while. During my playthrough, I sometimes found them just standing still even when I kept shooting them in the head. Enemies in vehicles are no better as they tend to stuck in environment such as rocks and buildings, making them easy pickings. Boss fights are usually epic affairs but sometimes you are lucky, you may find an exploit which keeps you totally safe from harm, making bosses a sitting duck.
Shoot! Shoot! Loot! Loot! X Infinity!!!
Thankfully, the overall gameplay of Borderlands 2 remains the same like the first game whereby players will have a main quest that must be completed before you can progress through the game. While you can just blast through the main store, it is the zany and cockamamie side-quests that makes the game fun. There's a quest where you have to help Dr. Tannis with same research and to do that, you will first have to collect a pizza from Maxxi and then bring it down to a sewer. After delivering your pizza, your 'customer' will then notice you aren't their usual delivery guy and start attacking. You will then have to kill four of them who are dressed in Blue, Red, Purple, and Orange and sound like surfer dudes. Sounds familiar? (Hint: TMNT)
This is just how un-seriously Borderlands 2 takes itself. Quests like these make the game fun and while most of them sound like run-of-the-mill 'go here and kill that' quests, Gearbox has given them a little bit of variety as same quest require you to kill an enemy with a melee attack or by using a shotgun. This, of course, leads us to the next point of contention in Borderlands 2; while there are many quests in the game, they sometimes feel a bit repetitive and some even require you to backtrack to an area that you have already been to, which means you will have to deal with the same enemies that have respawned. Thankfully, there's quick travel system but it is placed at the start of a level so you will still have to trudge through it all over again and this can be a chore. But by taking on more quests, you not only level up faster but also gain access to more awesome loot.
Speaking of loot, Gearbox really wasn't joking when they said there is literally a 'Bazillion' guns in the game. Guns come in all shapes and sizes, bearing different stats. Heck, it isn't just the design and stats that make them different. If you look down a scope of two different sniper rifles, their optics will always be different. That's just how much work Gearbox has put into the guns alone. Guns also behave differently from one another. For example, some have improved accuracy when fired continuously, others fire two rounds at once and some have elemental effects such as Fire, Shock, Acid or Slag. With its great variety of guns, it is quite amazing how Gearbox was able to make each and every gun handle differently due to recoil and kickback. There's also no such thing as upgrading weapons like other RPGs - it's all about finding a better one and selling the old one for money to buy health injectors and precious ammo.
Other than just guns, enemies and chests will also drop items such as grenade mods, shield mods, artifact and character class mods. Each of these item is pivotal in a player's play style so besides just killing large number of enemies, it is best if you open up as many containers, boxes, and chests as possible. One of the newer things added to Borderlands 2 is Eridium. This is one of the minor changes compared to the first game where players could upgrade their inventory size and ammo storage with just money. With Eridium, players will have to hunt down as many as possible if they want to stay well-stocked with ammo and carry more loot. The price for SDU upgrades isn't cheap either as the costs increase each time a player purchases an upgrade.
Killing and looting is always better with buddies
Finally, we come to the part which is easily the most fun about the game - multiplayer. Yes, you can play through Borderlands 2 alone but there are times where you will find yourself outnumbered and dying a lot. Te solution: grab a buddy or two or three and face the hordes of freaks in Pandora together. Akin to its predecessor, the more players in a game, the harder the enemies will be but of course, you get even more awesome loot drops. And with this comes the rushing and racing for the loot drops as I'm pretty sure everyone wants to get their hands on that awesome shotguns.
As word of advice though, if you do want to play with friends in Borderlands 2, I recommend having a party of characters that are around the same level as is much more enjoyable because if a lower-level player joins a high-level character's game, they will die very easily as the enemies are much more stronger (though you will gain more experience faster). This will also help the flow of story to remain intach, instead of jumping from one point to another and never knowing what in the Firehawk's name is happening. One of the great things about playing multiplayer in Borderlands 2 is the fact that quests you complete and achievement you gainwhile playing with friends will also carry over to your single-player game, so there's no need to go back and do the same mission all over again.
Loot hunting paradise
Borderlands 2 is essentially more Borderlands but way better. It may have some little quirks here and there such as mission repetitiveness, the frequent backtracking and the occasional AI acting silly, but Borderlands 2 is still a very addictive game thanks to its endless prospect of finding better loot and lovable characters who are constant source of entertainment. Seeing as the sequel does tie up all of the game's loose ends, it is also a great way for fans to know what happened to the previous four Vault Hunters and also find out what happens to Handsome Jack in the end. But even after you have completed your first playthrough, there's always an option of going back and trying different classes, such as the all new fifth character class the Mechromancer, which was recently released by Gearbox as a DLC. The new class adds even more replayability to Borderlands 2. Even if games like these aren't your usual cup of tea, I still urge you to give it a try. If you still aren't convinced get some friends to join you and you will truly see what makes Borderlands 2 so damn fun.
Try Borderlands 2 for an amazing price!
Complete set of Borderlands 2 - Everything you need for better experience in Borderlands 2!
This set includes:
Authentic Marcus Kincaid Bobblehead
4 Exclusive Stickers and a Map of Pandora
Comic Book Download
Inside the Vault: The Art of Borderlands 2 Hardbound Book
Bonus Digital Content
Borderlands 2 for PC - For Windows and Mac
You will need a Steam account to buy this product. Create a Steam account Here
Contain four brand new individual add-on content campaigns for Borderlands 2 which introduce new allies, enemy and environment. Create a Steam account Here
Get 4 copies of Borderlands 2 to play with your friends or family at great price! Create a Steam account Here
If you want to get a Borderlands 2 DVD instead of downloading it directly from Steam, you can buy this one! It can also ship outside US
Buy this copy if you are using Mac. Create a Steam account Here
Borderlands 2 Mechromancer Pack
You will need a Steam account with base game Borderlands 2 to buy this product. Create a Steam account Here
Borderlands 2 for Xbox 360
Borderlands 2 for Playstation 3
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