Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Review of Borderlands 2

Review of: Borderlands 2
Written by: SinsOfaSoldier

                To begin this review, I state this purely on my opinion and how my gaming experience for this went. Now, let us kick off this review and take a look into the world of Borderlands 2. This is Borderlands 2, the sequel to Borderlands and it takes place five years after the first game. It starts off where the vault from the first game opened and now a mineral new to the series called Eridium is appearing everywhere. This is where the story is picked up, you have an evil corporation run by a man named, Handsome Jack. Now Handsome Jack here has been mining the planet of Pandora for this mineral and in search for the second vault, which brings us to the main reason why new Vault hunters are in this game. Now in the opening scene we see our 4 main heroes, Axton, Salvador, Maya and Zer0. They are introduced along with a rocking theme song, a small sequence showing off their skills and how we see that Jack plans on killing all Vault hunters by hiring then killing them. Now to say the least this gives the Vault hunters a more than reasonable excuse to go after Handsome Jack and thus begins the story of revenge. Immediately in the game-play it starts you off talking to Clap-Trap, everyone's favourite little robot and he sets you up and gives you the rundown. Now the controls can easily be modified to fit your kind of shooter and even has an option to keep it on the first Borderlands controls for those very familiar with the game. I will not be getting too much into details on the story other than it is a revenge story letting you explore the massive terrains of Pandora.

      Now everyone should be aware of the game being a shooter RPG, Meaning there are elements of RPG, in which you are leveling your character, choosing how you want your character to grow and a new feature which I will talk about further in the review is the Skin Customization option. Borderlands 2 has your wide selection of guns that it is known for and it also has elemental weapons which are incendiary, electricity, corrosive (which is basically acid), explosive and a new element called Slag. Essentially being hit by a slag weapon will make the enemy weaker, thus making your weapons more effective and hit stronger, minus slag weapons. When beginning the game you are asked to choose from a set of characters each with their own unique skill which will help suit your play style. You have Axton who is the Commando class and his skill is a deploy-able turret which can be upgraded immensely and can prove to be a very helpful ally. Next you have is Maya, who is a Siren and who replaces Lilith from the first game, her skill is to basically trap enemies within a vortex like bubble and suspend them within the air and allowing allies to attack that enemy. Maya does have some upgradeable skills that allow her to become a healer to the team and keep the team pushing forward. Another character to choose is Zer0, who is the assassin class and his skill allows him to project a hologram of himself while the real one goes invisible, which is great for escapes or sneaking around to get a better vantage point on the enemy. Last but not least we have Salvador, a Gunzerker and his ability is to let him dual wield any two weapons the player chooses. Feel like spraying the area with bullets with a machine gun and adding a dash of rockets? There's Gunzerker for that. Feel like being in a John Woo movie with dual wielding pistols? There's Gunzerker for that.

     The game has a very robust leveling system in which you can choose from 3 trees to expand your play style and allow you to improve your skill set, how you handle a weapon and even help your health and shield abilities. There is also a new system added to this game called the Badass Rank, where upon completing the games very elaborate challenges you are awarded badass ranks. Every time you get a certain amount of Badass ranks you are awarded a Badass token which can be put to permanently increasing your character's skills in multiple ways from shield capacity to melee damage and even health increases. The challenges that are in the list are both area based where you complete certain tasks in what areas they announce to challenges that are tracked over your entire gameplay. This gives the game a bit more to do and awards you for your hard work and let's you improve your character to fight harder and gives you bragging rights to your friends as to how high your Badass Rank is. Another new feature to this game is the Skin and Head customization, which gives a whole new aspect to making the player feel in control of their character in every way. Skins and Heads are collected throughout the game either by exploration, completing missions or buying them when available at the stores. Even the vehicles you drive have a skin option so you can make your ride, actually your own ride. There is so much in Borderlands 2 that let's you take control of your character and let's you have your fun anyway you want.

     Borderlands 2 takes looting and gun collecting to a whole other level. I mean, there is an incredible amount of guns within one game that it is very hard to come across the same gun twice. And each gun is unique or crappy in its own way. One gun that I can use for being unique is a gun you can get from Moxxie by tipping enough and it is the Miss Moxxie's Good Touch. This gun while holding it and not firing will vibrate the controller within your hands and becoming a vibrator essentially. But the list of unique guns feels never ending and you will go through hundreds probably even thousands of guns in a playthrough, just because of how expansive the selection is. A good thing Borderlands 2 changes upon from the first game is the ability to just instantly pick up money and ammo by walking over it, where as the first game you had to look at it to pick it up. Money is useful in buying more guns, shields, ammo and even the occasional pull on the slot machines for a random surprise. There is also another kind of currency used which is the Eridium bars which can be spent to buy more space to hold ammo and even backpack space. The game is constantly throwing new things at you and never feels like you are picking up the same weapon each time, which gives the game more variety.

     One thing I personally find great in Borderlands 2 is the use of today's memes and everything that has become popular within the internet culture. Another great thing about Borderlands 2 is the Easter Eggs within the game. As I played through I continuously came across little references to just about anything like Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Double Rainbow Guy. The challenge list and even some of the dialogue are references to today's culture, other games and popular things among the internet. As I played more, memes and Easter Eggs are continuously found and provides a good laugh each time. Another humorous aspect to the game has to be my new all time favourite villain ever, Handsome Jack. His dialogue and the very things he says will have everyone either chuckling or just burst out laughing. I wish not to spoil much of his humour but if anything makes the game worth going through it is hearing the things Handsome Jack has to say, but speaking within the same breath everyone adds their own humour and dialogue that gives the game it's charm. Think the arrow to the knee joke is over yet?

       Borderlands 2 is an overall amazing game that continues to entertain and is different from most of today's games, from the artwork to the amount of guns and even the amount of area you have at your disposal to explore and find the endless Easter Eggs. Another unique feature about the game is the more friends you have to play with, the more unique of an experience you will have each time you play. And in the near future, the game will come with DLC that will expand the universe of Borderlands 2 and if anything like the first game's DLCs, will be worth every cent. My final review on the game is, gameplay is impeccable, variety keeps things fresh and there is promise of more Borderlands 2 to keep you coming back. So in conclusion Borderlands 2 is a must play and a must own. And that concludes my first review, I hope this helped you on understanding more on Borderlands 2 and helps you reach a verdict on the game and if you like this review, keep an eye out for my future reviews.

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