A Review of Borderlands II
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 17:09
Borderlands II is the sequel to the 2009 game, Borderlands, developed by Gearbox Software. The game is a first-person shooter with an RPG twist. The gameplay involves leveling up, increasing your character’s stats and collecting items and guns with different types of damage options.
There are four options for the character and class that can be played. Players can choose to be Zero, an assassin; Maya, a Siren; Salvador, the Gunzerker or Axton, the Commando. Each character has their own play style and each has their own special abilities and proficiency with certain types of weapons.
The customization for your character includes everything from macro-customization to micro-enhancements.
Borderlands II is much faster paced starting out than its predecessor was. The first level boss is faced within 10-20 minutes. In the first game, there was about an hour of gameplay leading up to the first encounter. The enemies also come in bigger waves than they did in the previous game.
Robert Bales, a fan of both games, said, “I personally think it completely surpassed the first game,” he explained. “The characters are so much more developed. The new types of things you can do with characters, all of the new guns and new people/things to kill are interesting.”
The story in Borderlands II is significantly better than the previous game because it actually has a cohesive plot. There is a clear antagonist and a reason to do the tasks that are assigned instead of blindly following, like the previous game.
The dialogue and storyline in Borderlands II is also superb. The jokes reference a lot of other series and source materials which ends with humorous results.
Other improvements in Borderlands II are substantial as well. For instance, the original version of Borderlands for PlayStation 3 had a huge problem with screen tearing during cut scenes. Borderlands II is as smooth as possible in both cut scenes and gameplay. The only lag that was experienced was on the multi-player screen.
The graphics for Borderlands II are unique and are comic book-like. They have always been stylized and cell-shaded, but the producers went the extra mile and made it comic-style. It’s like art on the screen.
The game keeps things fresh each play-through by randomizing the loot that is retrieved from chests, bosses and enemies. One play-through there might be a shield from defeating a boss, whereas in another, there might be a shotgun or sniper rifle.
The guns in Borderlands II are diverse. It’s likely that no matter how times the game is played, the same gun will never be revealed twice.
Unique aspects of the guns are the damage they can induce and more intriguing add-ons. The damage types that can be caused are fire, explosive, corrosive, electric and slag. When reloading a gun, it can be thrown and it becomes a grenade with a new one materializing.
Bales believes that they could have gone a step further with the customization of the guns. “I think they should have added a system to customize your own gun,” he said. “So you can choose the elemental properties and add-ons. As you level up, you can buy different parts or the other parts can upgrade.”
This game isn’t without its faults, however.
The controls of the vehicles are clunky and hard to maneuver. There were also unexplainable invisible walls on ramps that were supposed to be used to travel.
Overall, this game does deserve a rating of 9 out of 10. It is a major improvement from its predecessor and really fun to boot. It’s still too early to say, but this game might also be a personal choice for game of the year.