Hi, I’d love to stop and chat, but I’m a little busy.
Oh, you’re getting Borderlands 2? That’s rad, I got it a while ago.
Anyways I’d love to stay and talk about all the refinements they made to the game.
Like the way the story is massively improved over the first game. There are totally moments where I sat and listened to the dialogue, even ambient dialogue, for what was likely longer than all the voice clips by all four protagonists of the first game combined. And there’s a nice solidly defined antagonist who manages, all at once, to be the single largest asshat I’ve ever seen in a game while being really hilarious and STILL having the occasional humanizing moment. The game is popping at the seams with pop culture and references, so many that I definitely can’t talk about them now, since I’m all pressed for time and whatnot, but rest assured: everything related to narrative in the game is leaps and bounds improved. If I had any one gripe, it’s that I felt like these four vault hunters had oddly less personality than the first four, even though they technically have more story. Meh.
And don’t even ask me about the gameplay. Yeesh. You’d be surprised how much a mini-map helps things.
Different guns withing each weapon subtype have been diversified, the quirks between all the gun manufacturers have been further fleshed out to suit their mission statements, you automatically pick up money, ammo and health when you walk over it now, it’s splendid. The difficulty has been amped up a bit, to appease those hardcore fan types, hence my strict time limit. I haven’t been talking long, have I?
Enemy types are more varied and require notably more strategic thought than before. The first game involved a mentality akin to “Find an elemental weapon strong enough and everything stops mattering (unless a particular monster is immune to that element).” Now damage types are strongly associated with their strongpoints, explosive damage (and really all explosive items) has gotten a noticeable boost to take them out of the realm of “totally useless” to “handy-as-all-hell tool that is strong enough to be awesome but not so strong as to be a crutch.” Even the class types have undergone what I imagine to be severe refinement. Each class no stands very well on its own but has less of a focus on a particular weapon type and more on a play style. add to this that each skill tree possesses a strong focus and each of the four classes could be thought to have three valid builds (at least) resulting in more like twelve classes. Zer0 can bide his time in greatly increase damage by focusing on critical damage for sniping, or increase mobility and durability to get in close and slice things to bits. Maya can control enemy positioning and even turn enemies against each other OR inflict massive amounts of elemental damage while locking dangerous foes out of combat.
Sorry my mind was slipping there, thinking about orange loot. anyways from a technical standpoint not too much has changed. Most of the visuals are the same, though the animations have gotten considerably better. That’s a good thing, too, because they varied up the enemy types by quite a bit and having certain foes act certain ways really contributes to the overall gameplay flow. Load times have been cut waaaaaay down and it makes the whole experience so much easier to digest it’s really amazing.
On the whole, I’d say that Borderlands 2 could be considered the distilled Borderlands experience. It doesn’t do much different, but it really didn’t need to. It takes what was a very good, though flawed experience and purifies it – making a premium grade version of itself – like a good but harsh vodka that gets filtered 87 bazillion times (see what I did there?) and reaches something close to what I can imagine is the pinnacle of its existence. I can honestly say that literally everything about the game is better and more satisfying than ever.
Which is why we’re going to stop talking now because I’m totally playing it still and really have to get back to this. Ciao!
Oh, here, watch this and enjoy.