Game Review: Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 is the successful predecessor to the original Borderlands, with an all-new cast of vault hunters (Axton, Salvador, Zero and Maya) looking to make their fame and fortune on the bandit planet of Pandora, by rescuing it from the clutches of Hyperion CEO, Handsome Jack. It is a First-Person-Shooter game with role-playing elements blended in to add a diverse set of customization options, from changing your character’s looks & head, the guns and other aspects you can tailor. On its debut launch week, Borderlands 2 topped the UK charts and beat Mass Effect 3 by 4000 sales, reaching number 1 quicker than any other video game this year so far (excellent start!).

Gameplay is pretty hectic and action-packed, which is what you would expect from a shooter game but you can control the pace depending on how you play. Controls are accessible and the graphics are pretty dynamic, similar to the original Borderlands. You advance in the game by completing quests, killing bad guys with your guns and levelling up and that will earn you extra maximum hit points and a skill point at every level from 5 onwards. The overall gameplay experience is boosted when Co-op is enabled, increasing the difficulty of the enemies, but increasing the rewards in terms of experience points and treasure. As a little quirk, there’s unlimited running (unless you hit a wall) and some really awesome-looking grenade explosions in the game from bouncing bombs, to child grenades, to homing ones and EVEN MORE than that! Although it’s fun, some would probably lose interest as shooter games don’t offer much variety in actions and quests you can do. There are hidden easter eggs for gamers to find aswell that range from custom skins, to weapons or just quirky interactions, but I shall not disclose any more detail to thee :P.

The audio quality, as well as the music used in Borderlands 2 is quite excellent and emphasises the theme of “badassery” when you’re killing bandits. In terms of the style, it’s reminiscent of fight scene music from films such as Underworld, Resident Evil and various other high-action classics. The music choice is purely situational (different themes depending on environment, etc) and the gun firing sounds are wacky and dynamic: some traditional, some futuristic. truly, there is no negative aspect about the audio aspects of the game, it is merely a matter of taste and this is good taste to the majority because of popularity.

Visual quality is stunning as ever, purely because the graphics for the entire game is unique to itself where no game has the appearance quite like BL2. It’s not for everyone as things can get a little messy, or hardcore gamers may not like the simplistic meshing for the terrain as it is not so detailed as video games like Call of Duty or Battlefield. Yet as I mentioned, the graphics are unique to itself and make Borderlands 2 different and very interesting to play.

The set of characters you meet in-game range from sane to insane… simple. Some are stiff-necked, but MOST are psychotic in one of three branches: sadist, sexual or manipulative. The few sane characters you meet tend to be too focused with dishing out tasks for you, but at least your sanity won’t be affected here. But safe to say, you will meet familiar faces, including the original vault hunters: Roland, Lilith, Brick and Mordecai. Alongside them, you’ll meet Dr. Zed, Marcus, Moxxi and a host of new characters with their own creepiness.

As a summary, Borderlands 2’s dynamic visuals, gameplay, customization and co-op will make unique gaming sessions each time you play. Ultimately the overall gameplay may become a tad dull and blunt when played for long hours, but some can create fun situations with friends and many overlook this hitch because they’re focused on collecting/finding awesome new guns to toy with :). The age restriction is 18 because there is some very adult themes from violence to sexual provocation. But as a result of this, it’s an adult-geared game with cartoony elements and a replay factor that is only understandable by fans of the shooter genre. Granted, this game is not for everyone, especially children as the warped themes in the game are not for sensitive eyes. Get blasting those bandits on Pandora vault hunters!

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