It’s time once again to return to Pandora. Ok, I was there just a couple of weeks ago still looting those damn Claptraps for those collectible achievements and Crawmerax yet still lives, but I digress. It’s time for some new adventures in the Borderlands. Handsome Jack is looking for some badass vault hunters like myself to do what I like to do best. Kill, loot, and then repeat. There goes my social life again. Then again my day job sort of did that a couple of months ago, but once again I’ve dipped off subject. Viva La Pandora! Viva La Borderlands 2!

2K Games and Gearbox Software once again bring me back to the wide world of looting and a shitload of guns to play with in this first person shooter and role playing hybrid. I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing the first game which became a bigger addiction to me. Let me put it this way. There’s not one drug out there with the addictive quality that can compare to the looting adventures of Borderlands. Period! Now I’ve got the highly anticipated sequel where there are still plenty of bandits and other mutant animals to kill, but this time the baddies are tougher and a heck of a lot meaner. Good thing I have even better guns and tons of ammo, but don’t expect Marcus to give out any refunds.

Storywise, Borderlands 2 improves by leaps and bounds over the original game, but let’s be serious. I didn’t pick up this game for epic storytelling. I bought it to shoot, kill, and loot as much as humanly possible. Plus there’s all the addictive fun and comedic satire where Borderlands 2 clearly doesn’t disappoint. Handsome Jack, Head of the Hyperion Corporation, has been looking for some new vault hunters to open up a new alien vault on Pandora. Hopefully this time there’s some sweet loot inside. Sadly, Jack’s attempt to lure would be vault hunters is nothing more than a trap. Luckily, my character of choice survives near death and then my adventure began.

The first thing that impressed me was the improvement of the cell-shaded graphics. They look even better than the first game. I also have to commend Gearbox for finally using a color palette for the surrounding environment. Yes, they finally stopped using different shades of brown and found other colors like green and blue. The use of color brought more life to the wasteland of Pandora making exploration a little more exciting. Characters look a little brighter and more energetic. Even all the guns have some cool looking skins making them better to own. Impressive!

I started out with Axton. Like Roland in the first game, Axton is a soldier class specializing in combat rifles along with deploying a turret as his special attack. Considering the fact that I didn’t use the soldier class as much in the first game (I used Brick the most) I was more interested to go this route and it hasn’t disappointed me at all. The turret was great in a firefight and helped make tougher enemy battles slightly easier. It’s safe to assume that anyone who joins me online will see me with him.

As for the other characters, the heavily hyped Salvatore the Gunzerker is also pretty cool with the dual wield special. He kicks some major ass when the guns are drawn leaving tons of blood and shrapnel in his wake. Now all I want is to dual wield a pair of elemental rocket launchers and he’ll make Brick arching of the past. Maya the Siren is basically an upgraded version of Lilith. Zero the Assassin (he’s a number) is not bad either with his stealth attacks and sniping abilities. Overall, the characters in Borderlands 2 are just as good as the original, but with a just a hint of more “attitude” mixed in.

The biggest improvement comes with a new skill tree system to add new abilities and increase stats. Skill points are earned by leveling up my characters through kills and completing missions. Customization is better than ever with more ways to differentiate my character from the others online. There’s even an option to reset your stats and place your hard earned skill points into other settings along with changing your looks as well. New to Borderlands is Badass Ranks. This applies to completing various challenges in the game. Complete a challenge get a token which I get to use to upgrade stats including health, shields, damage, accuracy, etc. The best part  is the fact that these ranks carry through to all my characters. Now that’s something I like.

While I can choose to venture and brave the vast lands of Pandora on my own, I realize that exploring, killing, and looting are more fun with a group of friends, Co-op is back and better than ever. Up to three friends can join me for some good fun all in the name of rare loot. Unlike the original, you don’t have to worry about that one person who gets all the good shit leaving you with all the scrap junk. No more being the low man on the totem pole. Now I can get some rare loot without one of my friends running away from the group and raping all the loot chests. Gearbox made a change making all loot shared. Some may like this and most won’t but maybe it’s time to make things fair for everyone. Overall, I absolutely enjoyed the multiplayer experience as my friends and I explored, killed, and shared plenty of laughs along the way. Co-op is the way top go for overall longevity because single player is only fun for so long.

What makes Borderlands 2 so great? An entertaining experience, fun characters, tons of jokes and other pokes at pop culture, and a whole lotta guns. What’s not to love. The best part is the fact that the game never takes itself too seriously, because if it did it would probably suck. I shit you not. There’s a lot ot see and plenty to do both on foot and unleashing your inner “Mad Max” in kick ass vehicles. Hundreds of more hours await me in Pandora with both the main game and future DLC as the search for awesome loot continues, so do me a favor. Stop reading, buy Borderlands 2, and join me online for some good times. Now where’s those rare weapons.

Developer: 2K Games, Gearbox Software
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-4 (Online Co-op Multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

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Comments
  1. […] can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying playing both Borderlands and Borderlands 2 on my Xbox 360. I’m so addicted to both games as I kill and loot and repeat for hours either […]

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