Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Look at Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 is set about five years after the ending of the original. Handsome Jack has swooped in and claimed all the glory for himself, imprisoning the four vault Vault Hunters, and taking control of the planet. You play as one of four new characters and win a gladiator type competition held by Handsome Jack. But, he's a real jerk. No prizes for you. Cause he's a wuss and sees you as a threat. And then he maroons you on the frozen tundras of Pandora. So there you are, freezing and no swag for all your efforts. I'd be pissed off too. Of course, events transpire, and you find yourself on a mission to help the original Vault Hunters and take down Jack's stranglehold on Pandora. It's time to pre-order while you can. And you're gonna need a gun, maybe two . . .

Borderlands 2 Trailer Youtube vid by gearboxsoftware

Borderlands 2 Regions

Borderlands 2 has seen some changes in the local. Many players complained about the endless and sparse deserts of the first game. Well, it seems that has been taken care of with the addition of a few new regions including what have been described as grassy highlands, a new city, corrosive caverns, and icy tundras. That's more like it.

The New Faces of Borderlands 2

Maya: Siren Class. This gal can use what's known as phase lock to hold enemies in place and lay waste to them. She can heal allies and controls the four elements in the game to kill enemies. You're Borderlands version of a "magic" user.

Axton: Commando Class. Axton uses his trusty Sabre Turret for aid in battle and dish out some serious collateral damage. Seems it can even shoot mininukes. Nice. Though dubbed the Commando class, he sounds like you're "Engineer" Class of Borderlands.

Zero: Assassin Class. This cool robot is the sharpshooter of the team. If that weren't cool enough, Zero has the ability to make decoys of himself, get around enemies, or sneak up on them, and slice and dice em with his katana. Assassin Class of Borderlands indeed.

Salvador: Gunzerker Class. This hulking powerhouse may remind vets of the original Borderlands of another very similar character. Salvador can use a "rage" mode for damage resistance and duel wield any two weapons in the game. Perhaps Say Hello To My Little Friend Class would be more apt.

87 Bazillion Guns

Borderlands is know for having guns. And guns. Some more guns. With a side of guns. And guns for desert. There are 87 bazilllion guns in the game, and like last time, they are still randomly generated; no two are the same. You know the drill. Exploding Pistols, acid-infused submachine guns, whatever you think would be really cool to add to a gun, Borderlands 2 is probably way ahead of you.

87 Bazillion Grenades?

Yup, just like the seemingly unlimited number of unique guns, the grenades in Borderlands 2 has too many unique grenades to count. An example provided by the developers: "A grenade that homes in on the target, straps on, explodes into five separate grenades and covers everything in acid."

New Enemies

There are reported to be hundreds of new enemies in Borderlands 2. Possibly, this is a direct result of the number of players who complained that the enemies in the original weren't diverse enough and it felt like they were fighting the same enemies far too often. Enemies include, Handsome Jack's armies, bandits, and the various flora and fauna you'll encounter in the various regions. One example is the Worm Hole Thresher (No, not the Thresher Maw from Mass Effect). This Thresher creates singularities to pull you in and skewer you for breakfast.


Here's what you really need to know about relics. Relics improve health, the fire rate of your guns, perhaps the speed of your ride, among many others. Find em, collect em, enjoy the benefits as you continue your slaughter.

Class Mods Now We're Talking

With class mods, players can further customize and specialize their character by adding additional skills to their abilities and passive perks. Players can go beyond the "Maximum limit". An example the developers mention is Zero's Backstab ability. Maxed out, Backstab does an additional 40% damage to any enemy Zero attacks from behind. Add four more points to the maxed out level through class mods and the 40% can be increased to 72%.

Badass Rank

Borderlands 2 really wants you to be an unstoppable killing machine. It just keeps on giving. By completing challenges, players can increase their Badass rank. Increasing your Badass Rank will allow you to purchase stat bonuses that affect all your characters. And there's no cap on the number of Badass points you can get it seems. That's overkill in the best possible way.

Borderlands 2 Gameplay Youtube vid by gearboxsoftware

Skill Tree

Borderlands 2 has a three branch skill tree. Players pick and choose which perks and abilities they want in a way that customizes their character in the way they want. So be creative, try new things, play your character they way you want to play him or her. It's hard to go wrong.

Multiplayer and Borderlands 2

Like the original, you can play with friends online. Borderlands 2 supports up to four players online. Or, you and a friend can play split screen on the same console and play with 2 other players online. And I'm sure that, just like the original Borderlands, Borderlands 2 is even better causing mayhem and destruction online.

My Prediction

Borderlands 2 looks like it's shaping up to be a knockout. Perhaps a contender for game of the year. We'll see. It seems the developers have done their darnest to strip the game of everything the fans complained about the original while adding enough twists, tweaks, and really cool new features to make your head explode. I PREDICT this game will earn a score of 9 out of 10 and can't wait to get my hands on it.


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