It has been five years since the original heroes opened up the vault, let out the destroyer, and killed it. After the alien menace was destroyed a new type of mineral called Eridum was spread out across Pandora. A new corporation called Hyperian, who is led by Handsome Jack, wants every bit of it. The story begins with four new vault hunters you can choose from: Axton, Maya, Salvador and Zero. While on a train heading out to search for a new vault they are ambushed by Jack and his robotic army. Now, our heroes are pissed, wanting Jack dead. Luckily for them, a few familiar faces and new friends also want to join them.
One thing I can say that I really enjoyed about this was the story. Even though it started to feel like the first game where there wasn’t anything there they decided to do a nice twist on things as it progressed. You actually feel a connection to all the characters and it kept its sense of humor, something it was admired for in the first.
When it comes to gameplay not a whole lot has changed and each character still has their own unique action skill that is acquired later on. Axton can control a turret, Maya uses Phaselock that takes her in another dimension, Salvador can dual-wield weapons, and Zero uses deception to create a hologram. The three tier skill tree is still there where you can put in points on the path you decide to go down. Each side can affect a different area that can be enhanced like your reload speed, accuracy, damage, defenses or your class’s specific ability.
There are a variety of weapons that can be used just like before. Pistols, rifles, machine guns, shotguns, grenades, and missile launchers come in a huge variety of sizes, stats, and elemental damage. You can still get fire, lighting, acid and explosion, but a new one is Eridum which augments the other elements powers. It was said that the last Borderlands generated 17.75 million possible guns and that this one, apparently, is much larger. In fact, they hold the Guinness World Record for most guns in a video game.
Vehicles are back, but nothing much has changed besides being able to sit all four characters in a co-op game for one of them. There is a new vehicle out called the buzzard, which is an aircraft, but you can only fight against them when bandits ride them or when allied NPCs try to help you. This was a huge let down as I really wanted to fly one. I understand that you shouldn’t be able to always have one because it would make the game too easy when it comes to accessing certain areas, but they could have created an area for the sole purpose of using the buzzard.
You can now customize your characters in the quick change feature where each character has a total of seventeen heads and eighty eight skins. These changes include the color and physical attire of your character, and you can even find skin changes for your vehicles as well. You can grab them from enemies or performing certain tasks in the game.
The graphics are something that is either a hit or miss with people. Cell shading is something that has become quite popular over the last few years and Borderlands is known for it. I personally like it and I think Gearbox did a great job with it, and didn’t experience any real problems with it. Others may have a different opinion.
It could become repetitive with many of the missions being the same collect ten of these or drive across the map and come back. However, with a group of friends this game is a blast and it has a lot of replay value because you can bring up the difficulty after you beat the game, or you can create a whole new class to work with. While Borderlands 2 didn’t vastly improve from the last game I would still recommend this and say this was one of the best games I played in 2012.