Borderlands 2 is the sequel to the popular game Borderlands. We have been playing it for a few weeks now and have managed to pull ourselves away long enough to write the review, so here it is. Wub Wub.

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Combining invention and evolution, Borderlands 2 features all-new characters, skills, environments, enemies, weapons and equipment, which come together in an ambitiously crafted story. Players will reveal secrets, and escalate mysteries of the Borderlands universe as they adventure across the unexplored new areas of Pandora.

Who are 2K Games?

From their website:

Founded in 2005, 2K develops and publishes interactive entertainment software games for the console, PC, and handheld gaming systems through its three divisions: 2K Games, 2K Sports, and 2K Play. 2K publishes titles in today’s most popular gaming genres, including first-person shooters, action, role-playing, real-time strategy, sports, casual, and family entertainment.

The 2K label has some of the most talented development studios in the world today, including Firaxis Games, Visual Concepts, 2K Boston, 2K Marin, 2K Australia, 2K Czech, Cat Daddy Games, and 2K China. In just a few short years, 2K launched the 2007 Game of the Year – BioShock; continued the award-winning Sid Meier’s Civilization series; delivered the #1 rated and #1 selling basketball franchise with NBA 2K9; and broke new ground in the family entertainment market with its multi-million unit selling hit Carnival Games.

Back in August, 2K were kind enough to let me hitch a ride on their Borderlands 2 bus to Cologne for Gamescom!

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And then recently they arranged a bungee jump where you could get a free copy of the game if you jumped.

Borderlands 2

Taking place five years after the events of the first game, players fight to take down Handsome Jack, the leader of the evil Hyperion Corporation.

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While the original four heroes from the first Borderlands return in Borderlands 2 as nonplayable characters, gamers will step into the shoes of four all-new heroes with vastly different and powerful skill abilities:

Salvador / Gunzerker class – Gunzerking – Salvador can dual wield ANY gun in ANY
combination. Want a sniper rifle and a rocket launcher? Go for it! Two guns are better than one!

Maya / Siren class – Phaselock – Maya can lift and lock enemies in place where they sit helplessly out of battle and prone to damage. Phaselock can take many forms including healing party members, creating massive damage to enemies or for crowd controlling numerous enemies.

Axton / Commando class – Sabre Turret – Axton can deploy a turret which can be upgraded with many gun and missile attachments or augmentations. Some of these upgrades can grant the turret the ability to teleport far distances or create nuclear explosions!

Zer0 / Assassin class – Deception – Zer0 can vanish into stealth, do massive critical hit damage and distract his enemies with a decoy. While in Deception, Zer0 can also see critical weak points on enemies or assassinate enemies with fast attacking melee strikes

Single Player

Once you have chosen your character, and personalised him, or her, it’s time to start the game. You meet Claptrap and are thrust into the main story arc, although it’s not long before you start getting offered side quests.

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Here is a video of my first 40 minutes playing single player mode (including the really cool intro to the game):

Matchmaking and Co-Op

There is a mode called Matchmaking which allows you to join up with other players online and have some fun.

However, the more players playing, the more bad guys appear and the harder they are to kill. After all, you wouldn’t want it to be too easy now, would you?

Final Thoughts

I hate this game – why you might ask? Well because it’s so addictive I just cant stop playing it! So ok, I don’t actually hate it!

Not only is it a lot of fun, and believe me if you haven’t played it yet, it is A LOT of fun, it is massive! The first several hours of playing I was still just doing side quests. Obviously you don’t have to do them, but it’s a lot of fun, you get XP (which means you level up quicker) and you often get and find interesting items.

You don’t need to have played the first game to enjoy Borderlands 2, but I would suggest getting the first game anyway as it’s a lot of fun!

Probably one of the hardest decisions you will have to make in the game is which character you want to play. I have found that the majority of people I talk to about the game say they choose the Gunzerker, but for me it was the Commando. There is nothing quite like throwing your Sabre Turret into the middle of a bunch of crazed killers and watching them get taken out.

Yeah, ok, maybe I need a little time away from it!

The graphics are great, and somewhat cartoon-like, which fits really well. When you shoot, slash, blow-up or generally do something to one of your enemies you see a number appear, which is the amount of damage you have inflicted. And when they are dead you get XP and you have the option of collecting their loot, which could be money, health or a variety of weapons or other items.

The sound and music also really fits well with the game, and you really find yourself immersed in the world of Pandora.

Gameplay and controls are fairly straightforward as well – you move, duck, run, shoot, interact with, drive, etc, etc, all by using the controller, and it’s all fairly intuitive too, so you won’t find yourself pressing the wrong button, and least not after a few tries.

And don’t worry if you do get killed (and you will get killed), you come back to life, at cost of some of your hard earned dollars.

Weapon wise there are literally millions and millions of possible weapons, and each time you play they are different! Certain weapons cannot be used until you are at a certain skill level, so you may want to carry them with you ready to use.

Talking of skills, each time you level up you get a skill point, which can be used to increase your skills (yeah, I know, obviously really!). Each character has their own skill tree, for example the Commando’s first skill is the Sabre Turret, and from then on you can choose to increase the skills in a variety of different ways.

Here is Axton’s Skill Tree so you can see what I mean:

Skill Tree

Oh, and there are 50 levels so it will take you a while to level up!

There is a lot of humour in Borderlands 2, and there are times you will just want to laugh out loud. Claptrap keeps saying amusing things and you can interact with a lot of the different characters on Pandora, but I don’t want to give too much away!

Did I mention this game is massive? And that’s without the 4 additional packs that are coming soon.

There is so much to see and do on Pandora, you won’t get bored!

So you have to buy this game, seriously! If you don’t already have it, you must buy it, Go on, stop reading and order it now! You won’t be disappointed. Easily one of my favourite games of the year.

Borderlands 2 is available right now for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

Must resist the urge to go back and carry on playing, at least for a little while…… Nope, didn’t work! Hang on Claptrap, I’m coming……

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Learn more from the Borderlands 2 website

So do you have what it takes to be a Vault Hunter? Let us know by leaving a comment below.