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0.0 hrs last two weeks / 636.7 hrs on record (408.8 hrs at review time)
Posted: Jan 15, 2016 @ 1:41am

Borderlands 2 has done a brilliant job at enhancing everything attractive about the first game while still tastefully adding to it as well. It did this, however, at a minor cost of what we had come to expect due to Borderlands 1 and its various DLCs.

General gameplay saw a few major improvements since the first title. BL2 brought some pretty impressive AI into the battles, making this game far more challenging than its predecessor. Everything about this one seems faster and more fluid, and unlike the first one, there isn’t enough time to stop and collect your bearings because you will get killed.
As you progress through play-through the game gets unsteadily harder. It’s like you get tossed from being the biggest and baddest person on Pandora to suddenly being unable to pick a flower. And in the final stages of the game you find yourself wasting entire banks of ammo on bringing down an enemy’s shield.

Character Development
BL2 has kept the skill tree and also become a little more experimental with how you can build and design your character. The inclusion of ‘Badass’ rank points which can be earned as the player completes achievements can give minor stat boosts, but in all honesty it is no good as a replacement for the weapon proficiency development we saw in the first game.

There are skins and heads to unlock as you play the game, bringing in a level of customization that we didn’t see in the first title.

The Loot
Let’s start with the good. BL2 has created a more iconic feel with the in-game weapon manufacturers. This means that every item is easily recognisable not only for its type, but also for its manufacturer and therefor ability upon first site. A new elemental, slag, has been introduced to the mix and the grenade mods have gotten even more impressive.

But there is a problem with the loot, especially in comparison to the first game. I found the variety of finds a little underwhelming. You seem to keep picking up the same useless weapons throughout the game and struggling on until you find a better one of the one you are wielding. And there seems to be no real correlation between what weapon the enemy is using and the one they drop on dying.

BL2 has a lot of downloadable content, so much so that I started wondering at one point whether or not they were milking the franchise a little too much. Each one costs quite a lot, even simple ones that are just packs of heads and skins to change your character’s appearance.
Some of the DLCs do add an extensive amount of hours to the game, and for the most part you get your money’s worth. But often enough you can tell how missions have been laid out to make you walk to and fro for ages just to stretch gaming hours out.

The Story and Characters
While BL1 may not have been big on in depth storytelling, BL2 most certainly is. The characters (returning and new) are vibrant, complicated and rich. The villain, Hansom Jack, is one of the most evil men ever dreamt up in the gaming world and the plot takes the player through more twists and turns than a rollercoaster.
The world of Pandora has become far more rich and vibrant. There are tons of new enemy types, terrain types, NPCs and Easter-eggs in the game. So that is good too.

If you’re looking for a game that will not only give you hours of quality gameplay, more than your fair share of challenging gameplay, and a great storyline to boot, then this game is for you. If you are only playing it because you were hooked to the first one, then enjoy it for what it is and try not to ruin the game by comparing it.
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