The lights are on
The rush of holiday releases are enough reason for anyone to put down a game that came out in September, but I stopped playing Borderlands 2 shortly after its release. Talking about my issues with the game has been difficult, given the nearly unified praise it’s received. I agree that Borderlands 2 is an excellent sequel, but the FPS isn’t scratching my gaming itch right now.
I enjoyed the first Borderlands. Sure, I wasn’t in love with my soldier’s turret or any of the guns I acquired in particular, but setting tiny psychos on fire with an automatic handgun is a good time. I also appreciate the series’ unique art style and sense of humor. I also appreciate the addition of the minimap and retooled menu system, which make playing splitscreen more manageable. Unfortunately, no amount of guns or laughs was enough to keep me interested in Borderlands 2.
According to series’ creators and its biggest fans, Borderlands 2 is best played with three friends. Joining up with complementary character classes and grinding out levels is the core of the game’s appeal. However, the action always ends up being a chaotic, confusing mess whenever I’m involved. Sometimes the team’s levels don’t match perfectly, meaning one poor fool is going to die repeatedly. Sometimes one player is at a different point in the storyline, meaning they’ll be confused if they’re flashed ahead when joining a friend’s game. One solution would be to play through the game single-player first, but with the avalanche of great games, who has time right now to double dip?
More importantly for me, I’m turned off by the audiovisual overload of Borderlands 2. At any given time your teammates can be chatting over each other, Handsome Jack can be taunting you over your radio, and a vending machine can be squawking. On top of this, guns jabber with every pull of the trigger. Combine this with a very crowded HUD (especially for an FPS), and the whole experience is too busy. During the hours I spent playing Borderlands 2 with friends it was hard keep up with what needed to be done, let alone why we were doing it. Still, everyone insists there is a story hiding there somewhere. I’d love to experience it, but all the bells and whistles drown it out.
Underlying all these surface-level issues, I’m having with the game is one simple fact: I’m tired of just shooting guys. Sure, your character can earn stat-boosting perks or an upgraded melee attack, but the spirit of Borderlands 2 is all about lining up the sights and blasting enemies. I’m not enjoying Call of Duty: Black Ops II’s campaign for the same reasons. Far Cry 3, however, feels like a first-person exploration game that happens to have shooting segments sprinkled throughout it, so at least I know I’m not tired of all gunplay.
I’m not saying Borderland 2 is a bad game, by any means; it’s just not what I’m looking for right now. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is my top contender for my Game of the Year, so that may give you some indication of where my interests lie right now. I plan to return to Borderlands 2, but I think I’m going to focus on playing through it solo first. If the game is good enough, then I’ll want to play through it again with friends. That is, if folks are still playing by then.
What are your thoughts on Borderlands 2? Did you finish it? Did you put it down? Am I just crazy?
Email the author Tim Turi, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
That game looks so fun.
I agree with you it is good but it can be overwhelming sometimes with the audio and different player levels and story points. I also put the game down so I could focus on other games because it is soo big and I didn't want my backlog to grow even bigger because I was playing Borderlands 2 with my completionist friends.
I put Borderlands 2 down too. I didn't have anyone to play with. GREAT great game. I may return some day but I just wasn't AS in-love with it as the first one.
I personally think your crazy, but that's just because i love the loot system and other stuff, but right now I'm really into Sleeping Dogs and DisHonored.
I put it down (and traded it) because I figured all their was to do once I had majority of orange items was just either farm or grind other characters, and I honestly just didn't feel like it, not to mention there's not even a leaderboard or meaningful pvp.
How funny. Got the game last night on Black Friday sale for $25. Now I need just need to get a new mic so I can communicate with my co-op partners on PSN. And I find it funny you mentioned the overcrowded head, as I was just thinking that. It's bearable when you're playing fullscreen, but have you ever tried playing splitscreen? Ha, it's really a mess than.
I think the co-op suffers from 2 big issues one of which you mostly hit on. The big one is although you may all be in the same zone everyone pickups and turns in quests on their own. This makes it that people tend to run off in different directions all doing different things. It would be nice if there was some way to have it that there is only 1 quest log, giving a unified objective for all players.
The second would be separate loot tables like Diablo 3 does. I tend to stay at range and use either scoped assault rifles or sniper rifles. When a good weapon drops I have almost 0 chance of looting it. So I basically end up using items other people did not want or were nice enough to pass along to me.
I also dont follow the GUI issue at all. To me it is very well done giving important information yet taking up little space.
the game is great, but i agree with you. Im still workin on my solo playthru and its just the same ole same ole. Blastin dudes in the face and looking thru sub par loot time and time again. Even after farming the slot machines repeatedly to get great guns, it just gets repeatitive and not really been scratching the gaming itch.
I feel the same way, bought it at launch and haven't touched it since. Thinking about saving it for the summer drought of games.
i played some boarderlands 2 after seeing what i liked from the live stream you guys did. its a fun game but like you mentioned alot of games out now and limited time. i had a pc version so there wasn't buddies i played with so i didn't have the overload issue and it was feeling pretty good, that was till i was forced to reformat my pc ....good by gamesaves and all. i'll get around to playing it again one day maybe its fun enough if i feel like a shooter ( i'm not too fond of fps honestly even if i enjoy them) only time can tell and with time comes more games too
Ah I have to say I like the fact that I'm in a world were someone can write about why they stopped doing something with or without meaning. It is a good world