The lights are on
When the original Borderlands launched I wasn't too sure what to expect, however I quickly fell in love with the blend on FPS, looting, and RPG character building as well as the awesome space western vibe it had going for it. The original Borderlands had a lot going for it for example it implemented the best version of drop in and drop co-op, with the your friends being able to drop in and out of your struggle without it effecting the game or stopping it. The way Gearbox also scaled the difficulty based on how many players were in the game and how it would readjust should any leave also helped to improve the games standing with the co-op crowd. While the the original Borderlands' narrative might have been a little bland, it was never the real draw. What drew gamers to Pandora was the sheer mayhem and madness of the endless shooting and looting on that quest for the next bigger and better gun. But with an almost endless amount of guns in the game this could go on for quite a while. The game also had insane replay value by making it to where the rarest of the rare guns wouldn't even show up till your second play through, or neared level 50. On top of that there was DLC that expanded on the game's story and Pandora's lore by adding hours of gameplay and memorable moments. So when this finally hit shelves it was like, fans of co-op your ship has finally arrived. With such a great formula worked out Gearbox didn't have to change a thing and fans would have still bought it just for the Borderlands name. For example BioShock 2, while I knew it wouldn't quite live up to the original I bought it just for the chance to return to Rapture. And how gamers were handing out money hand over fist for Halo:ODST and Reach despite if they lived up to the standards set by their predecessors. Despite this Gearbox took everything that we loved about the original Borderlands and expended on it. This is one of those rare circumstances where while the original may have been groundbreaking or even genre defining, the sequel is actually better. Borderlands 2 once again finds a way to improve upon its co-op experience by fine tuning the four different character classes to where they perfectly compliment each other. While you can all play as super slick robot ninja assassin Zero, you won't get the full experience of the game unless you have one of each class in your squad. So how does all this madness control you might wonder, it controls perfectly. The score is fantastic, and like the original Borderlands the opening song really sets the stage perfectly for the rest of the game. The original game opened up with the song Ain't No Rest For The Wicked by Cage the Elephant, the second opens up with the song Short Change Hero by The Heavy and it does just as well as the first at setting the tone for the rest of the game. The voice acting for all the major characters is top notch. The cell shaded graphic novel look that first game boasted serves the new game very well, its like watching the story boards for a hollywood blockbuster come to life. Now just how fun is Borderlands 2? As mentioned earlier this game takes everything that made fans fall in love with the first game and expands on it. More guns, better loot, new classes and a return to Pandora. Now while the assassin and siren, and commando classes return, the berserker class did not return and has been replaced by the Gunzerker class. Gearbox has also announced a 5th and new class that is on its way in the form of DLC, the mechromancer! While you can play as each class in single player you will see that its designed to played mulitplayer with one of each class in your squad since some classes were clearly meant to be support classes. But as the saying goes, "there's no 'I' in team." Borderlands 2 also features one of the most likeable villains in recent video game history, Handsome Jack.
Jack will call you and harass you with the most random and funny remarks, he will beg and plead, and he will try to manipulate, Jack will take credit for things he didn't do and he will build monuments to his own ego. I have to give major props to Dameon Clarke the voice behind handsome Jack because without him the game just wouldn't have been the same. Borderlands 2 gives players exactly what they wanted more guns, more chances to kill, and more chances steal all the sweet loot from their friends. While they teach you that sharing is caring, remember what Gordon Gekko said, "Greed is good." Borderlands 2 also answers some questions that fans might have from the original game since it elaborates and further expands on the lore created in the first game. Borderlands 2 is phenomenal and well worth the $60 shelf price.
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