Borderlands 2 is exactly what I wanted, more of the same with some upgrades. For me, Borderlands 2 is a massive success; it takes what the first game was: a humorous romp through a wasteland world with tons of action and MASSIVE amounts of loot and ups the ante. More humor, more action, and a much expanded upon amount of loot combined with tightened controls and much improved vehicle physics.
The RPG elements have also been upgraded with a new action skill for each class and improved skill trees.
The Commando gets his turret back but if the player goes through the skill trees the turret can become very destructive by basically becoming a small nuke that does massive damage. The Siren returns as well with the ability to encase an enemy in a phase ball that can do a variety of things depending on the skills selected such as causing elemental damage to pulling in other enemies and exploding. The Gunzerker allows the player to wield two weapons for a limited time which can be very destructive depending on the weapons chosen. The Assassin is a melee specialist with a sword who can go invisible and gain various benefits depending on the skills chosen ranging from increased sniper rifle damage to increased damage with melee attacks.
Besides the usual but improved FPS gameplay the reason for progressing in the game is very effective. Borderlands 2′s story is undeniably more effective at drawing in the player then the first game with truly memorable characters and story developments that kept me engrossed until the very satisfying conclusion. In fact, Borderlands 2′s conclusion is one of the most satisfying endings for a game I have experienced in quite some time. The antagonist, Handsome Jack, elicited emotions that I have not felt from playing a game in many, many years. I would suggest this game to any gamer looking for a good story even if they did not play FPS games. Of course, what many consider the best feature of the Borderlands series is the weapons.
Borderlands 2 does a fantastic job of making the player feel like the gun that is in their hands can obliterate just about anything. The usual weapon types are available (Pistols, assault rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers, sniper rifles etc.) but more impressive is what the different weapons have the opportunity to do. One assault rifle may simply shoot bullets but another may have multiple barrels and rapidly shoot explosives. Sure, that rocket launcher you picked up shoots powerful rockets but that other one over there shoots multiple plasma balls that arc across the battlefield and melt anything they touch. Those grenades you picked up? Well, they track your enemies, explode, release more explosives and then heal you! Shields return with some new effects as well such as a shield that changes resistance to the last element that hit the player. There are also artifacts that have different effects such as increasing experience gain or even lengthening the amount of time a vehicle can boost. The huge amount of different effects the weapons and equipment in Borderlands 2 can have make every piece of loot a possible treasure that you won’t want to give up for a while even if the other weapon you have is more powerful.
The graphics, while still very much Borderlands help to make the world enjoyable to explore. More notable is the weapon models which have received a very noticeable upgrade. Each weapon manufacturer’s weapons have been given unique parts that help to easily differentiate between the different manufacturers. For example, Hyperion weapons are technologically advanced with moving parts and a white and yellow color scheme, while the Bandit weapons look as if they were cobbled together using tossed out parts and are mostly red with “drawn” designs on them such as sharp teeth.
The UI is more easily navigable as well with different sorting options for inventory management which makes a big difference. Borderlands 2 is a fantastic sequel that does not reinvent itself but instead greatly improves the formula. Great humor, fantastic story developments, a truly evil antagonist, great characters, tightened controls, greatly improved weapon and equipment effects and overall improvements make Borderlands 2 one of the best games I have ever played.