There’s a visible, conscious effort to make Borderlands 2 more balanced than its predecessor, and those that played the original will notice small improvements across the board. The inventory is much easier to deal with, items can be easily moved around and compared, and now you can mark trash or favourite items. This sounds simple, but it means you can sell all your trash at once whenever you reach a vendor machine, which is incredibly useful. It would also have been useful if you could mark items as trash as soon as you picked them up, but sadly this has been omitted.
Also a tad on the annoying side is a tendency for enemies to glitch into objects. Often enemies will take cover, but appear to be standing in or behind items, meaning even direct hits will result in no damage at all. Similarly, money sometimes glitches into the ground, meaning you physically have to press buttons to pick it up, rather than automatically doing so. Neither of these are game-breaking issues, but it’s the sort of thing we’d like to see Gearbox and 2K Games patch sooner rather than later.
The quests themselves are pretty rudimentary in nature, and almost always tend to involve finding or fetching something, or killing someone. There could be a little more variety in quests and objectives, but the quest system is just a story-telling framework in Borderlands 2 – an excuse to get you to go somewhere and shoot things. And that’s what the Borderlands franchise is, and was always about.
Borderlands 2 Multiplayer
Borderlands 2 multiplayer gameplay is much the same as the single player, but the difficulty ramps up heavily when you get more friends involved in co-op. The difficulty level adapts to the level of your characters so if you’ve got four fairly well levelled friends in a game, be prepared for some serious battles.
Also, be aware if you’re playing with random online gamers that there is no loot system other than the ‘pick up everything before everyone else does’ method.
Outside of the four-player online co-op, there is two-player split screen co-op (though not available on PC), but the enemy level will adjust to the highest character level, so if there’s a big gap between you and your friend, be prepared to die. A lot.
Borderlands 2 Verdict
All in all, Borderlands 2 is fantastic fun. Sure, it’s still a bit rough around the edges. There are small things like the glitched enemies, loot and inventory systems that feel like a definite improvement over its predecessor… but you wonder if maybe Gearbox could have done a little more. Overall though, it stands up well in a FPS market where good shooters are a dime a dozen.
The irony of this is that, outside of the usual first-person shooter mechanics, there’s not really anything out there like Borderlands 2. No other shooter has the same mix of frantic, fast-firing action and deep, loot-based role-playing game elements, and there’s definitely nothing out there as mind-blowingly crazy. Essentially, everything good about the original Borderlands has been retained, and anything not so good has been improved in some respect. Anyone saving up for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Halo 4 should be eyeing this one up; it’s a great game in its own right and well worth the sub £40 price tag.
Score in detail