Borderlands 2: A 100+ Hours Later.

Posted by MachoFantastico (4474 posts) -

As of writing this, I have invested a good 128 hours into Borderlands 2. Due to this I thought it would be a good idea to type down some of my long term impressions and thoughts related to Gearbox Software's loot driven shooter. Right now I'm deep within the second play-through, known as the True Vault Hunter Mode. It's interesting to revisit Borderlands 2 every so often, it's a game I've been playing on and off depending on the release calendar and when I'm hungry to see a million damage numbers bounce off enemies in a beautiful display of chaos. I guess what I'm trying to say here, is that after 100+ hours of shooting guys, creatures and robots in their sensitive critical spots I'm still loving how Borderlands 2 plays.

128 hours later and I'm still having a blast exploring Pandora.

Like many, I purchased the season pass at the same time I originally purchased Borderlands 2 and for the most part I've been pretty satisfied with what I've received content wise. Nowadays, it's always wise to be a tad cautious with season passes, mainly due to the fact that all too often they tend to suck. However I don't believe that as been the case with Borderlands 2. Keep in mind I'm saying that without having yet experienced the latest and final downloadable pack 'Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep' (which I might get around to reviewing). So it's certainly worth checking out the season pass if you're looking for even more content. Speaking of which, Borderlands 2 isn't exactly short on content anyway. Especially considering that 100+ hours of gameplay has been mainly spent playing Axton the Commander rather than anyone else. I still in fact intend to play through the game with many of the other characters available, so I dare guess at what my final play time might be.

How I feel about Borderlands 2 hasn't changed a great deal since I started playing. It's still a fun and frantic shooter driven by a loot mechanic that works wonders to keep the experience feeling as fresh and new as it needs to. Yes there are niggling issues related to how the game is sometimes played out, yes playing through the same quests can be a little tedious (especially considering how poor and flat a few of the quests are) yet as long as the combat feels fairly challenging and you still have a hunger for loot, loot and yet more loot, Borderlands 2 will keep your attention for many months to come. It's a sequel which as almost entirely fixed many of the issues I had with the 2009 original, with combat that feels a lot more fluid and dynamic, and a loot system that provides a greater variety of weapons. So yes, it certainly helps that it's a much better game overall.

Borderlands 2 still as the ability to surprise you with how beautiful the world of Pandora can look.

That might be exactly why I'm still playing Borderlands 2, because it offers a quick burst of satisfaction in half an hour blast sessions yet still [provides a great deal of depth and forward motion that can easily suck you in hours. I still think there are a few flat spots with regards to how some of the side-quests are laid out and having to revisit some sections of the world time and time again can be infuriating especially if they don't provide satisfactory gameplay. However once again I feel a need to emphasize how well Borderlands 2 as held up over those 100+ hours. It's a game which understands itself surprisingly well, and whilst there's always areas to improve and build upon, it makes me super excited to see what the franchise might offer in the years to come, on much more powerful hardware.

Borderlands 2 is an easy one to recommend, I'm sure you have already guessed that I'm rather fond of it. I don't take that lightly I might add, as I'm generally someone who finds it hard to invest any considerable length of time into a single game unless it's say FIFA or the Formula One games. Whilst I still appreciate games that require I invest dozens of hours and more, I know I tend to change moods all to quickly and if a game hasn't offered me enough reason to keep on playing, I tend to move on. This is a trait I actually don't like about myself as someone who plays video games on a daily basis. But I've come to the conclusion that it has helped me weed out the games that I simply can't play, no matter how praised or epic they may seem. For example, no matter how stunning Skyrim might be, I have tried and tried again to make myself comfortable with combat yet it's the exact thing that has stopped me from playing. I just don't enjoy playing it, so why should I bother no matter how amazing the game might appear.

"I believe I can fly!"

It's possible Borderlands 2 is a one off, I hope not but I'm realistic. I think I'm still trying to figure out what type of gamer I am. After 100+ hours I have realized a few truths about how and why I play the games I play and like a many of us who adore this hobby, I'm often in it for the quick satisfaction. Maybe once I was able to wait 50+ hours to gain the satisfaction of playing a great game, no matter how rough and tumble the ride might have been. But I think those days are gone. Maybe it's having too much choice available to us (damn you Valve and your Steam sales) or maybe it's simply a sign of growing up and appreciating your personal time more. I honestly don't know. What I do know is that I'll most likely be playing Borderlands 2 in a years time, because it scratches every itch I have and offers gameplay that satisfies my most basic needs as a game.

It's easy to recommend Borderlands 2. It might not be for everyone but I truly believe it's one of those rare games which you can revisit time and time again. Don't get me wrong I still appreciate the emotional roller coasters or the stunners which make you contemplate video games as a medium (I'm looking at you Journey and Bioshock: Infinite) but sometimes we just want to shoot things in the face and see numbers bounce of in a foray of splendor that's worthy of any firework display. Call me simple minded, it doesn't bother me because I understand that Borderlands 2 as at least helped me understand my psyche as someone who plays video games are a regular basis.

Conclusions, play Borderlands 2. Who knows, you might actually enjoy yourself.

Thanks for reading.

#1 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3532 posts) -

Dragon's Keep is the best DLC by far. You're fortunate that you still have it to look forward to.

As for Skyrim, if you ever care to give it another chance, try a stealth archer class, who perhaps dabbles just a little in melee combat as a backup. I tried the game first as a magic user, and I hated it. Archery is far better.

#2 Edited by GiroMindTricks (63 posts) -

I love Borderlands 2, racked up 400 hours myself. However with most games of this type, once you get to max level (I have 7 characters at 61), there isn't much of a reason to keep playing. Bring on the DLC and I'll be straight back in there though.

#3 Edited by believer258 (11557 posts) -

There are no ways in which Skyrim's combat excels. That said, it does a lot of things well enough to be fun and you can start working on any of them in any way that you choose. If you ever decide to try it again, play as a type of character you've never played as before. A stealthy pickpocketer who uses a lot of daggers, or an archer, or a mage, etc. The real reason I love Skyrim, though, is the environment. Snowy plains are my absolute favorite environment in most games. It's just a cold, lonely, beautiful landscape accompanied by slow but grand music. Right up my alley, every bit of it, and I've considered it my favorite game of this generation several times.

My opinion on Borderlands 2 has waxed and waned. I like first person shooters and BL2 is fun, complete with some welcomed mechanical improvements on the original. However, I still feel like I'm being swarmed too often, and I still feel like it's not terribly well balanced especially for single player. The writing is also terrible. But I can see enjoying this game a lot for its gameplay and mechanics.

Oh, and I did like the snowy areas in the beginning of Borderlands 2. On PC, that game is surprisingly great to look at.

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