They made Borderlands again, but better in every single way.
I did not play Borderlands when it came out originally, I only picked it up weeks before the release of Borderlands 2. I ended up playing it through to completion, I really enjoyed my time with it. Sure it didn't have a story and it got quite repetitive, the gameplay was rock solid and for that I loved it. So I beat Borderlands in the evening, I told myself I would wait a few months before I buy Borderlands 2, so I would not burn myself out. The next morning, I went straight to the shops and picked up a copy of Borderlands 2.
Five years have past since the events of Borderlands, since then a man named Handsome Jack rose to the top of the Hyperion ladder. Jack took credit for the opening of the vault, which by being opened caused a mysterious mineral called Eriduim to scatter and form all across Pandora. Jack seeks to collect as much of it as he can. With all the Eriduim and the entire Hyperion Corporation behind him, Jack rules over the land of Pandora and crushes anybody in his path. In comes four new Vault Hunters who are hired by Jack to seek out a larger and more secret vault than before, Jack betrays the vault hunters and leaves them left for dead. They then set out on a quest to find the vault and stop Jack once and for all.
Story takes a bigger piece of the pie this time around, where as before it was paper thin here your always being spoken to or finding bits of audio log and hey there are even a few cutscenes. There are a host of new and old characters that are really well done, you meet up with the vault hunters from the first game, who have since joined forces to stop Jack as well. Claptrap makes a come back in a big way, there is now just the one Claptrap and because of that it lets the game develop his character more. Scooter, Zed and even Crazy Earl join us for round 2, but as well as old guys there are new faces to meet. Each of them has there own personality and most of them are very funny.
Speaking of funny, Borderlands 2 manages to pull of what most games can't, it's a funny game. Borderlands never took it self too seriously, but they seem to have gone in that direction more so in this game. Characters are always talking to you over the Echo and when they do its often well done. Some people have said at times it often feels like they never shut up, but I think thats part of Borderlands 2's charm.
The mechanics have remained ultimately the same, with some upgrades applied to almost everything (Just not the driving, which still remains to control awkwardly). You go around, picking up quests, finding loot chests all over the place, completing the quest and coming back to get a reward. What you do in the quests has a whole lot more wrapping around it, but essentially it boils down to killing dudes and picking stuff up. Which is absolutely fine, because there is enough wrapping around every single quest that you hardly notice. It's why I can play this game for 6 hours at a time no problem.
The shooting feels the same if not a bit refined, there are more weapons this time around. There is a new elemental addition to the game called Slag, when an enemy is hit with Slag, they will receive additional damage to anything other than Slag. Weapons are now fit into different brands, Hyperion, Jakobs, Tediore, Bandit to name a few. The Jakobs brand for example have a more old style feel, they often look like guns taken from a Wild West movie and they fire slower but pack a bigger punch. Hyperion weapons are all futuristic and shoot fast but may be weaker. I found this to be very useful when deciding what kind of weapon I want, makes managing your inventory easier.
Which has gotten a whole lot better in Borderlands 2, sure you still spend a good amount of time in your inventory, but nowhere near as much as before. Most of this comes down to the fact that the game has a mini map in the corner of your screen. This was a huge downside to the original, so many times I shouted at the game for not having one. You can also set objects in your inventory as trash, then when you get to a vendor just hit the left stick and there you go, all of it sold.
There are four character classes to choose from, although if you pay a little extra you get to have five with the addition of the Mechromancer. The others are the same from the original game, each with similar skill sets as they had before. But the skill tree's have been greatly improved with lasting effects that make it feel like putting points into skill's in a tree is worth it. Some of them really change the way you play the game, I played the game through as a Siren, one of her skills was by using her main skill (Levitate foes) on a teamate it will instantly revive them.
You can now customise your character, throughout the game you will unlock various skins and heads for you to choose from. This makes multiplayer a bit more appealing when you have four of the same class running about. You can also respec your skills at any time you want, so overall character management is a lot easier.
As I played Borderlands so late, I could not play with anybody online, the game was still amazing to play as a Solo. Here however i would have the chance to play with friends and by myself, I would say I spent 50% solo and 50% multiplayer. Every time I played worth somebody they were all very nice and did not hoard all the weapons, although on one occasion i beat a very hard boss and the person i was with got every weapon drop. Playing online is a blast, it does the scaling thing really well, it gives you an incentive to play with others as the loot gets better too. I found that many had headsets too, so it was fun to chat as well.
The game looks great, I love the way it looks. Having played Borderlands shortly before, I know it looks a lot better. The new environments help a lot, there are snow areas, plain lands and even a volcano area to explore. Each dungeon you explore feels unique and crafted with care. The snow areas especially look amazing, i feel I was tricked though as the snow areas are not for very long. The game also sounds fantastic, as I mention before the dialogue is all well spoken, with Claptrap being the highlight. But the games soundtrack is great, sometime you don't notice but when you really listen, its a "Hot Damn!" moment.
I really enjoyed my time with this game, whats worse is..I want to start a second playthrough!