Borderlands 2's story was... unexpected. *Thar be spoilers.*

Hurray! I've just completed Borderlands 2! It certainly took me a while, but I decided to take my time with it (even so much as creating an alt while I was in the middle of my first playthrough) doing just about every side quest available, spending like up to an hour at a time on the slot machines... and there's been plenty of occasions where I've left the game running when I've gone to do something else, so I've undoubtedly added a lot of padding to my overall playtime. But regardless of how much time was spent, that time was spent having a bloody lot of fun.

I mean it's true, Borderlands 2 is simply more Borderlands -- *Morederlands ect ect.* And as someone who absolutely adores Borderlands, I was plenty content in following the same waypoints everywhere and being spurned on by the ever attractive proposition of more stuff. The game's also really funny! Even if, yes, the challenge stuff is filled with a bunch of lazy callbacks to jokes from the mid naughts (oughts?) that weren't even all that funny to begin with. But a large majority of the writing surrounding the enemies you face, and not to mention the brilliant variety of side missions (Jack asking you to kill yourself; SHOOT HIM IN THE HEAD guy; And of course Mal, the hyperion robot who's going through a bit of an identity crisis) all completely overshadow the few still very poor memetic jokes you may encounter here and there.

There is one thing that felt... not so much out of place, but like it too was going through some sort of identity crisis; a transition to say the least. By which I of course mean the story. However, before I go any further, it still has to be applauded that it's actually a story. The first game was primarily just a bunch of quests filtered through goofy characters with a big ole MacGuffin snuggled in the middle. Borderlands 2 actually has a narrative. You're no longer permitted to just read through a wad of text per every quest, and Gearbox have certainly learned well from their time with stuff like General Knoxx and its stronger focus on storytelling. We now have what resembles an actual structure, a more prominent villain to put a 'face' too, and Holy Shit there's so much more dialogue in this game.

Just like havin' another Soldier on the field!

That one line of ad-libbed dialogue is pretty much all I had to define Roland during the first game--my main was Lilith, but I enjoyed the game enough that I eventually got around to giving 'em all a go--along with the rest of the cast. They were avatars more than actual characters, with a little splice of personality draped on top. And now.... now Roland never fucking shuts up! With all of his serious-face freedom fighting talk, it's a little jarring to see what were more or less one-dimensional characters to then... suddenly evolve to, well, two-dimensional characters. I guess it's also pretty cool. I mean I even created a thread on here stating the potential 'coolness' for such a path for the original vault hunters to follow. Though I was more so picturing them as trainers or cameos, not as essentially the leading protagonists of the entire plot.

Right, because once again our playable 'stars' aren't exactly the leading characters of this tale. In a weird twist of events, now the blank slates from the original are the one's talking up a storm at every turn while this new cast fill in the now vacant roles as yet another cast of vacant avatars for the player. And it's especially weird what with all of this added substance towards the narrative. Especially the whole Siren thing; Lilith's this uber-Siren and that's a pretty big deal, and yet me, as Maya, barely gets any recognition whatsoever. In fact in some cases my character is even referred to as a 'he', when I'm not being called as a Vault Hunter, Soldier or 'Slab'... God, that last one's annoying.

Steps have been made, though. The backstory ECHO tape you start off with, and can later scavenge more of, flesh out the playable cast more so than anything found in the original. They have a history, they actually have their own somewhat tangible reason for being here. But aside from some audio-logs, they're still just empty vessels for the player to inhabit and take up the role of.

Which I can certainly still understand mind you. If you were to play as an actual character with well defined motivations and moralities, such quest sets like setting up two gangs to murder each other simply for fun--which includes such ploys as killing the son of the gang leader so as to frame the opposing gang leader--would seem just a wee bit out of place... as is freeing a load of skags and stalkers from a Hyperion wildlife prison, only to actually kill a whole horde of 'em on your way. In fact nearly all of the side missions feel completely out of sync with the main story as it is anywhoo. Your character is a merciless monster, and while there's little characterisation for the new set of vault hunters, what is there doesn't quite set up someone like Maya for example as a mass-murdering mercenary. She clearly enjoys killing things (as does everyone on Pandora), but not to the extent of that gang war thing maybe. So expanding upon such a character would only cause more of dat ludo-narrative dissonance stuff, I guess.

Holy Shit sad things keeps happening!

As I've said, Borderlands 2 actually has a story, including some surprisingly dark chapters within. And not the humourous sort of ''teehee, bandit head goes boom!'' dark, but ''this is the moment where you're meant to feel really depressed now'' kind.

BloodWing, no! Roland, no!! Angel... fffffffffffff -- OK first off, I have to say that I personally found Handsome Jack to be an exceptionally effective villain. I mean I really hated this guy; I actually felt some twisted satisfaction after killing his equally psychotic and comically evil girlfriend (that Sheriff lady) or when I'd be knocking his statues throughout the city of Opportunity and he'd get all pissed off. Because goddamn, how... just... Handsome Jack is simply one of the most detestable and utterly evil characters I can recently recall (I know there are most likely more, but you get my point). But it's juxtaposed to such a degree. I mean one minute I'm shooting this guy in the face because he wants me to and I'm giggling about it for minutes after, and the next I'm enveloped in gut-ripping (OK, overselling it a little, I'll admit) emotion as Mordecai grieves over his bird. Hell, not just his bird, but my bird! My bird that I loved to throw at crazed psychos for an entire playthrough of Borderlands.

And then Roland, who, after the camera position has aligned itself up perfectly for 'someone's gonna die now', gets fucking smoked! Although y'know, I cared more for Bloodwing than I did Roland... Oh, and then there's the entire Angel segment. Now there's a twist to remember. EDIT: Also, how come Roland couldn't just be revived via the New-U machine? Did 'removing' his title as a Vault Hunter strip him of his reviving capabilities?... Y'know what, I'm willing to let that one slide for simplicities sake.

Now I'm not complaining about all of this mind you. I mean given that part my love for games like Saints Row 2 and Sleeping Dogs stems specifically for mixing in absurdity and human drama, it would be contradictive of me to suddenly shake my head in shame at Borderlands 2's own mixture. It's just with this calibre of storytelling being taken on, and Borderlands isn't quite the mindless skag slaughterhouse that it used to be, I'd want my character to join in on some of this development.

Borderworlds!

So besides the obvious fact that there's going to be some interplanetary travel happening in this theoretical sequel, what I'd also hope is they build upon your players characters to a degree not unlike Darksiders II or LOTR; War in the North So then you're clearly playing as pre-defined characters, but you still have the option to start up conversations and have the power to chime in on scenes. Converse with other characters beyond a one-sided to-do list.

Furthermore, each character could even have unique side-quests to attain. So say we have another freakshow like Salvador joining in, with all of the dialogue to prove it, such quests like the gang war one would still fit. Or not! Because I'd be more than happy to stomach some disconnect between my character and what the game is asking my character to do so long as my character is still a character. Character character character.

TL;DR Blurb!

Borderlands 2 is bitchin', and the narrative advancements they've built upon are were unexpected, but ultimately a welcome surprise. The way the game keeps connecting everything that happened in the original back to Borderlands 2 and Hyperion was also nicely done; it actually makes the original game feel more... substantial in retrospec, even though deep down we all know they only decided to work Hyperion into bloody everything during the writing of Borderlands 2. Revisiting T.K Baha's hut in particular was still surprisingly nostalgic, however, and even a little sad (but also funny) to hear about how his predicament came to be. I just hope that Gearbox will continue on up this slope and put forward the same amount of effort onto the next playable cast of whoever.

P.S!

The ending, along with the boss, was still a total wash. I just went through the same routine, using the same gun, shooting at The Warrior's glowy gut until it dived back under the lava. It barely ever attacked me and those volcano crystal monsters were hardly even noticeable. They put so much effort into making this thing such a powerful entity of absolute Absolutes.. they placed all of those ammo spawns and everything, and yet I barely had to move nor did I ever need to collect any additional ammo. The actual ending itself wasn't much better and pretty abrupt at that... but it done enough in at least setting the course for where the series may go from here. Still a great game, though, and I'm more than ready to head into NG+!

18 Comments
18 Comments
Edited by Yummylee

Hurray! I've just completed Borderlands 2! It certainly took me a while, but I decided to take my time with it (even so much as creating an alt while I was in the middle of my first playthrough) doing just about every side quest available, spending like up to an hour at a time on the slot machines... and there's been plenty of occasions where I've left the game running when I've gone to do something else, so I've undoubtedly added a lot of padding to my overall playtime. But regardless of how much time was spent, that time was spent having a bloody lot of fun.

I mean it's true, Borderlands 2 is simply more Borderlands -- *Morederlands ect ect.* And as someone who absolutely adores Borderlands, I was plenty content in following the same waypoints everywhere and being spurned on by the ever attractive proposition of more stuff. The game's also really funny! Even if, yes, the challenge stuff is filled with a bunch of lazy callbacks to jokes from the mid naughts (oughts?) that weren't even all that funny to begin with. But a large majority of the writing surrounding the enemies you face, and not to mention the brilliant variety of side missions (Jack asking you to kill yourself; SHOOT HIM IN THE HEAD guy; And of course Mal, the hyperion robot who's going through a bit of an identity crisis) all completely overshadow the few still very poor memetic jokes you may encounter here and there.

There is one thing that felt... not so much out of place, but like it too was going through some sort of identity crisis; a transition to say the least. By which I of course mean the story. However, before I go any further, it still has to be applauded that it's actually a story. The first game was primarily just a bunch of quests filtered through goofy characters with a big ole MacGuffin snuggled in the middle. Borderlands 2 actually has a narrative. You're no longer permitted to just read through a wad of text per every quest, and Gearbox have certainly learned well from their time with stuff like General Knoxx and its stronger focus on storytelling. We now have what resembles an actual structure, a more prominent villain to put a 'face' too, and Holy Shit there's so much more dialogue in this game.

Just like havin' another Soldier on the field!

That one line of ad-libbed dialogue is pretty much all I had to define Roland during the first game--my main was Lilith, but I enjoyed the game enough that I eventually got around to giving 'em all a go--along with the rest of the cast. They were avatars more than actual characters, with a little splice of personality draped on top. And now.... now Roland never fucking shuts up! With all of his serious-face freedom fighting talk, it's a little jarring to see what were more or less one-dimensional characters to then... suddenly evolve to, well, two-dimensional characters. I guess it's also pretty cool. I mean I even created a thread on here stating the potential 'coolness' for such a path for the original vault hunters to follow. Though I was more so picturing them as trainers or cameos, not as essentially the leading protagonists of the entire plot.

Right, because once again our playable 'stars' aren't exactly the leading characters of this tale. In a weird twist of events, now the blank slates from the original are the one's talking up a storm at every turn while this new cast fill in the now vacant roles as yet another cast of vacant avatars for the player. And it's especially weird what with all of this added substance towards the narrative. Especially the whole Siren thing; Lilith's this uber-Siren and that's a pretty big deal, and yet me, as Maya, barely gets any recognition whatsoever. In fact in some cases my character is even referred to as a 'he', when I'm not being called as a Vault Hunter, Soldier or 'Slab'... God, that last one's annoying.

Steps have been made, though. The backstory ECHO tape you start off with, and can later scavenge more of, flesh out the playable cast more so than anything found in the original. They have a history, they actually have their own somewhat tangible reason for being here. But aside from some audio-logs, they're still just empty vessels for the player to inhabit and take up the role of.

Which I can certainly still understand mind you. If you were to play as an actual character with well defined motivations and moralities, such quest sets like setting up two gangs to murder each other simply for fun--which includes such ploys as killing the son of the gang leader so as to frame the opposing gang leader--would seem just a wee bit out of place... as is freeing a load of skags and stalkers from a Hyperion wildlife prison, only to actually kill a whole horde of 'em on your way. In fact nearly all of the side missions feel completely out of sync with the main story as it is anywhoo. Your character is a merciless monster, and while there's little characterisation for the new set of vault hunters, what is there doesn't quite set up someone like Maya for example as a mass-murdering mercenary. She clearly enjoys killing things (as does everyone on Pandora), but not to the extent of that gang war thing maybe. So expanding upon such a character would only cause more of dat ludo-narrative dissonance stuff, I guess.

Holy Shit sad things keeps happening!

As I've said, Borderlands 2 actually has a story, including some surprisingly dark chapters within. And not the humourous sort of ''teehee, bandit head goes boom!'' dark, but ''this is the moment where you're meant to feel really depressed now'' kind.

BloodWing, no! Roland, no!! Angel... fffffffffffff -- OK first off, I have to say that I personally found Handsome Jack to be an exceptionally effective villain. I mean I really hated this guy; I actually felt some twisted satisfaction after killing his equally psychotic and comically evil girlfriend (that Sheriff lady) or when I'd be knocking his statues throughout the city of Opportunity and he'd get all pissed off. Because goddamn, how... just... Handsome Jack is simply one of the most detestable and utterly evil characters I can recently recall (I know there are most likely more, but you get my point). But it's juxtaposed to such a degree. I mean one minute I'm shooting this guy in the face because he wants me to and I'm giggling about it for minutes after, and the next I'm enveloped in gut-ripping (OK, overselling it a little, I'll admit) emotion as Mordecai grieves over his bird. Hell, not just his bird, but my bird! My bird that I loved to throw at crazed psychos for an entire playthrough of Borderlands.

And then Roland, who, after the camera position has aligned itself up perfectly for 'someone's gonna die now', gets fucking smoked! Although y'know, I cared more for Bloodwing than I did Roland... Oh, and then there's the entire Angel segment. Now there's a twist to remember. EDIT: Also, how come Roland couldn't just be revived via the New-U machine? Did 'removing' his title as a Vault Hunter strip him of his reviving capabilities?... Y'know what, I'm willing to let that one slide for simplicities sake.

Now I'm not complaining about all of this mind you. I mean given that part my love for games like Saints Row 2 and Sleeping Dogs stems specifically for mixing in absurdity and human drama, it would be contradictive of me to suddenly shake my head in shame at Borderlands 2's own mixture. It's just with this calibre of storytelling being taken on, and Borderlands isn't quite the mindless skag slaughterhouse that it used to be, I'd want my character to join in on some of this development.

Borderworlds!

So besides the obvious fact that there's going to be some interplanetary travel happening in this theoretical sequel, what I'd also hope is they build upon your players characters to a degree not unlike Darksiders II or LOTR; War in the North So then you're clearly playing as pre-defined characters, but you still have the option to start up conversations and have the power to chime in on scenes. Converse with other characters beyond a one-sided to-do list.

Furthermore, each character could even have unique side-quests to attain. So say we have another freakshow like Salvador joining in, with all of the dialogue to prove it, such quests like the gang war one would still fit. Or not! Because I'd be more than happy to stomach some disconnect between my character and what the game is asking my character to do so long as my character is still a character. Character character character.

TL;DR Blurb!

Borderlands 2 is bitchin', and the narrative advancements they've built upon are were unexpected, but ultimately a welcome surprise. The way the game keeps connecting everything that happened in the original back to Borderlands 2 and Hyperion was also nicely done; it actually makes the original game feel more... substantial in retrospec, even though deep down we all know they only decided to work Hyperion into bloody everything during the writing of Borderlands 2. Revisiting T.K Baha's hut in particular was still surprisingly nostalgic, however, and even a little sad (but also funny) to hear about how his predicament came to be. I just hope that Gearbox will continue on up this slope and put forward the same amount of effort onto the next playable cast of whoever.

P.S!

The ending, along with the boss, was still a total wash. I just went through the same routine, using the same gun, shooting at The Warrior's glowy gut until it dived back under the lava. It barely ever attacked me and those volcano crystal monsters were hardly even noticeable. They put so much effort into making this thing such a powerful entity of absolute Absolutes.. they placed all of those ammo spawns and everything, and yet I barely had to move nor did I ever need to collect any additional ammo. The actual ending itself wasn't much better and pretty abrupt at that... but it done enough in at least setting the course for where the series may go from here. Still a great game, though, and I'm more than ready to head into NG+!

Online
Posted by SgtSphynx

The Warrior had a glowy gut? I just shot the bastard with my 30k damage rocket launcher. One full reload was enough to get him to go under. My favorite part of that game was shooting Jack in the face right as he was asking me not to.

Edited by TheDudeOfGaming

@SgtSphynx said:

The Warrior had a glowy gut? I just shot the bastard with my 30k damage rocket launcher. One full reload was enough to get him to go under. My favorite part of that game was shooting Jack in the face right as he was asking me not to.

I just shot him as soon as soon as that protective shield went down, he literally didn't say a word.

The reason why characters in all loot based games are silent (mostly) is that they have to kill thousands upon thousands of creatures. How do you make a genocidal maniac into an effective character? You change them to NPCs in the sequel. The playable characters certainly have more depth though. The starting ECHO devices along with the 4 you find actually add more backstory than one would have expected, they're still basically just personality free avatars of destruction but it's nice to see why Zero does what he does. And I like how the combat dialogue reflects that.

Jack is a cunt, but what I really like about him is that he actually believes he's the good guy. All that killing must have some effects on the psyche, so now he's completely delusional and self centered. I really loved the quest where they show him being a lowly, suck up Hyperion employee and then taking over the company while explaining the difference between choking and suffocation. As for Roland, he's been an actual character for one game, and during that time they haven't given me much reason to care about him. The choice to kill him seemed more like "we need a dramatic and overly tragic moment in this game". For some reason I cared more about TK Baha than I do for Roland, I guess it's the voice acting, dialogue and simply the character himself.

And the ending was still better than the first one, although similar in more than a few ways, but better so I'm happy. Oh and I really like how they managed the whole Angel situation, some people won't like it but I love how they show Angel being manipulative from the very start. Even though the reason of her being like that is not that good.

Edited by Make_Me_Mad

I wasn't particularly happy with the way they handled the original vault hunters, actually. It might be more of a personal thing, but they kinda go out of their way at every opportunity to make them look like chumps compared to the new guys. Not only that, but they specifically state at several points that the old guys sucked and could never pull off what you do, despite having years more experience. I get that Wilhelm was purposely weak as shit so that you could bone up Sanctuary's shields, but even after Angel is helping you again she's re-iterating how you're awesome compared to the last set of protagonists.

I dunno, it just feels really weird for the sequel to tell you over and over that the last batch of dudes were total fuck-ups.

Posted by Mirado

Y'know, I wish that they'd gone out of their comfort zone a bit and give the player characters actual dialog with the NPCs. Fuck this silent protagonist bullshit; they've already established the backstory, motivation and general demeanor of each new Vault Hunter through the personal ECHOs you start with and the scattered tapes throughout the game, so go full on with it. Playing as Zero, I know (generally) what he would say to most requests; the haiku equivalent of "Finally a worth challenge!" and so on. You can turn these one-dimensional characters into something a bit more fleshed out with some VO work, instead of just setting up a framework and making the player fill the gaps.

Speaking of one-dimensionality, I couldn't generate the kind of emotional response towards the old characters that Gearbox was hoping for. When Bloodwing was killed, all I could think of was: Good for that piece of shit bird, he'd never bother to hit anyone when I threw him anyway. And yeah, I enjoyed the reference to how that would occur in the first game almost as much as I remember being frustrated by it. By attempting to tie these emotional setpieces onto characters that were all of a sudden injected with life where none was before, I think it falls flat. Oh dear, Rolland died. Well, that's...huh. Oh no, they've got Lilith. We shared such good times together like when...uhh...well I never really played Lilith so I guess when she was revealed to be the Firehawk? That was...something. So I need to save her so we can have more...good times.

And trying to drop an out of the blue romance between her and Roland felt really forced. They spent five minutes on that bus together at the start of BL1 and now they're together? Or were? The whole relationship was built up and ended before the game even started, so I'm getting zero out of the awkward dynamic they were angling for.

For my money, it would have been a hell of a lot more compelling if they moved the set pieces onto the new player characters. Let Jack get a hold of Axton's ex-wife, or information about Maya's parents or let Zero....uhh...

Well, you get the idea. I'm not being paid to come up with this stuff. But I hope you see where I'm coming from; the BL1 characters feel like empty shells that are being forcibly stuffed with life, whereas they had a chance to build the new BL2 characters from the ground up with life in mind. A missed opportunity.

As for Jack, I found him to be a decent effective villain, but I don't understand his motivation. So his daughter's a siren and he's a tech guy at Hyperion...and somehow this transform's him into a mass murdering psychopath with the wit and ruthlessness to topple the head of a trillion dollar company? If he's to be believed, then I assume something happened to his wife either during the birth or early childhood of Angel, possibly caused by her. And while that would probably drive him crazy, I don't see how that enabled the rest of the game's events to unfold. How do you wrest control of that big of an entity away from those who already have the power? They've got legions of death robots, for starters.

For all the talking he does, I wish I knew more about why he's doing what he's doing and how he got to be there. If there's nothing more to it then "Well he's a ruthless murdering snake with severe mental issues", I'm going to be disappointed. Hopefully the DLC fleshes him (and others) out a bit more.

With all that being said, I'm enjoying the hell out of the game as it's exactly what I wanted: more Borderlands. I just wish they would have taken the full step instead of the half-way timid shuffle towards their characters.

Posted by Tennmuerti

@Yummylee: Great read!

There was certainly a lot of unexpected but very enjoyable places the Borderlands 2 narrative took me in.

It was sad to see Bloodwing go (more so then Roland), but as the credits roll they made me smile by showing Mordecai with a hatchling, and made me remember that Bloodwing was female.

In contrast to me caring little about Roland's death Lilith was one of my favourite characters in Borderlands 2, so when she gets taken I actually got worried Jack might kill her off too >( And I actually enjoyed listening to the akward development of the romance between Lilith and Roland a whole lot.

The NewU stations would completely break all narative impetus, so I believe them to exist in gameplay only, not really real in the world/story.

Posted by OneKillWonder_
@Yummylee: You summed up my sentiments almost exactly. I really appreciate the effort put forth with the story-telling and characterizations in this game. It got me to care about things far more than I had expected, including the original Vault Hunters. The first game had basically no story at all, so all it had to go on was it's personality, which luckily, it had in spades. I enjoyed everything about the world it created, and simply because the Vault Hunters were a part of it, I came into BL2 already caring about them somewhat. Bloodwing's and Roland's deaths, as well as Lilith getting captured, all felt reasonably impactful. (I was also wondering why Roland couldn't just respawn in a New-U station after he died. A simple line of dialogue could've explained that away, but instead it's now a glaring plot hole. Reminds me of Angel talking to you on the bus in BL1 before you even get the ECHO device.)
 
Handsome Jack may very well be one of my favorite villains in recent memory. He was exceptionally well-written in a way that made me love to hate him. Good thing, since that's exactly what Gearbox was striving for with him. I really think they should get more credit for him. I will say that I was a little disappointed that we never get to see his real face. However, I loved getting shoot him right in the head at the end. I wasn't sure if that's what the game was proposing that I do, so I pulled the trigger anyway, cutting him off mid-sentence. It felt bad ass, like Liam Neeson killing the main villain at the end of Taken.
 
I disagree about the ending and final boss, though. I thought the Warrior fight was fantastic. At the very least, it was leagues better than the Destroyer fight. It wasn't too easy, nor too hard. It kept me moving and it felt exciting. The ending was a nice little "Holy shit!" moment. The prospect of interplanetary travel in the next game gets me giddy. The game could be huge!
Posted by SgtSphynx
@OneKillWonder_ said:
I will say that I was a little disappointed that we never get to see his real face.
Supposedly when you shoot him his mask flies off and you see his face, I don't know for sure because he fell face down for me.
Posted by OneKillWonder_
@SgtSphynx: Oh shit, you're right. There's a picture of his real face on the Borderlands Wiki. I didn't even think about looking at him after killing him.
Edited by connerthekewlkid

the last line was by far the best part of the game(not to say the rest of the game wasnt amazing)

Posted by hbkdx12

I just finished the game up earlier today.
 
I have to say once everything wrapped up, i can say i thoroughly enjoyed the story and the narrative. Hats off to Handsome Jack. In short, the guy is the sterling archer of villains. He's funny and entertaining but he's not a hollow character that only has that going for him.  I grealy enjoyed having him as an adversary throughout the game
 
I found a lot of the twists and reveals in the story to be interesting and engaging. The fact that i mained Mordecai in BL1, it was a bit devastating to watch bloodwing get killed. But watching mordy rage snipe everything right after that was pretty cathartic. I did feel too much of the story focused on lilith and roland but things even out a bit once roland is out the picture.  I wasn't really moved by roland or angel's death though. 
 
I also applaud them for the overwhelming sense of balance that they brought to the skill trees, weapons and gear as frustrating as it might of felt most of the time. Getting rid of weapons for something in the same class was very thought provoking for the most part. In BL1 my criteria for picking up a new weapon was to see if it did more damage than the same class of weapon that i already have. As long as it did (and didn't have any adverse side effects or negatives to it) i would pick it up and never really find myself making a regretful decision. Doesn't work that way in BL2. You really got to pay attention and get a feel for things to get the best out of your loot.
 
As enjoyable as the overall experience was, there were some things that i found a bit annoying. Most notably the way each mission/objective has like 10 secret tiers to it that you don't know about before going into it. I literally had to roll my eyes at the game when one of the mission objectives was to climb a ladder to get into a pipe and once you get to the ladder it just magically breaks. This then means you have to go around the map to activate a series of pumps (each guarded by a bunch of enemies, naturally) in order to have the pipe burst. It's just like....really? Why not tell the player to just activate the pumps from the start?  I hesitate to call it padding given that all the lil "Whoops, change of plans! you gotta do 'this" before you can do "that"" occurences fit within the narrative and the mission but it just rubbed me the wrong way after this do this kind of bait and switch practically every mission.
 
That being said, i found this game to be very long. Luckily it didn't feel like it outstayed it's welcome mainly due to the story and how engaging it was. I've seen people on my friends list where were level 50 after 2 or 3 days and im just like jesus effin christ. it took me about a week and a half just to beat the game once and that's dumping in atleast 4 hours after work and a bit more than that on the weekend
 
The humor is very....when it's on it's on and when it's not it's not. There's not much of a middle ground. There are a full on suite of hilarious things in the game (the inclusion of talking guns, Moxxi's good touch, Claptrap @ hero's pass, etc)  but there are things that kind of go off the rails (the memes, bonerfarts...) For what its worth i think they could've made the whole bonerfarts thing work better if they had given it to someone like Scooter as oppose to Sir Hammerlock. The guy talks all dignified and distinguished and then suddenly he wants to call things bonerfarts out of a silly sense of frustation. Just didn't feel right. But i could easily see someone like scooter saying something completely ludicrous like bonerfart
 
Great game. Probably be my game of the year seeing as how i'm only getting Hitman and maybe AC3 for the holiday season.

Posted by HistoryInRust

It's better than the first. I still think the levels are way too cluttered and the quest design is rotten (problems I had with the first game), and you can just as easily stand in one spot where the bosses don't attack you in this one as you could in the first (a problem most everyone had). But, yeah. It's solid.

I was less shocked by the deaths of any of the characters and more shocked by how ruthlessly the game dispatched of them. I don't have any affection for Roland or Bloodwing or Angel.

Well, maybe Angel . . .

But it was surprising to me that game put down it characters the way it did. Usually games try to force upon the player sentimentality where there isn't any previous development, and objectively speaking Borderlands 2 does this exact thing, but you don't get any overwrought death sequences with any of them. It's typically just boom, they're dead. Adios.

Posted by JonSmith

@Mirado said:

Playing as Zero, I know (generally) what he would say to most requests; the haiku equivalent of "Finally a worth challenge!" and so on.

You offer a job

It could be quite difficult

Sounds like a challenge.

How's that?

Posted by WalkerTR77

I was a big fan of the first game and I'm mostly enjoying Borderlands 2. However, every instance of story just makes me groan.

Posted by Mirado

@JonSmith: Bingo. Some other ones that could have fit specific quests (either when you accept, during the quest itself or after turning it in):

A mad man's request / Shoot bullets into his face / Doesn't sound that hard

Go kill bullymongs / Why do their names keep changing? / What's a Bonerfart?

Too arbitrary / Collecting rocks and dancing? / Oh, the stash is here

BNK-3R defeated / Challenging, but I still hunt / Will Jack be worthy?

Roland is secure / Many loaders are now scrap / No challengers found

The more I think about it, the more I wonder why they didn't bother doing this. Especially in the case of zero, you wouldn't need more the one or two lines per quest, so we aren't talking Old Republic levels of VO here. Hell, they had three years.

Posted by JonSmith

@Mirado: Eh, it's a big game. They probably had other priorities. But...

Rats in the sewer / Living like certain reptiles / Not very subtle.

Awful poetry / A horrendous suicide / Scooter learns nothing.

Opportunity / Lies and twisted history / It makes my ears bleed.

An explosive dance / Made Jack quite agitated / Quite enjoyable.

Mordecai's great loss / Death and despair all around / Must make Jack suffer.

I'm kind of enjoying this.

Posted by musclerider
@hbkdx12 said:
 The guy talks all dignified and distinguished and then suddenly he wants to call things bonerfarts out of a silly sense of frustation. Just didn't feel right. But i could easily see someone like scooter saying something completely ludicrous like bonerfart  
For me that was the only reason the joke worked. I found a lot of the characters to be really hit or miss. Jack is fantastic most of the time and some of the sidequest characters are also really great. The way the player characters from the first game are characterized really made me like them even though they weren't really characters in the previous games. Tiny Tina and Ellie were absolutely insufferable and Scooter is just a walking catchphrase.
Posted by Ronald

@connerthekewlkid said:

the last line was by far the best part of the game(not to say the rest of the game wasnt amazing)

Too bad they didn't use the song. Or for me, any song as the game went silent and I had the creepiest ending credits sequence as it was total silence for the whole thing.