On Freud, Steroids and Red Bull: Borderlands 2 Reviewed

12:11 pm by admin. Filed under: Uncategorized

While we sit in anguish and wait for (possibly the last) iteration of the Call of Duty franchise on the console (at least for this generation’s models), we find what is arguably the most intelligent, most compelling first-person-shooter on the console today.

Yes, dear reader. Everyone’s favorite first-person-shooter role-playing game returns once again; in all its cell-shaded blood and gore is back. But is it any good? We find out.


One More Run at Pandora

            Borderlands 2, one of the season’s most anticipated games comes back to the PS3 and the X-box 360. The game is set about five years from the events of the last game. We wake up to find our slew of Vault Hunters surviving a massive train crash, elegantly orchestrated by Handsome Jack.

From there, the story moves on to the consequent destruction of the rest of Pandora and the eminent rise of the archetypal rebel force called the Crimson Raiders. While the graphics has retained the graphic novel look, the storyline and the characterization (the two weakest links of the 2009 cult classic) have been much improved. There’s an actual story here and the sarcastic catch-phrases (even from the Bandits) are worth more than the price of admission.

In this game, we still play as any of the four Vault Hunters (with a fifth one available only through exclusive downloads). The, uh, handsome brute that was once Brick is replaced by the steroid-pumping, Freudian-cliché berserker, called Salvador who has the ability to wield any two guns in a haze of bloodlust and drugs.

Roland assumes command of the Crimson Raiders and is replaced by Axton, somewhat a cross between Metal Gear’s Solid Snake and that midget from Metal Slug. Another siren, Maya is still up for grabs. Mordecai, the elite sniper from the original now appears as a non-playable character. In his place stands Zer0, billeted as “The Number” whose action skill causes massive imbalance on the battlefield.


Gunslingers’ Galore

            The game still uses an intelligent system to constantly spawn a wide number of guns taken from any number of possible combinations of attributes such as weapons damage, reload speed and recoil. Gearbox even had to invent a whole new number to describe the number of shotguns, rifles, pistols and SMGs available from the six gun-running companies (from our early testing, we find anywhere between 17 to 35 million possible guns).

As in the original, the genius of the game lies on the sheer number of possible character builds. Gearbox also introduced various elemental weapons that can help even the worst blokes make short work of the tougher boss battles.


Plan a Weekend

            Borderlands 2 is a solid contender for game of the year in our books (and a lot of gaming sites seem to agree on this one). Plan an entire weekend of play just for this title as a few quick bursts of play are never nearly enough for the addictive story missions. Call over your mates; break out the Red Bull and start shooting.

While you’re at it, try not to tug on your controllers or spill a few drinks on your PS3. Overheating game consoles can be a real bummer, you know.

If you grew up humming Billy Joel or Queen; if Clint Eastwood’s movies speak to you (in a way you’d be too embarrassed to admit now); if rock and roll ever meant a thing to you – then Borderlands 2 is the perfect game for you.