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WeView: Borderlands 2

Better than the original?

In this week’s WeView we return to Pandora to take a look at Borderlands 2. This sequel has quite a mountain to climb, with its predecessor getting a landslide Buy It verdict when it cropped up for WeView. However, when you compare the reviews of the games it looks like Borderlands 2 should come out ahead, with a score of 9/10 compared to Borderlands’ 8/10, but the question, as always, is whether the community will agree.

With a score of 9/10 there’s obviously a lot to like in the game, and Peter started complimented it right off the bat. He began his review by saying that:

Every once in a while, a game comes along that reminds you of exactly why you love videogames. Borderlands 2 is one of those games.

That’s some very high praise for the game, but it really does seem that the game overall does live up to it. From the introductory cutscene which Peter calls “the best I can recall since the first Borderlands intro sequence”, to the enemy AI that’s “gotten a little smarter” since the original, high points abound in the game’s design and systems.

Unfortunately it can’t all be good, and Peter complained that “Vehicles remain an unfortunate low point for the game, with driving controls slightly awkward and uneven surfaces often throwing your vehicle out of control for a brief moment when you were least expecting it.” He felt that in general they “aren’t particularly well utilised” and once you’ve got the fast travel system set up they can be largely put to the side.

He also found some issues with texture pop-in and difficulty spikes but, in general, the positives more than outweigh the negatives, with Peter finding time to highlight the game’s variety of guns, the “seamless co-op” and the writing. In fact he praised the game for having “some of the most intelligently written, self-aware and funny scripting in the medium,” and enjoyed the little touches like “Enemies complaining about losing their equipment as they die”.

While there are some minor niggles with the game, Peter was more than satisfied overall. Ultimately he had this to say about the game:

Borderlands 2 is a joyful experience, full of humour and character. It manages to walk the fine line between silly base humour and a more intelligent wit too, which is something almost unique in videogames. With a narrative that expands on the original storyline in every conceivable way and so many ways to play, different characters to build and so much cooperative fun to be had, it’s hard to see a downside. While there are occasional issues with enemies clipping into scenery and there is some quite noticeable texture fade-in as you enter new areas, it’s nothing that can’t easily be forgiven in a game of this magnitude. Borderlands 2 is one of the unmissable videogame experiences of the year.

And now it’s time to ask you what you thought of the game. Did you find as much to love as Peter, or did you feel that it fell short in more areas than he did? Did it live up to the high bar that the original game set, or could it never reach that same level?

Wherever your feelings on the game fall, you can share them by dropping a comment below. If you want to take part in Monday’s verdict article though you’ll need to have your comment in by Sunday afternoon, and you’ll also need to include a rating for the game from the Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It, Avoid It scale.

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18 Comments
  1. KeRaSh
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    While the second outing couldn’t awake that same addiction that BL1 awoke in me, it’s still a great game with great writing that offers much more variety in the color palette of the accessible areas. I haven’t tried the DLCs,yet but if BL1 is anything to go by, then they should be well worth the money.
    I’d say this is a clear Buy It.

    Comment posted on 05/02/2013 at 09:17.
    • KeRaSh
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      Also worth noting is the fact that they listened to feedback they got from BL1. My main problem with the coop in the original game was the fact that you could only split the screen vertically. Now you have the option to split it horizontally.

      Comment posted on 05/02/2013 at 11:35.
  2. Mithrandir
    Member
    Since: Oct 2012

    I only started playing this game, and I’ve dedicated the entire month of February to it. My first observation: It’s not that much different from the first Borderlands, but that’s not a bad thing.
    Yes, there are a gazillion versions of weapons, but that confuses me more than it helps. Most obvious difference: The highly promoted co-op (even the startup screen tempts you to start co-op rather than Single Player). As I prefer SP myself, I feel like I am missing most of the progress Borderlands 2 has made compared to its predecessor.

    Still, they managed to keep all the good parts of the first game, including the ever-amazing (and even more chaotic) claptrap.

    I can’t believe I for one moment actually believed him when he told me I could rush that electric barrier :-)

    All in all, a very funny, interesting game with many derailed, but well worked-out characters.

    Comment posted on 05/02/2013 at 09:20.
  3. Stev_lewsey
    Member
    Since: Nov 2012

    Ive only recently bought this game after reading the glowing reviews and praise. I have played for a good couple of hours and can honestly say that I really dont like it much at all.

    There seems to be no focus on the missions, just head to a random spot and kill everything to progress. Theres a lot of fetching and carrying to do and I really dont seem to know whats going on.

    I will play it for a bit longer, but it just seems like theres too much to do and no clear sense of direction.

    I love RPG and FPS games, but just cant get into this, I bought it at what I thought was cheap luckily. I would say rent it then decide whether its worth a purchase, I wish I had rented it now.

    Comment posted on 05/02/2013 at 09:27.
  4. kjkg
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    Ahhhhh I wanted to love this so much, I really did. I loved the first Borderlands, my only complaint being the story was poor.

    B2 improves on the story vastly, with it being interesting and handsome Jack being genuinly funny. However, everything else just didn’t feel as nice. The areas felt a bit too large I think, the missions felt long winded and tedious and the “baddies” were dull.

    Saying all that, I still loved it, I think I just compared it heavily to the original and it just doesn’t match up.

    RENT IT.

    Comment posted on 05/02/2013 at 09:27.
  5. Kitch
    Member
    Since: Aug 2008

    Buy it. Then meet 3 other mates online and love it. The co-op is a lot smoother than the original. The script is funny and original and some of the characters will have you in stitches.

    Comment posted on 05/02/2013 at 09:41.
  6. LTG Davey
    andUandU
    Since: Aug 2008

    Great art style, stacks of content, hilarious storyline and challenging gameplay; yup, Borderlands 2 is the complete package. Pretty much essential if you love co-op shooters. BUY IT!

    Comment posted on 05/02/2013 at 10:04.
  7. Moshbag
    Member
    Since: Nov 2011

    It’s a great game with a well integrated co-op element, but like the original Borderlands I equate it to a large banquet of chinese takeaway, the further I got in the less satisfying and more onerous it got. My co-op partner and I had the intention of working through the story and trophies, then maybe getting the season pass when we clocked it, but by the end we were both completely done with the game, capped off by yet another terrible ending. Having said that I think I probably got my money’s worth, so if the game appeals to you then Buy It, but try not to let it outstay its welcome.

    Comment posted on 05/02/2013 at 10:40.
  8. parryman
    Member
    Since: Apr 2012

    Buy it.
    It certainly is more of the same following on from BL1, but BIGGER LOUDER SHINIER.
    Most fun you can have with your clothes on, with 3 randoms for some online co-op action and full-on hilarity

    Comment posted on 05/02/2013 at 10:40.
  9. psychobudgie
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    Bigger, brighter and explodier than it’s predecessor. Better script, better characters and better gameplay. More content than you can shake a hairy stick at and more guns than America.

    Great as a single player experience, great as a multi-player/co-op experience and did I mention guns and explosions?

    What is not to love? Buy it and while you are at it, buy the add-ons.

    Comment posted on 05/02/2013 at 11:52.
  10. aerobes
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    Better than the original? Certainly not as enjoyable. Oft times a chore and a script that tries too hard makes for a fairly tedious experience and one that I couldn’t even muster the desire to finish after listing the original as one of my favourite games of this generation. Memories, tarnished. Having not finished it I won’t offer a verdict suffice to say that I was and remain wholly unimpressed.

    Comment posted on 05/02/2013 at 13:15.

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