I’ve not witnessed this much death in a video game since Super Mario Bros. — at least for your solo adventure.
And that’s the minor problem with Borderlands 2, perhaps the most impressive game at E3 this past June. It takes a lot of sack to venture this world alone, as Gearbox clearly designed the game’s vast, overly sadistic world of BS2 for co-op play. Hey. and, finally, a game you can actually enjoy locally with an actual friend — and not just some random 13-year old in Tuscaloosa. Split-screen looks awfully nice on a 46-inch or larger, as the game will challenge players a bit more with the double team.
Expect more loot, though!
And that shooting and looting is simply the name of the game. Sure, there’s a story going on and, from what I hear, it’s far better than that of the first game. For whatever wild reason, the Minister never bothered with the original Borderlands; strange since you’d imagine the comic book-inspired graphics and sarcastic, Deadpoolesque humor coming straight out my mega cup of Joe.
Although far different in terms of vibe, Borderlands most compares to Halo — which is probably why this game had a puncher’s chance of standing out next the far heavier volume of that said franchises’s highly-anticipated forth (or sixth if you include Reach and ODST) game. Or maybe it’s just the shitty driving controls. Thankfully, there’s also far more to BS2 than mere toilet humor (and I mean literally, as guns will pop out from the drainage) and its adorably insane characters, like my emo-punk chick Maya, who — as a Siren — has the ability to phase-lock menaces and gun them down at all.
Coolest though, you can take the basics of one characters’ power (Commando heavy artillery, Assassin stealth, etc.) and continuously upgrade using a Badass Ranking system, constantly boosting any types of offense, defense, health and team stats throughout the game. You receive these points from performing various tasks such multiple headshots or finding rare, exotic items. Hell, you’ll spend more time searching under cabin roofs, mountain cliffs, and desert sands for guns, ammo and cash than doing anything else. Because of the constant looting, my Maya ended up a phase-locking sniper who’d have no issues lighting these menacing drones up like a burning Christmas tree.
With that, my shield life was down… hence the dying of a thousand and one deaths.
That — and playing more than half of my campaign solo, incredibly NOT recommended! Or, you’ll just end up like yours truly…with a character far too weak to compete with the countless WAR drones, Hyperion soldiers, Goliath Saturns and multiple Handsome Jacks. You must be at least a level 30 to have a fighting chance near game’s end. I was a 27 (trying to rush this for the review, yo!) and, thus, unable to equip the mega assortment of powerful weapons, grenades, mods and shields I found over in hell.
Life can get really sucky if you choose not to do the side missions. Besides being a lot more humorous than most games, the side shit is a lot more interesting than extra tasks found in, say, Darksiders II or Sleeping Dogs. And, they’re highly necessary! In order to get your guy or girl to the level needed to get through the thick of the madness — this may be one of the hardest “shoot and loot” games ever — you’ll need some heavy powered sniper rifles and over-the-top shock cannons.
Otherwise, your vault hunter will end up stealthily escaping their way through Borderlands’ levels 16 through 18; not fun for a game that relies on burying multiple, seemingly endless, groups of toxic idiots. And why not take the time to eat pizza with four ninjas who just so happen to have the names Mick, Dan, Raph and Lee?
Because it took you nearly a month to get the review out, jackass.