Borderlands 2When Borderlands 2 was first released I'd heard some details of the game on the gaming podcasts that I follow. I was intrigued then, but not enough to want to run out and buy it. The buzz died down somewhat and I put it out of my mind... until the Steam Holiday sale anyways. I snagged it for $30 and actually started playing it before the end of the year.
After putting over 60 hours into the game I think I'm finally satisfied to put it back on the virtual shelf for awhile.
Graphics and Art Style
WritingThe writers for Borderlands 2 deserve some kind of an award, a cookie, a pat on the back, some kind of recognition for what they were able to accomplish. Between the writers and the voice actors, the characters you meet throughout Pandora are all interesting and enjoyable. Their use of humor throughout the game was a little sophomoric at times, but I found that it really added to my experience rather than detract from it. A lot of the dialog is just funny!
I've never played Borderlands 1 so I have to assume the events that are alluded to actually occurred. The villain Handsome Jack is as despicable as they come and made for a very satisfying end to the game.
A quick word about the amount of content in Borderlands 2: there is a lot of it! There are tons of side quests to get lost in, and you can always run around killing respawning mobs (with or without a vehicle). I completed most of the side quests and the main campaign and it took sixty hours. That's bordering on a JRPG in terms of campaign length.
GameplayI usually tend to avoid most FPS games. Part of that comes from despising the lack of innovation that comes from rehashing last years game a la Call of Duty. Another part is the typical focus on competitive multi-player experiences at the expense of a decent satisfying single-player campaign. The last part is that I'm not very good at FPS games; I find I need to spend a lot of time practicing to be good at them. And most times the experience isn't that much fun along the way, I lose interest, and the game is history.
With Borderlands 2, I find the RPG mechanics of leveling up and choosing skills and comparing stats of weapons very rewarding. So much so that I really enjoyed the journey of becoming good at the game. The writing, and the art, and all of the other things I've mentioned combined with the juicy stat choices left me, again, very satisfied.
I'm not fit to review the multiplayer experience. Not only do I dislike having my enjoyment of a game rely on strangers, I didn't actually try it out so it wouldn't be fair to comment on it. The only thing I'll say is that since the multiplayer is co-op rather than competitive (and that the game is so damn fun) looks like it would actually be something I'd like to check out at some point. But with my backlog still teeming with loads more games, it probably won't happen for awhile.