When Borderlands hit our consoles back in 2009 it brought with it a refreshing but not totally original look and feel to the FPS genre.
I personally liked it, but didn`t love it, so I was intrigued to find out what 2K games and Gearbox Software had come up with the sequel Borderlands 2.
The plot is set five years after the original; you are a member of team of Vault Hunters lured into a trap by a character called Handsome Jack by using a booby trapped train.
You and your team are rescued by Claptrap a talkative robot who guides them to safety.
The mission is simple - find the character Handsome Jack, and rescue the leader of the resistance Roland.
Well folks it’s more or less the same as the original with a few tweaks. This is not a bad thing mind as it is good fun, and has a massive campaign that is great value for money.
You can play as one of four characters each with different skills, from then on you enter the game and take on a wide variety of tasks given to you buy either certain AI characters or through bounty boards.
On completion you receive experience points, money or even a reward item.
If you have played the first outing of Borderlands then all this will sound familiar, the developers have stuck with the collection system in the new version, where the name of the game is to collect money and weapons as you progress, it’s all about upgrading and that’s a good thing.
Borderlands 2 is about the weapons with what seems like an endless supply of mayhem producing bottom kicking hardware .
This is FPS (or Role Playing Shooter as Gearbox like to call it) heaven.
As you progress you’re awarded skill points and these are used in your skill tree to increase your abilities.
The upgrade menu is readily available and you find yourself constantly returning to upgrade either your character or weapons.
The amazing thing about the weaponry in this game is the endless variations; you can either find weapons from downed enemies, chests or from quests each time the statistics are randomly generated which can mean a phenomenal amount of choices.
Features like four players online play, class mods and the three branch skill trees have returned from the original Borderlands, but with better weaponry and better vehicles this is a vast improvement.
The AI enemies are much smarter as well, with injured enemies taking cover and even working as a team and trying to outflank you, and there are an incredible amount of different creatures, robots and humanoid enemies to kill, each with a particular skill which adds to the enjoyment.
The whole point of Borderlands 2 is fun and mayhem, you roam about a vast world called Pandora killing and blowing up stuff, collecting money and upgrades as you go, and it can be a bit of a challenge as each area is populated with different and sometimes difficult situations.
The game is the usual format you fight your way through a level come across a boss kill him then move on.
The re-spawning element can be a bit of a pain, especially if you are at the end of a level and you get killed, you can end up miles away and have to walk all the way back.
The good thing is that at least the enemies you killed before are still dead so no need to re-fight the battle.
Another annoying element is that if you quit the game and save it, when you return all the enemies you killed previously have returned yet the quest hasn`t changed, I found it best to just run past them all until I reached the point where I left off.
Borderlands 2 is great value for money with a massive campaign and great multiplayer elements, the constant action and quests make for an all-round entertaining and engrossing experience, with great characters, graphics and gameplay this is one of the better FPS games to come out in a good while. If you like shooting and blowing up stuff then Borderlands 2 has it all!
Developers: Gearbox software
Publishers: 2K Games
Genre: First Person Shooter
Release Date: 21st September 2012