Borderlands 2 Preview - March 16th 2012

Some people said it was insane to try and incorporate major levelling elements of an RPG and combine them with an open world multiplayer first person shooter. The people at Gearbox sought to prove them wrong and gave us Borderlands, a game that boasts insanity by the bucket load.

The first Borderlands came out in 2007 and was dubbed by its creators as a 'Role-playing shooter'. Unlike most shooters though, where the player's skill alone determines their success within the game, Borderlands has you consider additional factors: Classes, each with multiple skill trees and thus several different character builds, weapon specialisation, not to mention the near infinite number of randomly generated guns that could be picked up throughout the game. To put none too fine a point on it, the game did really well. This wealth of content, unique play style and weird sense of humour gave Borderlands a type of appeal all its own. And people were salivating at the mouth in anticipation of a sequel. Well now the wait is over, as Borderlands 2 is just around the corner.

Green has been added to the colour palette.

Borderlands 2 picks up where the last game left of, giving us a new cast of characters to play with as well as a new villain to beat. And encouragingly, the flaws present in the first game are being worked out for the sequel. The vehicle physics are being improved, as is the enemy AI. Instead of running at you like raving lunatics, some tougher enemies will use strategy and have some form of survival instinct. Unless they are actually psychos, in which case they'll be riddled with painful bullets regardless. Plus, there are a whole bunch of other gun mechanics that you can play with, including a disposable gun that doubles up as a grenade when it runs out of ammo. Gameplay seems to be very similar to the first game, only streamlined with all of the creases furiously ironed out.

So what's the hook? What is happening on Pandora that would cause another four people to go out and blow the crap out of anything that moves? Pandora is five years older and since the destruction of the Destroyer at the hands of the Vault Hunters the planet has returned to what passes for peace on the lawless dust ball. However, not all is well, since all of the fame and fortune that could have been littered down on our four heroes for saving the entire galaxy from utter destruction has been usurped, all by a wealthy and good looking industrialist called Handsome Jack. Jack has taken all credit for destroying the creature that once dwelled in the vault, as well as all the financial rewards and corporal benefits that come from such a reputation.

Reports of a nuke gun are highly exaggerated.

Now, CEO of Hyperion, Handsome Jack has his sights set on Pandora, industrialising it and becoming even more wealthy and powerful than a man with a giant H shaped base on the planet's moon already is. Jack intends to wipe out all life on the planet in order to turn every square inch of land into factories for Hyperion. To be honest, personally, I'd let him have this one, after spending a fair bit of time on Pandora, I'd sooner wash my hands of the place and let him do what he wants with it. But then we wouldn't have much a game now would we? Four brand new heroes have taken exception to Handsome Jack's jet setting and have set out to stop him and put things right. Borderlands 2 gives us The Commando (Axton), The Assassin (Zer0), the Gunzerker (Salvador) and another, different kind of Siren (Maya).

1 - 2 - Next



2K Games
Gearbox Software
21st September 2012
PC PS3 360