Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360) review
"Because sometimes you just have to gun down virtually every living being on a planet."
If I'm playing a sequel to a game I really liked, what I want is pretty simple to describe: More of the same, but with the experience the programmers gained from that first game allowing them to make it bigger and better.
With that said, there's no way for me to describe Borderlands 2 other than "A ROUSING SUCCESS". Congrats, Gearbox, you satisfied my requirements and made me happy!
Wait, wait, that's really not sufficient, is it? A big, awesome game deserves a big, awesome (in my mind) review, so let's dig into why I thought this game was totally righteous.
The original Borderlands came out in 2009 and was a really fun mash-up of first-person shooting and role-playing. You controlled one of four Vault Hunters searching the deadly world of Pandora for one of those vaults -- mysterious locations that open under specific circumstances to supposedly bestow all sorts of awesome stuff upon whomever is there for said opening. You'll shoot your way through wild animals, bandits and military personnel, while gaining levels and putting points into a wide variety of skills to make your character stronger and more capable of contending with the more powerful foes standing in your way. While there aren't many safe havens, those present tend to offer NPCs and quest boards bestowing side-quests that prove useful in acquiring additional experience to get more powerful. A big selling point was the massive number of guns available, as tons were generated as quest rewards or from fallen enemies, treasure chests and vending machines. You had to constantly change equipment, so as to not be stuck dependent upon a formerly awesome weapon made obsolete by the passing of time, but could always count on finding something fun and neat to gun down your foes.
Three years later, we got Borderlands 2, a game that contains all that good stuff, but makes it even better. You'll control one of four (six with DLC) new Vault Hunters on a Pandora that's somehow become even more hellish, solely due to the efforts of one man to make it a better place. Problem is that man, Handsome Jack, is a megalomaniac possessing the god complex to end all god complexes and his plan to improve the world is to kill all "bandits" -- a term he uses to describe anyone who isn't directly aligned with him. His plan to do so? Access another vault, open it and use its inhabitant, a massively powerful being known as "The Warrior" to inflict a good, old-fashioned cleansing upon society.
After some early adventures to get acclimated to things, you'll find yourself in Sanctuary, the rebel stronghold, where you'll discover those Vault Hunters of the first game serve as the leaders of the anti-Jack faction. From there, it's a lengthy quest to try to get to that vault before Jack and prevent him from slaughtering every single person who doesn't live up to his personal standards.
Community review by overdrive (July 19, 2019)
Rob Hamilton is the official drunken master of review writing for Honestgamers.
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