Game Review: Borderlands 2

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 September, 2012, 2:07pm

Borderlands 2 Gearbox Borderlands 2 takes hardcore gaming fans back to the chaotic frontier world of Pandora for a second helping of sci-fi first-person-shooting fun.

The first Borderlands (2009) was a true original that successfully merged two genres, the first-person shooter (FPS) and the role-playing game (RPG), into a fun and addictive game. FPS fans got all the shooting action they could have hoped for, while those into RPGs got the character levelling-up and looting they loved. What the original lacked, however, was some meat on the skeleton of a storyline - such as interaction and dialogue between non-playable characters (NPCs).

Borderlands 2 is set five years after the events of the first game and revolves around the machinations of the evil Hyperion corporation and its tyrannical CEO, the narcissistic Handsome Jack who has taken over the planet and is looking for a long-lost alien vault that is said to contain advanced technology. As one of four new vault hunters, the player teams up with the Resistance to stop Jack getting his hands on the vault. Cue battles with monsters, evil robots and wasteland bandits.

There are four character classes to choose from: Gunzerker, a standard grunt who can wield two weapons; Assassin, who kills from afar with a sniper shot or up close with a sword; Siren, a wizard with elemental powers; and Commando, a bruiser type who can inflict - and survive - serious damage.

The vibrant comic book-influenced art is a welcome change from the usual dull, low-contrast visuals seen in most FPS.

There are many multi-player options and finding other gamers has been made easier. Online matchmaking is offered to help players find opponents of similar level strength or quest progression, plus players can search for open games if they need help or want to repeat a mission or adventure.

Borderlands 2 plays to its predecessor's strengths while making improvements on its weaknesses, giving gamers a literal blast in the monster-filled world of Pandora. There's lots to shoot, kill, maim and blow up - and an incredible story as well.

James Whittle