Alright, guys and gals, time for another After the Fad Review. This is where I review a game I didn’t play when it was new, and am just picking it up years after release.
Today’s review is for Borderlands 2, a critically acclaimed “open-world” first person shooter with rpg elements. I was drawn to this game due to the nearly endless amounts of loot, and I often enjoy MMO style games that require a lot of grinding for top level loot.
First off, the most important part of Borderlands 2, as with most shooters, is the gunplay mechanics. Shooting down the various baddies is freaking fun, to say the least. Even though the physics aren’t on par with many newer games, the mobility and satisfaction of taking down enemies makes up for it. The enemy variety is also some of the best I’ve seen. The problem though is the different enemies alway spawn together, so there are almost always the enemies that run towards you suicidally, easy to kill enemies, and bullet-sponge enemies. This means the same tactics will work on almost all main groups of enemies, except animals and mini-bosses.
The story is fun, and Handsome Jack is one of the best “love-to-hate” villains of all time. Clap-trap is hilarious, and I even found characters that other players hated fun. My biggest problem with the story is eventually, though all kinds of crazy things happened and everyone was in danger, I had to force myself to keep playing and finish the game. I reached several points where I just didn’t care anymore. On top of that, I found the late game gameplay very tedious in having to switch between weapons every few seconds to use the different elemental abilites with slag, a type of weapon that causes other weapons to do more damage.
I think the main reason I stopped caring about the story is because I found none of the characters compelling. Though they are all fun, most of them seem like bad parodies of video game and real world stereotypes taken to the extreme. Because of this, I didn’t really care about saving any of them because there is no real relationship between the player and the NPCs.
The loot system is excellent, and finding a chest full of powerful guns and grenades after a grueling boss fight is a very rewarding experience. Co-op is tons of fun, and makes combining different elemental effects on enemies easier. Having a variety of classes slowing enemies, dropping turrets, and cloaking to flank enemies all at once is incredible fun, and makes playing solo seem like a bland affair.
Overall I really enjoyed my time with Borderlands 2, even though it never hooked me the way I would have liked. It is a truly fun game with more than enough content to satisfy in the base game, not to mention the huge amount of DLC available. I’m really excited to see what Borderlands 3 will be (no, the pre-sequel doesn’t count).
AFTER THE FAD REVIEW: BORDERLANDS 2
FINAL SCORE: 7/10