Holy tits! It’s once again that time of year for the console gaming community to rejoice and pay homage to developers who provide us with badass titles to endlessly crank on until our digits are nothing more than boney stumps and our friends and loved ones have declared us legally brain dead. The Fall season brings it’s usual onslaught of video games, spread out from now through the holiday season. Kicking off my giddiness which will carry through New Years’ is Borderlands 2.
Now, if you’re a self declared “avid gamer” such as myself and you haven’t played the original Borderlands, you’re seriously missing an amazing experience. Picking up where the original (kind of) left off, time has moved along and you’re a new Vault Hunter arriving to the world of Pandora to find some awesome loot and rip the faces off of your enemies via pistols, assault and sniper rifles, rocket launchers, shotguns, grenades and some old school fisticuffs. As far as the dynamics of a FPS co-op game are concerned, Borderlands 2 doesn’t add anything new and amazing from the original. The four main classes (Assassin, Soldier, Siren and Gunzerker) are tweaked versions from its predecessor, mainly for the purpose of balancing out how classes can be customized and how well they work together (if you actually have any friends to play with, loser) when all are present.
A few key points make Borderlands 2 one of the best co-op gaming experiences I’ve had since Halo 3. For starters, the drop-in, drop-out feature for friends and the online community is key for a game like this and it’s done flawlessly. Granted, if your friend who happens to be a shittier level than you hops in your game, they’ll promptly get their asses handed to them on a regular basis, but having multiple characters for situations such as this helps out. Leveling up your characters works exactly the same as it did before, assigning your points to an assortment of various skills in three specifies trees which you can access here to fuck around with before you spend your earnings on shit you didn’t want in the first place. Also, for when you happen to be playing drunk or high as fuck and mess everything up, you can always respec your points and start back from scratch for a price.
Another aspect that makes Borderlands 2 such an enjoyable experience are the characters and storytelling throughout the game. Again, if you had the luxury of cranking on the first one, a butt-ton of old friends are thrown back into the fray of things, sending you out on ridiculous missions that have their fair share of “what the fuck” moments and laughs. A ton of geek time went into designing characters and missions, dropping players with references into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dr. Who (just to name the ones I’ve come across thus far). The apparent time that was spent on writing, character development and voice acting will keep everyone smiling an laughing for hours on end. Even after going back and replaying missions with friends, I am still catching new things in dialogue that I hadn’t paid close enough attention to the first time around. I will admit that playing Borderlands will allow you to know more about how some of the characters got to where they are now, it’s not completely necessary. Just remember, when the rest of your friends are laughing and clearly having a better time playing than you are, it’s because you’re a lazy asshat you decided to skip the first one.
Now, for the single reason you’ll be shunning your friends, family an loved ones for the next one hundred-plus hours, glued to a glowing screen and losing more skin pigment than the dude from Powder: loot. The awesome people at Gearbox decided to outdo themselves this time around and add even more variations to the guns that originally existed, allowing players to endlessly hunt for the best gear they can find, and it doesn’t end with just guns. Grenade mods, class specific enhancements, shields, custom skins and more will have you playing until you’ve been medically diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which at that point, you might as well finish the goddamn game. Better yet, the more friends playing along side you, the greater the chance of dropping more rare loot. And if you happen to be sad and friendless, you can always take a shot at online matchmaking and pray that the chode you’re currently playing with doesn’t grab all your loot and peace out. Every weapons crate you come across as the chance to hold something more amazing than what you’re rocking at any given time or be as useful as your sexual reproductive organs after the age of 75, at which point you sell that shit and horde money. It’s a win/win scenario for all!
As I’m currently writing this, I have my Gunzerker class up to a level 26 and the story is still far from over. I haven’t the chance to start games with any other the other classes so only time will tell as to how much I like them in comparison to screaming retard of a character I’m currently throwing down with. But with all kidding aside (which rarely fucking occurs), a video game of this magnitude that is well thought out, designed and developed and happens to not be a shit-tastic Call of Duty ripoff doesn’t come around often. This is a well-thought out and produced FPS role-playing game was made with nothing but the fans in mind. This rarely happens in an industry that is now churning out sequels faster than octo-mom can birth children. So kick back with friends or complete strangers online (prepare have your loot stolen) and remember what it feels like to have fun playing a first person shooter.
If you steal my loot, I’ll burn down your house (for real),