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whatshot Borderlands 2 PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Borderlands 2
Reviewed by
Jamie Kirk
on
Borderlands 2 PS3 Review. Compared to the grimy, gritty realism of most shooters these days, Borderlands 2 plays refreshingly against these types while still delivering a rewarding gameplay experience. Once you enter Pandora, you might find that you donít want to leave, and that is by no means a bad thing
Rating:
4.5

Gameplay 9.0
Graphics 9.0
Sound 9.0
Value 9.0
Developer: Gearbox
Publisher:
2K Games
Review Date:
Oct 2012

9.0


Borderlands 2 

Borderlands 2 takes every aspect of the first game and blows it up. Everything here is bigger and much of it is better. Many of the minor quibbles people had with the first game have been addressed. In fact, the only thing Borderlands 2 doesnít have on its predecessor is the surprise impact of the first game. That shouldnít matter though, as there is a lot to see and do on the world of Pandora. 

The story takes place five years after the original game, and the playable characters are all new additions. The protagonists of Borderlands make a return, and although they are not playable, their roles are greatly expanded in the sequel, and they serve a greater narrative purpose here than they did in the first game. The story was something that some took issue with in the first game, and Gearbox has injected the sequel with a beefed up narrative, including an antagonist in Handsome Jack, that is equal parts smarmy and ruthless.  Borderlands 2 carries on the tradition of the first games incredibly silly humor. The characters dialogue sparkles, and the voice acting is strong across the board. Conversations are lively and the snippets of dialogue from enemies as you gun them down are at times, hilarious. Its sense of humor may not be for everyone, but it goes a long way towards creating a dynamic, lively game world. 

Gameplay wise, the loot focused shoot-em-up style of the first game is largely similar, just greatly increased and improved. The lack of variety in the desert wasteland is immediately addressed, as the player starts out in a snow covered landscape left to fend for themselves, before discovering a vast array of locales as the game progresses. The art style is, at times, spectacular and the increased variety on offer gives the game a chance to show what its engine is made of. The game world is vast, and there are many places off the beaten path of the main story to explore, and players who do explore the world of Pandora will be rewarded with a whole mess of loot, and a wide range of character upgrades and bonuses, thanks to the ĎBad Assí system and the branching skill trees that belong to each class of character.  

Loot was the main ingredient that made Borderlands so compelling, and Borderlands 2 ups the ante significantly, with vast riches to be discovered all over the game in the form of shields and weapons. Managing an inventory has never been as fun as it is in Borderlands 2, as players will constantly come across new ways to inflict pain on the wide variety of bad guys that inhabits Pandora. The sheer scope of weapons on offer is rather incredible, and the fact that they all have their different feels, uses and entertainment value is very refreshing.   Once said guns are obtained, the opportunities to use them come thick and fast. The enemy AI, while having received a tune up from the first game, is still fairly standard stuff, but the amount of enemies that come at you is impressive, as the game rarely experiences slow down in even the most intense of battle sequences. 

Of course, one of the main draw points of the Borderlands franchise is playing with a friend, and Borderlands 2 ensures a quick, painless experience to share the joy of shooting the inhabitants of Pandora in the face. At any time the game can be paused and the network settings can be changed. Friends can be invited in or the session can be made available to the public. The trade system for loot that has been implemented works well, so players can give each other items without running the risk of losing them to sneaky online companions.  

There is a lot to do in Borderlands 2, and even finishing the main story opens up additional quests, and the possibility to go back and pursue any side-quests that may have been missed the first time around. If there is one thing the game delivers in spades apart from its quantity, itís fun. Compared to the grimy, gritty realism of most shooters these days, Borderlands 2 plays refreshingly against these types while still delivering a rewarding gameplay experience. Once you enter Pandora, you might find that you donít want to leave, and that is by no means a bad thing





 

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