Reviews by FavoredHorizon

91

Improvements in the FPSRPG field

FavoredHorizon | June 5, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2

When this game was announced, I was very excited by the idea of more Borderlands in my life, especially coming of after finishing the first game and playing through all the DLC available for that game. I really got into the hype of this game, all the trailers and all the information they had promised to us, more focused on storytelling and other aspects. When this game came out and I first played it for around 5 hours strait, you can really how their promises of storytelling panned out, with the introduction of a main antagonist for the player to hate but, with clever writing, also really love right of the bat. The inclusion of Handsome Jack was one of utter genius, giving us a antagonist that we were meant to really hate with a passion and want him dead, but also really enjoyed anytime he came up on our HUD, with his fantastic dialogue. Anthony Burch (lead writer for Borderlands 2) and his writing team, really fleshed out a character that was one, if not, the best antagonist in gaming this year, when the game was released, including the like of Vaas from Far Cry. With his dark humour and consent harassment of the player, you can see why people really like the character, and his own a pony made of diamonds named Butt Stalion, how can you argue with that.

Sticking to the same formula as the first game, with the same shell-shaded art style and hybrid of first person shooting, mixed in with RPG elements of skill trees and other skills to learn, this is a mixture that know one should pass up on. The art team have to be given enormous credit for their work with the art style and branching out from the greys and browns of the first game, really trying to mix up the formula, with you traversing vast areas, each different in their own way. You be traveling through snow tundras to wild west themed towns and even atop a Dam. All of these different environments make for a better, less repetitive experience, which the first game suffered from because of the lack of variety in the location you traveled to. Even though they stuck to the same formula as the first game with the FPSRPG hybrid idea, it works with the team adding more elements into the mixture, with the inclusion of Badass ranks. This is basically a challenge system that gives the players goals to complete while playing through the numerous missions of the campaign. This is great inclusion because it encourages players to continue playing the game, all be it, in different ways, like one to find different NPCs scattered around the map. This system rewards the players who go out their way to complete this challenges, by rewarding them with 'Badass Tokens' which can be used to upgrade certain stats within the game. All be it small upgrades 'Badass Ranks' are unlimited meaning you could earn quite a lot of tokens by the end of your playthrough. Another good inclusion, is the fact that the stats you upgrade carry over through each playthrough and even when making other characters as well. But for the purist players, this feature can be turned of at any point through the game.

There are some parts that keep it from making a perfect score for me, the main point being the system used to keep track of my progress in the games story. To many times have my save files gotten messed up, due to me playing in a friends game and completing some story missions, then coming back to my game, where the save file has thought I had not done the mission and will have to do the entire mission again, just to be back at the point where I left of before. I know that they have released a patch that fixes this problem but it should not have been there in the first place, a game focused and co-op experience really should not have these problems. People will say, "why does it matter, you then just to continue playing with a friend", I say that this game is focused towards co-op but it can be played on single player, which I think is necessary because what if your friends aren't online and you want to play. That is the only reason the score is not 100, due to this small, little problem.

So, in summary, I really like the fact that, they have not changed the formula like some gaming developers might have done, but instead have gone with adding some elements into the formula that makes the game have a fun meta-game built within, with 'Badass ranks', the art team really changing up the environments, adding in new places to explore that we had never seen in the first game and really focusing on the story, with the inclusion of a fantastically written antagonist that really hate, but also love just listening to what he will say next. Since Gearbox announced the season pass is for sale, meaning four new expansion packs will be on the way (three already released), it really shows they are committed to these franchise, who knows what Gearbox have got planned for the future. This game has really set the bar for how storytelling and great characters can make a game, not just gameplay (although that is important). Borderlands 3 will hopefully be the new barsetter in the FPSRPG market for all game companies to try and beat. Your move, other companies!