Borderlands 2: A Game I Play Way Too Much

The following article first appeared on the original Nerdburgh site.

Hi, my name is Dave and I’m addicted to Borderlands 2.

So it's 3AM and I've had my Xbox 360 controller in my hand for the past 5 hours. The game that’s kept me up and, most importantly, kept my attention is Borderlands 2. Without a doubt, Borderlands 2 has definitely proven to be one of my top 10 games and, I will admit, I’m addicted. With plenty of intense action and a compelling, comedy filled story; this cartoon-like first person shooter (FPS) has matched, if not surpassed, what the first Borderlands had accomplished.

When you first start Borderlands 2, you wake up surrounded by debris from a recent train crash. Yes, you were on that train and yes, it was meant to kill you and your Vault Hunter allies. You come across a yellow and black robot once you come to whose intentions are to get off the glacier with the help of his new minion, which is now you. The main Borderlands 2 story all takes place on the planet of Pandora, a vast and rich landscape filled with psychopathic killers, war robots, and plenty of hideous monsters; like the infamous Skag.

You take up the mantle of a “Vault Hunter” who is trying to stop the most evil entity, and ruler of Pandora, Handsome Jack. Side-by-side with the rebel group known as The Crimson Raiders, your desperate struggle to find the key to a mysterious Vault (and stop the annihilation of all life on Pandora from the sacred Warrior) takes you from the glacier to the tundra to the desert and many more areas.

There are four main classes you can choose from when playing the game. There's Zer0, the Assassin, who's a coldblooded killer and master at the art of assassinating people. Maya, the Siren, who's a skilled magic user able to gain control of the battlefield using otherworldly powers. Axton, the Commando, who's a skilled soldier, great for suppressing enemies. Salvador, The Gunzerker, the most bad-ass gun slinging, head bashing, monster the world could ask for, his only intent is to drop bandits, creatures, and robots like flies. In downloadable content they released Gaige the Mecromancer and Krieg the Psycho, both of which are awesome to play but this is about the main story. Maybe we’ll cover DLC one day…. maybe.

BL2 Character.jpg

Each class gets its own set of skills and each one brings something to the table that makes the game play different. Each character has a unique skill tree set with special powers or weapons that makes each one worth playing and exploring while taking down the evil that plagues Pandora. Experience points will let you obtain new levels as you play. When you reach level 5, you receive your first skill point. From now on, each new level will give you an additional point. The first one will have to be spent on the Action Skill. It's a special skill, unique for each character. In the brackets you will find the cool down time.

Character customization and "Badass Ranks" are great additions to this game. When you complete given challenges, your badass rank will increase. The challenges are divided into categories, in which you advance to further level (with a maximum of five.) There's an easy rule: the higher the level, the harder it is to complete it.

Badass Ranks are personal ranks you acquire through doing challenges such as "Kill 25 Skags" or "Deal 100,000 electrocute damage", while each challenge completed will move you closer towards achieving a Badass Rank, and a Badass Token. Badass Tokens can be redeemed for stat bonuses such as increased maximum health or elemental damage. The amount of Badass ranks you can get is practically infinite.


One of the fun parts of the game is that you can change the look of your character using different skins that you pick up or download. The skins will change the look of your helmet, head attire, outfit, or shirt. You can easily change your look at any of the quick-change stations throughout the game. On top of changing your look, you can also change the look of your vehicles. You just have to go to any of the “Catch-A-Ride” locations and choose your vehicle type and the look.

Borderlands 2 offers a huge selection of gear and equipment that come in different levels of rarity going from most common to rarest in the order of white, green, blue, purple and orange. As seen in one of the games quick tips, "just remember, When Grandma Burps, Patrick Obeys" which is an acronym to remember the order of rarity.
 

Some of the equipment you can come across as you play Borderlands 2 are “Relics,” a special item that grants the user invaluable bonuses depending on your play style. Then there are class-mods, which increase stats and, sometimes, skills. Shields are one of the most important aspects of the game that keep you alive, adding extra protection on top of the health you already have. Some shields offer special bonuses, for example: when your shield is depleted, you become a living nova constantly exploding for a set amount of time killing anything near you. Just remember another priceless tip from Borderlands 2 "Shields are just like friends, the best ones come with additional benefits."

Last but not least is the ever effective and essential grenade mod! Grenade mods enhance your average grenade to unimaginable heights. The grenade mods work similar to a shield, in which the better grenade mods offer additional benefits such as pulling any enemies in the area toward the grenade before a devastating explosion (which I prefer), causing corrosive, shock, fire or additional explosive damage are other ways you can wreck opponents with more then just a standard grenade boom.

Guns! Borderlands 2 offers a massive selection of weapons from several gun company's ranging from "Maliwan" to "Tediore" with each company making its own style of weapons. For example, Milawan weapons are always elemental, like corrosive, which are great against robots, or fire, which is great against flesh. Borderlands 2 has thousands if not millions of different guns, so don't be afraid to take some time to run around a section for a while to level up and loot everything possible. After all, that’s part of the games attraction.

 

A new, and welcome, addition not seen in the first Borderlands is the black market. This is a system of trading a rare mineral called Eridian, only obtainable by opening containers, quest rewards, and killing enemies. In the black market, you mainly buy storage upgrades such as how much ammo you can hold for each gun type, how many grenades you can carry, and you can increase bag space. The black market can only be accessed from the city of Sanctuary near Moxxi’s.

The feel of the gameplay and controls haven't changed much since Borderlands, which is a boon when playing the game. The ease of gameplay is extremely nice with little glitches to find and everything fairly easy to understand. The immense open world concept of Borderlands 2 allows players to explore as much as they wish giving a lot of opportunities in the game.

Borderlands 2 offers a normal mode or “Vault Hunter” mode. The normal mode is a playthrough of the game that takes you from level 1 to around 30 to 35. Vault Hunter mode is a second playthrough of the game allowing you reach level 50, the max level without DLC. Vault Hunter difficulty is much harder than normal, of course, requiring teammates to help you accomplish certain missions or objectives.

Multiplayer, the foundation of most popular games, plays a big part in this game as well.There are a team of 4 Vault Hunters so a team of 4 can be in a game at any given time. The more players in a game, the harder the enemies are, and the better the loot!  With all the rare loot, you can get with a team that is bound to be in a bit of a squabble to grab that rare orange or close to rare purple item. If someone takes that awesome weapon you fought so hardly to get, you can always challenge someone to a duel while wagering that particular item. This dueling system makes team play not only fun but is a cool way to challenge a friend.

Borderlands 2 has far exceeded my expectations as I generally don’t pick up a game once I’ve beaten it and I very rarely download all the DLC. With my several hours and multiple levels of gameplay, I can safely say that Borderlands 2 was masterfully done and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to have an extremely action-packed adventure.  I do also suggest the DLC packages for the game as they are immensely fun as well as thought out and add so much great loot, skins, and new story to the main game.

This game gets a 9.5 out of 10 and most of that score is just for the time you get to spend with Tiny Tina. Go out and get this game if you haven’t since its release in 2012.
 

Borderlands 2 released September 18th 2012 on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. DLC (Downloadable Content) available for extending your gameplay.