Borderlands 2 Review

Borderlands 2 has a huge range of DLC. What's worth buying, and what's worth ignoring?

powerofanime1 (after 8 days 8 hours play time)

553 days ago

Tiny Tina's is brilliant. Most of it's serviceable and all of it's playable. Son of Crawmerax has the least potential but wrings every last drop out of it's limited scope.

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Matt Purslow (after 1 day 2 hours play time)

1049 days ago

Most of Borderlands 2's DLC is perceived to be pretty solid, but Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep is the main one you want to look out for. It's basically the characters playing Dungeons and Dragons, and is every bit as silly as it sounds.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

1. The Story DLC are gold.
2. The character DLC "Psycho Pack" and "Mechromancer Pack" add new, interesting characters.
3. The "Game of the Year Edition" contains:

"Borderlands 2, Borderlands 2 - Captain Scarlett and her Pirate's Booty, Borderlands 2 - Psycho Pack, Borderlands 2: Collector's Edition Pack, Borderlands 2: Creature Slaughterdome, Borderlands 2: Mechromancer Pack, Borderlands 2: Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage, Borderlands 2: Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt, Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, Borderlands 2: Ultimate Vault Hunters Upgrade Pack"

This is the interesting stuff. You don't really need anything else.

4. If you played through everything and don't want to play another game but stick with BL2, get "Borderlands 2: Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2", it's on the thin line between scam and content, it lifts the level cap and adds content. Since it's not part of the GotY and the game acts up in MP, if the DLC don't match between players, only buy this, if you're sure you need it.

5. The "Headhunter" addons add quests. I find 2.99 per pack a bit too expensive. This is basically more of the same for a lot of money.

6. The 0.99 priced DLC only add skins. Buying those is en par with admitting, that you don't have a clue, what you should do with your money.

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How fair are loot drops in Borderlands 2?

powerofanime1 (after 8 days 8 hours play time)

553 days ago

Thumbs down. You get nice weapons sure, but more often then not it's because of bound locations. The RNG just can't seem to give you nice weapons.

_Rnesto (after 5 days 23 hours play time)

553 days ago

When I'm playing B2, feels like playing Diablo II again. But with better graphics. Is like a spiritual succesor. Talk about loot.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

Everything drops loot, most of the loot is rather useless, but there are enough gems in between the crap to make you go "oh nice" once in a while.

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Matt Purslow (after 1 day 2 hours play time)

1049 days ago

They're fair, but you'll spend an inordinate amount of time shifting through the piles of crap to find the gems. I fail to understand why a game with such surface emphasis on being fun and crazy would force a player to compare the stats on every gun dropped to try and find something better. Shooting is cool, reading numbers is not. Just give me a better boomstick and lets be getting on with it.

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Is Borderlands 2 grindy?

powerofanime1 (after 8 days 8 hours play time)

553 days ago

Well, yeah, it's a Shoot 'n' Loot. Grinding is the heart of the game, just as the characters are the soul. A little TOO random to be entirely enjoyable though. I'd prefer a couple thousand weapons that were each and every last one beautiful to play with than 85 Bazillion guns with 84.9 Bazillion of them nothing more than a headache. Hell, a couple hundred might still do the trick.

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Julian Benson (after 15 hours play time)

1049 days ago

Oh God, yes. When I was playing in co-op my friend and I found ourselves having to do loads of dull 'Kill 5 rats'-style quests just to scrape together enough XP to proceed with the main plot. It feels like an MMO world without the thousands of players to keep you company.

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Matt Purslow (after 1 day 2 hours play time)

1049 days ago

To the point of being akin to a Makita GA4530/2 angle grinder (and believe you and me, that bad boy's got a lot of grind in it). Borderlands 2 lacks a great amount of lore, thus quests are not wrapped up in much of a narrative at all. This is a world where killing x amounts of y really feels like that and nothing more.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

The first time through the game is the opposite of grindy. If you do the sidequests, you'll end up with way too much EXP and you'll be over leveled very fast. The "new game plus" is quite grindy, because rare loot doesn't drop too often.

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How good an FPS is Borderlands 2?

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Matt Purslow (after 1 day 2 hours play time)

1049 days ago

As an FPS, Borderlands 2 is genuinely fun. Things are cool to shoot, there's tons of guns among which you'll find something enjoyable to use, and it feels well-designed when playing. It's as an RPG that Borderlands lets itself down; whilst character builds and classes are good, the generic MMO-like questing is patience-trying.

powerofanime1 (after 8 days 8 hours play time)

553 days ago

Very, very good. Really there's nothing to add to that. It's just excellent.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

That's a very generic question.

Weapons are very different. Characters are different. Some shoot in a straight line, some behave weirdly. Let's say every time I pull the trigger, I assume the weapon mechanics work as intended.

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Does Borderlands 2 allow for a good range of character builds?

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Matt Purslow (after 1 day 2 hours play time)

1049 days ago

The class characters in Borderlands 2 offer a great range of play styles, and each has three different skill trees to allow you to build them however you please. You can experiment across all three trees, but the game feels built to focus on one, with only mediocre results being achievable by spreading points across all three. So it does have good builds, but ones that feel determined by the developer rather than the player.

powerofanime1 (after 8 days 8 hours play time)

553 days ago

Yeah, the range is good. But some individual skills clash with the idea of...well, having fun. There are times when it seems the best suggestion for how to use one is "don't". And that's just sad.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

Six characters with three skill trees each. You can mix the skill trees, there are class mods (equip), shields and grenades with different abilities. It's one of the strong points of the game.

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How open is Borderlands 2 to explore?

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Matt Purslow (after 1 day 2 hours play time)

1049 days ago

Borderlands 2 is an open world that's largely open to your own whims. Unlike some other RPGs, Borderlands 2 sticks to a more tradition level-gated system than a scaling one. So whilst you can go everywhere, you'll frequently find yourself in areas filled with enemies far to strong for you, effectively preventing you from going there until you've progressed enough.

powerofanime1 (after 8 days 8 hours play time)

553 days ago

Decently open. You can explore any of the areas they designed at your leisure but there are invisible death walls everywhere. Sometimes I look out from the edge of the map and see what should be a couple-hundred miles of wilderness and mountains (still lovely to see, though) and think "Man, what is out there?" Then I realize, "Oh yeah, nothing."

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

You can (and you will and sometimes will have to) re-visit areas for side quests. The maps branch a lot, some of them are open areas you will want to explore using a vehicle. New areas are usually behind a story gate, but just playing the main quest will probably ignore half of the map.

If you want to find loot cases, you'll need to explore the locations. They are often hidden in not so obvious corners. The parcour mechanics are great, but the game suffers from invisible walls, preventing it from being flawless.

Doing all the side quests will show you most of the map. Loot and funny moments are hidden all over the place.

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How much fun are the weapons in Borderlands 2?

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

This is one of the strongest parts of the game. The weapons are immensely fun, because there are so many different types of weapons with so many different variations. You usually have a) the type (Pistol, for example), then b) the ingame manufacturer, giving the gun a specific set of basic rules (Jacobs guns are usually accurate, powerful and fire fast, but often lack special attributes) and c) a number of special attributes like elemental damage or a weird gun behavior. One assault rifle might fire rockets instead of bullets, there is a shotgun, that doesn't fire buckshot, but a slug that twirls through the air like a spiral.

powerofanime1 (after 8 days 8 hours play time)

553 days ago

The right weapons are incredibly fun. A decent number of them are entertaining. Most seem to exist solely to say "another Wheelgun, this time with .1% more accuracy!" or "Hey, I know ya got 12 Jakobs snipers, but do you have one with 7 in the mag instead of 6 or 10?" It's mostly a matter of sifting through the chaff. Of course, if you are an organized person, enjoy math, or have OCD that can be fun too.

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How funny is Borderlands 2?

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Julian Benson (after 15 hours play time)

1049 days ago

Humour's a really subjective thing and I just didn't find Borderlands 2 funny. The writers have gone for crazy characters but I didn't think any of their jokes were any good. As I said, this is all subjective, I know other people think they're hilarious.

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Matt Purslow (after 1 day 2 hours play time)

1049 days ago

It tries to be funny. It really does. And sometimes it does provide a hilarious laugh-aloud moment. But most of the time I feel I'm in the zone of knowing the game is actively being zany and weird, but not actually being swept up with it.

powerofanime1 (after 8 days 8 hours play time)

553 days ago

To the right crowd, it is incredibly funny. However, the right crowd is a relative minority. The humor is extremely dark, and is clothed in the same apocalyptic desperation that you'd expect from a world populated by the insane. Also, REFERENCES!

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

Borderlands feels like a parody on most SciFi stories. The humor is over the top, it's everything but subtle. It depends on my mood, if I'm up to silly and stupid, BL is my pick. The humor mostly consists of cliché dragged into the mud.

There is a second layer of humor, hidden inside the world design. Sometimes you can look at the environment and understand what happened.

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What is the future like in Borderlands 2?

powerofanime1 (after 8 days 8 hours play time)

553 days ago

Like an extreme version of today -- A hyper-industrialized corporatocracy that responds to the horrible situation everyone else experiences by covering up the hole. With spaceships.

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Matt Purslow (after 1 day 2 hours play time)

1049 days ago

It's all clunky and industrial, with big pipes and smoking engines. But it's also clean and shiny with lasers and robots. Borderlands' future is a mish-mash of various styles, that thanks to the unifying cel-shaded art actually work together nicely.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

It's the B-side of a cyberpunk story. Megacorps rule over human existence, but the game is located on a colony on a remote planet, where people just do as they please, always under the eye of those megacorps. It's high tech, low life.

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Would you want to live in Borderlands 2's world?

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Julian Benson (after 15 hours play time)

1049 days ago

On the one hand, every conceivable container is stashed with cash and loot which no one minds if you steal (at least they don't say anything about it). On the other, every other person you meet is a crazed psychopath with an axe who wants to eat you.

I'm good where I am, thanks!

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Matt Purslow (after 1 day 2 hours play time)

1049 days ago

Are you insane? It's a world full of giant monsters trying to eat you, bounty hunters trying to kill you, and based on an economy entirely fueled by the trading of firearms. Does that sound like Utopia to you? DOES IT?!

powerofanime1 (after 8 days 8 hours play time)

553 days ago

You're kidding right? It's like what they say about the wilderness: "Nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there." Except the only way to make sure you survive that trip is if you're doing it digitally.

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Would you buy at full price or wait for a Borderlands 2 sale?

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Matt Purslow (after 1 day 2 hours play time)

1049 days ago

You get an awful lot of content for your money (30hrs + at minimum), so for full price it's not a bad deal at all. Saying that, the game does have its flaws, and a lot of that game time is going to be repeatedly slugging Skags and sorting out your inventory. A sale price is a great shout and easily recommended; spend some time with some Let's Plays before committing to full price.

powerofanime1 (after 8 days 8 hours play time)

553 days ago

I waited for a sale, but there is a lot of content. It could easily be worth the asking price.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

The GotY is worth the full price. If you're after the mostly useless DLC, wait for a hefty sale. However, the game is on sale so often, buying it all full price rarely makes sense, if you have a minimum of patience.

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How good are the sounds in Borderlands 2?

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Matt Purslow (after 1 day 2 hours play time)

1049 days ago

Matching the comic book look, sounds verge on the onomatopoeia side, with guns going bang and grenades going boom. Everything is loud, over-emphasized, and shouted with a wink. The voice acting is great, evoking the tone of Adult Swim-like cartoons.

powerofanime1 (after 8 days 8 hours play time)

553 days ago

Excellent. Acting is high quality, if seemingly stuck at full volume for a lot of characters, and the sound effects are accurate in the right ways but not the wrong ones. The only problem I actually have with it is the comparatively few lines the player characters get. Which the Pre-Sequel fixed....
At the cost of almost everything else, it seems.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

The sounds are great, the surround works well. You can usually tell by the sound, what happens without looking at it.

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How good are the graphics in Borderlands 2?

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Matt Purslow (after 1 day 2 hours play time)

1049 days ago

Borderlands 2 is a very pretty game. The art style is its greatest asset, and it says a lot that this comic book aesthetic can actually help elongate its life. Because it looks so scrumptious, you'll forgive it some of its problems.

powerofanime1 (after 8 days 8 hours play time)

553 days ago

With it's art style, I'd say graphics are subjective here. Anyone can appreciate a fluidly animated 2D creation, and admire a game with hyper-realism, but things like cel shading won't appeal to everyone. That said the movements are smooth and the aesthetic -- if you can get used to it -- is absolutely delicious.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

The game looks pretty most of the time, within the constrains of the cellshading comic look. The light effects look nice, and even with the rather bland textures, the art style is very pleasant to look at.

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How active is the multiplayer community for Borderlands 2?

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

I wouldn't know, I only play with friends.

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Matt Purslow (after 1 day 2 hours play time)

1049 days ago

Borderlands 2 is still very much a cult favorite, so if you're looking to play a game with strangers, then you'll have no problem buddying up with three other players and taking on the game as a quad.

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How does Borderlands 2 run on your PC?

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Matt Purslow (after 1 day 2 hours play time)

1049 days ago

Borderlands 2 runs without any problems at all; it's a pretty good PC port.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

The game is very moody on Windows. Sometimes it runs like a charm (100+) FPS, sometimes the FPS tank to below 40 at the very same situations it ran perfectly a day before. My BL2 playing friends also have those problems, it's not a matter of PC specs, as it seems.

The game has one quirk: Virtual network devices, like the Virtualbox or VMWare bridges, break the LAN finder. This can be fixed by turning those entries off in Windows.

Both problems don't exist in the Linux version. The FPS on Arch Linux and Ubuntu (both on Nvidia cards and drivers) are rather stable between 55 and 80 FPS and the network stack seems to understand the architecture better, so the LAN mode never acts up.

The game seems to be overall sensitive to moody wifi connections. We have not been able to play the game without lags on anything but wired LAN.

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How good is the Mac port of Borderlands 2?

powerofanime1 (after 8 days 8 hours play time)

553 days ago

It's very good actually.

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How good is the Linux port of Borderlands 2?

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

It's excellent. The performance is only limited by the quality of your drivers. There is nothing, that would annoy the average Linux user. Sound orks well with Pulseaudio and without.

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Why do gamers stop playing Borderlands 2 after playing for many hours

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Matt Purslow (after 1 day 2 hours play time)

1049 days ago

Repetition. Whilst Borderlands frequently swaps zones and provides new encounters, mission design is largely the same throughout the game, and often enemy design repeats too. Playing solo also hinders the experience.

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BaltasarOnMeth(5 days 15 hours played)
1 Year ago
You're simply out of content after some time.
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Why do gamers keep coming back to Borderlands 2

powerofanime1 (after 8 days 8 hours play time)

553 days ago

I'm relatively new to the franchise, actually. Bought it because the characters were so engaging and have not yet run out of enthusiasm even temporarily. Even though I've only seriously played with Gaige (Level 43 or 44 now I think) I have already set up two versions of every playable character. It will sustain me for a very long time I believe.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 3 days 19 hours play time)

382 days ago

1. We (my friends and I, that is), prefer to play games on our Laptops while sitting in the same room. BL2 has a native LAN mode and works offline, even if the internet connection is dead for some reason.

2. Speaking of friends, I have three more or less independent groups of gamer friends, who all play Borderlands from time to time, so we have a player pool of around a dozen players, but the game can only have four at a time.

3. I haven't played all the classes and interesting builds yet.

4. You can simply hop into a friend's game, even if you're not on level. Depending on where you are in the game, after an our or two running after your high level buddy, you'll be high enough yourself to pull your own weight.