Video game corner: Borderlands 2

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By Willem Weinstein

I thoroughly enjoyed Borderlands, developed by Gearbox and published by 2K Games and released in 2009. It features all the aspects that I like in games: a leveling system, up to four-person co-op, increasingly high quality loot and a wicked sense of humor. It is wildly addictive.

Back in mid-2012 when Borderlands 2 came out, I quickly got myself a copy and ran all the way through it with vigor and enthusiasm. I am as happy to report now as I was at the time of release that Borderlands 2 is just as fun and addictive as its predecessor.

Both games have similar mechanics that render them a hybrid between Diablo-esque campaigns and first person shooting games. There are four characters (five, including a downloadable player), each with their own powers, which range from the ability to summon turrets to gun wielding duel capabilities. They all have their own leveling systems in which you can make yourself passively better at killing things.

The main attraction of the game, however, is its gun system. Both Borderlands games utilize a system in which guns are generated with random effects and statistics, like a shotgun that shoots acid or a sniper rifle that lights enemies on fire. This variety in armaments allows for each section of the game to differ because the players don’t know what they’re going to get in terms of loot.

The primary issue in the original game is that it doesn’t have much of a plot. Certainly there is a goal, but that goal is not in accord with the plot. Instead, the goal of Borderlands is simply to get the best loot. The plot is just a driving force designed to take the player from one area to the next, but I never cared for the story itself.

The story of Borderlands 2 can still be summed up as “go here, kill that,” but the sequel features a new villain called Handsome Jack, whose entire purpose is to be obnoxious, mean and arrogant, changing your motivation in the game to finding and murdering him. This works wonders in getting the player invested in more than just exploiting the game for prizes.

As I said before, both Borderlands games are wildly addictive, so much so that I find myself sinking a huge amount of my time into them without getting bored.

However, there is a downside to that. The premise of loot and shoot in Borderlands is very repetitive, a problem that is solved to a certain extent in Borderlands 2 by the introduction of new and exotic characters, but these games can become very redundant and require a particular mindset to want to play through them fully.

This is only a minor complaint, however, compared to everything else this game has to offer.

I would absolutely recommend buying one or both of the Borderlands games.

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