“Borderlands 2” is, if nothing else, deliberate.
It’s still the same basic formula of “shoot man, get fancier gun to better shoot man with,” just polished more thoroughly. The experience, though, is much more entertaining when played with other people. So if you have friends, bother them incessantly until they purchase the game. If you don’t have friends, then stop playing so many videogames by yourself.
Everything about the game has been tuned up. No new ground is being broken in terms of interactive fictional exposition, but the narrative is fairly compelling.
The general plot is as follows: Players aid in the resistance against Handsome Jack, the sleazily charming antagonist who has overhauled some of the desolate planet of Pandora into a sort of totalitarian work-camp utopia.
The game was meticulously created by the developers, and although many of the small details will likely go unnoticed by almost everyone, they are still there for the finding.
“Borderlands 2” possesses a rather strange beauty. As the variety of environments increase, they become more interesting to explore and shoot things in. Even the ramshackle areas of the planet are bright.
And the guns! Oh good heavens, the guns! “Borderlands 2” without guns would be like a ham sandwich without the ham. Shotguns that shoot rockets. Sniper rifles that electrocute things. Pistols that get thrown like grenades when reloaded. There’s such a variety at play here that much of the game will likely be spent deciding what weapon to use.
The best part of the game, however, is that it only gets better. “Borderlands 2” opens slowly, but it never slows down. Enemies become crazier. Landscapes become grander. Guns, naturally, become giddy nonsense.
“Borderlands 2” might not be a brilliant work of art, but the value doesn’t lie there. What makes this game worthwhile is the spirit of video games in one of its purest forms—the screaming madman bellowing his message for all to hear. And woe to his listeners, for his sermon is bullets.