Not every game is created equal. Sometimes there are titles that get only one or two of us excited and then there are titles where the whole staff wants to get in on the action but like Highlander, “there can be only one” official review. The Peanut Gallery lets the rest of our staff give their thoughts on the biggest of the big titles. This time we look at Borderlands 2 (you can read the official review here).
Megan Salisbury – Community Manager
“Want to hear my new dubstep song? Wub wub wub wub wub wub wub drop!”
Everyone’s favorite robot is back in Borderlands 2 as well as copious amounts of new loot, hilarious humor, and intense action. All I can say is wow, Borderlands 2 doesn’t fail to deliver. Soloing the game is fun and the entire game is just better and more polished than its predecessor. Customizing your character has gotten better with new skill trees and the badass rank system. The environments add a new flavor to the game as they change from a barren desert to icy snow caps. Borderlands 2 is just spectacular!
If you like playing with friends and killing things then Borderlands 2 is a must have. Just be prepared to joypuke your face off.
Don Parsons – Public Relations Manager
My wife thinks I am remembering things wrong, but I remember changing my weapons every half hour or so in the original Borderlands. Every hour, I’m pretty sure I had a whole new set of weapons to play with. By that, I mean better weapons. In Borderlands 2, I have now had the same assault rifle for the past two to three hours. During that time, I have upgraded my SMG once and sniper rifle once. Gearbox has certainly improved their story-telling in the series, but I’m not happy that out of the one hundred guns I have come across in the past three hours, only three of them were an actual improvement. Oh well. They’ve added a new gun manufacturer, so there’s a new style added to the mix (always a good thing) and the integration of the old characters has been flawlessly executed so far. An overall improvement, with one minor set-back.
Tony Odett – Features Editor
Borderlands 2 is simply better than its predecessor in every measurable way. It has a central plot (yes fans, there is a storyline this time around), a wide variety of crazy characters that are infinitely more alive than they were the first time around (and Tiny Tina, I love you), varied terrain (the universal brown of the first game grew tiresome), a new set of upgrade trees, and, of course, all the guns and loot you could ever wish for. Unlike the first game, the more vibrant world makes Borderlands 2 playable as a single player game, something the first game failed to achieve. Pandora is an awesome and huge place, with vehicles, a wide variety of enemies, and all the death and destruction you could hope for. This is the best FPS game I’ve played all year.
Jeremy Goodson – Managing Editor
I’m can’t narrow down to the single factor that contributed to me actually breaking down and getting Borderlands 2 on launch day. After the lackluster ending that Gearbox left us with in Borderlands 1, I had no intention of picking up this game. The original was fun, but in my opinion it was nothing extraordinary.
I definitely don’t feel that way about the sequel. As of right now, I am currently working my way through Chapter 10, and have been loving the game so far. The controls are tight, the story is spot on, and the gameplay is just really enjoyable. Gearbox has really gone above and beyond my expectations with this one, and for the first time since Kingdoms of Amalur launched in February, I may have a new Game of the Year. We’ll see if I still feel that way after I play Torchlight II.
Chris Scott – Reviews Editor
Nearly everyone I know loved the original Borderlands. I found it to be fun, but highly repetitive, somewhat drab in its presentation, lacking in personality and featuring one of the worst ending bosses/finales I have ever played through. Needless to say, I wasn’t overwhelmingly excited for Borderlands 2 as it looked to be more of the same.
Guess what? It is more of the same, but also better in just about every way as Gearbox has delivered a more polished, better thought out Borderlands experience than they did with the first game. Borderlands 2 has loads of personality this time around, and the environments are far more varied than the desert brown of the original, allowing Pandora to actually feel like a lived in place. And while a lot of the side missions are still repetitive MMO-styled fetch quests and a lot of the loot in the early game has left me a bit disappointed, in the grand scheme of things I am enjoying myself far more than I did with the original because it is just better across the board.
Also, Claptrap sucks (you take that back! – editor).