Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360) Review

By Liam Cook 25.11.2012 7

Review for Borderlands 2 on Xbox 360

Borderlands 2 is a rich, enjoyable and downright hilarious adventure set on fictional planet, Pandora. The story sees players taking on the role of the four protagonists known as Vault Hunters and involves travelling through luscious, cel-shaded environments in order to stop Handsome Jack from opening an alien Vault, which harnesses a certain deadly power.

At its core, Borderlands 2 may seem like just another FPS, but it is the unique loot system and RPG elements that differentiate it from most other games on the market. The fact of the matter is that this game has guns, a lot of guns. Gearbox even set a Guiness World Record with the first game for the amount of guns it contained. However, this is the sequel being talked about, which definitely isn't lacking in the arms department.

The looting system in Borderlands 2 uses the tried-and-true colour co-ordinated formula seen in most modern-day RPGs; however, it's the unique stats of every item that sets this game apart from the rest of group. No two items are the same -- and if they are, it is a case of being either very lucky or extremely unlucky. Every weapon, shield, grenade mod and class mod has its own unique stats -- be it a different elemental effect, fire rate, or something else entirely.

Another common RPG element seen in this game is the use of skill trees; the four playable characters each have their own specific trees, so there is a lot of variety when it comes to making each character personalised. As well as having this, it is also possible to unlock alternate "skins" and "heads" to change the overall appearance of the lead character. Whilst this doesn't add anything ground-breaking, it's a nice little feature nonetheless.

One of the strongest aspects of this game is the ability to play through the entire story with three other friends online. When in co-operative mode, the enemies are tougher and the loot becomes better. However, while this is a co-operative mode, friends will become enemies as fighting starts over who gets the best loot! There is also a duelling mechanic, where players must melee with each other in order to initiate it. Duels aren't really in-depth and usually end in a matter of seconds, but they are a fun little distraction from the current objective.

Screenshot for Borderlands 2 on Xbox 360

Remember when games used to be humorous, unlike all those serious, gritty action games nowadays? Well, Borderlands 2 -- like its predecessor -- takes all of the seriousness away and replaces it with pure humour. The best part about this is that it actually works wonders. Without spoiling anything, Borderlands 2 references a lot of things outside of its quirky universe, from Internet memes to other video games. It does this ever so brilliantly without ever feeling like too much. If references aren't to your taste, then there is a lot of originality on offer, from brilliantly designed characters, to infamous quotes such as "Catch a riiiiiiiiiiide." Each and every character in the Borderlands universe is equally lovable…or annoying.

Something that really complements the game's direction is its beautiful cel-shaded artwork, which looks somewhat reminiscent to Red Steel 2's art style. It was great in the original Borderlands, but it is truly spectacular in this entry. Gone are the brown, muddy textures -- replaced with greenery and shrubbery - and the Highlands area even showcases some beautiful water effects.

All of this is made even better by Gearbox's decision to include PhysX support for the PC version, which is capable of some stunning effects. Specks of dust flying everywhere after an explosion has taken place, beautiful particle effects that will not fail to please the eyes. All of this is possible with the PhysX engine in the PC version -- but don't worry, not having it doesn't detract anything from the overall experience of the game.

When compared to its predecessor, Borderlands 2 is a huge game, offering 50+ hours of gameplay if wanting to complete all of the side-quests as well as the main story. The game also includes True Vault Hunter Mode, which is basically the same as a New Game+ and in this mode players start off with all their weapons and other items from the previous play-through. However, enemies are tougher and scale to your level more efficiently. Completists will probably get around 90-100 hours in total out of the game…and that's just with one character!

Screenshot for Borderlands 2 on Xbox 360

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Borderlands 2 is a gorgeous and insanely fun FPS-RPG with a whole bunch of content for people who welcome its stay. Its unique looting system and tons of items will keep players busy for hours, trying to find the best gear. Whilst the game is still great if playing single-player, the most fun is had in the co-operative mode. For those who are fans of RPGs or even those who want to try something different, this game is definitely worth checking out -- it is simply awesome!

Developer

Gearbox

Publisher

2K

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I happened to get this game for free when I got my new Gaming PC and while I wasn't too sure what to expect at first I loved every second of it! It's truly the perfect type of FPS for a RPG nut like me who also loves a great artstyle and excellent humour in his games. It was a purely single-player experience for me but I still had a blast with it.

It's a real shame I currently have no money for the DLC, that's why a GOTY edition that includes all DLC on the Wii U would be very nice to see. I'm also going to get the original Borderlands GOTY edition as soon as I can while looking forward to the inevitable Borderlands 3!

SirLink said:
I happened to get this game for free when I got my new Gaming PC and while I wasn't too sure what to expect at first I loved every second of it! It's truly the perfect type of FPS for a RPG nut like me who also loves a great artstyle and excellent humour in his games. It was a purely single-player experience for me but I still had a blast with it.

It's a real shame I currently have no money for the DLC, that's why a GOTY edition that includes all DLC on the Wii U would be very nice to see. I'm also going to get the original Borderlands GOTY edition as soon as I can while looking forward to the inevitable Borderlands 3!

If I had to pick any game released this year to get for free, Borderlands 2 would definitely be one of my top choices. Who knows, if you hadn't of got the game for free, you may of never actually experienced the awesomeness contained in this title.

Glad to know that you got to try out the title and enjoyed every second of it. If Gearbox and 2K were to release a Game of the Year Edition -- including all the DLC (For the Wii U, that is), I would definitely not pass up that offer. Even though I have purcahsed the season pass for the 360 version. Smilie

( Edited 25.11.2012 23:07 by Mush )

This definitely sounds like a game that Nintendo-only fans are missing out on. I certainly hope that the developer reconsiders making a Wii U version at some point soon. It really doesn't *have* to make use of all the features. Sure, it's nice to do, but if it is a case of game or no game, I'm sure most of us would be more than content with no GamePad functionality!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Adam Riley said:
This definitely sounds like a game that Nintendo-only fans are missing out on. I certainly hope that the developer reconsiders making a Wii U version at some point soon. It really doesn't *have* to make use of all the features. Sure, it's nice to do, but if it is a case of game or no game, I'm sure most of us would be more than content with no GamePad functionality!
Well, both Randy Pitchford and Brian Martel of Gearbox have praised the console a lot, with the latter even saying how he'd love Borderlands 2 on the Wii U. So, who knows... maybe after Aliens: Colonial Marines comes out and all of the Borderlands 2 DLC has been released, they'll mention a GOTY Edition. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the Wii U will be one of the platforms getting that.

Yeah, there seem to have been mixed messages coming from the publisher and developer. I wonder if 2K would put a block on it, despite Gearbox wanting to make a Wii U version...Maybe 2K is waiting to see how NBA 2K13 performs, and the inevitable Carnival Games Smilie

Seriously, can't 2K take any risks on Nintendo systems? Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Adam Riley said:
Yeah, there seem to have been mixed messages coming from the publisher and developer. I wonder if 2K would put a block on it, despite Gearbox wanting to make a Wii U version...Maybe 2K is waiting to see how NBA 2K13 performs, and the inevitable Carnival Games Smilie

Seriously, can't 2K take any risks on Nintendo systems? Smilie

It's quite a stupid situation, really. Many publishers don't want to take risks on Nintendo systems but instead decide to either only throw casual games at them or release half-hearted efforts to measure how well their major games would sell if they fully supported the platform and that just doesn't work.

The prime example for the Wii U is Mass Effect 3. Not many people will buy the last game of a trilogy, especially when said trilogy is being released around the same time on every other major platform. EA will most likely use those figures and conclude that future Mass Effect games won't have a big audience on the Wii U, resulting in the system missing out on those games. I'm not saying it'll certainly happen but after looking how things like this usually go, I wouldn't be surprised if this came true.Smilie

Reports from the US are that no Third Party games have been as strong as Red Steel at the Wii launch. Now, that could be purely because there is a far bigger selection...but it might also be that early adopters are simply going for the Nintendo duo of Nintendo Land and NSMB U.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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