New game provides endless customization, thrills

New game provides endless customization, thrills

Tim Ashton

In October 2009, 2K Games released the sci-fi first-person-shooter (FPS) video game Borderlands. Borderlands later received four downloadable content packages which added new story, maps, weapons and opponents. Its sequel, Borderlands 2, was released Sept. 18 for PlayStation3, Xbox 360 and PC.

Both Borderlands games are quest-driven FPS games that encourage loot collecting. A nearly limitless variety of firearms can be found either on the bodies of fallen enemies or in various types of armories. Both games feature hordes of foes which must be either avoided or destroyed in order to progress through the storyline.

The main appeal of the game is likely not its cast of zany cartoon characters or its plot, but teaming up with friends in splitscreen mode or online to obliterate foes with overpowered weaponry. Then again, there is a storyline that is hard to avoid which leads to a legendary Vault rumored to contain treasure left by an alien race. Reaching the vault requires a considerable display of resolve, because a lot of time and battling is required to satisfy all the quest objectives along the way.

2009’s Borderlands had many idiosyncratic quirks, several of which have been changed in Borderlands 2. For instance, ladders now can be climbed, ammunition pickup is now automatic and the compass has been replaced with a minimap. These sorts of changes bring the Borderlands franchise more in line with its contemporaries.

The look, feel and overall gameplay hasn’t changed much since the first Borderlands game, but Borderlands 2 features several small improvements that should appeal to those who were frustrated by its predecessor. The story of the first game continues as the original vault hunters cross paths with newcomers. New types of bad guys are a welcome addition to the series. Some things do not change, however: Maps are still large and tiresome to move across.

Borderlands 2 is a “Roleplaying Shooter” in the words of Fans of the FPS genre who don’t mind the leveling up aspects of roleplaying games would likely enjoy the Borderlands games. Those who do not like graphic violence would probably prefer other video games.

3/5 stars.