Friday, July 8, 2016

—Game Review— Borderlands 2

My brother got hubby and I into Borderlands 2. It was funny, 'cause none of us in a million years would have given this game a chance. Wanna know why?

The cover art.

We're not shoot-'em-up gamers, not really, so the image of a human-like creature blowing his brains out was not appealing. We assumed it was not a game for us. In fact, I never even gave the game a second glance and had no idea what game my brother was talking about when he mentioned it. (He opted to try it out 'cause Microsoft had it pretty cheap in the Xbox Live Marketplace.) 

Needless to say, we were hooked. The humor is stupid enough to please our redneck personalities. But I'll get more into that in the review itself.

***Borderlands 2***

Published by 2K Games | Developed by Gearbox Software
Released 2012/2015 | FPS/RPG
Available for all platforms | Review: Xbox 360, PC, PS4
*Rated M for Mature 17+*
Blood and Gore | Intense Violence
Language | Sexual Themes | Use of Alcohol

HGG's rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ 9/10
You are a vault hunter. You must prevent Handsome Jack from opening the vault and obtaining whatever it may contain. "Try not to die." - Dr. Zed

First impressions? 
I hate FPSs. HATE. THEM. I groaned out loud when I gave in to my husband's urging and gave the game a try. First person shooters just aren't for me. I'm more of a third-person, auto-aim kinda girl. The over-the-top, crude, stupid humor quickly softened the angst over the gaming style. And Axton. I love him. He's my precious.

Graphics and voices? 
I love 'em. Very comic bookish, which really, really works for this series. The voice acting is beyond awesome. This is one of the best cast games I've played. Spot on.

Xbox 360 vs. PS4 vs. PC:
The graphics are crisper, clearer in the PS4 and PC editions, but it's not really a big deal. Comic book graphics are comic book graphics. Gorgeous any which way. :)

Like I said, FPS. And some baddies will really give you a run for your money. There is an option to turn off the gore in this and I really like that they offer that. Makes the game a little more enjoyable for those of us who don't like seeing bad guys explode into bloody chunks.

You start out choosing one of four playable characters (6 in the Handsome Collection or Game of the Year editions):

Axton is ex-military with a turret as a skill. Very cool character who makes the game a breeze. If you level his skill right, you can end up with two turrets that launch rockets. Seriously awesome. (He's my favorite. Can you tell?)

When I played for the first time, this was the character my brother and hubby both suggested. They figured I'd feel at less of a disadvantage having a turret. They were right. I'm really bad at aiming...

Maya is a siren with the phase lock ability. This ability is pretty cool and can be set up to heal you and your fellow players. There's also a skill that allows you to heal your fellow players by shooting them.

This was hubby's favorite character until he bought the Season Pass and got Gaige.

Salvador is a gunzerker with the ability to...well, gunzerk. He uses two guns at once. Any two guns, too. A sniper rifle and a rocket launcher? Sure. It's kind of a weird skill, but it works. No, I don't really care for him, but in a party of 3-4, he does get the job done.

Zero is an assassin with the deception ability. This skill is the one I know the least about. Hubby likes him and did eventually manage to work his skill rather well. Maxing out his bloodshed skill tree makes it possible to deploy a second holographic decoy.

Gaige is a mecromancer and her ability is the best in the whole game, IMO. She has Deathtrap, her super cool robot friend who kicks much butt. I love him so much. So. Freaking. Much. Oh yeah.

There's actually a leveling trick involving Deathtrap and the end boss, the Warrior. But that's a subject for another post...
Then there's Kreig, the psycho. And he is most definitely psycho. His action skill allows him to do some serious melee damage with a crazy-ass sawblade on a stick. That's right. Sawblade. On a stick.

That said, he's a bit awkward. However, he has a cool death skill (if you put a point in it in your skill tree) wherein he releases a grenade as he dies, taking out anyone near him. Lovely.

Xbox 360 vs. PC vs. PS4:
There's no difference in gameplay, though in the PC edition, there's a bit of lag from time to time. That has more to do with my setup than the game, though. Across three platforms, this game is pretty much the same.

This one actually has a rather compelling story, one that got to me more than once. That was totally unexpected. Especially the Tiny Tina DLC. That had me sobbing. But that could just be the girl in me. It's also a subject for another post...

Anyway, the main story mission is interesting, some of the side missions are downright hilarious, and all of them offer something to the overall enjoyment of the game.

The FPS style. Really, that's my only complaint. I will never like that style and I will always wish this was at least a third-person shooter instead. I'd whine about the gore, but you can turn that off if you prefer bad guys don't explode into bloody chunks when you kill them. And I do prefer a chunkless gaming experience.

I will lodge a token complaint about how very disturbing Tiny Tina is. She is wonderfully, compelling developed, but wow. Just wow.

She's thirteen.

Great fun with friends. Not nearly as fun alone, but still quite enjoyable. Fans of FPSs and crude humor will definitely like this one. It does deserve its M rating, though. Fair warning.

My rating? 
♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ — 9/10 life hearts. If it gave the player the choice of first- or third-person, and was a little less graphic with the sexual innuendos, it would be a 10-heart game. My opinion.

Where to buy?
*Screenshots, videos, and cover art ©2K Games and Gearbox Software. These companies do not endorse this fan/gaming/reviews blog.

Until next time... 

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