|System: Xbox 360, PS3*, PC|
|Dev: Gearbox Software|
|Pub: 2K Games|
|Release: September 18, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
Okay, so I'm just going to gush about Tediore for a moment here. These weapons reload more quickly than the others, which is awesome. I'm a guy who loves reload speed in my FPSes, after all. However, it's the method of reloading that makes these guns so incredible. Instead of putting in a fresh ammo clip, you throw your gun, which then explodes and deals massive damage to those within its blast radius before reassembling itself back in your hands with a fresh clip of ammo. And the fuller your ammo clip is when you throw it, the more damage it deals. This sounds ridiculous—and it absolutely is—but it's also insanely cool. I can barely begin to describe how much fun it is to throw these things and watch them explode, especially among tightly packed halls full of bandits. And when I got my first Tediore shotgun, I'm pretty sure my pupils became heart-shaped for a moment.
There's an additional new feature here that's pretty awesome too. It's a series of grindy achievement-like objectives (kill 500 scags, kill 75 enemies with a particular weapon, etc.) that grant you points, which ultimately add up to bestow a currency called "Badass Tokens." These tokens can be spent on stat upgrades. Now, even those these upgrades are barely noticeable (granting less than a 1% boost per token), they eventually add up. Even better, these upgrades are shared across your entire account, so by upgrading one character, you're upgrading every one of your characters. It's subtle enough that it can be ignored by those who'd rather not think about it, but it's there for min-maxers to go nuts over. Which is cool.
I do have one complaint about Borderlands 2, and that's that it can feel a little tedious at times. If you don't want to use the quick travel posts (and you definitely should use them), you'll find yourself repeating enormous portions of the game in which all of the enemies have respawned. And this includes boss fights. Yes, if you travel through an area in which you've defeated a boss, you'll have to fight that boss over again. Sure, you'll probably be at a higher level by that point, and you'll have a strategy in mind that worked the first time through, but it's both obnoxious and immersion-killing to re-fight the same bosses over and over again.
The bottom line: Borderlands 2 offers a much larger, much more refined version of the original. Even if complaints about the first game bothered you enough that you couldn't properly enjoy it, the second one improves on just about every aspect of the formula. And for hardcore Borderlands fans, there is a near endless amount of fan service here to keep you laughing maniacally while spearheading your own darkly hilarious co-op massacre. I'm going to wager that if you like fun, you're going to adore Borderlands 2.
Editor / News Director
Date: September 19, 2012