Borderlands 2 – Preview

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

In a way, the original Borderlands was shackled by its aesthetic. For all of the wacky violence and seemingly infinite combinations of guns, the dull, dusty browns of post apocalyptic Pandora quickly lost their appeal, and the identikit goons you chopped down blurred into a homogenous singular. That’s something that the inevitable sequel seeks to put right, and from the demo level we saw at Rezzed, it succeeds with aplomb.

Playing a mission from late on in the story, with characters levelled up to 25, we’re thrown into a glittering city square, all lush green trees and shiny walkways. The cel-shaded style from the first game remains, but it’s clear that the engine is pushing the boat out further, and that the designers have been given much wider scope to explore the different possibilities Pandora has to offer.

The mission starts off with acts of petty vandalism, but soon escalates into a pitched battle between the four stars of the game, and the security forces that patrol the raised platforms and plazas that make up the intriguingly organic structure. There are choke points and sniping vantage points, all worked into a level that never feels like it’s been built solely to cater for a gunfight, but manages to fill the role perfectly.

All four characters are player controlled, and the HUD keeps you well informed of their position. The four different disciplines are the same as in the last game, with a few new twists, and they compliment each other well, with their roles in the ensuing chaos defined by the talents and abilities they posses.

That chaos is even meatier than it was in Borderlands. Guns recoil with a delicious snap, and the game sticks to RPG traditions by showering numbers out of enemies as you pepper them with bullets. It’s glorious to behold, as powers are thrown, turrets are built, and an angry hairy midget stomps around with a rocket launcher and machine gun blasting holes in the armoury of a variety of drones, walkers, and cutthroat troopers.

Working as a team is essential, and whilst the “last stand” mechanic from the previous game, which sees you resurrected if you manage to kill another enemy before a time bar runs out, is still present, a helping hand from a comrade is always welcome.

As the fire fight plays out, the suns of Pandora set and night breaks, bringing a palpable shift in atmosphere. It’s clear that Gearbox have attempted to right the wrongs of their first, fantastic but flawed attempt at mashing together the shooter and the RPG. The world feels more solid, the story fed out in snatches of dialogue between the characters rather than the reams of text that filled the first.

Worth the wait? The shooting at the core of the experience is certainly a more refined beast, the loot less incessant and the weaponry just as excessive. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether Gearbox can create a world varied enough to justify the thirty plus hour narrative that the game boasts. On this evidence, they’re certainly on the right tracks.

For: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
When? 21 September 2012

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Lead Developer - ASP.Net / C# / MVC / JavaScript / HTML5

    £55000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking for a Lea...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

    £45000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Engineer is requi...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st / 2nd Line IT Support Technician

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a small IT consultancy...

    Day In a Page

    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific
    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    Dame Colette Bowe - interview
    When do the creative juices dry up?

    When do the creative juices dry up?

    David Lodge thinks he knows
    The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

    Fashion's Cher moment

    Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
    Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

    Health fears over school cancer jab

    Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
    Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

    Weather warning

    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
    LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

    High hopes for LSD

    Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
    German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

    Saving Private Brandt

    A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral