Hands On: Borderlands 2

By Jim Rossignol on April 4th, 2012 at 1:27 pm.


And now for the sequel. That’s the trick, isn’t it? If a game is successful then the studio end up being required to do it again, and it must be the same, but more so and different. Getting that right can be a peculiar challenge. There’s a stack of shortcuts available, of course, because you’re building on existing technology, fiction, and art, but there’s also the challenge of not throwing away that advantage and actually making something better, or more interesting. That’s the challenge that Gearbox now face with Borderlands 2: to build on the relative success of their left-field post-apocalyptic space frontier, and to carve out wider horizons for one of the most interesting hybrid-FPS projects in mainstream gaming.

Sitting down to play Borderlands 2, I am pitched straight into a co-op game with another gentleman of the press, whose name I didn’t catch. Sorry about that. He took on Salvador, the “Gunzerker” character, (a character I would later solo with) while I took control of the new siren, Maya. We – I mean myself and the other player – didn’t immediately gel in terms of working together, but once I’d figured out just how much more damage he was doing than my siren (thanks to his dual-wielding super-power) I learned to stay back, rez him when he fell, and to lock up significant enemies with my black-hole phaselock superpower. This ability dragged them off the ground in a purple aura, stopping their attacks and making them easy to kill off. It didn’t seem to work on everyone, but it was of significant utility in fights where we faced half a dozen spitting, leaping antagonists at once.


For this hands-on event, which would take place through two quite different sections of the game, we hit the ground running at level 20, with a wealth of skills and weapons available to us. Having spent some points and headed into the first map’s landscape – a sort of rocky grasslands military complex in which weird creatures were imprisoned – to fight outlandish beasts. While the mutant-mouthed skag things from the original game made a prompt return, we were also immediately inundated with a swarm of all-new flying, leaping, stealthing waves of alien unhelpfuls. Carving our way through this vibrant bunch revealed a much colourful palette this time around; both literally in terms of the colours used, but also in the range of imaginative plots enemies are now endowed with. But we’ll come back to that in a moment.


Soon we were up on a hill and talking to Mordecai, the sniper character from the original Borderlands game. He’s lost his bird-companion to the game’s new super-villain, and we had to return it. Mordecai was much more alive and animate than the quest-dispensing characters from the original game, and I understand that this time around NPCs will be coming out of their cabins and shacks, and even accompanying players in certain missions. That’s a big leap forward for a game where NPCs – other than Claptrap – were previously little more than a part of the background. This, I think, could be very much to the game’s benefit, since it will feel far more alive and, in an small way, far more like an RPG.


As we played further I began to notice the details that were filling out the world this time around. It was often the little things that stood out – like the seamlessness of the menus at the start of the game. Rather than Borderlands’ awkwardness, this feels very smooth. Grab my character and leap straight into the game. And once in there I ran up to my co-op chum to see his character actually looking at a holo-project of the menu in the game world. He was still on the menu screens. A neat touch. Borderlands 2 is full of them.


But there were broader strokes ahead – what faces the players in terms of a combat challenge now ramps up a bit in complexity. Fighting an initial band of robots enemies, we were charged with having to simply cripple, rather than destroy them. As their repair-buddies came to rescue them, so we were able to breach the opened door and get into the compound they were protecting. Inside robot variants worked together in complimentary groups, while annoying flying enemies flew around us, being annoying. Working out optimal takedown for this groups didn’t really work out for me and my press chum, but I am sure it will once I’m playing the game proper, with co-op friends.


I should mention at this point that while I was playing on a high-end Alienware, I was handicapped by having to use a gamepad (and I say that as someone who played through the original game on PC and then later on 360). That was just how it had been set up – most of the press there were console or mainstream media types – but it showed that crucial annoyance of the flying enemy. Easy to pick him off with mouse aim, I suspect, but tougher with the lesser flick-aim of the thumbsticks. As a foot-note, developers, no-one likes flying bug enemies. And they have never have.


Not that it really matters, of course, because the real meat of things – guns flaring, baddies bursting, loot spilling into your pockets – remains the same, and with two players it scales up pleasingly to a torrent of cartoonish violence. I really was enjoying myself. I know there’s always a glow around something new, and part of it was just that this was fresh Borderlands, but it felt slicker, and perhaps even more punchy. I did get lost in the chaos of one battle, but I suspect I need time to tune up to its level.


So anyway, that “colourful palette” I mentioned. This is Borderlands but with greater contrast. It certainly looks impressive. The edge-shaded visuals remain, and they look incredible at times. The design is much bolder, too, with architecture, characters and enemies remaining within the same basic frame, but bolder and more lavish. The stars of the show, the guns, are quite often extraordinary – giant multi-coloured death-mixers that scythe into sight from the bottom right of your screen. A couple of them actually made me laugh out loud with their outlandishness. But something about that makes me feel a little uneasy. I get the vaguest feeling that Borderlands 2 might have lost something of the original game’s charm in its eagerness to expand its sci-fi horizons.


The original game had – both visually and audibly – a brilliant dusty, rusty frontier desert-planet feel to it. If you’ve played it, you’ll know what I mean. Perhaps this sequel will make up for that with more rounded characters, and better everything else, but I hope it they can also avoid losing sight of what made it so charming. Maybe I am just being the fusty grouch that people tell me I am, but the “wackiness” of Borderlands (which was always pitched as something of a comedy) has certainly ranked up for its return. A baddie screaming “And I had nearly finished writing my comic book!” as he died under my guns was once such moment which was clearly intended to raise a chortle.


So too were later events, such as a quest to rescue risqué erotic images from a monster at the bottom of a cavern in which I had to traverse a lake of toxic sludge. I was, by this point, playing alone with Gunzerker, and enjoying the insane damage output of using any combination of two of the four guns I was carrying at any one time. I was also enjoying fighting the rather more complex boss creature – which needed crystal armour blasted from its legs (in trad boss fashion) before I could go for the kill.

And I still like how numbers fly off everything as you shoot them. Sometimes bigger numbers are enough.


The erotica, as it turned out, would be a gateway to another of Borderland 2′s RPGish developments: forked quests. Do you deliver the pictures back to their subject, and save her modesty? Or to the lusty gentleman who originally hired you to return his relaxation photography? It’s a minor thing, but the idea that Borderlands 2 is building on choice, and beginning to feel confident with growing new features using the RPG part of its DNA, makes me even more interested to see what Gearbox are able to pull off this second time around. I suspect we’ve not seen everything they’ve yet to reveal, either. But perhaps we’ll get a whiff of that before September.

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114 Comments »

  1. ran93r says:

    I might even be more excited about this than GW2, so there! (that’s aimed at nobody in particular btw)

  2. CMaster says:

    Catch a ridddeeee!

    Really looking forward to this, as I had loads of fun in the coop of the first one, despite the game’s many, many flaws.

  3. Duckee says:

    I did not enjoy the original that much as it felt a bit like a constant fetch quest and grind. Anyone willing to tell me it was different and I was just playing it wrong?

    • Phantoon says:

      No, I felt the same. It wasn’t a bad game, but I didn’t think it was a great shooter or RPG.

    • Xocrates says:

      That’s pretty much accurate, really.

      Borderlands was FPS Diablo, and consequently every quest was an excuse to shoot dudes and grab phat lewt.

      I completed at least a playthrough with 3 of the 4 characters, and I don’t recall ever reading a quest text.

      • Sic says:

        Was the lewt actually «phat», then?

        Because, if it was, then it sounds like a game I would like to try.

        Grinding is OK as long as it’s paced properly, and the rewards are good.

        • lordcooper says:

          Quite often it was incredibly phat

        • Faxmachinen says:

          There was some “Phat Lewt”, but it was pretty much all due to predefined weapon modifiers (e.g. “Give Sick”). I wish Borderlands had rather gone for the Gunman Chronicles approach where certain emergent weapon configurations were just game-breakingly good.

          • Sassenach says:

            It did seem very equivocal in that you could eventually recognise that the weapon builder was designed to implement some disappointing weakness, ostensibly to prevent any absurd skewings. But then let you modify the save file.

    • Icyicy9999 says:

      I did play through it with friends, twice (for the NewGame+ thing), but I thought so too.

      I hope they add more than just kill and fetch quests for the second.
      Also I hope enemies require any sort of tactics instead of just shooting it until it’s dead.

    • djbriandamage says:

      I have a love/hate relationship with the original Borderlands. All the elements of excellence were there and I had many many glorious adrenaline-blazing moments solo and with friends, but there was no balance:

      You got a dozen quests and you’d outlevel half of them by completing the first one. One mission would be a cakewalk and in the next every enemy drone would be twice as tough as the boss I just killed. Eventually I could soak up damage like Homer drinks Duff but cars could only take 5 bullets and would kill me when they exploded.

      All the game needed was a little more playtesting and polish. It’s like they bought all the best ingredients from the local butcher and organic produce market and just served them to you raw out of the fridge in tupperware containers.

      Big hopes for the sequel. I’ll wait for reviews before inevitably buying it, perhaps at full price.

      • Amun says:

        I agree with you completely. It was like a great game and a terrible game got blended together until there was nothing but grey goo left over. The game yo-yo’ed wildly between the predictable and the mysterious, horror and slapstick, clever and cave-mannish, exciting and dull-as-rocks.

    • Baines says:

      What annoyed me, and ultimately killed the first Borderlands for me, was the combination of the lack of weapon variety and the over-importance of levels.

      Level difference was just way too important to damage levels. What enemies did to you, what you did to enemies, and what one gun did compared to another.

      And a bazillion guns doesn’t mean much when they are all just slight number variations of each other, with only a few master templates, and any attempt at anything interesting was pre-built only on uniques. And again, level dominated. The average FPS probably has more real weapon variety than Borderlands did. (I’ve argued before that a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game has more.)

    • Jupiah says:

      The humor, combat, multiplayer and loot gathering was enough to keep the game fresh for one play through, but yeah once those wore off it was a grindtastic borefest. I got one character (the soldier) to the level cap and had a blast doing it, but when I tried to start a new game with a different class I quit after half-an hour, it just wasn’t fun anymore.

      It’s a great game, but it has very little replay value. Here’s hoping Borderlands 2 can adress that issue.

    • Bob says:

      I’ve got a couple of Steam buddies who feel the same way as you. I liked it’s quirkiness and the fact if you took on the boss fights, even the very first one, with a lower level than you should, you got your ass handed to you on a platter. That incentivated me to do the side quests, admttedly some of those are more entertaining than others. Different strokes I guess.

      Anyhow, I’m looking forward to playing 2.

    • Ragnar says:

      If I played Borderlands solo, I likely would have gotten bored. Playing it in co-op, I had a blast, and loved it. Yes, the quests are little more than “go there, kill things, come back”, but the going and killing things were incredibly fun in co-op, and we often had to improvise to be able to defeat the stronger enemies that co-op spawned. Like Diablo, it had a good pacing of new areas, monsters, items, or levels, such that I never felt bored. Sadly, I couldn’t say the same for the DLC, as we played through Borderlands twice, but grew bored before ever finishing The Armory.

  4. Drayk says:

    I just want more character development, story and interesting quests in this one .

    Oh, and I hope to have a real melee character too. Maybe zero ?

  5. Prime says:

    I really enjoyed Borderlands, despite the disappointing ‘no, that’s really it’ ending. I’m hoping this is still as fun to play solo as the first one was.

    • Mattressi says:

      That was definitely the worst thing about Borderlands, for me. I loved every minute of it, until the ending. The whole way I’d been paying a little attention to the almost non-existent story and was looking forward to the awesome loot at the end. I destroy the big bad boss and he drops 2 pistol magazines and a rusty sniper (something like that). I’m thinking “that’s ok, the armoury will have heaps of cool stuff, I bet”. No, it doesn’t. It’s fake. Surprise! The whole game’s been about loot and the story has been secondary, but the ending we have for you involves you getting no loot and a crappy, let-down of an ending. How about you go and open lots of chests in the enemy-less New Haven to get the only good loot in the game. That sounds fun, doesn’t it?

      I really did love it though; great co-op. But after several playthroughs I still hadn’t maxed my level ever, because there was no incentive and nothing to do after you’d finished the game except open chests.

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      Napalm Sushi says:

      Really, guys? The planet’s called “Pandora” for Jovus’ sake. If anything, the disappointing thing was that the ending turned out to be pretty much exactly what was telegraphed from the start.

      • arccos says:

        Except there was something left in the jar/box after Pandora opened it.

        I think it was a sweet pistol that set things on fire.

      • mwoody says:

        *SPOILERS FOR FIRST GAME*

        It’s not that it’s not a vault of weapons that smarts – I mean, yeah, “Pandora” and all that – it’s that the last boss is such a tremendously uninteresting wuss. Ooh, gosh, some tentacles and… dead. I mean, literally 10 seconds of holding a trigger and he drops. THAT was supposed to destroy the world? It wouldn’t even last versus the mooks we killed right before the last battle, much less the infinitely more interesting, larger, and more dangerous bosses earlier in the game.

    • MiniMatt says:

      The ending did have the benefit of introducing me, via the end credits, to the most excellent DJ Champion.

  6. Blackcompany says:

    Kudos to the devs on their decisions to include more RPG features, as well as real PC features. So happy they are getting that right.
    .
    But the flying enemies…shooting armor off the legs before you can kill something…please make these things stop. I don’t know where these tired tropes come from. You know, the ‘blast off the armor in stages; dismember the limbs before you can kill it; blast the shield generators in order to make it vulnerable; obligatory, frozen-in-place turret sessions with enemies blithely agreeing to charge headlong to their inevitable death. These tropes…they’re not fun. Pretty well no one likes them. And we would largely appreciate not having them foisted on us in otherwise great games.
    .
    Other than the couple of tired shooter tropes they seem to want to invoke here, this game seems really great. The first one was solid if hokey, but a good time nonetheless, especially in co-op. Very much looking forward to everything, though I suspect the boss fights will once again test my patience a little.

    • Phantoon says:

      I want my boss monsters to be boss monstery.

      The DLC giant bug thing was incredibly boring, and so were the two actual bosses in the base game.

    • Sic says:

      These «tropes» came from shmups, and I have no idea why you have a problem with them.

      You used a small wall of text to say «I don’t like them». Why not tell us why?

      In addition, you’re not a representative of all gamers, so stop with the pretending.

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      Keymonk says:

      I’ll take a boss where you have to use some sort of tactics over a boss which is basically a larger, more HP intensive version fo the others. One makes you change up things, the other just stalls you. So boss tropes preferred for me.

      • Sassenach says:

        I’d agree that they’re not necessarily a bad thing. But I think you’re drawing a false dichotomy by suggesting that you either have shmup-y bosses or bullet sponge bosses.

        If you look at bosses they’re normally used as a climax, because they’re supposed to be difficult. But the problem to my mind is that they tend to be qualitatively different from the normal bits of the game, and don’t seem to fit. I would suggest that taking the usual fights of going against numerous enemies, scaling it up to make it of a suitable difficulty for a climax, and using that as a crescendo instead might be more enjoyable.

        The reason for this is that games tend to be more interesting, and thus enjoyable, when it asks you to make choices. Even if that choice is which of the many people with guns to attack next it’s a more involved thought process then:

        “Well, it seems I need to shoot these bits in a given order

        I guess I’ll shoot them in said order”

        Borderlands was good but it was at times arduous without being challenging, if you see the distinction. It would take a lot of effort to achieve some objectives without there really being much one could do to make it smoother. But at least it was better then Dawn of War 2 in that regard. Is there something about RPG/other genre experimental hybrids that encourage such tedious design choices? It’s like they lack the confidence to stick with what their genre does well and have to chuck in a block of meat that hits like a truck to shoot up in isolation.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    Yeah, Borderlands was definitely my favourite RPG-FPS, and all-in-all one of my favourite recent games. Chaining together strings of phase walking, building up some absurd skill levels and damage output, finding better and better items, raiding Knoxx’s armoury over and over and over … good times.

    Sounds like they haven’t messed too much with the basic formula. That’s a good thing, IMO. Guess we’ll see if they’ve managed to pull it all off, and if the silliness gets in the way at all. I hope we’re not looking at another Saints Row 2 masterpiece followed by a Saints Row 3 over-the-top flop.

    • Xocrates says:

      They already ramped the sillyness significantly on the DLC’s (Knoxx in particular).

      Personally, from what they’ve shown, I’m expecting them to keep a level similar to that of Robot Revolution which actually toned it down slightly from Knoxx.

  8. MrStones says:

    Please please please keep the split screen option and add it to the pc build. Borderlands is one of the few great sofa-coop games left and that alone made me it play more on the PS3 rather than the shiny bells and whistles PC version.

    TLDR: Sofa coop >>>> Online coop

    • Gothnak says:

      I agree, this is the only FPS i would rather play on the xbox than the pc…

      After meeting a girl from oop north at a friend’s birthday, i wooed her over text messaging and Borderlands until 5 months later she travelled down for a date, we’ve been together a year now. We can’t wait to play Borderlands 2 together on the sofa, she’ll keep charging forwards and dying, and i’ll keep hoovering up anything that isn’t nailed down… Co-op gaming bliss!

      • djbriandamage says:

        That’s super romantic. :) My girlfriend and I used to play Guild Wars together – I’d lug my PC and CRT monitor over to her place and we’d grind all weekend (and also play the game). Now she’s my wife of 5 years and we share a desk with both our PCs side-by-side at a window overlooking our neighbourhood. We play WoW, L4D, and many other games together as often as possible.

        Murdering tens of thousands of bloodthirsty savages is good for a relationship.

    • Kollega says:

      Sadly, i must disappoint you: i heard that splitscreen is not included for PC. The official FAQ on the game’s forums state it’s for X360 and PS3, with no mentions of the PC.

      But maybe they will include it after all.

  9. fish99 says:

    Officially the best co-op game ever (on PC anyway) -

    http://www.co-optimus.com/system.php?id=4&sort=rating&direction=ASC

    Although maybe I’d put System Shock 2 ahead myself.

    Kinda surprised at the comment asking for better story, as someone else said Borderlands is the FPS version of Diablo, it’s about shooting stuff and getting loot.

    • vodkarn says:

      Borderlands is a better co-op PC game than L4D2; are you kidding me? Serious Sam 3? Portal 2?!

      My mind is quite blown.

      • fish99 says:

        Better than L4D2? Absolutely, I hated L4D2. They had a great formula with L4D and IMO ruined it with the sequel. Better than SS3? Well that would be close, but I’d say yes overall having played both. There’s more to get your teeth into with an RPG, and SS3, while it’s very good, is basically just the same SS game we’ve all played multiple times now. Better than Portal 2? Well as good as the Portal 2 co-op is, it’s only 4 hours long and lacks any challenging puzzles, so I’d say yes for that reason.

        But anyway, I was talking mainly about how it’s rated on co-optimus, which is the closest thing you’re going to get to an ‘official’ list of the best co-op games. If you’re saying those games are better co-op experiences than Borderlands, I’m going to say the majority of people disagree with you, purely based on the co-optimus ratings.

        • Ragnar says:

          I agree with all of the above, but I think Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is just as good a co-op game, if not even better, than Borderlands.

  10. aircool says:

    I liked Borderlands. It was one of the few games that kept me interested until the end, and then some…

  11. mentor07825 says:

    I like flying bug enemies.

  12. Hoaxfish says:

    I didn’t see it beyond the cursory mention, but how was solo-play?

    As much as I like multiplayer games, you can barely get a game if you return to them after the community has died out.

    • Kollega says:

      Solo play in the first game was perfectly alright, with the exclusion of Underdome and Crawmerax (can’t seriously go up against those solo). But the main game was just fine. I expect it to stay the same in Borderlands 2.

      • The Godzilla Hunter says:

        While co-op is better, solo is perfectly fun, unlike, say, L4D.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Didn’t play enough to know, but it felt scaled back, like it did in the original. I only really felt it when enemies were pouring into you in a co-op game.

  13. Tridae says:

    “The original game had – both visually and audibly – a brilliant dusty, rusty frontier desert-planet feel to it. If you’ve played it, you’ll know what I mean.”

    I couldn’t disagree more. The original was so bland and boring, endless identical terrain and brown brown brown. Loved the ending when I finally got to see some snow and colour.

    This new colour palette direction is THE main reason I’m interested in the new Borderlands.

    If you really love the old look so much I’d mail you some sepia tinted glasses to wear once it comes out.

    • Gothnak says:

      I agree, it did all get a bit tiring when you went to your next new region and it was brown and dusty.. It was almost as bad as Fallout! :)

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      Thirded. For me, one of the main problems with Borderlands was repetitiveness. The samey backgrounds really added to it (the only good part about the end was the pretty snow). The new art style/color pallet looks absolutely lovely.

  14. Turbobutts says:

    Borderlands but with actual colors? I might actually buy this … when it’s on sale for the first time.

  15. Kollega says:

    Rocky grasslands.

    Rocky. Grasslands. Did you know i LOVE rocky grasslands?! I CAN’T WAIT! GIVE IT TO ME NAO!!!

    And i’m serious, by the way. The “steppes” of Rust Commons East, if you could call them that, were probably my favourite place in the original game. I’m so glad that BL2 will have grass all over it.

    EDIT: having read the article in full, i have two questions to mister Rossingnol. First: how do you choose which guns to dual-wield? The crowds are eager to know. Second: “RPG part of it’s DNA”? Really? I thought that using “game’s DNA” seriously was reserved to marketing-speak.

    • Sassenach says:

      I too will not miss the endless wasteland. Borderlands has a very cynical sort of world which benefited from a bleak wasteland, but which I don’t think that cynicism is reliant on having a barren world.

  16. 0011110000110011 says:

    Any chance of some higher def versions of those screenshots?

    (Registered just to request them)

  17. LuNatic says:

    I seem to recall the enemy AI in the first game had two tactics: Stand still out in the open and get shot, or run in a straight line towards the player and get shot. Has there been an improvement on this front?

    • Kollega says:

      The AI has been given a third tactic: punting barrels downstairs. And that’s it.

      In seriousness, the developers stated that the AI will be much move varied this time around.

      • The Godzilla Hunter says:

        Don’t forget their two most important tactics: Opening themselves up for critical hits and blowing themselves up with a grenade, thus robbing you of your precious second wind.

    • Vinraith says:

      The AI is hugely better in the original game than it used to be. I’ve been flanked, lured, ambushed and seen the AI retreat and regroup. Honestly, dealing with the Crimson Lance in Old Haven these days is an unholy bitch.

      I’ve no idea when the improvements were made, and I suppose it’s worth noting that we’re on playthrough 2 as that may be relevant, but I’ve been very impressed in picking the game back up over the last few weeks.

  18. TheGreatSashimi says:

    Everything in this article seems to alleviate the concerns I had with the first one that ultimately pushed it back into “don’t buy” territory (yet-another-dusty-wasteland setting, obtuse interface, under-cooked RPG narrative etc.) but what with this being an ideally co-op experience there’s still the issue of how the online grouping/matchmaking is going to work.

    I understand the PC version of the first game was an impossible mess to get working, at least according to this comic:
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/comics/stolen-pixels/6725-Stolen-Pixels-139-BorderLAN

    Though even if they ended up fixing all that, is there any word on whether this game will support dedicated servers? Being precisely half a planet away from any country generally deemed worthy to host official servers (South Africa) pretty much makes games without local servers a no-go for multiplayer (unless I were to play the inevitable cracked version, which I wouldn’t do, but I wouldn’t buy the unplayable legal version either).

    • Kollega says:

      As i understand it, the game lets you host your own servers. I might be wrong, but from my experience you host your own server, not connect to some official one.

      • Vinraith says:

        That’s correct. In the original game, Gamespy is facillitating a direct connection, not providing servers.

        The new one is going to use Steam’s multiplayer systems, and I’m less sure how they work. It seems like whenever Steam’s community goes down lately (which is weirdly often) it takes my Steam-based multiplayer games with it.

    • TormDK says:

      You and your friends need to have a GameSpy ID, since that is the technology it uses to connect you with.

      But recent patches made it work pretty ok, but I agree with the comic because right at release it was a mess to get to work correctly in multiplayer.

      Hopefully with Steamworks integration things will go a fair bit smoother this time round. I for one cannot wait at least!

    • InternetBatman says:

      It was horrible to set up when I was playing. I use hamachi for my weekly D&D game, so I know my vlan is set up and working. Lan just didn’t work. Gamespy had a hard time finding my friend, etc. It was fun once you got going though.

      • fish99 says:

        LAN didn’t work? I played the whole game through about 3 times over LAN and never had a single issue. It’s one of very few games in recent year to have a proper LAN mode.

  19. The Godzilla Hunter says:

    “brilliant dusty, rusty frontier desert-planet feel”

    Wait a minute…so THATS why most of the guns were like revolvers. Mind = Blown.

    • mondomau says:

      Yeah, I didn’t realise that’s what it was that I loved about the game for a long time. That’s why the ‘bigger, better, wackier’ comments about the guns in 2 have me a bit worried.

  20. WatchGeek says:

    I don’t know why I bother reading these articles…I put close to 10 days into my character in Borderlands…on the XBox 360…then a few more on the PC. So, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I will be doind the same this fall with Borderlands 2…but, I still like the pretty pictures!

  21. Ozgarden says:

    This “hands on” doesn’t really help me to wait until September. Thanks a lot.

  22. KDR_11k says:

    One reason I got bored with Borderlands was that your character has only one active skill and as a soldier mine was particularly uninteresting. That’s in stark contrast to all the grenades, bombs and general wackyness I could unleash as a Marksman in Hellgate.

    • InternetBatman says:

      To be fair, you have grenades in borderlands too. So two active skills.

  23. Tei says:

    The game could have ben called “Pandora: Spring Time”. Considering the planet of the first game have long winters, like Game of Thrones, and the planet is reviving after a long one.

  24. Vraptor117 says:

    Two things Gearbox better not have in Borderlands 2:

    1. Ridiculous amounts of backtracking. There was -so- much backtracking in the first game. Added at least 5 hours to playtime. The General Knoxx DLC was particularly egregious.

    2. Collect “X” amount of “Y” objects. Fuck. Those. Quests. Fuck ‘em. Keep that shit in MMOs. Again, all of the DLCs and the main game had those quests and all they did was extend playtime.

  25. Daryl says:

    So, uh, what about the aspects of the game? The FOV? Will my scroll wheel work in menus? I haven’t seen anything anywhere (not just RPS) that could inform me of whether or not this will be another broken console port. When we finally got the co-op working, it was fun, but more of a hassle than it was worth really. Sorry, Gearbox. You fooled me the first time. Won’t happen again.

    • piercehead says:

      They’ve already mentioned that the menus will be PC-ified with mouse wheel support n all. The biggest bugbear of the first game. I’m fairly sure I heard they’ve put in an FOV slider too, so no more having to bind FOV to sprint etc.

      I’m looking forward to this. Just wondering whether one of the classes will be able to fill the hole left by snipey/stabby Mordecai :)

    • fish99 says:

      I don’t really agree. It was 10 minutes work with ini files to fix the major stuff wrong with the game (i.e FOV and mouse acceleration), and the menus weren’t so bad they ever actually annoyed me. You wanna see bad menus, try Dead Island -shudder-

      It’s a shame you missed a great co-op game due to something as benign as absent mouse wheel inventory support.

      • Daryl says:

        Um, I did play it. I said in my post that as soon as we got the co-op working, it was fun but didn’t seem worth the hassle. I got it at launch and it definitely took more than 10 minutes to fix the UI issues, and that doesn’t include the several days of fiddling with ports, DMZs and what not it took to finally be able to connect to my friends. The point here isn’t just that the menu system sucked, but that they clearly promised something different than what was delivered.

        Also, I shouldn’t have to edit my .ini files to get basic features to work. They should be included right out of the box, especially when the developer claims they are treating the PC version “very seriously”.

        • fish99 says:

          I guess that explains it. I played it a few months after launch, when the ini tweaks were widely known about, and I also played it over LAN so had no connection issues. It’d also had multiple patches by then.

          Fair enough.

  26. InternetBatman says:

    The one thing I hope they add (besides better multiplayer) is a world map. Teleporting was always a game of guess and see if you remembered the right name.

  27. mouton says:

    Borderlands was way, way too easy. When playing with 3 friends, there was really no challenge at all. Only in later ng+ stages were there ever moments where we had any problems at all. And even that barely.

  28. Milky1985 says:

    Was there an option in the quest to keep the images for yourself for later study?

    For science of course, nothing more!

  29. The Dark One says:

    This is certainly good news. Borderlands is one of those games that I spent dozens of hours playing, even if I was complaining a lot of the time. They found that gameplay hook, but slacked off in a bunch of ways, either with too few enemy models, stiff, uninteractive NPCs, too few lines from the hero characters, and a terrible interface. Especially when compared to the L4D games which came out at around the same time, it felt like they hadn’t put nearly enough effort into the little stuff.

    If they’ve truly paid attention to those little things, then I’ll be far way more willing to plonk down money for it.

  30. Premium User Badge

    Chaz says:

    Is there still a melee character like Brick in this one? He was by far my favourite character in the first one. Going into his “Hulk” style rage and smashing mobs in the face was brilliant fun.

  31. TechnicalBen says:

    Can we have more photoshop in the screenshots please?

    Joking, I’m only joking. ;)
    But really, I hope the game looks as vibrant in motion. :)

  32. Iskariot says:

    Gearbox is really addressing each and every gripe I had about the first game. Not that I did not enjoy myself immensely with the first Borderlands game and its excellent DLC. But this second game will be one of the highlights of PC gaming this year. For me at least.

  33. Davie says:

    Oh my, this looks excellent. I really hope it doesn’t lose the sort of rusty, redneck atmosphere you mentioned because that was basically the most memorable thing about the original game.

    And on that note, what’s the music like? Does it still have the awesome blues/tribal combination of the original, or do we have to put up with more dubstep?

  34. FunkyBadger3 says:

    I don’t see any numbers coming out of the enemies in any of those screenshots.

    I am disappoint.

  35. Radiant says:

    Gunzerk?
    GUNZERK?
    You MOTHERFUCKERS.

  36. Premium User Badge

    ffordesoon says:

    That stuff about NPCs actually being A Thing now just upgraded Borderlands 2 to a day-one purchase.

    I loved the quirky sense of style the first hour of the game had, with the great voice acting and the cool cinemas. And then it just kind of stopped for a really long time. I saw a couple more funny bits (the Catch-A-Ride dude in particular was delightful), but the majority of it was just “shoot mans until mans fall over” standard Diablo questing, and that hurt and eventually killed the game for me. It was fun, but it annoyed me that it did that first hour so well and then seemed to kind of abandon it. I have no problem with “just fun” games, but it aggravated me that Borderlands didn’t act like what it was from the outset.

  37. OfftheHeZie says:

    TIE fighter incoming from that moon.

  38. orange says:

    My eyes are glued to those screenshots. They look incredible and the environments are breathtaking. It’s refreshing to have some colour in a game too.

  39. DOLBYdigital says:

    Looks great and sounds fun. Hoping for variety and more tactical decisions during fights. Would love a melee character and local co-op for PC but that might be pushing it. Also I guess I’m weird but I like flying enemies (manhacks) and bosses that require some thought instead of just more bullets (although that is hard to do correctly).

  40. alseT says:

    They better have implemented 2 features that were sorely missing from the first game:
    1.Instanced loot ala GW2 or Diablo 3 so the closest people don’t loot everything.
    2.Some kind of trade system.

  41. ScottHarrigan says:

    It is great to see this game looking healthy and strong. They seem to have added super powers that were far more fun and a few new interesting game play elements. The bosses in the first game were sometimes lacking as many of them required the shoot and run away tactics, along with simple side stepping. There looks like it will involve much more strategy with its combat which is usually a plus. Gearbox seems unlikely to disappoint.

    http://www.videodetective.com/games/borderlands-2/493501

    This trailer says it all. Blast enemies and get better guns to blast bigger enemies in even better ways than the first game.

  42. shopshop1 says:

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