I know we have a thread for the UI, and another for the Gore. I was hoping for some discussion of the game itself, however. So lets get started:
Borderlands 2 is an excellent game. Its a huge improvement over the first one in many - but not all - categories. There are some minor issues, and I wish to get the bad out of the way first:
-The UI. Its floaty and off to the side, now. Almost like you are looking at it from an angle, which bothers me for some reason. Also, its messy. Comparing items you might buy with equipped items is cumbersome. In general moving through the UI could be improved. I would even prefer the UI from BL1 to this, to be honest.
-Too many suicide enemies. This is a shooter. You have one basic melee strike. Yet 50% of the enemies you will fight will insist on rushing you as fast as possible. Some will explode suicide-bomber style and others will just pound you. Regardless of their purpose there are simply too many melee/suicide rushers in this game, period, and it gets annoying at times.
-The Return of the Bullet Sponges. Because the difference between a grunt and a boss should involve two things: 1. Better costuming and 2. a FAR larger health bar.
-Weak boss weapons. So far, a few hours in, boss drops - as in the first game - continue to disappoint.
-Quick respawns. Please, please let Gearbox patch the respawn time so once I clear an instanced world space/map it does not respawn until I leave and come back. The loot does not respawn, but once again, enemies do.
That said, Borderlands 2 also features many improvements:
-A living world. Different creatures and factions hate one another. Raks dive bomb Skags, who attack bandits. Bullymogs attack everyone. The world feels much more alive as a result.
-Better NPC's. Many of them move around now, and have some basic, Oblivion style AI. Not quite as in depth as that, but its an improvement. A big one.
-Better graphics/display options. We're treated like we play on PC, this time. Uncapped Frame Rates!
-More exciting guns. Their visuals are more varied and their effects louder and more colorful. Also, better weapons seem to appear toward the beginning of the game, at least in co-op mode, making for more satisfying loot drops.
-Better enemy AI and pathing. They dodge, leap and jump around. The cooperate better, too.
-Physics based impacts. Shotguns and sniper rifles especially will knock enemies backward or off balance, as in Rage. Occasionally a well placed hit will cause an enemy to fall down or drag a wounded leg. Nice touches.
I am eager for thoughts on the following, as some might consider them boons while others despise the changes:
-Many of the better guns now use 2 and 3 rounds per shot. Can be frustrating early, but actually makes ammo matter.
-Shields. The better ones seem to drain health now in exchange for higher shields, making shields a give and take as opposed to the (sometimes overly large and unbalanced) boon of the first game. I found it a little...disappointing, myself, especially with the numerous "suicide bandits" but am learning to work around it.
All around a better game and one I recommend, if you can play it coop. I love BL2 enough to say I do not regret buying it at full price, but I can honestly say at the same time, this formula won't work for me a third time, despite the first two installments.