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Borderlands 2 Review (PS3)

The biggest problem with Borderlands 2 is that it’s Borderlands 2. Alright, review’s done, let’s go home…

Fine! In more detail, the first and most persistent issue with Borderlands 2 is that the charms of its predecessor all came from it being something we hadn’t really seen before. You got some RPG in my FPS, what’s up with that? The result was like a peanut butter and jam sandwich; sounds a bit weird, but was really good. The trouble was the DLC for the first game already made the idea wear out its welcome…. but not so much that we weren’t all looking forward to a sequel.

The trouble is Borderlands 2 fails to “take it to the next level”, pardon the cliché. We don’t just want more of the same with new classes, some tweaks to the procedural weapons and a few extra cut-scenes. No, we want flying vehicles, we want new planets, we want space battles, we want a choice between first and third person mode for shooting or driving, we want the moon on a stick and all for a very reasonable price, thank you.

So mostly then, the problem with Borderlands 2 is I got too excited about it. But that’s kind of my point. The whole marketing strategy for the game was to make you expect Borderlands 2 to be so much more than the first game, it’s a bit of a disappointment when it’s just… More Borderlands.

Snappy opening with a cool song that makes you reach for Shazam? Check. Nice cel-shaded world with a Mad Max in space vibe? Check. Solid shooting controls and dodgy driving controls? Check. It’s all here, everything in the first game, whether good or bad, with nothing new that isn’t a minor detail.

The story is perhaps the only thing that’s truly bigger and better, but that boils down to a few high moments that are great at the time but not exactly memorable. I say that, because when the game is all done and expects you to do it again for better loot, there isn’t much of an urge to do so.

The net result is something akin to someone telling you the same joke repeatedly and expecting you find it as funny as you did the first time. So yes, it’s still a snappy looking shooter with a near infinite number of weapons, but it’ll be more enjoyable if you didn’t play the first game, because those who played the original Borderlands (and all its add-ons) will be sick of Borderlands 2 before it’s finished.

It should also be said it’s one of those games that’s much better played with friends, but I see that as code for “Not good enough to play alone”.

6 phaselocks out of 10


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