Borderlands II

A lot of great games were released in 2012, and many more to come in 2013.  Among those from last year is Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Halo IV, Far Cry III, and Borderlands II.  The most interesting among these three games is Borderlands II because it has been such a long awaited sequel.  I played the first Borderlands on its release in 2009 when I first got my Xbox 360.  I only rented it and had some difficulty playing it because it was my first platform RPG.  Its most striking qualities were the very animated graphics and cartoonish game play.

The game comes along with a very humorous storyline and the dialogue is hilarious.  The reason I am more interested in its sequel is because last year, I bought Skyrim, which is one of the largest RPGs to touch any console.  The game has tens of thousands of miles in landscape and is all about the player progressing from a prisoner to a Thane, to becoming the savior of the whole country of Skyrim.  Skyrim is obviously an RPG, cave diving and quest driven, with a mix of first person shooter action (bows, arrows, and spells).  The possibilities are endless and I loved Skyrim.  That is a huge reason why I am buying Borderlands 2.

Different from Skyrim, Borderlands does not let you fully customize your character, although you can equip outfits and a plethora of weapons to them, you choose from four characters. Maya, the Siren, has a special ability to Phaselock enemies and to trap them in a bubble so you and your team can shoot them while they are paralyzed, Salvador, the Gunzerker, can dual wield weapons, Zer0 is the assassin and can become invisible for five seconds and has increased damage, and finally Axton, the Commando, can deploy two turrets to help in your battle to reach the vaults.  Along with DLC released on October 9, you can play as Gaige, the Mechromancer.

Along with a heroic story line, a few heroes come to the world of Pandora (not Avatar) and are trying to overthrow the oppressive ruler, Handsome Jack.  Along the way, you earn experience, new weapons, new costumes, and much more.  Some reviews say that the game is similar to Diablo, another RPG looting game.  However, I don’t believe the two are similar because while Diablo is a very serious RPG with realistic graphics, Borderlands II is much more cartoonish and is in the first person.  Also, Diablo is more or less a solo journey, whereas B2 is almost always companion-filled.

A huge factor to Borderlands II is the Co-Op game play.  If your friend is online playing B2, they can join your game and come into your world, and the two of you can complete quests with ease.  If you do not want to play online, of course you can take on Pandora and Jack solo, but this is much more difficult, and depending on which character you choose, almost impossible.  Playing online also levels you up much faster and gets you better loot.  Your player will gain XP, cash, and Eridium (native coin) at nearly twice as fast as in solo play.  I actually almost notice myself leveling up at up to three times the rate compared to playing alone.  This happens because depending on the amount of Vault Hunters you are playing alongside (maximum of four players), the enemies you face are much higher levels.  Borderlands II is a great game that offers a fresh new outlook on games from the boring ‘shoot, shoot, die, start over’ action from Call of Duty and other first person shooters.  It has hours and hours of game play, and you may even want to play it over again with another character since they all offer different abilities.