With the approaching Borderlands 2 release date, it’s time to revisit the world of Pandora to determine what 2K Games along with Gearbox Software are considering for the sequel to 2009’s game of the year.
The original incarnation of Borderlands saw massive success as a result of the distinct game play style, now classified as the Role Playing Shooter for the RPG and FPS elements combined. That being said, there are some criticisms with the original. Let’s examine exactly what the production crews have done to rectify these shortfalls and see why Borderlands 2 will build on and ultimately outdo its predecessor.
The major problem from Borderlands ended up being the similarity in regards to landscapes throughout the complete game. Even though this was addressed in the follow on DLC’s, those that only picked up the first game felt they were playing through one never-ending piece of rock and desert. The programmers heeded the complaint and devoted plenty of effort to make sure that the playable regions are a lot more diverse with arctic tundra, dangerous grasslands as well as corrosive caverns being named as some of the new playable areas. A nice little sideline is that in Borderlands 2, if you can see an location it is possible to explore that region at some stage throughout the game play.
Vehicles also got some criticism, namely, for those who were playing four person online co-op, the only automobiles available were two seater, so this means two vehicles required or else the others were walking. The vehicular combat was a bit of a dredge with the ability to sit off and lob missiles at enemies without any real chance of being killed yourself. I’m pleased to say that four person vehicles have become offered and the combat mechanics have been tweaked to ‘level the playing field’ somewhat. The ability to drift your vehicles is also a nice brand new addition.
Despite the fact that guns were plentiful (to the tune of millions) there was a handful of elements which made their acquisition, recognition and resultant usage just a little tedious. This time around, the procedurally generated system for guns as well as shields has seen some considerable attention with much more available and a larger choice of styles on top of that. The ease regarding recognition for weapons has been improved by making the designs as well as colours specific to manufacturers to prevent having to ‘scan’ guns to ascertain if you would like add them to your inventory.
Additionally to these rectifications a selection of other features have been added including four all new characters to select from, a mass of new enemy NPC’s along with upgraded AI, weapon enhancements, skill trees and also dynamic online co-op in addition to dedicated single player campaigns.
Whilst some of these criticisms may well appear small, when competing in a market so greatly saturated with epic release titles, everything counts and can be the difference between success and mediocrity. Although Borderlands got it right, the developers are certainly not resting on their laurels and expecting another knockout success simply on the back of their first efforts. They have developed a game that retains just what most people enjoyed about the first and built on it to ensure even though you’re going to get the nice feeling of going to the same planet, you are not just playing a clone of the first. The Borderlands 2 release date has been set for mid to late 2012.