The last thing the market of video games needs is another FPS. First person shooters have become so popular that even the older generations of people know about Call of Duty. With the oversaturation of the FPS genre, the quality has suffered. Each new game claims revolutionary ideas and gameplay mechanics when in actuality the new game is simply the old game with better looking graphics and a new gimmick or two. The Call of Duty series is guilty of this depreciation in quality of content. That’s what companies do to promote aging ideas; they claim that the new refinements are worth spending the extra cash. My point is that, in this day and age, if you’ve played one FPS, you’ve played them all. Now, you’ve read the title of this article and are probably wondering why I would waste all this space saying new FPS games are pointless if I’m reviewing another FPS. I’ll tell you why: you’ve never played anything as fresh and as rich as Borderlands 2.
How Will You Play?
Borderlands 2 is an FPS of epic proportions. It takes place on the planet Pandora where there are sentient robots and mutated animals that a normal human couldn’t even imagine. The original map size is gigantic and the number of guns is unbelievable. Sure, the basic elements of an FPS are present with the viewpoint and guns and bad guys but the focus of the game is on the character that you build and the guns.
At the beginning of the game, you have 4 characters that you can choose from that all have different skill trees that are coupled with a unique ability that can only be activated for a short time and require a cooldown period. Axton can send out a turret, Zero can turn invisible, Maya can use forcefields, and Salvador can use any two guns at the same time. Each character has three different skill trees that focus the ability in different ways. For example, Maya can either focus on doing different kinds of elemental damage or she can focus on healing. There are combinations between the trees that can be done meaning you aren’t limited to one tree but you do have to invest skill points as you gain levels in order to unlock more skills. You gain levels by killing enemies and completing missions. Even better, you can play any unlocked mission with 3 more people over the internet or play split screen with a buddy at home.
Guns, Guns, and More Guns
In order to kill enemies, you will need guns. You start with pretty lame guns as expected. As you kill enemies and explore the map, you will find guns. They are color coded as to their rarity with white being the least rare and orange, or Legendary, being the rarest. The rarer the guns, the more ridiculous the properties of the guns while also having the characteristics of one the gun manufacturers in the game and possibly doing elemental damage as well. The elements are fire, shock, corrosive, explosive, and slag, which just makes the target take more damage from other guns. For example, when you reload a Tediore gun, you throw it and it explodes and a new one appears in your hand. There is a Legendary quality Tediore shotgun that homes in on enemies when you reload it. And honestly, that is a tame representation of what some of the guns will do. Borderlands 2 has a huge number of guns, estimated at over a billion different guns, but most of them will be of the weak and useless variety. However, the good ones are worth the trouble and thus the addiction of hunting for guns.
The Verdict: 10/10, With Caution
Borderlands 2 is a deep game, always offering better guns and more levels through sheer size of the standalone game coupled with the DLC packs, and, while I’ve barely done it justice with this review, it deserves a perfect score. I enjoyed it immensely until I started getting sucked into the madness. You may not believe me but the line between having fun and being addicted is easy to overlook with this game. You start thinking about new guns during your day job and it pesters you all day, like a fly that’s trapped inside your ear. Despite this seedy potential, Borderlands 2 is a fantastic and fun game. Just proceed with caution.