It was only in June that I was first introduced to the sprawling wasteland that was Pandora. This world, from the RPG Borderlands, was its own character trapped in a post-apocalyptic universe filled with bandits, creepy critters, and looting…lots and lots of looting.
I put in so many hours into this game, playing with a friend offline, cool vault hunters online, and soloing to find the elusive pearlescents. Borderlands fed my addiction of stats and collecting, causing me to fall in love with this game, the first game to make me feel like a true gamer since Red Dead Redemption.
Cue Borderlands 2.
As I started to get more into the game, I found a community on Reddit, /r/borderlands, that made me feel like I wasn’t the only one putting so many hours into roaming Pandora. These were veteran gamers and RPG fans, casual gamers who liked the game’s originality, and newcomers who were taken in by the amazing ad work of the Gearbox crew.
They got me psyched for the new game, and with constant posts and links, allowed me to keep updated on what was to come. With the release less than a week away, here’s why I am counting the minutes. For now, let’s count the reasons while this game will exceed expectations.
Guns, guns, and more and more and more guns. The Guinness-shattering record number of weapons from the first game will somehow be larger. For those not too familiar with the game, there are so many unique weapons, ranging from high-powered assault rifles, to a pistol that shoots explosive, lightning, fire, and acid rounds…all within a few shots.
The color-coded rarity of the weapons made searching for the best guns that much more addicting, with the oh-so-elusive pearlescents making me stick around for more than just a couple of playthroughs. And now, rocket launchers and grenade will be relevant. The “Sticky Longbow Incendiary Transfusion” grenade sounds only a little bit cool…
Fixing what didn’t work. The cumbersome menu became a major issue for players, especially in split-screen mode. But, the Gearbox team did more to fix that here, creating what seems to be a fluid, sleek menu system. Now, quickly switching weapons or planning your skill tree will be a breeze. Speaking of which…
Game-changing skill trees. In the original Borderlands, skill trees added to stats, improving things such as your action skill or health, equipping you with abilities to take on high-leveled enemies. The skill trees in the sequel take that concept and somehow make it infinitely better. Now, in Borderlands 2, you can make your action skill change the battlefield completely, whether it’s setting off a nuclear bomb while deploying your turret, flipping off your opponents, or making enemies turn on each other.
The major decisions you’ll have to make in picking your skills will make multiple playthroughs not only relevant for trying out other characters, but trying out different versions of the same character. Speaking of which…
Salvador is breaking bald. Gearbox decided to add a little customization for each character, allowing users to have different heads, outfits, and more when playing with their character. While it’s not a major addition, as this is a first-person shooter, it certainly adds a bit more fun to the game. Plus it references Breaking Bad. Man, does the Borderlands series have some great pop cultural and historical references.
Just what I needed, more incentives to play this forever. The badass rank system is Gearbox’s way of saying, “Why don’t you play for another 50 hours?” This system gives you stat bonuses for your Borderlands profile, meaning you can increase your gun damage, health, shield capacity, and plenty of other stats for all of the characters. All you have to do is complete challenge to earn tokens, which you then spend on the bonuses, making your character even more unstoppable.
You. Will. Die. (Seriously.) The Crawmerax was notorious for being impossible to beat, specifically hitting that damn critical on his back. Luckily, with a glitch, it made it quite possible for some players. But now, we’re going to have to take on the new Crawmerax, Terramorphous. Like last time, we can assume it will drop some awesome loot, but unlike last time, I’ll have to do it without the benefit of a glitch the first couple of times.
Tempting…oh so tempting. Rumors have surfaced regarding this gold chest. This chest will give users (who pre-ordered the game) some of the rarest, most badass weapons in the game…but only relative to your character’s level. So, it is essentially a test of will. Can you last long enough knowing that quite possibly one of the coolest weapons in the game will be waiting for you? Or do you think you’ll be getting some of the later ones Gearbox will be awarding?
Who am I playing as first? Well, at first I was a Salvador fan, expecting him to just run through crowds of people guns blazing. But then I realized (like half the people who will play this game) how cool Zer0 was. Plus, I played as Mordecai my first couple of times through the original Borderlands, so it makes sense. Though, I might try to focus on the pistol with Zer0 in this game. To all the Axtons of the world, I salute you.
Fresh off the bus (again). Remember when you first got into Fyrestone? There was a whole adventure awaiting you. Unexpected enemies, weapons with uncommon power, and so many places to explore and travel to. Then there was the Crimson Armory, or farmory, which with a (possibly intentional) glitch, gave us infinite firepower. What will be our new farming spot? There have been plenty of trailers showing new enemies, weapons, and skills, but I’m sure the Gearbox team kept some great secrets under wraps that will soon be discovered.