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YMMV: Border Lands 2
  • 8.8:
    • The Wall Street Journal review, mainly for comparing it unfavorably to Call of Duty. Probably no one reads the WSJ for video game reviews, but it still sparked angry comments of the apples-to-oranges variety from Borderlands fans.
    • The boys of Penny Arcade got into a bit of an argument over the game, with Tycho describing it as "obviously perfect," and Gabe annoyed at the questing and loot systems.
      Tycho: People used to ask me what I liked about Donkey Konga, what was so great about it, which made me scrunch up my face. This is a game where you beat bongos with your friends; it needs no justification. It justifies itself. Fuck off.
      Well, Borderlands 2 is a game where you play bongos on enemy faces, at range, with firearms. You and friends can even shoot the same face. When the face has been completely, um... played, treasure comes out. Again, you know, I didnít know we had to convene the Council of Elrond on this shit. That all sounds pretty good.
  • A.I. Breaker/Good Bad Bugs:
    • Fighting the final boss again after completion of the main storyline, whether by glitch or by design, can be completed very easily with nary a scratch on the player (valid in a solo match; have not tested others). Charge into the arena, die on purpose, and the player respawns at the beginning of the area. Head toward the arena but do not walk down the "stairs." Sit at the top of these stairs, pull out a sniper rifle or an assault rifle with a scope or the Critical Conference Call and hit the weak spots on the sides of the boss. The A.I. doesn't know what to do, resulting in maybe needing to dodge one or two thrown rocks the entire fight, otherwise taking no damage. To make this one-sided fight even more unfair, the player can still access the vending machines. Money allowing, the player has no need to worry about ammo.
    • If you're in the arena, you can also just run to the extreme left. You'll be near an ammo replenishing machine and just have to deal with Crystalisks.
    • Similarly, you can take out the BNK3R by hiding under the canopy and pounding him with ammo from there. The worst you'll deal with is the occasional mortar you'll have to run away from.
    • And if you die to Badassasaurus, you can just hide behind the barricade and shutter at the entrance to the arena. This is only slightly trickier, since it has a lot of ways to hurt or even kill you while you're back there, but you can always back out into the hallway (and even buy ammo and health) to avoid harm completely. Torgue weapons also help here as well, as most bullets bounce off him, but explosive Gyrojets don't.
    • The fight with Piston can end up this way as well. The door doesn't close all the way, so you can crouch underneath if you need to get back to the vending machines. And there's a barrier blocking the door, so you can just take potshots at him. Since he's labeled a cheater in-universe already, there's no reason why you can't do the same to him.
    • When doing the quest where you confront the Sheriff of Lynchwood, her cronies at first are green/allies like the NPC's in Sanctuary, meaning you can't hurt them. Then once she shows up, they turn hostile and shoot at you. If you gradually back away from the area, they will return to green, but the sheriff will continue chasing after you. If you're good with a sniper rifle, you can take her out while her men just wander around aimlessly. However, after the quest is turned in, they will always be hostile to you should you reload the game and return to the area.
    • For a while, you could power-level by repeatedly accepting the "You Are Cordially Invited: RSVP" mission and killing Flesh-Stick over and over. This was especially exploitable in co-op, where one player would keep accepting the mission and the other would keep killing him. He would spawn every time you start the mission, and killing him would fail it, and he also gave a ton of experience when killed (probably because he's a boss character, after a fashion). And he's not much tougher than a regular psycho. You can see the problem. A patch would eventually fix this — killing Flesh-Stick no longer nets you any experience.
    • There was a bug around release that left many a player with a good giggle. During the intro, just after beating Knuckle Dragger and when approaching the barge, you know how Claptrap tries to unlock it and instead the barge gets locked? Well, there were a few instances where the barge would actually unlock and open rather than shut itself. The hilarity of the situation wasn't helped at all by Claptrap giving a farewell speech.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Did Handsome Jack really think he was doing good things throughout the game? Was he too blinded by his ego to believe what he was doing was wrong? Or is he a bastard who willingly abused and lied to his daughter, destroyed Pandora to create his own personal paradise, and did most of his evil deeds For the Evulz?
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Wilhelm is set up as The Dreaded, to the point that even the Guardian Angel is scared of him. He almost killed the previous Vault Hunters when they all took him on at once between games. So long as you have a half-way decent corrosive weapon, a powerful Jakobs revolver and a good shotgun to kill his surveyors, he goes down in less than a minute. Considering that his defeat was a Batman Gambit by Jack to get you to plug in his power core into Sanctuary's defenses, this is justified. Updates have increased his difficulty substantially, however, primarily by giving him higher health.
    • Handsome Jack. Foreshadowed copiously though; all his fights in the backstory and in the game up till then aren't direct, and Angel tells you several times what a coward he is. The fight is more difficult in the second playthrough, though.
    • Piston. The Badassasaurus is a decent challenge/threat, but Piston himself a complete pushover, and deliberately so.
    • Professor Nakayama. To be fair, he does tell you over the ECHOnet that he's pretty scared and unprepared for you as you finish the story missions, but when you end up fighting him, he falls down the stairs, and you can easily shoot him as it happens. Or if you don't, he dies anyway from falling down the stairs. Largely averted with his secret weapon boss which you fight prior to him though.
    • Arguably played with with the Warrior. Despite the incredible build up to a fight with the Warrior, if you have a fast-firing weapon that does enough damage, (preferably a powerful Jakobs assault rifle, as the Gatling Gun and Cannon variants are especially good) you can make the Warrior submerge into the lava with enough damage, before he can even attack once, especially on Solo. This makes a normally incredibly difficult and climactic fight pathetically easy to the point where the Crystalisks are arguably more difficult than the Warrior itself. This is true even on True Vault Hunter Mode and the even harder Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode.
  • Awesome Music:
    • "Short Change Hero" by the Heavy is certainly a kickass tune to start a kickass tune. Also, "How You Like Me Now" in the credits.
    • The theme for the showdown with the Sheriff.
    • All of the music from Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage. 80's power ballads have never been so appropriately atmospheric.
    • The thumping Dam Top theme that plays when you fight the Hyperion robots on the Bloodshot Ramparts.
    • Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep gives us the theme for the climatic battle with the Handsome Sorcerer. The DLC may mostly be satirical, but the Handsome Sorceror's theme is as epic and mystical as a mighty sorcerer's theme should be. Since it is a Suspiciously Similar Song compared "The Great Pyramid" theme from Serious Sam The First Encounter, it might also be an intentional shout out.
    • From Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty, the battle theme for Wurmwater.
  • Best Boss Ever: The BNK3R. It's a huge target, has lots of health, and all of its attacks are highly telegraphed. This means you get to shoot things a lot but aren't in too much danger; the perfect Breather Boss to cap off the frantic level that came before it.
  • Best Level Ever:
    • The mission where you rescue Roland from atop a dam. It's the first time you fight loaders en masse, and the pace is frantic but manageable, especially since there's bandits mixed in and not too many badass enemies. So you get to plow your way through loads of an entirely new enemy type with 5 crit spots that explodes when it dies, and there's a satisfying boss battle waiting at the end.
    • Opportunity city. The enemies are tricky, but it contains some of the game's funniest writing, and has numerous missions in a small space, so lots of things happen while you're there without too much backtracking to bog it down. There's also a chance for a Giant Mook to spawn at the end of one of those quests, which makes for an epic closer. Not to mention the fact that it's one of the first opportunities to REALLY piss off Jack, which is extremely satisfying.
    • Lynchwood. While the difficulty almost lands it in That One Level territory, the atmosphere, layout, and pacing of this wild west-style dungeon make it VERY fun to play through. And the Sheriff is extremely fun to fight against (she even considers you a Worthy Opponent.) You can even fight her over and over again! And the best thing about this is that her secret stash always opens and she nearly always drops a blue item, a green item, money and at least a bar of Eridium, making it a great way to get money and farm Eridium.
    • "Where Angels Fear to Tread" Part 1 is widely regarded as the funnest level in the game, beginning with a full on assault on Control Core Angel with Loaders, Constructors, Hyperion Soldiers and a Badass Constructor. After this trek up to Control Core Angel? A boss fight against the aforementioned Best Boss Ever. This then culminates in a fight for survival while Loaders constantly spawn in as you survive long enough to destroy Angel's Eridium injectors. And after all of this? Roland is killed by Jack and Lilith is captured.
  • Breather Level: "Toil and Trouble," Chapter 16 of the main story. The previous mission is a highly varied and brutal series of challenging objectives that introduces Hyperion's proper military force. It's also the most emotionally draining sequence in the entire game, for reasons covered in spoiler tags throughout the Borderlands pages. "Toil and Trouble," by contrast, is a good-old-fashioned shoot 'em up mission with tons of bandits and hilarious mission writing that actively requests that you complete the mission in the most Troperrific way possible. After what you've been through lately, it's a very welcome change of pace and return to the goofy bandit slaughter of the early game.
  • Broken Base:
    • Over the Mechromancer and Psycho DLCs. Most players don't have a problem with Gaige and Krieg themselves, and they're great in gameplay, but some fans did note that for those who didn't pre-order, 800 Microsoft Points/$10 is a pretty steep asking price (Especially since the add-on characters aren't in the Season Pass DLC). After the announcement and release of Krieg, in particular, it got pretty bad, to the point where every post on the Borderlands Game Facebook community (and pretty much anyplace else Borderlands 2 was discussed) drew complaint responses from fans who thought the character DLCs should have been included in the Season Pass, and counter-complaints from fans annoyed with the complainers.
    • Some fans are not pleased about the fact that the level cap has not been increased past 50, even after the release of three (out of four) DLC packs. After 6 months a cap increase has finally been confirmed as well as a brand new New Game+, which eased tensions somewhat. Unfortunately, the eleven-level cap increase also happened to be released as paid DLC, resulting in similar complaints as the Mechromancer DLC. Luckily, the level cap increase is a bonus part of the Season Pass.
  • Cargo Ship: One of the ECHOs you retrieve for Tannis during a quest has her talking about surviving an interrogation and how the people torturing her "killed" some chairs she grew to like. Perhaps because she's crazy to begin with, or due to the trauma from their interrogation techniques (aka beating her up), she mentions one of the chairs saying "I love you Patty", before its gets sat on by one of the torturers.
    • Actually, she flat-out says earlier on she is in an open relationship with both of them.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • A slag Rubi is considered mandatory equipment by a lot of people. What character you are playing as doesn't matter, except for whether or not a bayonet attachment is mandatory as well. This is due to it's red text effect. Whatever damage you do (from any source) while holding the gun will heal you for 12% of the damage done, and if the gun is slag, then everything else is going to do more damage, meaning you get healed more as well.
    • And with Assault on Dragon Keep, there's the mission-specific Grog Nozzle. It does about a fifth of the damage that other level-equivalent pistols do, but with the caveat that 65% of all damage done to the slagged target of the Grog Nozzle heals the player. Suffice to say, Claptrap's not likely to get his wizard beard....
    • A Double Penetrating Unkempt Harold is also borderline mandatory equipment for every character as well. A Salvador that is properly specced for pistols Gunzerking with both a DPUH and a slag Rubi (or Grog Nozzle) can effortlessly kill any raid boss by himself. This build is known as "Pistol God".
    • This is all because of a mechanic known as "health gating". As long as you are over 50% of your max HP, you cannot die in one hit. By keeping HP low and damage high, you can easily heal 50% of your HP with every hit, making you unkillable.
  • Counterpart Comparison: It's very easy to see Handsome Jack as a western counterpart for Terumi Yuuki, in terms of depraved Trolling.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • The game in a nutshell. You're on a death planet, either as a super-powered siren, a psychopathic soldier who blew up the dignitary he was supposed to protect, a maniac that wields two guns and kills people for fun, a haiku-spouting cyber-ninja who-may-or-may-not be a robot, a teenage girl who lopped off her left arm to make summoning her floating killer robot easier, or a raving, insanity-spewing sadistic psycho who sets himself on fire for power. And you have to fight a bizarre, evil, and generally sociopathic organization with no regard for human life, a ton of maniacal, murderous bandits that occasionally spout movie quotes and recite lines from Hamlet, and the wildlife of said death planet. Helping you is a 13-year old that likes explosives a bit too much, a conniving, conning weapons dealer who explicitly says "No Refunds," a doctor without a medical license or morals, a man who likes to punch things to death, a drunken sniper, another incredibly powerful siren, and a soldier who used to date said siren. Oh, and you have to kill a god. Did we mention the midgets? because there are totally midgets in there, too.
    • Character-wise, Krieg, Salvador, Tiny Tina, Tannis, Gaige and Handsome Jack probably represent this trope the best.
    • Mr. Torgue is practically the Patron Saint of Crazy Awesome for Borderlands, being the founder of a gun company that specializes in weapons with exploding bullets, speaking at a volume that never goes below a massive yell, having a censor bleep grafted into his voice box, exemplifying Large and in Charge (even though he's no longer the head of his own company, not that he minds), and being incredibly polite to women, such that when one is blatantly disrespected, he orders you to punch the offender until he explodes.
  • Critical Dissonance: The Playstation Vita version has divided both critics and players alike. The graphics are downgraded but look rather nice for a Vita game. The controls are tweaked but some have found optimal configurations that work for them. The content is all there but the game doesn't always run perfectly, but many customers have said they understand the technical limitations of the system and that the performance is "good enough" to still be perfectly playable and fun. You're either on the side that accepts the issues as minor annoyances or on the side that flat-out calls them deal-breaking and looks the other way.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • With the wasteland setting that pulls less punches than it probably should there's a lot of this. Certainly the pirate involved in "child-schmafficking with some schmannibalism on the side" comes to mind.
    • Playing as Gaige can yield a lot of hilarious moments when you sit back and digest the implications. This is most obvious during Lucky's Wake, where the Hodunks basically told a 18 year old girl to get drunk, drive out there and shoot up a funeral!
    • In the Wedding Day DLC, you're tasked with, in this order, kidnapping a baby, getting drunk (off of vintage whiskey), then dangle said baby over a mixing blade while shouting random things (ranging from hilariously bad insults to flat out swearing) to get it to cry. To make it more hilarious the one who suggested this quest, Ellie, actually wanted you to drop the baby in (long story). Moxxi had to pull her back, saying that while the Vault Hunters have done some questionable things, there are certain lines you just don't cross. You can, of course, do all of this as Gaige, where the above implications makes you practically dance on the line.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Suicide Psychos, EXP Loaders, basically anything that can kill you or drop your shields in one hit. They're hard enough to kill before they reach you if they're charging straight at you, but if they come from the sides, you are fucked. And since these guys blow themselves up to kill you, if they do manage to do that and no one else is around, you can't get second winds.
    • Constructors are this for different reasons: their ability to spawn turrets and other Loaders, combined with their obscene amount of health and own devastating weapons make them hard to beat. To top it off, they're often flanked by repair drones. Without a corrosive weapon, they're almost impossible.
    • Wormhole Threshers. They suck you in, grow spikes, kill you before you even notice what's happening. Guaranteed they'll kill you a bazillion times the first time you go into the Caustic Caverns unless you have a Spike Shield, since every tick counts as a melee attack, in which case it'll die to your spikes instead. Hell, all threshers besides the smallest tadpole threshers are these in general. Their weak spot is almost impossible to hit, and their AI is designed to surround and ambush you. There is a reason why this game's bonus boss Terramorphous is a thresher.
    • Stalkers, full stop. They're these purple bat-looking things that crawl on the ground, can lunge at you from 50 feet away, shoot darts from damn near across the map, and turn invisible for short periods of time. And as a bonus, they come in packs of 7-8 and are one of the only creatures on Pandora with shields. Hope you've got a turret that's good at crowd control! There's a reason they're referred to as "Invisibl Assholes" by in-game signs. Spike shooting Stalkers like to go either out of your field of vision or places you simply can't reach, and use the arc of their spikes to keep you at bay without exposing themselves to any danger. Yeesh.
    • Crystalisks can be this, if you're not careful. They have a mass of hp, damaging attacks (particularly their big exploding crystal, which can be shot out of the air if you're good), and if you don't aim at their crit spots their thick hides will repel your bullets, possibly right back towards you. Thankfully, melee attacks shatter the crystals in one hit each, but that means you have to get within stomping range of a ten-ton rock monster. Oddly the giant version you fight in one quest is a Breather Boss.
      • Crystalisks get a lot harder to kill in UVHM, however — the boss versions in particular are virtually impossible to kill solo, as you simply can't damage them much faster than they heal.
    • Lab Rats if they aren't taken down fast enough. Leave them alive for too long and they'll hit you with their laser eyes which can bring you down from full health and shields to around 10% health.
    • From playthrough 2, Goliath Blasters. They dual-wield rocket launchers. And unlike you, they have unlimited ammo. Although shooting off their helmets makes them drop the guns, you probably won't see them before they kill you. Heavy Nomads are a slightly lesser version as they only have one rocket launcher, but you can't make them drop the launcher by shooting their helmets off. RPG Loaders are the worst in this regard, though. They have a launcher and the same shoulder missiles as the JET Loaders.
    • From Pirate's Booty, Cursed Pirates. When they hit you, they rapidly heal themselves. If you aren't doing enough damage to kill them before they reach you, you probably aren't doing enough damage to keep up with their healing.
    • Super Badass Maniacs. Take Badass Psychos, give them shields and a lot of HP. Good luck!
    • And if a Super Badass Nomad just happens to show up with one of those maniacs, you'd better have a lot of good elemental weapons and grenades on you. Thankfully they're slow, but unlike the regular shielded nomads, they don't have a hole in their shield you can exploit.
    • Also from playthrough 2 are Rabid Stalkers and Rabid Skags. Both move fast, have a lot of HP (the Stalker has a shield on top of that), and hit hard and fast. You'll need a shock and a fire weapon respectively in order to deal with them properly.
    • Varkids in True Vault Hunter Mode. The small ones are still easy to kill, but if you let them turn into badass ones, look out. And even those can morph into a super badass one. If multiple ones show up, you're in a world of hurt unless you have a good team of players with decent corrosive weapons and can focus fire on one at a time. If you thought Caustic caverns was bad the first time around, wait till you see it in playthrough 2. This gets turned up to eleven in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode due to wanting players to face Vermivorous more, Varkids have a MUCH higher chance of evolving, and evolve faster. If you're not looking to face the raid boss, you better clear the buggers out of there fast, or else you will face an army of badass varkids, giant armored bugs filled with HATE.
    • In playthrough 2, Armored Psychos. You know how Psychos love to get in your face and beat the crap out of you while you're dealing with enemies at mid- to long range? Well, same deal... except these have armor that lets them soak damage like a ShamWow. Averted however, if you have a good corrosive weapon on you and remember to use it on them.
    • Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt introduces Witch Doctors. They can be capable of sending long range beams of whatever element they are at you, propelling themselves into a devastating, bulletproof tornado at times and taking a load of punishment before falling. Furthermore, the attacks of the Vampire Witch Doctor can heal him pretty quickly if they manage to connect. Oh, and they also buff up other savages and heal themselves. Then there are Badass Savages have big shields that mitigate a lot of damage thrown at them, and beyond that are just pure bullet sponges.
      • Witch Doctors can also effectively nullify Phaselock, the only way to get them out of a fight is to kill them.
    • Tiny Tina's Assault On Dragon Keep has the Grand Duke of Ork. Unlike similar enemies (like Varkids), they can easily level up themselves and other orcs nearby before the player even knows they're there. The result being the player can either run away (and hope it doesn't follow) or grind away at an enemy 5 levels higher than them.
    • There's also the Skeleton Mages. Notable not only for their powerful electricity-throwing spells, but also their utter refusal to be pinned down. This makes them near-immune to any melee based character (Bloodshed Zer0 and most Krieg builds) as well as Deathtrap, as they will run the minute you get anywhere near them. And worse, in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, their Healing Factor means that if you spend too long trying to get them to stick around, they'll be healed up and ready for vengeance.
  • Designated Antagonist: The only reason Anton Smith is trying to kill the Vault Hunters is because they're messing with his publicity stunt. In fact, he's actually trying to make Torgue look good by letting him be the one to kill Wattle Gobbler.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The game is generally considered much funnier than the first part, but some jokes - like a line about "replacing" hapless courier's legs by duct-taped pogo sticks, Marcus sending off a nerdy ECHOcaster on a "quest" against bloodthirsty bandits just to sell him a gun, or Handsome Jack's casual murder and mutilation of people, including children, which is Played for Laughs - are either this or Crosses the Line Twice, depending on your personal standards.
    • The whole Blood Feud quest chain starts out as a couple of dumb pranks that Ellie sends you to do so the clans will fight. Then, you blow up a still. Not so bad. Then you burn down some trailers while their occupants are asleep and crash a wake to kill everyone attending. Arguably the intent or the quest line, which seems to deconstruct the horrible things Vault Hunters are willing to do for money.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Tiny Tina and MISTER TORGUE seem to be the most popular characters with the fandom. In fact, part of the reason Mister Torgue's so popular is the fact that he instantly bonds and becomes friends with Tiny Tina.
    • Butt Stallion doesn't even appear on-screen, and the horse is hilariously popular. At least partially because people want to actually see what a living horse made of diamonds would actually look like. And during Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, fans get their wish.
    • The Sheriff of Lynchwood was popular enough with cosplayers and the fandom to appear in the Pre-Sequel. So was Claptrap.
  • Even Better Sequel: The game takes everything that made the first Borderlands so great, and puts it on steroids. The enemies are bigger, the fights are tougher, the story is better and the ending is actually satisfying. The game mechanics for the character classes are just much more interesting and varied. The environments are more varied. Mission objectives are varied (for a given amount of "go here, kill stuff", it's surprisingly diverse). Enemy types are varied. Guns are much more diverse, with brand names having highly distinctive gimmicks between them. New characters are very well written, and returning characters are given new life through better writing. It's just better in every possible sense.
  • Evil Is Cool / Evil Is Sexy: The Sheriff, hands down.
  • Game Breaker: Now with its own page.
  • Goddamn Bats:
    • Rats can be frustrating to fight for various reasons. First and foremost is their speed and twitchy movement patterns. The midget rats are the worst - they're not only fast and ridiculously accurate, but they're also really small targets that aren't burdened by a heavy shotgun or axe like their bandit counterparts.
    • Surveyors are a real pain to fight unless they're healing another enemy, since it's virtually impossible to hit them until they're flying directly at you and will probably get a shot off at you before you can drop them.
    • Rakk. They're very easy to kill, sure, but they almost never show up until you're already fighting something far more dangerous, leaving these things to dive-bomb you and thump you around and block your vision while keeping your shields from recharging. Worse if you're standing near any sort of cliff or a bridge without guard rails, the Rakks attack is strong enough to knock you off most cliffs even if you're a reasonable distance from them (to say nothing of the aforementioned bridges).
    • Savage Hunters are probably the most frustrating breed of rank-and-file savage. They run if they see you coming and their javelins stun you when they connect.
    • Archers in the Tiny Tina DLC. Individual ones usually aren't a threat, but you will almost always run into groups of them. Unlike with bullets fired from guns, the arrows hard to see if you're not watching the archer fire at you, and most of them wear a helmet which protects them against at least one headshot. They're extremely accurate as well, so you should get used to strafing and jumping around to throw off their aim.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • It got patched pretty quickly, but on release, commandos could retrieve other commando's turrets. This may sound like a trolling tactic, but with the Double Up talent you could literally make infinite turrets, because retrieving a turret automatically starts the cooldown of throwing another turret for both the person who originally owned the turret (because it's now off the field) and the person who retrieved the turret (because the game did not distinguish if the turret retrieved was his or not, and it assumed his turret was now off the field).
    • Michael Mamaril, a tribute character with a 10% chance to spawn in Sanctuary and hand you decent loot, appeared 100% of the time on the console versions of the game before the first big patch.
    • In the only true Escort Mission in the game, where you escort the constructor bot in Opportunity to destroy Jack's statues, if you stay as far away as possible from the NPC, no enemies will spawn. However, you should clear the area where the statues are of enemies prior to starting the quest, as they will attack the constructor and given enough time, can kill it.
    • There's a spot nearby where Saturn spawns that if you stand there, it can't attack you. It just sits there and doesn't move no matter how much lead you pump into it. There are also spots for the end boss and the first raid boss where he absolutely can't hit you (though Terramorphous' tentacles can still hurt).
    • If you get Gaige's Anarchy up high enough (>550, only possible with the Slayer of Terramorphous) and use a weapon that's low-accuracy to begin with (less than 30), her accuracy will apparently make a Reality-Breaking Paradox, break the game, and enter the territory of Epic Fail. The targeting reticule (which should, at this point, be the entire screen) will shrink to a pinpoint, but instead of being incredibly precise the bullets will follow no logic whatsoever. Bullets fly perpendicular, land behind you, or even zigzag in midair. Anything you hit is bound to be an accident, and also bound to die. note 
    • There's a Unique gun called Evil Smasher that spawns with rather unimpressive stats for a blue. However, it has a random chance on reload to suddenly get a much larger magazine and a huge boost to damage, accuracy, and all other stats. This turns an unremarkable gun into a pretty good one. However, if you switch weapons and move Evil Smasher into your inventory while it is reloading, this stat boost can now apply to any weapon you are using, and it seems to have a higher chance to occur with other weapons too! With that boost, guns that are already awesome become ludicrously, game breakingly good. However it has since been patched.
    • When doing the quest to hunt Old Slappy for Sir Hammerlock, if you climb back up the ladder after placing Hammerlock's arm in the water, and then hide behind the pipes nearby, you can shoot under the pipes and hit it, while its own attacks are unable to hit you. Makes this otherwise frustrating quest rather easy.
    • Equipping the Rough Rider shield on Krieg prevents him from being downed by Redeem the Soul. Additionally, you will be reduced to low enough health to Release the Beast. Sadly, this was eventually patched.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Gaige while being damaged from elemental sources. Unlike the other Vault Hunters, she screams out in pain. It will get under your skin and want the damage to stop now.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: Extremely high, especially during the Wham Missions.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Quite a few characters, some of them being basic enemy types. The Psychos aren't entirely aware what they're doing is wrong, Nomads just want you to fuck off, and sometimes prefer that you killed them, most of the Loaders aren't even built for combat, Hyperion Engineers are just trying to do their (very morally questionable and overly destructive)jobs...
    • In one quest Tannis tells you the history of the Dahl Corporation's presence on Pandora while you push a minecart(long story). In it she notes that all the bandits you see are not all the convict laborers that Dahl brought with them, but also scientists, workers, security and businessmen. When Dahl left the planet they just abandoned them, and the ones that did not get broken did not survive...
  • Love to Hate: Handsome Jack.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Hyperion Circle of Slaughter: Round 4. Wave 5 starts off with nearly a dozen EXP Loaders, which aren't so bad if you just run from them - they'll catch up, stand still, then explode. But as they die, they're replaced with RPG Loaders, which can spam high-damage missiles at you. If two or more do this in a row, no matter WHAT your health is, it's going down fast. Plus, it keeps other player from reviving you if you play co-op.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Handsome Jack is a lot more competent than he first appears.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Whether it was murdering Helena Pierce and Roland, turning Bloodwing into a monster that Mordecai's forced to killnote , or his horrific treatment of Angel, Handsome Jack has definitely crossed the line in one way or another.
  • Nintendo Hard: Gearbox's answer to players' complaints about the last game being too easy. Soloing in the sequel is incredibly difficult now due to:
    • The improved AI made many enemies become Demonic Spiders. Psychos in particular are much more adept at dodging your shots, which serves as both a threat AND a distraction for the bigger guys.
    • You will run out of bullets much faster in this game and Ammo upgrades must now be purchased using Green Rocks which is an uncommon drop.
    • Many checkpoints now contains 2~3 waves of respawning enemies. A noticeable amount also have a tendency to make the next wave spawn when you're in the center of the checkpoint.
    • Badasses appear as often as in Playthrough 2.5 from the last game. Some areas also spawn Badasses as a scripted event, making sidequests through there more annoying.
    • Second Wind is harder since the timer is shorter, and some enemies actively move out of your line of sight when you are dying. To compensate, the player is able to move, albeit very slowly.
    • Your maximum Storage Deck capacity is lower—27 slots, as opposed to 45 in the first game-meaning the player must be more discerning in picking up weapons and other loot. However this all changes in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode Upgrade Pack 2 where you can gain back to 45 slots.
    • Weapon Proficiency is replaced by the trickier-to-accumulate Badass Ranks (think challenges from B1), where you need to earn X amount of Badass Ranks to get Badass Tokens, with each token giving you at most 1% improvement of any given characteristic.
    • "True Vault Hunter Mode": You will die in as few as two or three hits from certain enemies, even if your character is significantly higher in level than the enemies you are facing. The AI is rumored to be more aggressive in this mode as well. And along came Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode.....
    • No longer can you kill pretty much anything by running it over with a vehicle. It still does a nice chunk of damage but it also seems related to the speed at which you hit them at. On the other hand, Badasses don't seem to blow up the car when you run into them anymore.
    • Badass Constructor 2.0. Just get within a mile of them and you'll be seeing "Fight For Your Life!" in no time. They hit like a truck and have tons of health, so if you're by yourself, the only option is to hide behind something and pop a shot in a second before going back under or least have a really good corrosive weapon.
    • For soloing, you HAVE to stay alive or otherwise all enemies regenerate to their full health. This is most pronounced in any bossfight that has either hard to hit enemies for second winds (most notably anytime you face a constructor or Bloodwing) or could frequently kill you in one hit (Mad Mike). This means that one slip up would mean all that time you spent pumping bullets into the boss is reset. This makes many bossfights a hell of a lot easier when you have a buddy around, even if their only purpose is to run around and trying not to die while you get back into the arena.
  • Paranoia Fuel: "Hyperion urges you to not think about the fact that your current body is only a digital copy of your original one, which died the first time you respawned. Don't think about it!"
  • Player Punch:
    • Roland's death. Especially if you played as Roland in Borderlands 1.
    • For Mordecai players, it was everything that happened to Bloodwing. That entire level is like a slow-turning knife in the guts, especially once you get the Hope Spot when Mordecai manages to tranq Bloodwing. And then Jack detonates her collar.
    • Angel's true origin.
    • Helena Pierce's death, as heard in an ECHO recording. To underscore, instead of the usual post-mission quip upon turning the mission in, all you get is "Helena Pierce never made it to Sanctuary."
  • Polished Port: The PC version was absolutely decked with options and very well optimized.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The DLC raid bosses originally could only be fought once a day. This restriction was later patched away.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: The slot machines in Sanctuary, especially if you're running 2-player co-op. Go to town, turn in quests, spend the next hour wasting time and money on the slot machine.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt is widely agreed to be the weakest of the DLC's. It's short, and filled with frustrating gameplay elements like circular area waypoints and minimal Fast Travel stations. On the other hand, Nakayama's voice acting is wonderful.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: For people who enjoyed the first Borderlands, Even Better Sequel applies, but not everyone did; common complaints were that a lot of places were too samey (particularly at the beginning) and there wasn't as much motivation to go around killing stuff, and a lot of character abilities were only incremental instead of interestingly game-changing. All of these complaints are addressed in Borderlands 2. On a few specific points:
    • Far less backtracking; though it exists, it's spread out over a wider area and you usually don't have more than two missions in a spot.
    • Axton's turret is way better than Roland's. It can actually kill things with regularity, since it has 360-degree turning and has a significantly shorter cooldown (44 seconds to Roland's full two minutes) and it can get a shield that fully protects you on all sides instead of Roland's chest-high wall.
    • The first game was an Indecisive Parody at best, but this one goes balls-out nuts (yet it's also much better when it comes time for the serious stuff; Anthony Burch is a stellar writer). It also doesn't bury most of the character conversations in mission complete screens, so you have a much better sense of what's going on and why, and therefore care about what you're doing a bit more. While some people were all Play the Game, Skip the Story about the first one, almost nobody can say that this time.
  • That One Achievement: Challenge Accepted, an achievement/trophy that requires you to finish at least the first level of every non-location-specific challenge. The problem with it is that you can't start completing some challenges until you've progressed in others- for example, to start on the "Kill enemies from long range with shotguns" challenge, you must first kill 750 enemies up close with a shotgun- and one of the challenges is to kill an enemy that rarely spawns, as mentioned in Last Lousy Point. It can be pretty frustrating at times.
  • That One Boss:
    • Mad Mike, a unique enemy found during the mission "A Dam Fine Rescue", is utterly devastating in True Vault Hunter mode, and even in the first playthrough if he spawns with a good gun. His rockets will put you near death if you have full health and shields. Worse yet, he fires them off frequently and rapidly, so there's barely any time to hit him if you're waiting between volleys to shoot him!
    • Doc Mercy, especially on playthrough 2. He has a shield that will block anything coming at him from the front, transfusion grenades which seek you out and hit like a truck, healing him for the damage done, and an E-tech weapon which can kill you in about 3 hits. The only really feasible way to beat him solo is to use explosive or elemental weapons while whittling him down from cover and sprinting in circles whenever he throws a grenade to hopefully outrun the worst of the grenade's blast. Or you could lead him to your vehicle pump him full of rockets since he does actually follow you further than the walls stopping you from driving in.
    • Saturn. Its bad enough that he comes right out of nowhere, so you can't prepare if you don't know ahead of time, but he is ludicrously powerful, and you literally cannot score critical hits on him if you're playing as Maya, Salvador, or Anarchy!Gaige in single player.
    • Big Sleep from the Captain Scarlett DLC, especially on True Vault Hunter Mode. Sniping him from a distance is absolutely pointless since he is able to block your shots with his anchors. He can also pull you toward him in an instant and can shatter most shields in one hit, proceeding to beat you into a pulp afterward. Unless you have a decent rocket launcher to spam when you're downed, you'll be hearing that New-U Station mocking you quite a few times before you beat him.
    • The Gluttonous Thresher. Unless you're Anarchy!Gaige and manage to get up close ASAP and throw a bunch of shotgun shells into its eyes, good luck. You'll probably die a few times at least.
    • Jackenstein from Big Game Hunt is a nightmare for players soloing the game. Blowing up his shield cylinders is a cakewalk. The second half is a whole different story. Without the distraction of other teammates available, the only way a player can reliable hit his weakspot (which, like several bosses, is the only place he can be damaged) is to either suicidally run under him and get meleed to death, or stand still through his entire shock volley and be electrocuted to death. Your only options are to either have a shockproof shield (which still doesn't help with the Loaders) or to climb into a less-than-obvious recess in the wall above where you enter the arena, and slowly whittle him down with potshots from the only safe cover in the fight.
    • The raid bosses from the DLCs (Hyperius, Master Gee, Pete, Voracidous and the Legendary Dragons) were all designed with this in mind. Going up against one without a competent 4-man team borders on self-flagellation.
    • Bloodwing. If you aren't killed by her claws or divebombing, the skags will get you first.
    • Two words: Dukino's Mom.

  • That One Level:
    • Many players are in for a rude awakening when they get to the Caustic Caverns. Acid pools everywhere, checkpoints and vendor machines are few and far between, Varkids, Spiderants and Crystalisks by the assload and it's one of the first stages where Threshers start showing up. Guaranteed this will be the first stage to truly test your patience in the game.
    • Opportunity is also a tough one. Loaders by the ton, loads of Engineers(who have better aim and higher mobility than Loaders), Constructors are common, and one of the missions is an Escort Mission. In fact, quite possibly the only real Escort Mission in the entire game (most of the NPC's you are escorting are invincible).
    • The Fridge - populated exclusively by rats, midgets, crystalisks, and rakk, which are all annoying enough by themselves. It takes a lot more patience and care than most levels, since crystalisks in particular can kill you easily in packs.
    • Overlook, which comes very soon after The Fridge. When you first arrive, you're forced into a Hold the Line protecting a beacon while Loaders, Surveyors and later Constructors pour into the town. If the beacon goes down, you have to repair it... while under heavy fire from the robots. And then the amount of time you have to hold on for resets. If you die, you have to fight through the horde just to get back to where you were. And if you do really badly, and let the beacon get destroyed a couple of times, Jack will chime in to say how much you suck. There is a reason why Overlook is considered the most annoying level by nearly all players.
    • Lynchwood is basically a massive town CRAWLING with bandits. The map's size and lack of shortcuts (as well as the presence of Lab Rats) make questing here rather troublesome.
    • "The Talon of God," the final story mission, features a massive boost to every enemy's damage and accuracy and health, regardless of their level relative to you. The spike can actually be extremely jarring, even compared with the difficult enemies in the Arid Badlands and Arid Nexus, who are also much more powerful relative to their levels than anything previously. Not to mention these areas have Hyperion Hawks, Snipers, and Infiltrators, all of whom deal enormous damage.
    • Wildlife Preservation has you go and fight dozens of loaders-including a Super Badass Loader who will happily spam his fire cannons at you until your shield breaks (although you can defeat him by taking cover in the dome and attacking him with a sniper rifle, then retreating when he starts firing), teleporting Needle Stalkers, Badass Shock Skags, and finally Bloodwing, in an area with almost no cover, and dozens of skags. And if you die? She gets back to full health again and the same form before, meaning you have to weaken her again and again.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • "Arms Dealing". You have to pick up five arms across a large map under a strict time limit and then deliver them to a drop-off point back in Overlook. If you stop for any reason, you're likely to fail the mission, which might mean going a long way back just to restart it. This isn't helped by the fact that one of the delivery points is impossible to get to without going, on foot, into a cave packed to the gills with stalkers. Placing vehicles around the map and teleporting to them when you can takes the edge off, but if you're driving from point to point, this mission is tough.
      • Another tactic is to memorize the five pickup points and eliminate all of the enemies at them before starting the quest.
    • "Lighting the Match" as part of the Children of the Firehawk questline. Not so much difficult as it is annoying. You have to go all the way back to the Southern Shelf and climb to the top of Captain Flynt's ship to burn Matchstick, and by the time you get the quest the enemies are so low-level that they're little more than an annoyance who don't drop any useful items and minimal experience. The lack of fast travel stations in the Southern Shelf amplifies the annoyance, as you have to go from Liar's Berg all the way to the top of the ship, and then all the way back down.
    • Towards the end of Round 5 in the Hyperion Circle of Slaughter, a Badass Constructor, a normal Constructor, and a bunch of Badass Surveyors show up. Have fun!
    • "Medical Mystery" is a pain on True Vault Hunter Mode, combining That One Boss Doc Mercy with a second quest that requires you to kill 25 bandits with a specific gun given to you for the mission. What makes this quest frustrating is that, more often than not, the gun you have to use to complete the mission is far worse than what you're already using and chews through combat rifle ammunition to boot. Whittling the bandits down to almost nothing with a real gun then finishing them off with the mission weapon is almost required, and rather time-consuming.
    • "Statuesque" in Opportunity, especially in True Vault Hunter mode or higher. It's an Escort Mission, and if that weren't bad enough, you've got to protect a hacked Constructor (which makes no effort to not get killed) from a combination of Engineers, Loaders, Constructors, Badass Loaders, Super Badass Loaders, and a Badass Constructor. Clearing the areas the Overseer will pass through of regular enemies will at least reduce the pressure on you, though.
    • "Hyperion Contract #873" requires you to kill 100 bandits, which is significantly higher than most other "kill X amount of Y" quests. The quest is even more troublesome if you want to fulfill the secondary objective as well, which require you to kill EXACTLY 25 bandits with each of the elemental damage types. This of course means you have to have access to at least four decent elemental weapons. Plus, the quest immediately cuts off at 100 kills, so if you screw up and kill too many or too few bandits with one of the damage types, you either have to suck it up or start over. Also, some bandit enemies, such as Buzzards and Bandit Technicals, will not credit you with an elemental kill regardless of what weapon you use to kill them. Oh, and Suicide Psychos count as non-elemental kils if they blow up, while their grenades count as explosive if they kill anyone else with them. Enjoy.
    • Demon Hunter. Let's see-a giant skag who only gets hit if you shoot her in the mouth, a severely limited number of bandits that die before you can even get a Second Wind, an elevator that doesn't work, and absolutely horrible cover. It's so bad that many recommend skipping this sidequest altogether.

  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Though Maya came to Pandora to learn more about Sirens, there is no development or interaction between her and Lilith, or between Maya, Lilith, and Angel. Which is odd, considering that only six Sirens can exist in the universe at any given time; you'd think that they would at least take some time to chat or get some unique dialogue. Similarly, Roland and Axton have similar histories and fighting styles, and they also get no unique dialogue to acknowledge this.
    • Seeing as Michael Mamaril is stated in game to be a Vault Hunter, it's sort of disappointing that he didn't get to join the final assault on Jack. Also would've been a nice addition to an already great tribute to the guy.
  • Troperiffic: Two examples that are not the game itself:
    • Anarchy is the skill version of this. A good amount of Gaige's tropes relate to her Anarchy stacks and how many she has.
    • Toil and Trouble is the quest version. The game even suggests you do it in the most trope filled way possible, including an optional Unflinching Walk objective.
  • Ugly Cute: Dukino the skag. The "chubby" variants of enemies can also fall into this.
    • The Stumpy enemies of Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep are basically midget versions of the much larger treant enemies. With their small limbs and short stature, they quite move slowly and are hardly a threat. They'll attack you if you're close enough to them but will mostly move around in seemingly unoffensive random directions than charging at you, making them seem rather adorable with their long roots coming from the top of their heads resembling long strands of hair with blue-glowing eyes underneath.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Claptrap is treated like a nuisance in-universe, especially given the level in jerkass he took between games, but it's hard not to feel sorry for him anyways.
  • The Woobie:
    • CLAPTRAP. Namely during Claptrap's Birthday Bash, which nobody (but the player) attends. He even bought 6 pizzas that he can't eat in anticipation of guests! And whizz-blowers that he can't use without lungs!
    • Ties over with Jerkass Woobie, given how he's Took a Level in Jerkass since he failed in his "Robo-lution" and subsequently became the Last of His Kind.
    • Intentionally played up with a quest in Hammerlock's DLC where you have to find another functioning Claptrap unit. Said unit was eaten by a Skag. After you make the skag hork it up, Claptrap finds out that the unit is long dead. And then the corpse explodes for no apparent reason other than to rub more salt in the wound.
    • More traditionally, Angel. Once the character's backstory is known, you will despise Handsome Jack if you didn't already.
    • Handsome Jack, of all people, could count as well.. His cons may outweigh his pros, but once one learns of his crappy life, one can't help but feel a tiny bit of sympathy for him.
      • It gets much sadder once you play the Pre Sequel. He's a friendly programmer who genuinely wants to help and be a hero (despite still being a bit of a jerk, partly his own desire to take over Hyperion and his greed, along with his grandma's abuse and his boss's distrust of him) but all you can do is watch the guy become darker and darker until Lilith finally turns him into the mask-wearing monster he is by slamming an artifact into his face and branding him with the Vault Symbol.
    • Krieg's original personality. It's implied he used to be a much saner, smarter, more moral sort, possibly a Vault Hunting bounty hunter. Now? Thanks to Hyperion experimentation, he's a mass-murdering Badass Psycho with all the insanity and Ax-Crazy-ness that implies. And his original personality is a Split Personality, completely aware of the horror of his dominant personality and his actions. Can you say And I Must Scream? And worst of all? The reason he really joins the Vault Hunters in particular? He's in love with Maya and thinks she's the only thing that might make him sane again.
    • As of her DLC Tiny Tina cements her place here. The entire Assault on Dragon's Keep is gradually revealed to be born out of her attempts to deal with everything bad that happens over the course of the main game. It's like looking into the mind of someone with PTSD, is.

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