I was first introduced to the Borderlands series about two years ago, when my brother showed me the first game. I was a bit skeptical at first (admittedly, Japanese RP Gs are more my area of expertise) but the idea of "RPS shoot and loot" gameplay intrigued me. I gave it a try and sure enough, I fell in love and played the co-op for hours on end. Needless to say, when I caught wind of a sequel my expectations were quite high. And the end result has exceeded every one of them. The greatest thing about Borderlands 2 is that it adds so much more depth and variety without losing the addictive gameplay, art style and humor that made the first so good. The campaign is twice the size of the first one, and very exciting and well paced. There is MUCH more (fully voiced) NPC interaction. The characters and dialogue are hilarious and well-written, with a nice mix of both funny and poignant moments. And of course, there's a slew of sidequests to do along the way, most of them much more unique than the standard Twenty Bear Asses and Fetch Quest fare from the first game. Feel like robbing a bank? Sure. Igniting a clan war between two families? Go for it. The graphics still sport the same unique cel-shaded look, but the character models are definitely better animated and more polished looking. Unlike the first game which was mostly sand and deserts, there's a lot more variety in the environments you visit. Snowfields, bandit-occupied cities, mountains, Hyperion robot factories, arenas, underground caverns...you name it. Anyone who played the original will be immediately familiar with the gameplay. Complete missions, kill enemies, find loot, earn experience to level up and progress through three skill trees: the basic concept is the same, but Borderlands 2 expands upon it in several ways. Several new interesting types of enemies to learn, new vehicles, improved skill trees and mods that give you more options for customizing your play style, more Gun Porn and new legendary loot including grenades and class mods. It's also much more challenging than the first. I can't speak for the DLC as I haven't played any of it yet, but I will say that Borderlands 2 is an extremely rewarding experience with tons of replay value, and easily one of the best games I have played this generation. Highly recommended.
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