Five years after the original Vault was opened, the Hyperion Corporation has taken over Pandora and begun extensive mining operations for "Eridium", a precious mineral that has begun to appear across the planet. Led by its president, Handsome Jack (who stole the credit for opening the Vault and defeating the Destroyer), Hyperion's robotic armies have crushed all resistance to Jack's goal of "bringing order" to the savage wastelands.
Meanwhile, there are whispers that a second Vault has been found deep within Pandora, attracting the attention of a new team of Vault Hunters:
- Maya (The Siren): An Action Girl with magic-like abilities, one of only six in the entire universe. Her ability "Phaselock" lets her trap enemies in a singularity, and she can later support allies.
- Zer0 (The Assassin): An enigmatic ninja assassin. His ability "Decepti0n" lets him turn invisible and strike for bonus damage while enemies are distracted by a holographic image of him he leaves behind.
- Axton (The Commando): A soldier turned free-wheeling mercenary. His "Sabre Turret" ability lets him deploy a turret gun.
- Salvador (The Gunzerker): An ex-wrestler and Pandora native. His "Gunzerking" ability lets him dual-wield any two weapons for a limited time while regenerating health and ammo.
- Gaige (The Mechromancer): A mad scientist cyborg teen. Her "Summon Deathtrap" ability lets her deploy and command a custom-built hovering robot called a "Deathtrap". She is a paid DLC character, but was free to anyone who pre-ordered the game.
- Krieg (The Psycho): An escaped Hyperion experiment from a lab beneath Pandora. His "Buzz Axe Rampage" ability lets him whip out every psycho's favorite weapon and go to town, getting health back for each kill. Like Gaige, he's paid DLC.
Like the first game, Borderlands 2 is a mission-based First-Person Shooter with RPG Elements, allowing the player to upgrade their characters with new skills and abilities, while blasting their way through hordes of alien creatures, robots, and insane bandits. As before, the game thrives on a procedurally generated loot system that can and will spit out thousands of different weapons, all with different stats and many with unique abilities for the player to experiment with.
Four main story-based DLC packs were released as part of "Season one" of the DLC, with Gearbox later releasing "Headhunter Packs", holiday-centric miniquests which focus around killing a boss and gaining a head and skin as a reward.
Gearbox announced that the successful Co-Op shooter sold over 12 million copies since its release(source).
There have since been two "seasons" of DLC, consisting of the following:
- Season Pass: A discount bundle of all four story related DLC packs and The Ultimate Vault Hunter's Pack, which was made available on release day.
- Mechromancer Pack: Originally released as the "Premiere Club" Pre-Order Bonus, it was made available for post-release purchase on October 9, 2012. Contains the Gearbox Gunpack, Vault Hunter's Relic, a Golden Key, and the Mechromancer Vault Hunter.
- Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty: Released on October 16, 2012. Tells a One Piece-esque story of a treasure hidden in the desert surrounding the fallen vacation town of Oasis, and the pirate queen who would stop at nothing to find it. Part of the Season Pass.
- Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage: Released on November 20, 2012. An arena/horde-mode DLC (similar to Mad Moxxi's Underdome from the original game) but with a more substantial plotline and non-arena missions to keep things interesting. The plot centers upon a bombastic tournament held by Torgue CEO "Mr. Torgue" in the Badass Crater of Badassitude, with the top prize being dibs on a brand new Vault. Part of the Season Pass.
- Collector's Edition Pack: Released on December 11, 2012. Originally included in both Collector's Edition releases. Contains the Special Edition Heads and Skins for the original four Vault Hunters and the Contraband Sky Rocket Grenade Mod.
- Creature Slaughter Dome: Released on December 11, 2012. Originally released as a Pre-Order Bonus. Unlocks the "Natural Selection Annex" sector within Hyperion's Wildlife Exploitation Preserve.
- Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt: Released on January 15th, 2013. Taking place after the defeat of Handsome Jack, the Vault Hunters travel to the continent Aegrus to find the most exotic creatures Pandora has to offer, and give them the old one-two. They will also have to deal with a fanatical cult of Jack worshipers, and one of Jack's minions trying his hardest to continue what Jack couldn't finish. Part of the Season Pass.
- Theme Sets: Released January 22, 2013. Three new Head and Skin sets, called Madness, Supremacy and Domination. Each Head-Skin set is sold separately per character, for the five then-available classes, totaling 15. On July 2, after the Psycho was added, the Madness, Supremacy and Domination sets were made for him, as well as a new, uniquely named set for each class, totaling 24. Another six unique sets were released on September 3, bringing the total up to 30.
- Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack: Released on April the 2nd, 2013. Increases the level cap by 11 levels from 50 to 61, adds the "Pearlescent" weapon tier and gives players access to "Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode" (a second New Game+ accessible after completing True Vault Hunter Mode). Despite not being one of the four campaign DLCs, it was added to the Season Pass.
- Psycho Pack: Released on May 14th 2013. Adds the Psycho as a playable character.
- Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep: Released on June 25, 2013. The DLC focuses on Tiny Tina DMing a tabletop RPG titled "Bunkers & Badasses" with Brick, Lilith and Mordecai as players, and the Vault Hunters as the characters. Part of the season pass.
- Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2: Digistruct Peak: Released on September 3, 2013. Increases level cap by 11 (totaling up to 72 with the previous Upgrade Pack) and adds a new map where you can design your own challenges and "overlevel" yourself, allowing you to use equipment up to level 80.
- TK Baha's Bloody Harvest: Released October 2013. Zombie TK Baha is back, and with him comes new quests in time for Halloween!
- The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler: Released on November 26, 2013. A Thanksgiving-themed DLC where you help Mr. Torgue kill a giant turkey so that he can eat it.
- Headhunter Pack: How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day: Released on December 17, 2013. A Christmas-themed DLC where you fight the dreaded snowman Mr. Tinder Snowflakes.
- Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre: Released on February 11, 2014. A Valentine's/St. Patrick's-themed DLC in which you help unite the Zaford and the Hodunk clans in marriage.
- Sir Hammerlock Vs. the Son of Crawmerax: Released on April 15, 2014. The Vault Hunters (both old and new) and Hammerlock find trouble in an island resort.
- Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary: Released on June 9th, 2019. The final DLC that directly leads up to the events of Borderlands 3. Increases the level cap to 80, adds two more overlevels to allow the use of level 90 equipment, introduces Effervescent weapons above Legendary, new skins, new "Poison" elemental condition, new enemies, and a new villain.
Gearbox has also spread Borderlands 2 to some cross-promotional materials, including a few short backstory films and another video game appearance:
- Krieg: A Meat Bicycle Built for Two: The story of why Krieg the Psycho became a Vault Hunter.
- + 5 to Punching: A Bunkers & Badasses Prologue: Setting up the events of the Tiny Tina DLC, it tells the story of how Brick and Tina escaped capture from Hyperion with the power of fantasy.
- Poker Night 2: A standalone poker game, it co-stars Claptrap as one of the player's opponents, and has four Heads and a Skin to unlock for Borderlands 2. The cosmetic items all stem from other opponents' universes, are unlocked through meeting certain requirements; the unlocks reference Portal 2, Sam & Max: Freelance Police, The Venture Bros., and Evil Dead.
A villain-based Interquel set between the first and second games, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! was announced on April 9, 2014, with the requisite four new playable classes: Claptrap the Fragtrap, Nisha the Lawbringer (The Sheriff of Lynchwood), Wilhelm the Enforcer, and Athena the Gladiator.
Borderlands 2 contains examples of:
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