Borderlands 2 - where's the love?!

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Old 10 October 2012   #1
Borderlands 2 - where's the love?!

Everyone that knows me knows I spend a lot of time with my XBox. I think gaming is one of the most exciting entertainment/storytelling mediums we have right now, and at the moment, I can't get enough of Borderlands 2. I loved the first game too, so this one was marked on my calendar months ago and bought the moment my local store opened on the morning of release.

What surprises me is that nobody here really seems to be talking about it, despite the fact that this game's graphics are simply some of the best out there, using 3D models that are rendered in a hard lined graphic style with bold, often unusual colouring. Don't know the franchise? Well do yourself a favour and go check it out:

http://www.borderlands2.com/

Sure the gameplay is little more than a regular RPG lootfest, although it does have some unique mechanics, absolutely superb, hilarious dialogue, memorable characters, and of course the 4 way co-op is one of my favourite things about it (thankfully I have many friends who like it too, which makes the game incredibly social), but the graphics are one of the game's most defining characteristics, because of the fact that they went for this highly stylised, graphic novel type look for it. As shallow as it sounds, and as much as I enjoy the gameplay, I have to be honest and say that I don't think I'd like the game nearly as much if GearBox had stuck to their original plan to make Borderlands in a realistic style, because the stylised world is practically a character on its own.

At the risk of sounding incredibly nerdy, despite already finishing two playthroughs of the game and netting all the available achievements, I'm still playing it because I just love exploring the Borderlands world and enjoying all the idiosyncratic little touches that the art team put into it. Even the loading screens for each area are awesome, the kind of work I wish I'd see more often here in CGTalk. Unlike the first game where the environments were mostly just dusty badlands, Borderlands 2 has a broad variety of distinctly different areas, each with its own personality, conveyed through architectural design, set dressing and colour palettes. It's clearly a world that's been lovingly designed by GearBox and as a player, I find it utterly immersive. The character and creature design is superb too.

Anyone else here playing it? Why isn't there more hype about this? Here's a game that's dared to break away from the mainstream expectation of REALISTIC GRAPHICS PLZ and rather create something utterly unique, immersive and thoroughly appealing to my inner artist.

Huge respect to the team at GearBox.

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Old 10 October 2012   #2
I'm playing Borderlands 2 on PC and enjoying it a lot.

The graphics/art style are great. The opponent AI is good. NPC characters are beautifully designed and fleshed out well. Tiny Tina especially. Environments are large, well designed and memorable.

I made a lot of cash hunting down Crystalisks.

I'm at the point/level where the game - the enemies in particular - is getting tougher to play.

My turret with rockets and a good sniper rifle work wonders though.

Its a great game in my opinion.

The only thing that I am missing in it is destruction physics.


Last edited by DePaint : 10 October 2012 at 07:23 AM.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #3
great looking game, I found myself stopping every few minutes to grab a screenshot
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Old 10 October 2012   #4
how similar is this to the latest Fallout?
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Old 10 October 2012   #5
I played the first one but I think I just got bored with it, and I didnt like having to shoot loads to kill enemies. I liked the graphics and atmosphere though. I was going to get this but I read a review that was saying the first few hours were boring, and the dual weilding class seems like the only decent one. So I got Torchlight 2 instead.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #6
I love it Love the graphics, love the story and love the monster designs. And the cute robots.
I do find some of the monsters hard though, but what's a game without any challenge?

Mushromgod- Are you talking about New Vegas? Well, it has far less bugs, that's for sure. And the general mood is lighter in the start at least.
That said, Borderlands 2 has some "Oh my god, shit just got real!" moments. Still haven't completed first play-trough though.
Then again, in New Vegas, I only got to the casino, where the quest-giver got stuck in the floor.
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Old 10 October 2012   #7
Originally Posted by mushroomgod: how similar is this to the latest Fallout?


I have Fallout: New Vegas, so I can give you a comparison.

Fallout NV has one huge 3D map on which everything happens.

Borderlands 2 has many smaller - but still large - maps connected by portals and fast travel teleporter stations.

Fallout NV's gunplay is slower, and successful aiming and hitting has a lot to do with your RPG character stats.

Borderlands 2 gunplay is more like a true fluid FPS; you do a lot of running around, and shooting, and covering. Its a lot of fun. Stats come into it to some degree, but mostly its your own realtime aim that determines damage to enemies.

Fallout NV has a few preset weapon types that you find or buy.

Borderlands 2 has thousands of different weapons with randomized stats and different elemental effects (fire damage, electrical damage, corrosive damage and so forth).

Fallout NV is a slower paced RPG game where you spend a lot of time walking from location to location, trying to solve missions.

Borderlands 2 is much more fluid and action-packed. You do a lot more FPS shooting and fighting in Borderlands, and as you level up, you meet more enemies at once, and the fighting becomes more and more frenetic.

Both games are good in their own way. Borderlands 2 is a lot more fun to me due to better combat and faster pacing overall.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #8
I am loving this game as well. Played it daily, until I got my new job 1 hours away. With 3 hours of travel every day, and doing a course in the evenings, I simply don't have the time. However, once I have some more time on my hands, I will be playing it again. The graphics are, as you say, unique, and I love the humor and conversations in the game. I don't remember the last game that made me laugh, but borderlands does it frequently. Also, BL 2 is a huge improvement over BL 1, imo.

It's a good question, though, why the game haven' had more coverage here.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #9
Great game ... almost finished the campaign, then they threw in this new playable character, and had to try that out ...

and there is a another DLC coming out next week ... new region ...

These guys sure put a lot of effort into making this a very good game.
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Old 10 October 2012   #10
Originally Posted by PerryDS: and there is a another DLC coming out next week ... new region ...


I can't wait! The stuff they've shown of the desert skiffs and whatnot look epic, like they've taken some cues from Tattooine. I'm busy playing Dishonoured which came out today, but on Tuesday this is getting temporarily shelved while I join the pirate romp back in Pandora. The DLC for the first Borderlands was very good so I have high hopes for this too.
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Old 10 October 2012   #11
Do you need to play the first one to enjoy the second?
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Old 10 October 2012   #12
I want to play BL2 real bad but I'll have to wait for the price to come down. I loved the first one and everything I'm hearing says this is improved in many ways.
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Old 10 October 2012   #13
Dishonoured ... arrrg ... I was looking into getting that as well, but borderlands just keeps on giving ... so thought I would wait.

Too much gaming for me tends to distract from other responsibilities. Head turn into a fuzzy peach ...
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Old 10 October 2012   #14
I am absolutely loving this game. Definately one of the top games of the last year for me! I love the humour and dialog. I especially like how some of the bad guys have mutant strapped to the front of their shields who if you manage to shott off can fight on your side
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Old 10 October 2012   #15
Originally Posted by Charkins: Do you need to play the first one to enjoy the second?


Not necessarily but you will get more out of the story if you did. Without wanting to spoil anything, there are numerous surprises in the game that will only be appreciated by people who played the first one.

Also, the first is definitely worth playing simply because it's also a good game.
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