If you was to ask me at the start of 2012; what is your most anticipated game of the year? I would have said Borderlands 2 without a second thought. I absolutely loved the first Borderlands so was very excited for the sequel.
As you know it is very easy to get too excited about a release and to then have it fall short of your overblown expectations. Not only did Borderlands 2 reach my expectations, it completely blew them away. The world, the story, the missions, the characters and the humour are so much more fleshed out this time around.
I do not want to delve into spoiler territory so I’m going to try and keep this relatively short. Let me start by saying that if you are yet to play this game then you really are missing out. You do not need to have played the first one to understand what is going on.
What’s so great about this game is that it has taken everything that was good about the first one and improved upon them in every area. The first Borderlands is often knocked about for its story and not having a strong antagonist. Gearbox have addressed this problem, and in doing so have given us one of the best antagonists of the year in the form of Handsome Jack.
It’s not a short game either, my first playthrough clocked in at around 55 hours, bearing in mind that my OCD got the best of me as I had to do as many of the side missions as I could – and you will want to do them – as you will miss out on so much if you stick to the main story missions.
I loved the environments in this game as well. As much as I loved the first game, even I am happy to admit that a lot of it looked the same. Not the case here. I got excited each time I was about to enter a new area. It’s such a beautiful game. The stylised graphics make it look like a comic book that has come to life.
The best way to play is in co-op; up to four of you can play together online. More players’ leads to the game scaling the difficulty up but also rewards you with much better loot drops. The loot system is where the addiction of Borderlands can hook you. I put a ridiculous amount of hours into the first game and am currently working on that now with this one. It doesn’t matter that I’m replaying missions I’ve done before; the only thing that matters is that I might get a better loot drop this time.
The post-game support for Borderlands 2 is already looking bright. Two of four extra campaign DLC packs have already been released with the third due mid-January. The two available are great additions offering new missions, new loot and more insane characters for you to meet.
So congratulations Gearbox Software, Borderlands 2 is our Silver Medal winner for 2012.