When playing video games, some people like stealth, and hiding while sniping. Others want to control the battle from the back by using “magic.” Me? I’m usually the Tank. Big. Brawny. And ready to jump into the thick of battle. In Borderlands 2 I’m known as a Gunzerker, because when I get mad, I can wield a weapon in each hand. Two rifles. Two shotguns. Two rocket launchers!!
Borderlands 2 is the sequel to a hit first-person shooter. One of the unique things about the first game was the art style; it’s cel-shaded and highly stylized. It also had a dry and morbid humor that ran throughout. It didn’t just try to be funny; it genuinely was funny. And finally, there was a TON of loot, and the game could create literally thousands of different guns, grenades, and other mods to help you.
The sequel has all of that, and then some. You’re a Vault Hunter, looking for a big vault of goodies. But so is the game’s main antagonist: Handsome Jack. He has a heart as pitch black as his humor. You’ll battle his forces in an effort to find the vault before he does. There are old enemies, but you’re exploring completely new areas of Pandora, so there are new enemies, too. Such as the bullymongs, which are like giant crazed gorillas with four arms they can use to pummel you.
The game gives you lot of customization as far as character goes. There are four main classes: The Commando is a general soldier who uses turrets to help him. The Gunzerker can dual-wield weapons for a short time. The Siren can stun using her Phase Lock ability. And the Assassin uses the shadows to hit with surprise attacks. Each one of these classes has three different skill trees that further specialize their abilities. My Gunzerker is unlikely to be the same as yours. That’s super cool.
Arguably, the best way to play this game is with friends. You can co-op the entire game, and drop in-and-out of co-op whenever you like. It’s well done and fun. But those friends should not be teenagers, in my humble opinion. Here’s why.
The game has a lot of cursing. A lot. And it’s not just characters cursing, either. Curse words are written in graffiti all over the word. And as you increase in levels, the enemies get tougher, too. And the ultimate evolution of these enemies is the “Badass” level. That name pops up over the enemy’s head, so you’re reading it fairly often. Also, the game has a number of challenges, such as discover 50 treasure chests, or kill 50 guys with a weapon mounted on a vehicle. As you accomplish these challenges you’ll get Badass Tokens, which allow you to further customize your experience by boosting shield capacity or increasing gun accuracy. So the game constantly throws cursing at you in various ways.
As far as sex, there’s a fair bit of innuendo peppered throughout. And one of the main NPCs is Mad Moxxi, who returns from the original game. She’s wearing a REALLY low-cut outfit. Oh, and if you tip her enough, she gives you a giant pink gun that constantly vibrates. Yeah…it’s bad.
Stuff to consider:
- Alcohol—Characters drink and talk about drinking.
- Violence—It’s a first-person shooter that takes the shooting aspect seriously. Despite the crazy amount of killing, it’s not actually that gory—unless you score a critical hit, which “rewards” you with a spray of blood.
- Language—Lots and lots.
- Sex/Nudity—Innuendo and some very near nudity.
In addition to these things, the sequel just has a darker feel to it than the last one. There’s probably more humor, but it’s laced with deaths and slavery and horrific science experiments. And I’m not even done with the game, yet; there might be more I haven’t yet experienced.
While the gameplay isn’t vastly different than the first game, they did tweak enough things that it feels like a technical step up from the first. But thanks to the very adult tone and outlook, there’s no way teenagers should be playing this.