With plot twists and new insights, Borderlands 2 sits on the borders of perfection

Game review column
By: Brett A. Dargan Special to The News Messenger
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To many Vault Hunters, the ending of the first Borderlands by Gearbox Software was just a container of tentacles and disappointment.
Little did they know that the opening of the vault triggered the start of Borderlands 2, where precious “Eridium” is mined and a man named Handsome Jack came to civilize Pandora.
But how, you may ask, does Borderlands 2 stack up to its predecessor? I’m here to tell you just that.
Looking at all the skill trees, you can already tell they put some serious work into the game. With a lot more useful skills in the trees, your character can be totally different than one of the same class.
A person playing as Maya, The Siren, for example, can be three vastly different sub-classes. You can spec more into being the controller of the battlefield with more “Phaselock” abilities. You can also be a medic and shoot your friends health back! Or you can do tons of elemental damage and make everything explode.
The classes are now also balanced in it. No more invincible Brick, punching everything into oblivion.
But what about the famous customization we saw in the first Borderlands? It’s still here, and in fact, it got better.
Now the several gun brands each have their own special traits. Remember how “Jacobs” guns were really powerful but really slow? Not anymore.
However, their recoil is through the roof, literally. Have low ammo in your clip? Just throw the gun away! The new “Tediore” guns become mini-grenades when you reload. Just chuck it and regenerate a new one.
Since Gameplay covers a lot of things, I’d like also to talk about the difficulty of Borderlands 2. With the new “True Vault Hunter” mode after the first play-through, even midgets become a feared enemy. I could compare it to playing Halo with LASO on. Every enemy is now more accurate, has more heath and the toughest part? They are all resistant to every element besides the new “Slag” element. This makes the new Slag guns almost invaluable to a player who seeks an even greater challenge with “True Vault Hunter” mode. With everything considered, I’d give the Gameplay a solid 10/10 for just being awesome!
I would like to elaborate on is the famous Borderlands Graphics. This isn’t realistic like a Battlefield or a CoD game or 8-bit like Minecraft. Borderlands takes a new take on looks and does it very well. The game looks like a comic book, except in 3D. Nothing even comes close to its style or creativity. However, with this look comes rendering time. The graphics do take some time to catch up with the player. So I give the graphics an 8/10.
Remember the story in the first Borderlands? Hey, you’re a Vault Hunter, go find the Vault. On the flip side, Borderlands 2 has a packed story with plot twists and new insights on each of the characters. Now, you need to find all of the previous Vault Hunters, fighting numerous enemies, defeat Handsome Jack and save Pandora once again. Now with more story and side quests (and we can’t forget the fourth-wall breaking references), it scores a 9/10 on its story.
With a 100 from IncGamers and a 98 from Game Informer, this game definitely does not disappoint.
Zachary De Matos, a Lincoln High senior, gives the game a 9.25/10. He said the only reason it doesn’t deserve a 10/10 is because, “There needs to be more variety in quests.”
Kaeleb Ser, another Lincoln High senior, gives the game an 8/10. He says it’s “pretty cool” but says that Axton, the commando, is “over-powered.”
Borderlands 2 is a huge improvement from the first one, and in my opinion, has a very good chance at the Game-of-the-Year title. With everything considered and some help from a few of my gaming buddies, Borderlands 2 receives a 9.5/10.

Brett A. Dargan is a Lincoln High School senior and a Zebra Tales reporter.