Borderlands 2: the cult hit space western game returns
This role-playing game is a shooting, looting triumph, that's also laugh-out-loud funny
What you need to know
From US games developer Gearbox Software, Borderlands 2 is the sequel to the 2009 surprise hit 'space-western' role-playing game Borderlands .
The follow-up builds on the game-playing elements of its predecessor and is a first-person shooting game where players can select one of four fortune-hunting characters with different skills and proficiencies with certain weapons. Players act solo or in groups, progressing by killing foes, looting and completing challenges as they explore new territories on the hostile planet of Pandora.
Borderlands 2 is officially released in the UK on 21 September, but a limited version is now available to pre-load and play online.
What the critics like
If you've been itching for a reason to "jump back into the world of Pandora", Borderlands 2 provides plenty, says Anthony Gallegos at IGN. "The sequel improves not only the narrative, but almost every major game system". The hunt for loot is "intoxicating" and the mixture of gutter humour and sharp wit is "laugh-out-loud" funny.
It looks "positively beautiful" compared to the original, says Calum Wilson Austin in the Sydney Morning Herald. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, delivering the same experience that made the original game a cult classic, but with a more intuitive interface and "vastly improved" characters. Playing with friends helps to keep you from feeling "murder-fatigue".
It's another "shooty, looty triumph", says Richard Walker in Xbox360 Achievements. It has the same "tongue-in-cheek spark" and "compulsive gameplay" that made the first game such a cult hit.
What they don't like
IGN's Anthony Gallegos was "disappointed with the lack of visual customisation" in the game, and underwhelmed by the use of technology such as vehicles. "Outside of a few quests that require you to use a car, the vehicles feel largely under-utilised", says Gallegos. "Borderlands 2 is a shooter first and foremost, but it'd be awesome to see smarter mission design".