The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet

Things that bug me about Borderlands 2

I know the game ain’t precisely brand new, but I’ve had a busy year. So I’m only just now really getting down to it. Long and short is: it’s Borderlands. If you liked the first one, you’ll like the second one. If you didn’t like the first one, don’t waste your time here, because there’s nothing that will change your mind.

Unless of course what you didn’t like about the original Borderlands was the fall damage, because, hey, guess what? It’s gone. Borderlands 2 continues one of my very favourite trends in game design and gets rid of fall damage altogether! Fall damage has never ever been fun, so I’m a huge supporter of this change. On the down side, you now have to pay the respawn fee if you die by falling off the world, which wasn’t the case in the first game. Who wants to bet they added that just to stick it to sly foxes who exploited that little loophole against the first game’s final boss?

Borderlands 2 is way way talkier than the first game, too. People are always calling you on the space phone to make self-consciously wacky Borderlands jokes. They aren’t any funnier than they were in the first game, but there are a whole shitload more of them. Now, don’t get me wrong; the voice acting itself is fine. It’s the dialogue that needs to be fed through a digital mulcher. So far, I don’t think I’ve laughed at a single joke, though I suppose there was one dramatic moment that was fairly effective.

You remember Patricia Tannis, the world’s most least funny NPC, right? Well, she’s back, and she hasn’t gotten less annoying. She’ll seem less annoying once you meet Tiny Tina, though; I honestly don’t even know how to describe this character. Her schtick is that she’s a little girl, but most of her dialogue is Dave Chappelle and Tracy Morgan routines from ten years ago. I’m not even making that up. You have to experience this to appreciate it, but I promise you it’s not worth it.

The game has a lot of defense objectives, which I do not appreciate at all. You’ll find yourself lumped in the middle of an arena, and you have to prevent the mobs from destroying some widget or other. This is pretty annoying, since the core mechanics of moving from cover to cover to outflank your opponents are suddenly unplayable; your only choice, really, is to stand right out in the open and just try to straight-up out-gun everything, since, if you take cover, the mobs will destroy the widget.

Also there are boss battles. They range from “sort of fun” to “is this working right?” The last boss fight I did was against a mob that was as much like a Mass Effect thresher maw as to make no difference, but, for the sake of originality, Gearbox called it… oh, a thresher. Good work, clowns. This fight I’m not completely sure was working properly, as sometimes the boss would simply stand still for a while and not do anything at all while I shot it, and other times it appeared to be able to attack directly through any hard cover I was hiding behind. Then, right as I was about to kill it, a huge shipping crate appeared out of absolutely nowhere and just floated in the air in front of the thing and blocked all my shots. I shit you not. Also: why does a giant moon worm have shields? That makes no sense.

April 4th, 2013 Posted by | Games | no comments