We’re in a time where the game industry looks more and more like Hollywood. Franchises hop trends for big bucks or go the indie route towards becoming critic darlings. Borderlands and its callow, off-the-wall shenanigans couldn’t be contained by those extremes. The FPS meets RPG had some rough edges and the story was forgettable. Yet it was good at being a game. Plenty of missions, a novel gun creator, quality DLC and four player online co-op made for many late nights of shootin’ and lootin’.
Borderlands 2 evidently has a tough act to follow. Gearbox, the game’s developers, could easily just through more of the same at you and it’d still be a fun game. Giantbomb’s preview, alludes to the follow-up’s “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” direction. However the revamped squad touts even more unique, customizable skills look like much more than afterthoughts. For instance, I’ll look forward to doing Yoga teleports with the assassin all day.
A commitment towards making a more involving story ought to spur excitement for fans of the original. OG Borderlands had a few jokes but you probably didn’t care about why you had to take down monstrous bosses with your level 50 semi-auto, flame-inducing shotgun. And with amazing weaponry like that it’s easy not to give a damn but it’s welcome news. The environments also finally look as detailed and colorful as the cast. I’m well aware Borderlands took place in a post-apocalyptic world. All that brown and grey still got too monotonous after awhile so it’s refreshing to see their art department step up the game’s presentation.
Borderlands bunked trends, made it’s own path and, from the looks of things, Borderlands 2 is an extension of that philosophy. Let’s just hope this is another case of a slick, new trailer getting heads gassed. Borderlands will drop September 18 on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.