Borderlands was one of the big surprises of the last few years – proof that a title could sell well because of compelling gameplay and a unique graphic style, despite not being based on a pre-existing set of well-known characters. Sure, the planet it was set on was called Pandora, but it was a) released before James Cameron’s Avatar, and b) that’s of such little significance we’re not quite sure why we mentioned it.No matter, there’s now a sequel called – wait for it – Borderlands 2. And it’s one of our most anticipated games of the year.
There are four different character classes in the game. The Siren returns from the original, with the ability to shift into a different dimension, unleashing a powerful shockwave as she does so. The rest are new, starting with the previously announced dual-wielding ‘Gunzerker’ whose special ability is being able to launch into an impressive bullet-spraying frenzy.
The Assassin has unrivalled accuracy and can create a decoy while he slyly fades from sight. And the Commando plays like a super-powered version of the Soldier from the first game, but with extra customisation and a more versatile gun turret. The vehicles have been altered and now have four seats (a vital change given the four-player co-op) and the brands of guns are more diverse, with one designed not to be reloaded, but to be thrown as a grenade once the clip is empty.
If all this makes it sound like Borderlands 2 is overloaded with macho nonsense, well that’s because it is. And it’s undoubtedly all the better for it.
Borderlands 2 is released on 21 September on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360