Five Reasons to Look Forward to Borderlands 2

Shoot and loot. That is the philosophy of Borderlands, and the three words that made the original such a great game. Good shooting, great loot, and more guns than you could possibly ask for.

With Borderlands 2, Gearbox is looking to deliver even more gunplay RPG goodness than before. So, what exactly can we expect to see from the new sequel? Here are five reasons this game needs to be on your must-purchase list:

1) Pandora’s Changed

Pandora is not the desolate, sand-blown place it used to be. This time around, the terrain has become much more varied, ranging anywhere from snow-capped mountains to the lush highlands and everywhere in between.

It’s been taken over by the cunning and devious Handsome Jack, who’s assumed control of the Hyperion Corporation and declared himself dictator of Pandora. In an effort to control the actions of the citizens of Pandora, Jack has sent up a base resting between Pandora and its stationary moon. The base allows him to keep watch over the entire planet and gives him the ability to drop supplies to aid his troops in battle. And of course, it’ll be up to you and your guns to stop Jack before it’s too late.

2) Guns, Guns, GUNS!

Promising to contain “87 bazillion” guns, Borderlands 2 looks to be just as much a shameless shooter as the original. Only this time, the shooting gets even more interesting with randomly-generated guns that combine unique abilities with classic setups, meaning that no two guns are alike. You might pick up a shotgun with electric shot, or a machine gun with acidic rounds. It’s anybody’s guess! But the best part is that each enemy will have a specific weakness to certain weapons, meaning that the larger your arsenal, the more prepared you are for battle.

Detail on each weapon is much more involved this time around, as well. Each gun model is distinct and unique to the weapon itself, and there’ll be more than a few scattered throughout Pandora as you shoot the place up.

It should be noted that grenades are just as varied as the guns in Borderlands 2 as well. Different grenades will have unique abilities, whether it’s exploding in a cloud of acid or bursting into smaller grenades to cover more ground. Either way, they’ll dole out some serious punishment and allow you to rack up maximum damage as you go head to head with Pandora’s most wicked enemies. And speaking of enemies…

3) Enemy Variety

While you’ll still see the return of bandits, skags, and midgets, there’s been an overhaul to the enemy variety in Borderlands 2 to say the least. Not only will you face off against humans and various creatures, but robots and even plant life as well.

Enemies will also not just be the type to hang back and shoot or rush you for melee damage, either. Instead, they’ve become much smarter and endowed with unique abilities that pose new challenges to the player. They’ll try to flank you, use elemental powers to inflict damage, and will have varying attack patterns making it near impossible to memorize them and walk through battles. Instead, you’ll be forced to make important decisions about which weapons to use, how to approach a fight, and what action skill you need to employ in order to gain an advantage on the battlefield.

4) All-new Character Classes

There are four new vault hunters to play as in Borderlands 2. And this time, character classes have been carefully altered to allow for maximum customization to create your very own tailor-made badass.

Each character class has their own action skill that allows them to use a power-up while in a skirmish to help gain control of the battlefield. The Assassin class slips into a stealth mode that allows him to move around at a high speed, slicing through enemies with a massive katana. The Gunzerker is a tank-like class with the ability to dual wield any two weapons in the game for a short time when he enters a sort of “rage”. The Commando is similar to the soldier class from the first Borderlands, as he has a turret he can place on the field to help him take out hostiles. However, this turret is much more controlled and customized than it was in the original game. And finally, we see a return of the Siren class in Borderlands 2 with the Phaselock ability, which encases enemies in a sort of stasis, preventing them from moving around and allowing the player a chance to take easy shots at targets.

Each action skill will have some amazing customization that will make it fit your play style. For example, there’s a way to attach health regeneration for your entire team as you use the Phaselock ability. Or, you could always use the nuclear capabilities of the Commando’s turret. Or, you could always just score more damage when stabbing enemies from behind using the Assassin’s stealth mode. The possibilities are endless, guaranteeing hours of satisfying gameplay as you create a character just as individual as you are (awww…).

5) More Loot than You Could Ask For

Like a cheeseburger without cheese, it simply wouldn’t be a Borderlands game without loot. And Gearbox has assured us that there will be plenty of it in Borderlands 2. As before, enemies will drop more money, ammo, and weapons whenever you finish them off with the awesome guns and abilities you’ve got at your disposal. Who knew Diablo-style gameplay would work so well with a shooter?

Are you frantically throwing money at the screen, hoping the game will magically appear in front of you yet? Save your energy; I’ve already tried, and it doesn’t work. You can, however, throw your money at any frightened retail employee and rush home to return to Pandora when the game comes out on all major platforms September 18th.

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