hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Borderlands 2

E3: Bright and beautiful Borderlands 2 pulls no punches

4:20 PM on 06.07.2012 // Conrad Zimmerman
  @ConradZimmerman

Two years ago at E3, the original Borderlands came out of nowhere to be one of my favorite games from the show. And despite the numerous issues with that game -- including, but not limited to: experience-level balance, its underwhelming conclusion, and some downright wretched DLC -- it remains one of my favorite first-person shooters because, when it comes right down to it, Borderlands was just stupid fun.

Based on my experience playing Borderlands 2 at E3 2012, the game feels like the next logical step. It's more frantic, more visually interesting and much more alive than its predecessor.

The hands-on demo at the show this year consisted of a mission in which two players (in this case, myself and and that lovable panda-man Brett Zeidler) were tasked with destroying statues of the villainous Handsome Jack in order to diminish his standing and wipe that smirk off of his face for a bit. The always lovable Claptrap acted as a guide character, giving us instructions over the radio and supplying bits of humorous dialog at mission checkpoints.

Because I'm a fairly boring individual, I went with the most straightforward character selection, the Commando. Very similar to the Soldier class from the first game, the Commando is well rounded and works best for medium range combat. Brett opted for the Siren class and we started on our mad adventure.

Pandora -- or at least the specific region we were able to romp in -- is far more alive than on our last visit. The cities of Borderlands were ramshackle in their construction, built from scraps of metal. By contrast, this locale was sleek and futuristic, with planters full of greenery and winding paths. That sense of life extended also to the enemies, particularly the humans who would drop chuckle-worthy quips as they collapse to the ground or melt into a puddle of goo.

Being that the goal was to destroy statues, the natural inclination was to just start firing off ordinance. This was ineffective, however, and Claptrap tasked us with finding a construction robot which we could assume control over and use to accomplish the goal. The "Constructors" are massive ovoid robots with a central, laser firing eye capable of delivering considerable damage, but their size and limited ability to turn makes them somewhat easy targets, meaning that we would have to defend the constructor from enemies while it destroyed the four statues in our mission.

Now, I know it's been a while since I played Borderlands and maybe my memory is clouded by how powerful my characters had become by the end of my time with that game, but this seemed a fair bit more challenging than I remember. Our enemies consisted of a series of increasingly large and powerful bipedal robots as well as combat engineers. The AI of the robots seemed fairly dense, but the humans at least made some effort to avoid being shot. I, on the other hand, did not and went down several times during the course of play. It was embarrassing, really. Almost as much as watching Brett walk right past my dying body and into a hail of gunfire which brought him down as well. Served him right.

We survived but actually wound up failing the quest. Not because we were unable to destroy the four statues; that worked out in the end. Sadly, our Constructor was destroyed almost at the same time as the final statue, making us unable to accomplish the quest's last task: flipping a switch to make the Constructor dance. You could argue that we technically succeeded, as the real objective of diminishing Jack's influence in the region was accomplished, but we didn't get to check out those sweet dance moves. I'm crushed, of course, and that only fuels my desire to play through the final game. And I will, when it releases on September 18th.



Conrad Zimmerman, Moustache
 Follow Blog + disclosure ConradZimmerman Tips
An avid player of tabletop and video games throughout his life, Conrad has a passion for unique design mechanics and is a nut for gaming history. He can be heard on the comedy podcast () and str... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
Just so you know, I've been a Huge subscriber for a few years but I thought I had until the end of September to cancel it. So I've opened an inquiry for the refund, which is on tinypass' end of things by the way.
techsupport avatartechsupport
I once posted that Total Recall was the best movie ever made. I would like to make note that Starship Troopers is a close second. Carry on.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I put too many peppers in my sausage and potatoes. My asshole is on fire. I want to cry when I wipe. But it was good.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
One glorious Japanese twitter user made a custom LBX of one of my favorite Kamen Riders: [img]http://i.imgur.com/yp1oraHm.jpg[/img] It's like getting peanut butter in chocolate but with small robots and spandex banana men!
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I feel terrible for not reading most of you beautiful people's blogs. Let's just say my passion is writing, not reading :s
techsupport avatartechsupport
People can debate GOTY all they want, but the real question is: D-Horse or Roach?
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
I'm dragging myself away from my PS4 long enough to say that MGS V is pretty darn awesome so far.
Myles Cox avatarMyles Cox
Down with that PAX Pox. Auhhhghghghhhh
Shinta avatarShinta
MGSV: Sneaking into a heavily guarded Russian military base in Afghanistan at night, slashing throats while listening to this. [youtube]https://youtu.be/-hWZqllm3mQ[/youtube] Comes off like a perfectly planned scene in a Scorsese movie or something.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Tortilla chips: The only food I know and love to betray me by deciding to flip to a bad angle and stab me in the gums.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
I'm ok with Namco shutting down Soul Calibur: Lost Souls, as long as they keep Ace Combat:Infinity running. Love that game and just hit 3 million credits.
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
Holy fuck I feel new again. I've been on hiatus for a while and haven't been up to writing. I might just jump back into things after I relearn things here. Does anyone even remember me? Like damn it's been a while.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
In MGS5: The Phantom Pain, Solid Snake dies from lung cancer from all those years of smoking. #FakeSpoilers
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
[youtube]http://youtu.be/FDSHslyrxkM[/youtube] If you don't know the truth, you don't know the score. The end is coming near. MAJOR SPOILERS!
Paul S avatarPaul S
Wow, it's really easy to get people upset over video games.
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
I hope MGS V is living up to everyone's expectations. I can't get enough.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
I dislike the idea of intentionally reinforcing the notions that either race or gender are character traits, and those that don't match your own are completely unrelatable.
Shinta avatarShinta
Who's your favorite female black writer on Destructoid's staff? Post a comment below with your votes.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
I'm ok if someone chooses a character's ethnicity in a story with the intent of being more representative, as long as the story is good. And if even SOME people feel like it helps them relate, then good! Don't bother me none.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
OK. So the Mad Max game is basically the combat from the Batman games, the driving bits from Rage and the taking over the outposts bits from Far Cry 3 and 4. I guess what I'm saying is that it's super fun and I'm really, really enjoying it.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Borderlands 2


  Apr 20

Borderlands creator leaves Gearbox, abandons his baby

Left on the church steps, crying in the rain. How could they?


  Mar 24

Celebrate Borderlands: The Handsome Collection by stocking up on Golden Keys

Why grind for loot when it's right there in a golden chest?


  Jan 30

Borderlands 2 lead writer Anthony Burch is leaving Gearbox

Going to Los Angeles to work on a new RocketJump project


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -