Guns... Lots of Guns
After much anticipation, the lid is finally off Borderlands 2 and we spent hours digging into it. First hands-on impressions await you inside.
Published: April 4, 2012
All The Shiny Guns
From shotguns that fire rockets, to rocket launchers that fire tactical nukes, Borderlands was perhaps the juiciest slice of gun porn ever served up to the gaming public. Just like Diablo before it, Borderlands had us doing boss runs over and over just to see that wonderful explosion of “gunfetti” as we landed the killing blow. Then you would scurry over to see what the gods of the random number generator had left you. This spirit is alive and well in the sequel and even in the few hours I played, I saw some promising indications that we will have even more delicious new implements of death to covet than ever before.
On a purely superficial level, the guns are more visually distinct from one another than they were in Borderlands. Even within the same manufacturer and weapon class, there are various different clip shapes, scopes, stocks, barrels and detailing to be found. Other cosmetic touches like a greater variety of reload animations and down scope displays made picking up and equipping new guns feel exciting, even if they weren't necessarily something I wanted to use. Overall, I felt more compelled to keep a weapon because it looked or sounded cool than in the first game, where I only really cared about the stats.
Stats and functionality are still as important as ever though and some new elements have emerged for consideration when picking your firearms. I saw at least two new damage types, one called 'roid damage and another called slag damage. I didn't get a chance to test what each does, but based on some of the in game dialogue, slag is going to be a pretty useful damage type and even figures in to some class' skill trees. Each of the the different weapon manufacturers now features even more noticeable distinctions, the most extreme of which was the Tediore brand weapons which you throw as a grenade every time you hit reload with one equipped. After detonating, a new one materializes in your hand ready to go. For assault or close range weapons, this seems like a real boon. Chucking guns at enemies after shooting them with them never got old and hopefully more of the manufacturers incorporate similar wrinkles in their weapons.
Not to be totally outdone by the guns, some of the other bits of gear seem to have new functionality as well. I spied a few new grenade mods that will add new life to the art of explosive death. Even with standard mods, grenades are much more satisfying to use, causing overall greater damage over larger areas. My favorite new attribute came on a shield however. You probably remember that some shields in the last game were designed to drastically reduce damage of a specific type. Now, there are even shields that grant you elemental resistance to whatever damage type you were last struck by. I'm sure that high quality adaptive shields will be among the most sought after pieces of gear in the later character levels.
Of course, who is to say what other surprises the weaponry might hold. Trying to determine all that has been added from a few hours of playing is folly when you consider how long you had to farm for in the previous game to get some of the cooler stuff. But what I've seen so far gives me a good feeling that some truly bizzaro stuff is gonna be popping out of chests and dropping off of mobs in the near future.