Borderlands is a game I have been aware of for a while, with the iconic Psycho image, it is something that hasn’t really interested me for some reason. But I’ve been given the opportunity to play the first two games in all their remastered glory.
I love a good first-person shooter, I do find them a lot of fun and you can just lose yourself in them for hours and hours. During the first Borderlands, I found myself doing just that. It was super fun to wander around the desolate wastelands of Pandora, killing various enemies with not a care in the world.
However, I did reach a point with the game where I just was not motivated to carry on playing it, and it isn’t that I hated it, I just didn’t have the drive. Mark Brown in Game Makers Toolkit does a really great video essay about keeping players engaged and he had a very similar experience with Doom.
It isn’t that I don’t like the game, I had a lot of fun playing it, I think for me it just got quite samey. The narrative wasn’t there for me, and the way the quests were presented were quite messy and I had no real idea about why I was doing all these tasks, but also the characters and narrative just didn’t compel me in the slightest.
So instead of me trudging through the rest of the first game, I decided to give Borderlands 2 a go, and I was pleasantly surprised by how different this was to the first one. Within the first five minutes, I was completely engaged in the world. The initial setting for one was so much more interesting for me, the icy world just looked so much cooler (pun absolutely intended) and made me want to explore it more.
The story felt a lot more thought out and engaging, the dialogue was a lot better and even funnier than the first game. Claptrap in this game is also a lot better, having so much more character, that is both annoying and very charming.
Borderlands 2 just feels a lot more polished than the first game; the menus are a lot better; everything just works a lot better which makes for much smoother gameplay and I only want to play this one more than the first. The character customisation was also so much better in this, you could completely change how each character looked with the hair, and the outfits, which I am a sucker for!
What I loved a lot about both games was the overall style of them. I love when games take risks with the art-style, and Borderlands creates such fun looking environment and characters, with a comic-book art style that just looks cool and how they pulled it off was incredible. This gets even better in the second one, where the environments just look gorgeous. What I loved about this element of the games was that I wasn’t expecting it at all. On the surface, it doesn’t look that pretty, if I am being honest, but once you get into the game, there are genuine moments that were gorgeous!
I will admit, I haven’t played co-op in the game yet. Mainly because I am not very good at playing with other people, I get very nervous. However, it is something I would love to play in the future because I can imagine it is a lot of fun, and perhaps enhances the experience a bit more.
Overall, I enjoyed my time playing both games, although the first one was completely outshined by the second, I still had a lot of fun with it. These are games that can get a bit tiresome if you play them continuously, but I can imagine myself dipping back into them when I need a bit of mindless fun!