Before leaving on the trip that I’m currently on, I was able to finish up my playthrough of Borderlands 2. Since I did an in-progress commentary back in March when I was a bit over halfway through the game, I thought it would be good to come back and give a follow-up post with my final verdict on the game. In the interest of full disclosure, let me state that I played through the main game a single time, used the Commando class, finished the game at around level 36, completed all side quests except for the endgame raid boss, focused most of my skill points into buffing my turret and increasing weapon damage, no DLC was purchased, and that I played almost the entire game offline by myself.
My thoughts on Borderlands 2 are essentially the same as the ones I gave in my in-progress commentary. However, now that I’ve finished the game I can add a few more. If you’ve not read the in-progress commentary I suggest you do so before reading any further. Also, the next paragraph has spoilers for the game’s story, so skip over it if you want to avoid knowing how the game ends.
The way Borderlands 2’s story wrapped up was in line with what I expected. You more or less know what the final mission will be by the halfway point of the game but that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of everything you experience before that. Despite knowing where the game was going, I still had a good time meeting and interacting with the various characters, completing their side quests, and advancing the game towards its inevitable conclusion. The main villain, Handsome Jack, remains the best character in the game from start to finish, and his dialogue stands head and shoulders above everyone else’s. Just as a side note, I allowed Lilith to kill him at the end rather than shooting him myself. How could I kill such a lovable jerk?
The loot issue I mentioned in my in-progress commentary remained through the end of the game. Even though I got faster over the course of the game at evaluating, organizing, and managing the loot I was picking up, I still felt I had to spend too much time on it. I do hope any future Borderlands game refines the way the loot system works. One other issue related to the loot is that it would have been nice to have a few extra slots available in the storage vault. I’m not the type to get too attached to a piece of equipment and normally when I get better gear I just sell off the inferior stuff, but there were some items I wanted to hold on to purely for nostalgia purposes, and there were not quite enough slots in the vault to hold all of them. However this is a minor complaint, and given that Borderlands 2 is a videogame and everything in it is purely fictional, there were no tears shed when I sold off some of the equipment I had hoped to keep.
Before completing the final story mission, I dabbled a bit in online multiplayer and joined a few other peoples’ parties to experience cooperative play. None of the groups I joined had anyone using a microphone, so we could only do the most basic of communications, but everyone seemed to know what they were doing and I didn’t have any major issues when attempting to complete missions. The one thing I stood out to me about online cooperative play is that it seemed that the loot from fallen enemies could be picked up freely by anyone in the group. I imagine that if you had a team of friends who were talking then you could find an agreeable way to work out who gets what from the loot, but at the same time there’s also the risk of a single jerk grabbing everything for himself. Thankfully I didn’t have this problem because the missions I played with other people were ones I had already beaten, and I already had pretty good equipment so I was fine letting other people go first in inspecting the loot.
At the end of my in-progress commentary on Borderlands 2, I stated that, baring a sudden turn for the worse, I expected to finish the game with a positive review overall. Now at the end of the line I can confirm that Borderlands 2 is a good game and fun to play, aside from my personal issue with the loot system. If you like silly first-person shooters and you have a PS3, Xbox 360, or a PC capable of running it, Borderlands 2 is worth checking out.