You know what’s awesome? Borderlands 2, that’s what.
The sequel was released last September, and has won 50something editorial awards across the gaming world since. The affectionate term for the sub-genre of the game is ‘shoot and loot’, a sub-genre of the first-person shooter where you go explore various maps, shoot lots of foes, and then loot vanquished villains and treasure chests to find fun new items to aid you continuing to do more of the same.
What sets B2 apart from other ‘shoot and loot’ games, and other games in general, is that it is just so perfectly entertaining. I actually hadn’t had any desire to play video games for some time before I got addicted to this little beauty. Dissociation: Engage!
So, to do your shootings and lootings, you get to choose one of four different character classes, each with unique strengths that suit the various gaming styles people tend to have in these sorts of game. I play as the Siren (the lone female character), just as I did in the original Borderlands. In any game I play where I can choose to be a spell-caster of sorts (whether magical spells in fantasy worlds, or energy manipulation in sci-fi games), that is what I choose to be, and that is what the Siren is. She can lift enemies into the air, immobilizing them while you continue to blast away with your plethora of guns. It’s supremely satisfying.
Anyway, the story is basically a space-western, set on the fictional world of Pandora, a backwoods planet populated by rednecks and hillbillies. You are a vault hunter, searching for an invaluable treasure that will not only lead to potential fame and fortune, but can save the world of Pandora from the villainous Handsome Jack. Jack is also looking for a vault, in the hopes of taking control of a power that would be best kept out of the hands of a douche-bag like Handsome Jack (although he’s a hilariously awesome bad guy). Anyway, the aforementioned rednecks and hillbillies who populate Pandora either try to kill you, or send you on mutually beneficial quests (or in some delightful cases, both). The game is chock-full of pop-culture references, entertaining characters, and droll humor. It’s really, really fun.
If you have even a moderate interest in video games, you should try to get your hands on a copy and give it a whirl.
Here’s a trailer for the game I once shared a long time ago. If you can watch it without at least a small part of you wanting to check it out… well then you don’t deserve to have nice things, and we’ll just keep playing without you! If you already play on PS3, send me your game info, my friend J and I could always use some more firepower as we burn Pandora to the ground… you know… to save it from Handsome Jack.