Borderlands 2 is without a doubt one of the most iconic and beloved games of all time. It quite literally did everything right — it had good shooting, fun cooperative play, a great story and characters, and fantastic humor. The only bad thing about Borderlands 2 is that it’s so good it makes every other Borderlands game after it look like trash!
But just how well has this classic RPG/shooter hybrid aged? How does the shooting stand up compared to modern games? Are the jokes just as funny as they were back then? We’ll be going over all of that and more in this article on whether Borderlands 2 is worth playing in 2022!
Is Borderlands 2 Worth Playing in 2022?
Let’s jump right in!
Borderlands 2 is a first-person shooter/class-based RPG. It takes place in the distant future, where humanity has spread out among the stars and colonized a wide variety of planets. This game takes place on a wasteland planet called Pandora, a Hellscape torn apart by bandits and greedy corporations. The game starts with you picking a class and taking a train to meet with the Hyperion Corporation.
That is, until Handsome Jack reveals his true intentions and attempts to assassinate you! After narrowly surviving his attack, you spend the rest of the game killing bandits, wild animals, and Hyperion Corporation robots to gain better gear and level up your character. You meet characters new and old as you master the game’s combat and take the fight to the man himself, Handsome Jack.
The game was met with overwhelmingly positive praise during its release back in 2012. The game has had a big impact on the industry, and its main villain, Handsome Jack, is considered one of the most iconic characters in all of gaming. Many consider this game to be a must-play for all fans of shooters and action RPGs, citing it as one of the best games of the 2010s. So why don’t we look at each major aspect of the game to see if that’s really true?
Shooting & Looting
The most prominent gameplay mechanic of Borderlands 2, is, of course, the shooting. The game allows you to hold four weapons at once, as well as some grenades and other equipment. Borderlands 2 isn’t just any run-of-the-mill shooter, however. It’s a looter shooter. This means there’s an overabundance of items in the game that you can grab and equip to upgrade your current gear.
The core gameplay loop sees you running around the world, doing missions and killing enemies, taking their loot, and using it to upgrade your loadout. All lootable items in the game are randomly generated, and their stats can vary greatly from one to another. There’s an assault rifle that you can throw at enemies to blow them up when you reload, an automatic sniper rifle that deals acid damage, and much more!
Both of these features hold up to this day. The shooting still feels satisfying to use and buttery smooth. I never once thought that aiming and firing a gun felt clunky or boring. I actually found the gunplay to be more fun than the gunplay in Borderlands 3! While this RNG-based loot system isn’t as complex or content-rich as the one in Borderlands 3, it’s still more than enough for you to never run out of new toys to play with. The amount of variety in weapons and equipment to this day is still impressive.
RPG-Mechanics & Classes
As previously mentioned, Borderlands 2 is a hybrid between a shooter and an RPG. In the base game, you can pick between one of four different classes. First up is The Commando, a soldier who can deploy a turret to give you and your team some covering fire. Next is The Siren, a mage-like character with a variety of alien powers. The Gunzerker allows you to dual-wield big guns (think Blazkowicz from Wolfenstein: The New Order). Finally, The Assassin can turn invisible to sneak up on enemies and launch a surprise attack.
These classes each have three different skill trees that allow you to specialize in one of several different areas. For example, the Assassin can specialize in either melee weapons or sniper rifles, or you can go for a tree that hybridizes both. This system is simplistic enough for casual RPG fans to enjoy, while also complicated enough that the hardcore RPG fan can really specialize in a particular area and optimize their build for the best possible numbers.
I actually find this system more enjoyable and rewarding than Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. In that game, each class only has two skill trees to choose from. And, since you can choose a second class later on, your first choice feels like it has less weight to it. Being able to combine different playstyles together is cool, but I still prefer Borderlands 2’s system, as it forces you to stick with one class for the whole game. This results in your playthrough feeling more unique.
Borderlands just wouldn’t be Borderlands without a way to play the game with your friends. Borderlands 2’s co-op is not based on any dedicated servers and instead works peer-to-peer. Because of this, there are no servers to shut down and the online co-op is still available to all players of the game. In my personal experience, it isn’t too hard to find another player to game with.
This is impressive considering the game’s age. But it’s important to note that you’ll have an even easier time finding random players on Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, as it’s the newest entry in the series. But enough about getting online in Borderlands 2 — how does co-op actually play?
Borderlands 2 is designed to be played either solo or with friends. I completed my first playthrough solo, but going back and playing through some missions again with a friend is incredibly fun. Sadly, the one thing I dislike about Borderlands 2 co-op is the fact that there is no system in place to prevent players from taking all the loot for themselves. Often when playing with randoms, they will grab up anything and everything above uncommon rarity, leaving little loot for me. If you can find someone you can coordinate with to split the loot, this problem is negated somewhat.
Story & Humor
Lastly, we have to talk about the story and the characters. Borderlands 2 did an excellent job of expanding upon the world and lore of the first game, which was fairly simplistic compared to this title. Borderlands 2 introduced us to new locations, new factions, and new characters. It also gave us one of the most memorable stories in all of gaming history!
I won’t spoil anything from the plot, but there are quite a few shocking and saddening moments to be found in the game. The story still has a very humorous and light-hearted tone, but it shifts to being much darker at times. The humor, it has aged incredibly well, and the game is much, much funnier than Borderlands 3. That game tried too much to be trendy and give into modern memes, and most of the jokes are more awkward than funny.
The humor in Borderlands 2 is more timeless, and makes for some of the most memorable moments in the game! It’s witty, well-written, adds to the personality of the characters, and fits right in with the tone and world the game is set in. Handsome Jack is, of course, the star of the show here, and his sadistic sense of sarcasm and narcissistic personality make some of the best jokes in the entire game. Just watch this video here if you don’t believe me.
Synopsis: Is Borderlands 2 Worth Playing in 2022?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Hell yes.
Longer answer: Borderlands 2 is a must-play game if you love first-person shooters and western action RPGs. The game is a testament to good looter shooters done right. It’s the perfect couch co-op game to play with your friends. And, since the game’s life cycle is over, there’s an overabundance of content to enjoy. All of the DLCs have been released and are available on digital storefronts.
The story and humor are without a doubt the best part of this game, and they’ve both aged like fine wine. Handsome Jack is one of the best villains in gaming history, and once you complete your first playthrough of this game, it will be hard to argue against that. If you disliked the humor of Borderlands 3, maybe it’s time you took a trip down memory lane and replayed Borderlands 2 again.
If you’ve never played the game before, you should definitely put it on your wishlist. It is usually sold online for $19.99 and frequently goes on sale. Chances are some of your friends already own this game, and I doubt they’d protest if you asked them to play the game with you. Overall, Borderlands 2 is a prime example of a game that combines good shooting, RPG mechanics, a good story, characters, and humor all into one package, and it’s definitely worth playing in 2022.
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