Out In The Borderlands [Part 2] (Or: Avoiding Sunlight To Get To Level 50)

Well, shit.

Last night, I finally hit LV50 on Borderlands 2 after much grinding, farming, killing, looting and shooting. And do I feel satisfied?

Do I balls.

It’s taken about 70 hours to finally get to this landmark (unlike these guys who shunned all form of social contact despite sitting in the same room together for 43 hours… think of the BO smell), and along the way I’ve been relatively fortunate to not meet many dicks online playing it. There have been a few. Those who join the server, try to change the mission to something they want to do, and when you change it back to what it was originally, get in the huff and quit. Then there are The Hoovers, the sort of player who joins your game just as you’re polishing off a difficult enemy to rush at the loot pressing their E key frantically as they hoover up all the decent guns. Then they log off. Dicks.

The more astute readers of this blog may have noticed that the guy I’m playing with in that pic, Joker, was about to die just as I was enjoying my moment of triumph and may find it a bit ironic I’m talking about dicks in BL2 when I wasn’t reviving him. WELL, EXCUUUUUUSE ME. He’s one of guys I regularly play with, and he was down below getting hammered by Goliaths while I was up top killing easier foes. He made LV50 about an hour later, so I think he’s fine.

Borderlands 2 is a game that involves shooting guns and overcoming “objectives”.

Later in this session, a player joined who’d already completed all the main quests and had been repeatedly killing Terramorphous the Invincible (that’s a lie, btw) to farm Legendary Weapons, threw us a couple of bones. And when I say bones, I mean Legendary Weapons. I’d not actually seen a single orange weapon in 70+ hours of playthrough, and it was great to meet someone who was happy to give us a couple for nothing. He was sitting on a huge stash of them in the bank, so it was no big deal for him.

We gave Terra a run for his money shortly after, and I found him to be less of a pain in the arse than Crawmerax in BL1. Without a hacked gun, Craw could take 20 minutes to kill legit if you were just running around him firing aimlessly and blasting his spawn. Some of his loot is rather good though – all LV50, and plenty of purple and blue drops. Still, I didn’t see an orange in the wild – it’s likely one of the other three players hoovered it in the first few seconds when the body hadn’t even hit the ground.

Now the ceiling has been hit and the big bad vanquished, what’s left? 25 side missions, and the final boss again. And, lucky for me (but not my social life), the new DLC is due this week. Saddle up, Apone.

Out In The Borderlands [Part 1]

I’ve been (literally) having a blast playing Borderlands 2 lately. Released on 21st September in the UK, it’s been getting universally good reviews from everyone who’s played it. The first game sailed by without much notice. I’m not sure why I picked it up through Steam in the first place, but it was probably through one of their wallet-raping sales that you’re informed about on a nigh-weekly basis. That’s not a complaint by the way. Steam, which if you’re a thick twat who’s never done any PC gaming before, is basically iTunes for video games. Real video games. Not the ones you play on your electronic twatbox while waiting for the 19:06 to Brighton.

The worrying thing about BL2 is how damn addictive it is. One friend on my Steam list has clocked up over 120 hours already. In three weeks. It helps not having a girlfriend, but surely this kid should be in school. Whereas my previous crack was Valve’s Left 4 Dead 2, which I put a ridiculous 442 hours into (over two years, I’d like to add), I’m already worried that I’m getting sucked into something else entirely.

Lucky bastard.

While the looting was something fun and almost peripheral in the first game, Gearbox have made (ultra rare) orange loot even impossible to find. I’ve finished the game once, and haven’t seen a single orange item dropped. The co-op has been vastly improved too. Joining a random game through matchmaking drops you into your current story mission just before the XP has been farmed, meaning you aren’t getting screwed like you did in the first game. Often was the case you’d join a co-op match and find that the other players were levels ahead of you, your bullets were doing no damage to the Psychos, and you were screwing up your mission list by blocking side-missions because you add the host’s mission list to your own. It was enough to drive a sane man fucking mental. In BL2, you leave a host, and your list is back to normal. What makes it so great is that you really have the power to choose whether you want other people helping you out or not. I know some players who really like to get their teeth into a game in SP, then perhaps play for a bit with other players. In BL2, the experience is completely transformed by the other players being there. The bad guys get harder. The loot is better. The fun increases exponentially. You really are missing out by not making your game open to three more players.

Some players I’ve been on servers with have complained that the story mode is too short. I beg to differ. It took three solid days of non-stop playing to finish it and get Zero up to level 30. Thats three days without social contact, shopping trips or wearing any nice hats outdoors. If you’re playing BL2 casually, you’ll get a good couple of weeks of solid gameplay on the main missions alone.

The optional missions are great. Less of those ‘go get me this, bring it back here’ type yawnfests that are in too many RPGs. The rewards are sweeter and they enhance the overall story and develop the world you’re living (and killing) in.

*cough*

Most noticeably, the writers have pumped more humour into the game. There are no implications when main baddie Handsome Jack accuses Moxxi (the large breasted Underdome owner from the first game) of having sucked on quite a few penises in her time. There’s the double rainbow bit. And the Minecraft easter egg/cave/skins. And they’re just the ones I’ve found so far. I don’t think I’ve actually tried to find any secrets because I’ve always been caught up in the missions and the co-op play. In short, there’s plenty to go back for if you want to.

to be continued…