It is said that "generals always fight the last war, especially if they have won it." This is all too often true in game development as well.
The folks behind 2009's "Borderlands" have made another game bordering on greatness. "Borderlands 2" knocks the first game off its throne as the best cooperative shooter on the market, but as a sequel it's disappointing. Everything's been tweaked, nothing's been revolutionized.
"Borderlands 2" returns to Pandora, a planet whose space-Western expanses and numerous monsters are once again rendered in what might be the perfect video game art style. Thanks to a technique called cel-shading, "Borderlands 2" looks like a living cartoon, as detailed as other games but clearer and more fluid.
You explore Pandora as one of four player types, from the new "Gunzerker," a huge dude who can fire two weapons at once, to a robot that's a master of stealth. The more friends who join you, either in split-screen play or over the Internet, the harder and more numerous enemies become, transforming a fun but lonely adventure -- pretty much "Fallout Lite" -- into all-out war.
|» System: PS3, Xbox 360, PC|
|» Price: $59.99|
|» Rating: 4 out of 5 stars|
But it's a war we've fought before. The new player types are streamlined versions of the four in the first game, the enemies are less predictable this time around, and the story is slightly funnier. But the developers still think a huge variety of guns can make up for the fact that none of them is particularly fun to fire. A little bit of daring in the weapons department, along with the implementation of genre-standard features like destructible environments, might make "Borderlands 3" sing during the rare times you don't have three friends handy to play by your side.