Borderlands 2 (Sleepless) ReviewGuest_Jim_* - October 4, 2012
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Now we can get to the stuff that actually matters when purchasing a game. If you want a story you can get a book and if you want fancy graphics you can watch a modern movie.
Several things have been added to or altered for the sequel. The entire HUD, for example, has been changed, largely for the better. Honestly though, I think the actual inventory interface of the original game was better. This one, though prettier and smoother, takes more clicks to get the job done. For example, in the original game you had what was in your inventory on the left and equipped on the right. To equip an item took just two clicks. In Borderlands 2 to positions are flipped and are not on the same page together. You are either viewing the equipped items or the inventory. To equip an item you must select it, or the already equipped item to swap them, then either press the button to equip it or click over on the Equipped page, which is pushed back and out of focus, and then you select the spot to equip the item. While both methods are intuitive, the original was simpler and I do not understand why it changed like that.
After Sleep Update: Also, the new inventory is supposed to feature drag-and-drop functionality now, but I found this to be poorly executed. Sometimes I would click and drag to have the game only register the click and other times I would click and the game thought I was clicking and dragging. To further annoy me, the order of items in the inventory would change after clicking on an item, so if the click did not register correctly, I would have to spot the item again.
Obviously, that and many other things I am going to mention here are not reasons to avoid the game. They are just observations of mine about the game.
Another change, and this one is definitely a positive evolution, is the automatic pickup of money, health (if needed), and ammo (if needed). This did exist in Borderlands 1 as well, but only when driving, as it would be too inconvenient to require a player get out of a vehicle to grab some cash. Unfortunately, this feature did not consistently work for me, but I strongly suspect that this will be fixed soon. My completely unfounded guess is a similar problem was found in testing and the developers thought they fixed it because it was not present in their limited, official testing. Once you hit the market though, you have a much larger testing pool, and what you thought was fixed may turn out to not be.
Also, here is a criticism of the auto-collect system. Borderlands 2 introduces a second economy based on Eridium, but for some reason Eridium is not automatically picked up like other the other non-weapon items. I don't have a guess for why this is like that, but I do hope a patch changes that, if only for consistency and not function.
Speaking of Eridium, let us talk about what it is used for. In the original game you could use your cash to buy capacity increasers or earn them through quests ('carry X many more sniper bullets' of 'add Y more slots to your backpack'). In Borderlands 2, Eridium is used, exclusively, for the purchasing of these items. That is with the exception of some backpack upgrades that come from character development. So no more rescuing damaged Clap Traps.
After Sleep Update: I now have the opinion that the Eridium economy was not well thought out for the base game, though perhaps a future DLC will fix this. Effectively there is unlimited Eridium in the game (though you can only hold 99 at a time), but there are only so many backpack upgrades to buy. Eventually you will find yourself with dozens of Eridium bars you can do nothing with. Simply being able to sell these bars would be useful or having an open-ended use for them. One idea I'm sure many players would enjoy is the ability to reroll an item's stats to your level. The cost could be high, but it would definitely be appreciated to breathe new life into an old gun. Might not happen, but wouldn't that be nice?
Driving has also evolved, but I can't say it is completely positive. It is not negative though. The driving mechanics appear to now have rules to strictly forbid a vehicle landing on its side or upside down, no matter what crazy stunt you are attempting. Also these stunts are even crazier now as you have the ability to power slide on non-smooth surfaces. Several times I cut a turn too tight and end up turning way to far because the vehicle started power sliding on an incline or bump. With practice, I'm sure a player can adapt to it, but likely they will just avoid powersliding at first.