Borderlands 2 (Sleepless) ReviewGuest_Jim_* - October 4, 2012
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Finally, the thing that Borderlands 1 is perhaps best known for: its weapons. With a more careful examination of the game, there could probably be a full review of the weapons alone for all their differences do. At first you will take what you can get, but before long you will start looking for specific weapon brands for that one ability you like or do not like. For example, Jakobs guns can be fired as fast as you can click the mouse while Tediore guns are thrown as grenades (or drunken rockets in the case of the rocket launcher) to reload them. With my fast click, and macro-enabled mouse, I definitely enjoy the Jakobs guns, but the Tediore weapons don't work well with my play style. I'm one of those guys that has to have everything topped off, so I will reload a weapon when it is missing a single round from a clip. Well, if you do that with a Tediore, all of the rounds still in that clip are lost in an explosion. Perhaps the most annoying part of it though is the actual throwing. If I were aiming the gun at the head of an enemy for critical hits, it would be tossed over the enemy's head when reloading, wasting that grenade-action. I do not know if there is an easy software-side fix for that, but if this annoys you too, just be sure to aim down when you get to the end of the clip. Actually doing that saved my life a few times with the Second Wind feature.
Of course, 'Second Wind' is back in Borderlands 2, but now you have the added ability to crawl as you bleed out. However, while you can throw Tediore weapons, even filled with ammo, you are still not allowed to throw grenades when bleeding out.
One thing I noticed, and am very glad to see, is that if you fail to get a second wind and respawn, you can actually get ammo back. I actually died a few times without sniper ammo, or something, and when I respawned I had more than a clip. Definitely useful for longer battles when you may run out of ammo and die. Now, I may be mistaken, but I do not recall that being a feature of respawning in Borderlands 1. You will not receive grenades, however, so be careful when you use them because you may lose them
Ammo actually proved to be an issue with me at times, but I suspect that it is a special issue. Chests, and the ammo they contained, did not reset for me throughout the playthrough. If I opened an ammo chest once, it was open until the game restarted itself. Leaving and returning to the area did not refill them.
Another new feature that you may be looking forward to is the Badass Rank system. Simply put, it is a player leveling system, rather than a character leveling system. As you play and complete challenges, like getting 500 headshots for example, you get Badass Points that lead to Badass Ranks. With each rank comes a token that can be put into a stat, such as weapon damage. The first point gets you a 1% bonus, the second gets you a 0.7% bonus, then 0.6%, and finally 0.5%, which appears to be the minimum Badass bonus.
After Sleep Update: Having played more, after five 0.5% Badass Points into a category, the bonus is only 0.4% per point. Not sure what the minimum increase is, but it looks like Gearbox does not want someone to be able to just pour many hours into one character, to then start a new god-like character.
The only criticism I can really give the Badass system I feel may also be the worst it could receive, without the presence of a crippling bug (which I did not find if there was one). (After Sleep Update: I wrote this the day after the game released, which was before the reset bug was found. From what I've learned, this bug is rare, so I would not suggest this deter you from playing.) The Badass system is not very present in the game. What I mean is there is no reminder of Badass Points, past the notice when you obtain them. Skill Points, for comparison, are indicated by one's action skill being highlighted. Of course the Badass Points are less important, but I feel even a small indicator would be appreciated as there were times I was curious and checked to find I had five or more points to allocate. I simply believe that should not be the case. Also, the lack of an indicator almost makes it look like the Badass System was an afterthought when developing the game, as it is not thoroughly incorporated into the game.
Something I heard about before the release of the game was a change to the quest system. Now the goals of a quest can change on the fly, so if you need to kill five enemies, but then you find out you killed the wrong ones, the HUD's information for the quest will update for you, without you having to turn in the quest. This is a double-edged sword in my opinion. It definitely helps with quest design and making questing smoother, but there is a catch to it as well. One quest can now last a lot longer by having the intermediate goals change on you. It's like picking up a book for a quick read, and when you think you're halfway done, magically new chapters are added and that quick read is going to be a larger investment than you thought. As I did the playthrough without any sleep though, I may be one of the few who even notice this. Perhaps it would be better to consider this an informative criticism, instead of a judgmental criticism. There is the potential for this ability to be abused, though largely it was not, and I hope the Gearbox team is careful to not abuse it. After all, the sense of accomplishment does not come from finishing a chapter, but from finishing the book.