Its what a sequel needs to be
Borderlands was a great game marred by a sub par and non-existent story line that outside of combat gave nothing to the whole experience. It wasn't until the expansions that we got to see just how good a story driven arc could be. Plus the combat and endless loot system was cool and the variations of the rifles looked great even though many of the guns looked similar. Borderlands 2 is probably one of the best sequels I have played in a long time. They took what made number one great and multiplied that by 100 times. The story is simply great, though we have seen these tropes in other games but the main story is equal parts funny, sad, and genuinely gets you attached to the many characters of this universe. Handsome Jack is a Handsome Bastard , I mean rarely has a antagonist made me really feel hate towards said character as Jack made me feel. Then you have characters like Tiny Tina who is a great character (a very sad character but funny nonetheless). Still while the main game is great and the inclusion of the original vault hunters gives the story a better overall appeal. Though the side quests are better at being wacky off the wall tributes to many pop culture greats and then some. The writing is superb in this game and I was finding myself drawn to just hearing what the npcs had been saying because some of the best lines are spoken by them.
The combat is largely unchanged from the 1st, but it still feels fresh and satisfying to pick up a new gun and see how it works relative to what you old gun worked. Enemies now have the ability to dodge fire and they seem to have the ability to do smart things, like flanking, suppressing, and intelligently working together to steal your cookies. The four vault hunters are essentially upgraded versions of the four from the previous game, which isn't a bad thing each has a build that will satisfy one play style or another. When I finished the game I was a lvl 32 Commando who was heavily invested in the gunpowder tree, but I was also investing in the guerilla tree to boost my turrets killing power. Combat is open ended and it helps that there is literally a infinite amount of guns to find, collect, and kill with. The only gripe I have is with some of the gun models, these are supposed to be whole different companies but many of their guns when found look exactly like their competitors weapons, its not a big deal but you notice these things when you spend over 30hrs hunting for better weapons.
The game looks great, the cell shaded graphics could have been over coloured, or not enough (like the 1st) but they have just the right amount of vibrancy and colour in this game that it makes it a joy to traverse the newer land of Pandora. The character models have been given a higher degree of detail and the environments in general seem to be better and more lively then the first. The gun models look great and since you have a huge arsenal of many gun variants it is good that no two guns (unless they are common) look alike. The voice acting in this game is great, so is the gun sounds, explosions, beasts, etc everything sounds good except for the soundtrack. Like the first game this has really been the weakest part of the experience, though it may just be me since I tend to shut off the main soundtrack in favour of the ambient noises in games I like those more then some lame slapped together music tracks (not thats the case here).
Honestly there really isn't anything bad to say about this game, it has everything a fan of the genre wants and needs, though I would have liked to see a more open world that is just a minor thing and probably won't make a appearance in any sequel Gearbox decides to make. Another thing to note is that the PC version has everything and then some, you can tweak so many options to work on many rigs. The optimization was a resounding success and I suggest getting it for the PC if yours can handle it.
Borderlands 2: 8.5/10
+Tons of Weapons
+Tons of Fun
+Tiny Tina aka writing is super strong