Bozzley

Borderlands part 2

Something I noticed last night – even though you know that behind every fight are COLD HARD NUMBERS, which are there to make sure you will never ever win at your current level, and even though there’s six of them with rocket launchers and one of you with four bullets left in your gun, the game is just so much fun, you start to think your way out of things. Like “I can get round the corner and put my turret down so the bandits shoot that, then I can run round the back and get a few headshots in and OMFG I killed one! Now grenades…. two down! Bollocks, the turret has gone, and now I’m dead”. And when you respawn, you think about how you’re gonna kill the last four bandits, with even less ammo than you had. But the game is clever. It knows when you’re running low on ammo, or health, and enemies drop what you need. So a quick daring run to the corpses results in your SMG getting a couple of clips back. And the thinking game begins again.

Certain encounters (and not even the boss fights; these are just normal fights) remind me of raids in WoW. You look at what resources you’ve got, and think of a way to apply them to maximise the carnage. Playing as a soldier, I’ve got a turret which replenishes health and ammo when I’m close to it, and it also gets the aggro from the enemies. This lets me do all sorts of shit – get behind them and get in close with a shotgun, or duck behind the turret and snipe them, or run back and blow the fuckers up with a rocket launcher. Add the grenades I always forget I’ve got, and the melee knife, and you’ve always got options.

And this is in a traditional twitchy FPS. So if you need to think about how you’re gonna do stuff, you need to run and hide and think. The game doesn’t always give you that luxury, so a lot of the time you’ll have to come up with plans on the fly and just wing it. Eventually, you’ll realise you haven’t blinked for half an hour and your eyes are sore.

The game is flawed. Some things it does are terrible. But the gameplay itself is fucking hideously good. It makes you feel involved, more than any shooting gallery FPS could ever do (with the possible exception being the ending to Call of Duty: MewTwo, but that cheats).

And all this is from me playing on my own. Can’t wait to see how it goes with more people.

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