Complete challenges, become a Badass.
Another fine new addition is the Badass Rank. This is a combination of the weapon proficiency bonuses and challenges from the first Borderlands. As you complete challenges, such as killing 50 midgets, or discovering all the locations in a certain area, you’ll be awarded Badass points. Earn enough points and you’ll gain a Badass token. These Badass tokens can be applied to list of stats, allowing players to add to their overall profile stat bonuses a few percentage points at a time. Your Badass Rank will remain persistent across all your characters in Borderlands 2.
I have two very small complaints about this new system. The display would flash messages scoring challenge progress and it would notify us when a challenge was completed, but it wouldn't let us know when we actually earned the token itself. (When you're a real Badass it takes several completed challenges to earn a Badass token.) We were constantly checking the menu to discover if we had earned a Badass tokens. They eventually became a pleasant surprise we would remember to check at the end of a session or whenever we leveled up. Also, we couldn’t see other online players’ ranks. What good is my thick and meaty Badass Rank if I can’t display it for everyone to see?
Holy crap! Not only is Axton hot, he's gorgeous! Also, the menu screens work well, even in split screen.
There are a few other minor problems with Borderlands 2. I noticed some lag in online play. It wasn’t bad, but it was a little irksome. There’s a big problem with loading textures, especially for ammunition pick ups. I even installed the game on my hard drive and didn’t notice much improvement. At one point while playing split screen the framerate almost rendered the game unplayable. This happened once in 30 hours of gaming, and since I didn't die, I'll forgive it. We also could not visually inspect guns in split screen play. We could still see their stats, but we missed out on some of the visual appeal of a full screen display. The driving elements and Fast Travel system are still pretty vanilla. The vehicles offer little in the way of customization, and occasionally we had to hike to get to the nearest transportation. At least there's a four player vehicle available a few hours into the campaign.
One of the biggest downers is that a second local player needs a Gold account to play online on the Xbox 360 version of the game. If the second player signs in as a guest the game won’t even save their progress. Player Two can play on a free Silver account and save their data, but the game will be taken offline. These complaints may seem pretty minor, especially to PS3 and PC players, but when a game is this good, the flaws stand out.
Borderlands 2 is a superior title to the original game. The highly addictive loot and shoot gameplay remains largely unchanged, which is a great thing. The new story, character classes, enemies, and lands of Pandora offer a variety of improvements over 2009’s offering. This may be the definitive co-op title for 2012. Simply put, if you enjoyed Borderlands, you’ll love Borderlands 2.
The Co-Optimus Review of Borderlands 2 is based off the Xbox 360 version of the game. A copy was supplied by the publisher.
The Co-Op Experience: Players work together using four different classes of characters to complete quests, gather loot, and trade items. All three systems support online co-op. Local co-op is available on the console versions.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.