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  1. Let me start by saying that I love the borderlands games, it is a series near and dear to my heart. But that does not make Borderlands 2 perfect, and after playing through the game about 18 times now, I feel it necessary to address some of its problems. I believe that nothing can truly improve without looking to and fixing its faults, and I don’t want Gearbox Software to get complacent and believe that there’s nothing to improve on, because there is. If you yourself are a borderlands fan and are probably waiting to tear me up, at least have the decency to hear me out, after that you can argue or agree as much as you’d like. The bulk of my issues with Borderlands 2 have to do with its story so I’m going to go over the gameplay issues and get it out of the way. I think Borderlands 2 did an excellent job on improving the gameplay, the UI is greatly improved, the token system in my opinion is better than the previous challenge system, and the skill tees are extended so you don’t completely fill out 2 trees by the end of the first game. Not to mention all the other parts put in that make it worthy of being titled a sequel, however there are issues. Firstly there is no system for replaying Echo’s. In the first game you could listen to your communications through a menu, in Borderlands 2 there is no option, and it is face-tearingly aggravating to try to understand important exposition from some person or other in the middle of an epic gun fight knowing that you won’t be hearing it again anytime soon. Also, why is it that when I play Borderlands 1 for a few hours I will have acquired at least 3 legendaries but in Borderlands 2 I must farm like a mad man to get a single one? It seems counter productive to say that the loot in Borderlands 2 is bigger and better and then to seemingly lower the drop rates. And speaking of loot, while I’m glad there seems to be a good plethora of legendaries, uniques, and seraph weapons you can EVENTUALLY acquire; it seems that you have less space with which to store all of it. In Borderlands 1 I think the max backpack space you could get was 45 with god knows how much bank space with the underdome DLC, whereas in borderlands 2 the max backpack space is 39 after you’ve acquired enough eridium to mutate every bandit from Pandora to the edge of existence. And don’t argue that this is a way to force you to use a preferred gun and properly manage your space, because you shouldn’t have to! I should not have to spend a week farming terramorphous to get him to finally drop a legendary shield and then find out that I have to make a decision to get rid of my legendary I spent 6 hours of farming to get, or the legendary that only took me 5 and a half hours to get. That is not fun! Speaking of loot, I prompt you to not buy ultimate vault hunter mode. For one it's stupidly hard, most likely forcing you to play with other people or get squished, and for what it says about higher loot drop rates, it’s like the difference of killing an ultimate boss 10 times or 7 times, and that’s if you can manage 7 since his health is four times larger and regenerates. So that would be all my gripes about the gameplay, now let me explain the biggest issue I have with borderlands 2, the story. I understand that Anthony Burch was brought in to write the story and people might say I should cut him some slack for his first game story write, but to be honest that’s all the more reason to bring to light the issues, you can’t just tell him his work is perfect because he’ll never improve as a writer. My issues with the story all revolve around the main villain Handsome Jack. Whom I have heard from several people is the greatest villain ever, but after listening to his relentless calls, I wish to debunk this assumption. Firstly I would like you to find anyone you know that has played borderlands 2 and ask them to describe Jacks personality. I can practically guarantee that the first words out of their mouth will be either ‘asshole’ or something that that entails. Besides being a douche what else do we really know about Jack as a person? From what some side missions can tell us he was a code monkey that apparently figured out where the first vault was (somehow) and used Angel to get the first vault hunters to open it. But past that nothing else is seriously touched on, who was his wife that apparently disappeared? How the hell did he find out where the vault was buried? Why does he want to conquer Pandora in the first place? What’s his favorite color? I can go on. I’m annoyed because every opportunity to truly get to know Jack and try to figure out this character the game seems to just try to give you another reason to hate him. And that’s a huge thing, literally everything that happens in the game can be traced back to ‘jack is evil, kill jack’ which is odd because personally I don’t need much convincing to kill someone in Borderlands, for all I know nine toes from the first game might have been a philanthropist. I once heard somewhere that the best villains are the ones that make sense. Andrew Ryan may have been going off the deep end but at least he tried to justify his actions reasonably. I can see that they were trying to have a conflict of your character by having Jack make you think that you were just another bandit, but I can’t take him seriously because it’s hard to try to question my own morality when the guy trying to convince me has killed a puppy. I think the whole ‘you think you’re different from bandits but you’re not’ angle would have worked better if perhaps Jack actually did improve the planet, if he didn’t just murder and oppress all over the place, and maybe did good on his promise to civilize the borderlands in some places. Then I might actually feel conflicted in what I’m doing. Instead I try not to listen to him at all because his master plan appears to be to kill me by running up my minutes. Seriously, I lost count of how many damn times he calls you up just to be an asshole at you, but I’m pretty sure it’s over forty times. I didn’t think the head of a galaxy-wide super corporation could be so bored he’d have to call up his enemies every two minutes, needy much? Aside from Jack, there are other characters that I’m sad didn’t get any fleshing out. For instance why kill off Angel? I thought it would have been interesting if the vault hunters took her in and must teach her how to survive on this harsh world she had been sheltered from her whole life, and maybe talk with her about what her siren powers specifically are, or have her try to atone for tricking the original vault hunters, I thought it would have led to interesting character development. But no, got to killer her off to have another reason to hate Jack, add to the list that includes, killed Helena Pierce, killed Bloodwing, killed bricks puppy, threw overlook citizens into a meat grinder, tried to kill you the new vault hunters, fooled you into lowering sanctuaries shields, and whatever else I didn’t put down. Another character was the Sheriff, who is a weak character starting out for not even having a name. Aside form being a massive bitch we have no idea of who this person is, I’d like to know her backstory. An announcement says she came to Pandora for action but that’s pretty damn vague. Maybe she grew up in a desert town and was inspired by the local sheriff’s deeds but as she grew up her vision of justice was twisted which led to her tyrannical rule of Lynchwood, and maybe there’s an event where deputy winger has a confrontation with the Sheriff and tries to convince her that what she’s doing isn’t justice, at least something. As a matter of fact, why was she Jacks girlfriend? Did they meet at a ‘being an asshole’ convention? If you’re going to put in characters that have a relation to people in the story, you have to give them context. Otherwise they feel pointless. That’s not to say that the story is all bad, I’ll admit that I did laugh at some of the dialogue and the character interactions, I thought they were very well done, so Burch has that going for him. It’s just that sometimes I feel he tries too hard; he puts too much emphasis on the communications and forgets that the game has the ability to speak for itself. Rather than trying to tell us that the stakes are raised, show us that the stakes are raised. Let us see the oppression of the people of Pandora, hell I didn’t see a single Hyperion officer in overlook and yet they told me that the town was severely oppressed and under control of Hyperion. Rather than having Echo’s that record the slag experiments in the preserve, show us the mutations that occur, let us witness firsthand the reason we’re fighting Hyperion. This leads to probably the second biggest problem with the story, we’re only told of things happening, were not often shown. I’ll admit the section where Hyperion loaders tear up the bloodshot ramparts and brutally slaughter the bandits was a great scene that really made me feel that I was at war with Hyperion, it made me feel they had a presence (although I was kind of looking forward to a boss fight with flank steak) this scene and the scene where Hyperion bombards sanctuary and liquefied bystanders (although they weren’t moving at all, the idiots) were both great scenes where I felt Hyperion was a threat. The problem is everything past that I pretty much have to take peoples word for. For example its said that Wilhelm destroyed new haven and nearly killed the first vault hunters, something I find very hard to believe considering the first vault hunters basically defeated a shoggoth at the end of Borderlands 1 and I killed Wilhelm in borderlands 2 in less than two minutes. Or when we’re told that overlook citizens are thrown in the grinder, but we didn’t see that, if no one said anything we’d probably just think that’s where they dispose of their unwanted raspberry jam. And aside form killing Roland, I don’t really recall seeing jack specifically do any of theses evil things. Maybe there’s some jerk doing it in a Hyperion disguise and Jack is just taking credit, we don’t truly know. Anyone who’s played farcry 3 will know that the first thing you really see Vaas do is kill some people then kill your friend, it takes Jack halfway through the game before we see him kill anybody, and even then it was from behind their back, coward. I’ve already written around five pages so let me try to wrap up with some things. On the first game you had the motivation of the vault and you felt like you were progressing when you collected all the pieces of the vault key, but in borderlands it has the same goal just pushed farther and farther way. I’m talking about the vault key, you’re practically looking for it for 80% of the main story and no matter at what lengths you go to you never get it. Even the Angel mountain raid gets you diddily squat, its annoying that all that sacrifice was for practically nothing. Even more annoying still is that after that Mordecai tells you that there’s this place where the location of the new vault, the key, and jack are all stored, we didn’t go there first why? And finally for a game that spent the whole game convincing you to kill this one guy and that this one guy is the biggest villain ever, the final boss fight was piss easy. Jack tipped like a cow and the warrior itself, while cool looking, has a crit spot on its chest the place you’d fire anyway. And despite Lilith CONSTANTLY reminding you that ‘the lava is rising!” you pretty much ever notice anything. And after all that hardship you finally get to kill Jack, of course I was thinking there’d be a scene where jack is swallowed by the warrior or dragged off into the sunset by cannibals or something that’s fitting for this awful example of humanity to die, but instead you get to shoot him once……What? Well you can also let Lilith kill him with this weird energy burn thing but that’s still sort of anti-climactic for how much the game was hyping up killing Jack. And the aftermath of this victory is presented via pictures in the credits. I thought it would have been nice if I could see people cheering me when I returned to sanctuary, congratulating me in the game or see a jack statue tipped over by scooter in-game, but alright. I know that seems like a minor thing but I still feel the need to mention it. So that’s all I really have to say about Borderlands 2, I love the game, and for that I feel I need to point out its faults so it can grow and evolve and learn from its mistakes. Thank you for hearing me out for this long. If you want to argue about any point I made here or add anything I missed please leave a comment. Thank you.