What else is there to say? Oh yeah, "boom"

Vehicles feel different, but you'll quickly get used to them. The mini-map helps with navigation and spatial awareness. The enemies are more varied and smarter, and quick to overwhelm overzealous or solo players. New characters like Handsome Jack and a volatile 13-year-old girl named Tina are worthy additions to the cast, and old favorites like Scooter and Dr. Zed—not to mention the original player characters Roland, Lilith, Brick, and Mordecai—are given expanded roles and new life.

There are still moments of filler in the plot, but overall the game truly benefits from a more prominent, fleshed-out and emotional narrative.

Oh, and there's the guns—those glorious guns. There are snipers, SMGs, revolvers, handguns, shotguns, rocket launchers, assault rifles, and countless combinations therein—like assault rifles that shoot rockets, or shotguns with scopes that you'll use like sniper rifles. Some weapons have elemental affinities, and it helps to pay attention to the rock-paper-scissors dynamics of acid-beats-armor, electricity-beats-shields, etc. But ultimately the game encourages you to use whatever weapon you feel like using—I rocked double shotguns for a huge chunk of it.

Characters that don't regenerate ammo—anyone other than the Gunzerker, in other words—are going to find bullets frustratingly scarce, a real flaw in this otherwise well-designed experience. Another is the texture-popping—when characters and environments appear smooth and featureless until the textures load several seconds after they come into view. It's a massive problem, though I'd wager it's one PC players won't wrestle with.

Is it enough for a sequel to simply improve upon its predecessor without really innovating? In this case, I say yes, and I'm guessing most Borderlands fans are going to feel the same, making Borderlands 2 an easy recommendation. There's plenty of DLC on the horizon, and with Gearbox's track record that's something to look forward to. But I cant help but feel that they could have done more with this formula—and with that in mind I'll be eagerly awaiting Borderlands 3.

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