TLDR: I loved Borderlands two and I’m going to start a replay with a different character, which i almost never do.

I had fun with Borderlands 1, but was basically pushing through by the end trying not to fall asleep.

B2, on the other hand, I was very engaged in the entire ride through, although it seemed well balanced and the game ended when it should, even including the side quests.

Improvements -

The writing! I think I heard a reference to Anthony Burch writing in Borderlands 2 from hey ass. Whatcha playing episode, and he got some award?

Experience tiers, which I didn’t initially like because it wasn’t explained, but basically the quests are more important than farming enemies for experience, so you get much more engaged with the stories because you’re following quests instead of trying to kill enough boring enemies in the same way to get high enough of a level to destroy future enemies.

In any case, the writing that I did like in Borderlands 1, was perfect in 2. Not too long, always funny, always engaging, every character very well defined, which brings me to my next point:

The voice acting was hilarious and perfect, again, very well defined and idiosyncratic for every character, just so much fun to listen to. Every time handsome Jack pops up. It’s fun to listen to him be an a******.

The quests were so much more satisfying. At the end of the first game, I was basically just following marker to marker without caring what anybody said or what was written down just tapping through to the next wavepoint until the quest was finished.

In Borderlands 2, Even if I accidentally clicked through the introduction to the quest, I would go back and make sure to read because I know that the paragraph introducing and explaining the quest is funny and that the quest is going to be rescuing lab experiments and I have to find a particular valve or putting together a treasure map with a weird lure, rather than just find the bigger bad guy punch him to death.

Driving was huge - I was not into driving in Borderlands 1 and got really bored and irritated every time I had to drive. I felt like the aiming system was complete dog s***, and it was just not very fun to drive around in general, like the handling was terrible.

I loved driving around the Borderlands too and was actively bummed out whenever. I didn’t get a car, but it made perfect sense and they used the car just enough so that the game wasn’t too easy. But you could still boost and race around however you wanted, or chase down a beer van. So much fun driving, such a huge improvement from the first game.

Larger levels with more interesting landscapes in them, each level felt much more unique than the entire The first game to me, like each area had its own style to a degree I hadn’t seen before.

I can’t remember a single place from the first game, but I’m going to remember the different style of the underground bug. Bunker and the dust and all these other places that had an impact on the personality of the game.

Lastly, art is more efficient, not as many bold lines emphasizing the comic book quality, which is carried through more by the personality of the game instead of by the specific art.

  • Deconceptualist@lemm.ee
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    7 days ago

    I thought the weapons were a big step down in BL2. I swear 50% of the guns I found were gimmicks (e.g. throw it as a grenade to reload) but not actually all that effective.

    Torgue weapons were especially bad. Yeah I know everyone loves Mr. Torgue and explosions are fun, but those guns are so inaccurate they can’t hit anything >2 meters away. I’d take a weapon that can reliably hit a target any day.

    The devs also got rid of the Atlas and S&S brands from BL1. Those were almost always my pick unless so it was a real letdown to see them missing in BL2.

    • Varyk@sh.itjust.worksOP
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      6 days ago

      Oh interesting I dug the weapons “upgrades”, as they were presented.

      The elemental effects and restore effects were much more balanced than 1 for me.

      I do think the grenade to reload was a bad mechanic(because I blew myself up with the rocket launcher 20 times…funny every time), but I can’t call it a gimmick since I don’t know any other games that had that mechanic.

      • Deconceptualist@lemm.ee
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        7 days ago

        I remember enjoying the elemental guns (Maliwan) a lot in both BL1 and BL2. It’s a shame it took till the Pre-Sequel to add ice!

        I’d argue the throw-to-reload mechanic isn’t in other games because it’s a gimmick.

        The other letdowns in BL2 were A) the Hyperion “reverse kick” guns that were only accurate after you emptied most of the magazine, and B) the 3-barrel Gattling guns with magazines that were way too small to be worth spinning up. I swear these together were 25% of my pickups and just a waste of time. It feels bad to die while you’re actively holding the trigger right in the baddie’s face.

        Many of the legendary guns and unique grenade effects were pretty fun in BL2 though. Those were both solid improvements.

  • Drusas@kbin.run
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    7 days ago

    I preferred the more subtle humor of the first game, along with the weapons and characters. The only thing I really preferred from the second was auto-pickup of money, which was a huge QOL upgrade.

    I think I have fully completed the first one four times. Maybe five?

    • Varyk@sh.itjust.worksOP
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      6 days ago

      Huh, I had the opposite reaction.

      I enjoyed the jokes in 1, but the subtle humor specifically was so constant in 2 throughout that I paid much closer attention to the mission details, voice acting and pretty much the whole game from start to finish so I wouldn’t miss any asides, references or muttered grumbles.

      Definitely agree on qol, auto-pickup of ammo/cash was a good move.

      • zaphod@sopuli.xyz
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        5 days ago

        In Borderlands 1 very few NPCs speak, you have to read stuff. In Borderlands 2 everyone is constantly talking, never shutting up. I like both games, but Borderlands 2 can be a bit much sometimes compared to the first game, almost feels flanderised, but I think that actually started in the Borderlands 1 DLCs.

        • Varyk@sh.itjust.worksOP
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          5 days ago

          Maybe, I haven’t played any of the DLCs and remember a lot of talking in bl1 also.

          I kind of wished for a way to turn off the character spoken dialogue every time I used my action skill in bl1.

          I played as the assassin in 2, and at least he was quiet.

          Great points, I’m kind of curious to go back and give BL1 another shot in a couple months or something and take all of these into account.

  • ryathal@sh.itjust.works
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    7 days ago

    Two has better polish, but I think it’s pretty inferior on the technical side. You rarely get good random drops in 2 and the level scaling was awful. One was clearly a lower budget experimental title, but the gameplay loop was tighter and more satisfying than 2.

    • Varyk@sh.itjust.worksOP
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      7 days ago

      I didn’t notice much difference in drop rate, I regularly picked up slightly improved weapons as I went through both games.

      I much prefer the story-based experience of 2 to the static farming of 1 and most other games, but I was very confused and frustrated by the scaled low experience received from weaker enemies until halfway through the game because it’s a relatively innovative mechanic that is never introduced or explained.

      If the experience leveling was explained organically in game, which I think they could have done easily with a couple of lines, I would have enjpyed it from the jump, knowing that I didn’t have to worry about waiting around in any one area to farm exp.

      I had the opposite experience with the gameplay itself, two seems technically on its game to me where I felt 1 was very bare-bones.

      I’ll have to go back after some time passes to look at 1 again.

      I tried a second playthrough of one but got bored almost immediately, whereas I’m going through 2 with gusto right after completing the first playthrough.

      • ryathal@sh.itjust.works
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        6 days ago

        In 1 any random enemy could drop purple or orange weapons, I don’t think I ever saw that in 2. In 2 you had to level up enemies or farm bosses to get any decent loot (or slot machines).

        • Varyk@sh.itjust.worksOP
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          6 days ago

          I don’t pay a lot of attention to the colors, but there are definitely purple ones in 2.

          I feel like I wouldn’t have noticed the orange among all the yellow.

          In 2 I got standard shotguns that were 250* 10 pretty early on, and a sniper rifle that shot a thousand at level 15 and then a sniper rifle that shot 2000 damage at level 20 or so.

          I feel like both games had so many powered weapons lying around that I didn’t pay much attention to maximizing power, though.

    • Varyk@sh.itjust.worksOP
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      7 days ago

      I was blown away by the improvements over Borderlands 1, I wouldn’t think you could improve every aspect as significantly as they did without feeling disordered, but every aspect worked together to make this game play like a violin.

      It was a very impressive sequel, I think the best sequel I’ve ever played, at least off the top of my head

  • Chozo@fedia.io
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    7 days ago

    If you haven’t already, you should also give the DLCs a try. Each of them are really good, though the Tiny Tina DLC is easily the best of them.

    • Varyk@sh.itjust.worksOP
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      7 days ago

      Okay rad, thanks. I don’t usually do DLCs either, but this was so much fun that I’m willing to give them a shot.

      • A_Union_of_Kobolds@lemmy.world
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        7 days ago

        Oh they’re fantastic. Tiny Tina’s and Torgue’s especially. Oh man, and the Mechromancer and Krieg!

        BL2 is one of my all time favorite games, like many others here. It’s nearly perfect.

        • Varyk@sh.itjust.worksOP
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          7 days ago

          Haha, oh that’s awesome.

          Thanks.

          Let’s go nitpick.

          I can literally only pick out one systematic problem of BL2, which is every now and then I would pursue a side quest that cannot be actionable unless a previous quest is activated, but there’s no indication that the previous quest has to be activated.

          So I wasted hours, because the game is so captivating, running around in circles jumping on top of houses that shouldn’t be jumped on to activate part of the map that shouldn’t be activated because there was no indication that I was doing the wrong thing because the quest told me to go there when in fact it was a different quest.

          What’s yours?

          • A_Union_of_Kobolds@lemmy.world
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            7 days ago

            Two (well, three) things later games improved on, for all their faults: slag and the map. 3 removed the former and vastly improved the latter, as well as the split screen menus being actually legible. Slag was really just a damage gate that felt obligatory on everything endgame, and the map became 3D and much easier to parse quickly.

            I’d forgotten about those kinds of issues with following some quests, that was definitely irritating too

            Still, I love BL2

            • Varyk@sh.itjust.worksOP
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              6 days ago

              That’s so funny, I assumed slag wouldn’t work on bosses and never tried the whole way through.

              Haha, I guess that would have made it easier.

              • A_Union_of_Kobolds@lemmy.world
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                6 days ago

                Yeah, once you’re on your second and third playthroughs of New Game + it’s obligatory for everything gig. You’ll want a good slag weapon to swap to constantly. Which is very irritating with only 4 slots, it becomes harder to cover all your bases.

                • Varyk@sh.itjust.worksOP
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                  6 days ago

                  Okay, that’s good to know, thanks.

                  I’ve switched to the siren and I’m just using a sniper rifle right now, but I’ll keep that in mind for when I start getting my ass kicked.

  • kurcatovium@lemm.ee
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    7 days ago

    I’ve played 1 many moons ago and remember I really liked it. So now you’re telling me I should install 2 and burry how much hours in it? Just as I finished Diablo 3 yesterday…

    • Varyk@sh.itjust.worksOP
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      7 days ago

      Yes, 2 was a completely different and better experience for me.

      Clearly going for the same thing, but now that they know what that thing is, and while I liked B1, the whole experience with Borderlands 2 was so much better.

      Which actually includes the experience tiers, which I didn’t like because it wasn’t explained, but basically the quests are more important than farming enemies for experience, so you get much more engaged with the stories because you’re just following quests instead of trying to get high enough of a level to destroy future enemies.

      • moreeni@lemm.ee
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        7 days ago

        The writing is very mediocre. It’s a decent game with better graphics and more gun variety, but dialogues are so bad they annoy people to the point of losing any desire to play further.

      • fjordbasa@lemmy.world
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        7 days ago

        Personally, I found the villains to be obnoxious. Handsome Jack had that great “love to hate” quality, whereas BL3’s villains are just annoying. Overall I just found the story and writing in general to be not nearly as entertaining.

        • bionicjoey@lemmy.ca
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          7 days ago

          I think they recovered from this a bit in the new Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands game. Will Arnett does a great job as the BBEG. Who would have thought a disgraced member of the magician’s alliance would make such a good dark wizard?

    • Nima@leminal.space
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      7 days ago

      i disagree. i think people come down way too hard on BL3. it does suffer in a few writing areas, but the game is an absolute blast.

      i am a huge fan of borderlands and BL3 is a good game. at least try it.