Boros is reviewing a game he HATED... at first. But now, LOVES it.
As the game starts, the main villain blows up the train that you're riding on, and he leaves you for dead in a frozen wasteland. Then your saved by a tiny, annoying, obnoxious, self centered, perverted little dick sauce of a robot who's called Claptrap. It's an appropriate name, because every time I see him, I want to clap his trap shut with a god damned sodering iron. Another character in the game said it best, "Every time Claptrap speaks, I feel my brain cells committing suicide one by one." Anyway, he takes you to his house, and immediately gets his one eye ripped out by what I can only describe as a 4 armed monkey on steroids. Claptrap then tells you to get the gun in the cabinet to shoot up all of the 4 armed monkeys.
Don't worry, though, the story isn't just saving Claptrap the whole time, even though he gives you missions from time to time. No, the real story is searching for a vault which apparently houses a legendary alien warrior who can conquer galaxies for whoever revives it. The villain, who's named Handsome Jack, wants the warrior to bring order back to Pandora, which is the planet they're all on. Handsome Jack is an... interesting character, because he's a villain with a hero complex. He thinks HE'S the hero in his own personal war story. It's like he's Captain Walker from Spec Ops: The Line, and arguably he's the villain there, too. However, Handsome Jack is much more of an apparent asshole than Captain Walker. Jack will run about, clambering about how he's the hero, and HE'S going to save Pandora with his strategy, but then guns down unarmed innocent men, women, and children, just because they don't believe what he's doing is right. This guy is the reason I hate characters with hero complexes. "I must save the world, and everybody in it." Yeah, pretty idealistic, you dumb f@%k. If you want to save the world, some people have to die, and if you want to save people, then the world can't be saved. Handsome Jack is even worse though, because he kills all of the time, but then pretends we're the bad guys for fighting back. It's shocking to think that someone can make a character that big of an asshole. I mean, THAT big of an asshole!
Throughout the story, you'll see all of the playable characters from the first game return into this one as NPC's giving out mission to do. In the first one, however, these guys didn't have much character because there was almost no characterization between them. Now, they all have apparently grown a personality gland except for Roland, who is still just a bland army guy. Lilith is... umm... It's hard to pinpoint her personality, but I guess it would be a bad ass who can't really predict when something she's going to do will backfire. Brick is big and dumb. However, enjoys watching something get destroyed. He's like a player of Grand Theft Auto. Then there's Mordecai, who has became an embittered drunk, and is very calm most of the time. Almost all of the characters in the game are at least likable, or at least will enjoy watching them fail, or get splattered all over the pavement, by you. The story, which was the big obvious weak spot of the first one, has seen some major, MAJOR improvements.
Now to the game play. It's a first person shooter like every game and there mother recently, but what sells this game to me is the variety. Yes, it's got pistols, shotguns, magnums, assault rifles, sub machine guns, and bazookas. However, that's not what I'm talking about, because almost every shooter has these. No, I'm talking about shotguns that shoot mines, or grenades that explode into 10 other grenades, or talking guns. This game has a ton of variety in not only weapons, but in ways to kill in general. It's entirely possible to be completely melee focused in the game. People are shooting you, and you're running around punching people to death. Also, there's 4 starting characters to choose from, not including DLC. All of the characters have different abilities to use for murdering. For example, I chose to play as Salvador in my first playthrough, and his ability is to pull 2 guns out at once and dual wield. He gains almost all of his health back and starts regenerating ammo while dual wielding, or "Gunzerking". Also, each time you level up, you gain a skill point to put in, adding an ability based on the character you chose. Like when I leveled up with Salvador, I chose to put all of the points into the Red character tree which for him was called Brawn. This tree allowed my character to soak up so much damage that it was almost impossible to take him down. While he doesn't get the offense in that tree, he doesn't need it if he's got the right gun.
Speaking of guns, the game calls itself a "Shoot & Loot" game, so you'd expect loot in the game right? Well, there are only two things to acquire from killing, and that's money and guns. It's obvious what the guns are for, but what do you think the money is for? Buying guns, shields, mods, and whatever you need to keep killing. It's a cycle of killing to get better stuff so you can kill more to get even better stuff. It's a f@%king nightmare loop, and it's very addicting!
It should also be said that if you're a shotgun user, which I am, then starting the game will SUCK! There's not a decent shotgun until about an hour in, and even then it's hard to use, so if you don't know how to use SMG's then the game kinda says screw you at first.
All in all, though, it's a great game. It's a lot of fun to play even still, and has a lot of replay value, due to the endless cycle they've created. It's an OK game alone, and much better with friends to play it with. I had fun with it, so take that for what it's worth.