Borderlands 2 is the sequel to Borderlands and contains a lot of similar gameplay elements to that game, offering up a bazillion guns, the same kind of structure in regards to missions and more. When you begin the game, you get to choose from one of four characters (six if you have the DLC), each of whom plays completely different from each other.
All of the characters have three different skill trees available to them, allowing them to be customized so that they will truly feel like your own and unique character. Once a character reaches level 5, they will be able to invest a Skill Point into their action skill, a maneuver they can perform with the press of a single button. These action skills vary depending on the character and will evolve to do more than their basic functions. For more information on these, check out the Playable Characters section.
The game is structured as individual missions, separated into main story ones and optional missions. As you progress through the main story, more optional missions will become available to you, and are marked on the map as yellow exclamation marks. Some of them can be found in populated places like Sanctuary, while some optional missions are started out in desolated areas.
New to the game are optional objectives during missions, as well as different outcomes for missions. During some missions, your character will be given an optional objective, which is shown with a "+" sign in the objectives list on the right side of the screen. Doing these will generally increase the experience and/or money reward. Some missions will offer you a choice on how to finish it, like delivering an item to either one person or to a second one.
Doing the optional missions will not only reward you with more experience and money, but you will also be able to get new equipment, such as weapons or a shield, from them.
Fight For Your Life and Second Wind
As you run around and blast enemies in the face or whatever else they have, you will undoubtedly lose all of your health. When this happens, you enter a state called Fight For Your Life (FFYL) , severely limiting your movement speed and starting a somewhat ambiguous timer. You are still able to shoot your weapons, but you cannot use your action skill (Deathtrap and Sabre Turret remain deployed) and cannot toss grenades. If you’re playing co-op with another person, then they can run up to you and revive you by holding down a specific button that appears.
However, what happens if you are playing alone and go down? Lucky for you, there is another way to revive yourself, and that is by killing an enemy while in FFYL mode. The initial duration for FFYL is around 11 or 12 seconds, with certain characters and equipment able to extend that. As you get downed more and more in succession, the timer during FFYL is shortened and can even become nearly instanteous. You will revive at the last checkpoint you happened to come across.
Challenges and Badass Rank
Returning from the first game, Challenges are extra things you can do during the game, like killing a certain number of enemies with a specific weapon type or opening a certain number of containers or chests. Instead of receiving experience, though, Borderlands 2 introduces the Badass Ranking system. Each challenge will reward you with a specific number of Badass Ranks upon completing them, with the general ones each having five levels.
|Challenge Level||Badass Rank Earned|
Getting enough Badass Rank will earn you a Badass Token, which can be spent on increasing one of five randomly selected stats on the same screen as your list of Challenges. There’s a total of fourteen different stats you can raise, with the game choosing those you don’t pick more often to add into the rotation. Note that these stat upgrades affect every single character you have and aren’t restricted to just one, so a newly created character will have the benefit of those stats when started out.
The fourteen stats that are offered are as follows:
- Critical Hit Damage
- Elemental Effect Chance
- Elemental Effect Damage
- Fire Rate
- Gun Accuracy
- Gun Damage
- Grenade Damage
- Maximum Health
- Melee Damage
- Recoil Reduction
- Reload Speed
- Shield Capacity
- Shield Recharge Delay
- Shield Recharge Rate
As you increase your Badass Rank and get tokens, you will need to get more and more to get the next token. Also, repeatedly choosing a specific stat will eventually offer diminishing returns on that stat.