Me and my girlfriend Renate started playing Borderlands 2 on PlayStation 4 in October/November of 2017.
But after finishing about half of the base game, we forgot the game a bit when we both gifted each-other a different Nintendo console for Christmas that year.
We finally returned during spring of 2019, and have been fighting our way across the Borderlands on a regular basis since then.
I decided to start writing a log of our romantic Vault Hunter exploits, for posterity.
So let’s get started!
Before buying the Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, we had only played the ‘Telltale Games’ Borderlands game.
In fact, if we had not played Tales From The Borderlands, I think it would have been difficult for me to get Renate to join me for a first person shooter. Whereas I have plenty of FPS experience, Renate mainly prefers playing platformers.
But Tales From The Borderlands made us fall in love with Pandora, the lawless wasteland of a planet where the majority of these games take place.
So we headed out to battle!
Our Characters Classes
Borderlands 2 has six different playable characters, all with different abilities in the game.
Four of these were in the base game, with the two others coming in later as downloadable content.
The four standard characters are Axton the Commando, Maya the Siren, Salvador the Gunzerker, and Zer0 the Assassin.
The DLC characters are Gaige the Mechromancer, and Krieg the Psycho.
I decided to go with the calm and collected sniper assassin Zer0, whereas Renate went with the close combat psychotic slaughterhouse known as Krieg.
This would turn out to be quite ironic, as each of our play-styles fit much better with the other’s character.
My sneaky assassin would run guns blazing into the thick of combat, while Renate’s screaming psycho would calmly snipe down enemies from afar.
Playing as Zer0 and Krieg made us a tag team of glass cannons!
We would deal a huge amount of damage to our enemies, but in the early game we were very vulnerable to damage ourselves.
So we would constantly fall down from the pain, having to be helped up by the other person.
This would improve later in the game, with our new and better shields, and healing skills.
With Zer0’s Resurgence skill, I would regain some health each time I killed an enemy with my blade. And Renate would regain all her health (and turn into a badass psycho mutant) by activating Krieg’s Release The Beast skill.
As mentioned, Borderlands 2 takes place on Pandora. It is a planet filled with ruthless mercenaries, tribal psychopaths, murderous monstrosities, and greedy power-hungry weapons manufacturing companies.
But Pandora is also said to be hiding several mystical Vaults.
These ancient alien Vaults are rumored to be filled with valuable and powerful alien weaponry.
The opening of a Vault in the first Borderlands game even caused the discovery of a whole new element called Eridium, named after the Eridians, the lost alien civilization that created the Vaults.
From a story-telling perspective, Eridium is a lot like Uranium. It’s a dangerous element that is used by the weapons manufacturing companies to make even more powerful weapons. It can be traded on the black market (in exchange for upgraded ammo capacities and backpack space). And there is even an area on Pandora called The Eridium Blight, ravaged by the fallout caused by Eridium mining in the area.
The initial discovery of the existence of these Vaults caused a “gold rush” of people trying to find the Vault, to get the riches inside them for themselves.
And with Vault Hunters, bandits, and the local wildlife fighting it out between themselves, the weapons manufacturers found themselves a thriving market.
During a gold rush, only the shovel salesman is guaranteed to make it big.
The Big Bad
In Borderlands 2, the leader of the Hyperion weapons manufacturing company, Handsome Jack, is attempting to find a Vault containing an Eridian super-weapon known as The Warrior.
In his quest for even more power, Handsome Jack is willing to screw over everyone else on Pandora. Including Zer0 and Krieg, the two Vault Hunters we were playing as.
Handsome Jack is one of the most fun villains I have ever seen in any media.
He has a mix of business douchebaggery and psychopathic maliciousness that I don’t think I have ever seen in another villain.
The Main Story
A lot of stuff happened on our way to take down the head of Hyperion. Mainly, there were a lot of different plot excuses for us to go and kill exotic enemies in exotic locales. And we were 100% OK with that.
We also met a lot of colorful characters. Some of the ones that stuck out the most to me were Tiny Tina, Scooter, Mad Moxxi, Sir Hammerlock, and of course Claptrap (CL4P-TP).
The playable characters from the first Borderlands game also played a prominent role in this sequel. Seeing them in action as non-playable characters made me interested in picking up the first game to try playing as Lilith the Siren, Mordecai the Hunter, Brick the Berserker, or Roland the Soldier.
Most of these characters were located in Sanctuary, the Borderlands 2 hub town. We would often return to Sanctuary to hand in finished quests, and to drop off our Eridium at Crazy Earl’s Black Market.
After battling through an army of Hyperion stooges and Loader robots, while constantly in fingering reach of Hyperion’s giant H-shaped space station Helios, we finally arrived to the Vault.
After a brief and satisfying battle with Handsome Jack, we squared off against the living weapon known as The Warrior. We wiped the floor with it.
Getting All The Trophies
In PlayStation games there are a lot of virtual trophies you can earn for completing various challenges.
Some are for simple stuff like completing story missions, others are for more challenging actions in the game.
After finishing the main story we spent some time getting the remaining trophies.
I rarely bother spending time on trophies for games after I finish them. But we were enjoying ourselves so much that we ended up getting every single trophy for Borderlands 2, and its DLC.
Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty
Speaking of DLC, this first one was a fun treasure hunt through pirate-infested “waters”. This DLC is set in the dried up remains of what was once a vast ocean.
Throughout the DLC we had to contend with attacking pirate Sandskiff hovercrafts, the treacherous Captain Scarlett, and the giant sea monster Leviathan.
Defeating The Leviathan granted us access to the coolest Vault treasure room in the game. And defeating Captain Scarlett on her Rakk Hive stead Roscoe made her drop her lightning fast incendiary pistol Greed. I continued to use this gun for most of the rest of the game.
Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage
This is a DLC filled with pandemonious mayhem, even more so than the combat in the base game.
The DLC started with the two of us getting invited to a gladiatorial battle arena in the Badass Crater of Badassitude. A name coined by the host of the event, Mr. Torgue, the explosion-obsessed face of the Torgue weapons manufacturing company.
After that, there were one explody battle after the other. And then we could finally take down the end boss of the DLC, Piston.
Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt
At the start of this DLC we were invited on an exotic safari by Sir Alistair Hammerlock. A stereotypical Victorian gentleman adventurer.
Big Game Hunt features a lot of new and interesting Pandoran wildlife to hunt. It also features new Handsome Jack-worshipping tribals to fight.
These tribals are lead by Professor Nakayama. He’s a somewhat inept former Hyperion scientist, obsessed with cloning Handsome Jack after his death.
The final boss fight against Nakayama is one of the most intense gaming experiences I have ever had.
Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep
This is one of my favorite DLCs in this game. It is often lauded as one of the best DLCs that has ever been released.
The whole thing is presented as a make-believe role-playing tabletop game, a lot like Dungeons & Dragons. And with Tiny Tina serving as a hyper Dungeon Master, the game-world would change on her whims. This led to a few fun scenarios.
It was also cool to have some fantasy enemies mixed into this science fiction game. We had a lot of fun running-and-gunning down skeletons, orcs, dragon, knights, and wizards.
The Headhunter DLCs
There were originally only meant to be four Borderlands 2 DLCs, but due to their popularity Gearbox Software produced five more short DLCs.
All of these were fairly quick fun experiences, and none of them required more than one play-session for us to complete them.
The were also all seasonally themed.
‘T.K. Baha’s Bloody Harvest’ was Halloween themed, ‘The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler’ was Thanksgiving themed, ‘How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day’ was Christmas themed, ‘Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre’ was Valentines Day themed, and ‘Sir Hammerlock vs. the Son of Crawmerax’ was slightly Easter themed.
The ‘Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack: Digistruct Peak Challenge’ DLC is not technically part of the Headhunter DLCs. But it is also too short to get its own headline here.
The Raid on Digistruct Peak is a battle arena constructed by Patricia Tannis. This was also a fairly quick fun experience, and I felt like the difficulty was well balanced. Not too hard, not too easy.
Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary
This DLC came out in June this year, a whole five years after the last add-on was released.
The DLC was made to simultaneously promote this Friday’s September 13th release of Borderlands 3, and to tie together some hanging plot threads from Borderlands 1, Borderlands 2, The Pre-Sequel, and Tales From The Borderlands.
All so that Borderlands 3 can immediately take the player away from Pandora, to see the larger universe that has only been hinted at in previous games in the series.
Besides interesting plot developments and the usual fun battles, this DLC had a lot of extremely cool new weaponry.
By the time we had fully completed this DLC, we were incredibly overpowered compared to how we had been equipped before starting it.
We had become truly awesome!
After having finished all the DLC, all that remained for us to do were to defeat all the high level optional raid bosses.
Having completed her transformation from non-FPS-player to total badass, Renate proved to be even more effective in taking down these bosses than I was.
Her ‘Release The Beast’ skill was useful for letting her regain health whenever needed. She also had the Toothpick effervescent assault rifle and Mouthwash effervescent relic. These items allowed her to deal a huge amount of damage to our enemies.
Krieg is also far more resistant to fire damage than other characters. This helped us out a lot in the ‘Pyro Pete the Invincible’ and the ‘Ancient Dragons of Destruction’ boss battles. In those battles, she defeated the bosses far faster once I had been killed. With me down and out, she did not have to bother with helping me get up every few seconds, and were able to take the bosses down.
Now that we have finished Borderlands 2, we are finally ready to move on to the next game in the series… The Pre-Sequel.
Yep, we finished Borderlands 2 just in time for the release of Borderlands 3. Only to start playing a spin-off title.
But if Borderlands 2 is any indication, Gearbox Software is going to support Borderlands 3 with add-ons for years to come. So there’s no rush.
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Agreed! Handsome Jack was insidiously written. But like the Joker, you can’t help but be fascinated by him. I liked the closure in BL3 regarding the origins of his daughter, Angel. Made me hate Jack more, once I got to know him.
Cool, hope we’ll get to play BL3 soon 🙂
Who are you playing as?
It’s not as fun as BL2, but it gets really awesome towards the end.
Fl4q! Such a fun character, he reminds me of Zero, as one of his classes allow invisibility.
Hopefully it will get a lot of fun DLCs 🙂
Yeah, I’m sure Zer0 and Fl4q must be related in some way, what with their number-names.