Scale in Borderlands 2

This is far too much to tweet about.

Borderlands 2 is fantastic. It’s a great first-person shooter. On top of that, it’s a loot game that’s very fucking long. It’s 30+ hours, and that’s just the base game. Each of the DLC campaigns adds another five something hours.

But it’s not just a long game, but it’s also a huge game. Each map is fairly enormous! Most have an hour or so worth of things to shoot, items to collect, quests to complete, etc. It’s really incredible. And the environments are varied!

But beyond even the length of time you’ll be playing and the amount of land mass in the game, the scale of the fights in Borderlands 2 further convey the enormity of the world. Early on, every fight is a struggle. There are enemies everywhere, and the guns suck. Even as I got better guns and better skills, it still felt like I wasn’t overly powerful as I went through the later parts of the game, and the DLC.

But then I go back through earlier levels to clean up quests, and I am at a much higher level than I was the first time around, and suddenly I’m death incarnate. I can choose not to fight and run right through the area, or I can lazily fire away in the direction of bad guys and they die. I can breeze through the whole level in a quarter of the time it took me the first time around.

I find it fascinating how Gearbox managed to make the world seem much larger than it is by throwing appropriately difficult challenges at me, and how those challenges slow me down and create the sense that the game is much bigger than it is in hindsight.