In 2012, Gearbox Software released its highly anticipated sequel, Borderlands 2, to a frenetic fan base. Featuring a slew of new Vault Hunters and a dangerous new adversary in Handsome Jack, the game took off quite well, between the hours of original content it provided and the additional DLC the developers introduced over the months following release.
Now, PS Vita owners get a turn, as the classic made its way to handheld for the first time. Despite limitations, the fun shoot-em-up action of the original remains intact, as you once again choose from one of six Vault Hunters to do your dirty work.
Here are some tips that'll have you hit the ground running in no time!
Know Your Classes
The game features six different classes available, and finding the one that's right for you depends on what kind of play style you're into.
All of the classes are good in general when it comes to leveling up abilities and picking up some fantastic weapons, but some abilities are better for players than others. Maya, for example, can use her Phaselock to suspend enemies, making them prime fodder for her allies' bullets. Salvador the Gunzerker is excellent when it comes to firepower, especially when he's double wielding. Those who prefer a sneaky, deadlier approach would be wise to go with Zer0, as he's quite capable of slicing and dicing. Axton provides plenty of firepower as well, especially with a Sabre Turret in tow.
Don't forget about the other two classes as well, which you can download using a special code included in the package. Gaige the Necromancer has a huge robot that can help do her dirty work, while Krieg lives up (down?) to his name with plenty of up-close beat-em-up tactics.
Try each character out and see who fits best. During some sessions, the Gunzerker feels just right; but others may have you reaching out for Zer0 or Maya instead, merely due to what they bring to the picture. It never hurts to start over with a different class.
Bring a Friend
Even though Borderlands 2 for the Vita doesn't have the four-player co-op support, it does allow you to have a second player join in, either locally or online through Infrastructure.
Co-op continues to play a strong part in this game, not only because of the way you can divvy up the loot and weapons amongst yourselves, but also because of the additional firepower that comes into play against tougher enemies.
Borderlands 2 presents some of the toughest bosses you'll come across in a first-person shooter, and taking them on solo may be a death wish, especially when it comes to their counter-attacks. Bringing in a second player with plenty of ammo could be just the saving grace you need to stay alive – especially if they can take down surrounding enemies while you attempt to revive yourself.
Over the course of the game, you'll run across various checkpoints that will serve as respawn stations, should you lose a battle – and chances are you will. Activate as many of these as you can, as they'll give you the opportunity to return to the fight without covering miles of terrain in the process. There's nothing more tiring than having to run three miles back to the place you just died, only to be killed again and redo the process.
Buy and Loot
One vital ingredient that makes Borderlands 2 so darn addictive after all these months is the ability to score loot from fallen enemies. You'll find health components and plenty of money on fallen dead guys, so don't hesitate to run up and collect it all.
With your newfound currency, you'll be able to make some vital purchases through vending machines scattered all over the place. Take advantage of these whenever you can, as they allow you to stock up on health, grenades, guns, ammunition and other necessary equipment to make it through Pandora another day.
Don't hold off on selling weaker guns. Vending machines provide you the chance to trade up, and if necessary, buy back any weapons you may have sold in case you need them again. These one-stop shops are just the thing you need to balance your inventory.
Know Your Guns
Finally, with a "bazillion" guns available to choose from (even in the handheld version – that's quite a number), you may grow accustomed to certain types, including assault rifles and long-range weapons that pack a punch.
The key here, like with the classes, involves finding the right type of weapon that "fits" your gameplay style. If you prefer sniper weapons, go with some of the stronger long-range rifles that you can find. However, if assault rifles are your thing, trade up or save your cash for premium purchases, as there may be some with more explosive ammunition that'll bring down enemies much quicker than the regular ones.
In addition, don't forget your grenades. Make sure you go after the ones that pack more range than the ones that are merely for showoff purposes, like the firework grenades. You'll want as much attack power as you can get, especially against bosses that won't back down during a fight. The key here is to mix your strengths together so you can bring them down quickly and conveniently – and clean up on the loot they leave behind.
Borderlands 2 is available now for PS Vita, as well as Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.