Play or Pass: Borderlands 2

Welcome to the next post in my year-long series “Play or Pass” that takes on the proverbial “must before death” theme with video games. Every other week I will be covering one or two games from “32 Video Games You Have To Play Before You Die,” a list compiled by BuzzFeed based on a reader poll. I will not be critiquing the list itself, but rather I’ll be discussing each game or games in whatever manner feels fitting and will attempt to answer a couple simple questions: Have I played [insert game name here]? If yes, do I consider it a “must” and why? If no, do I want to play the game before I die? I’ll be going through the games in the order in which they appear on the BuzzFeed list. Good? Good. Let’s get on with the games!

Week nineteen: (24) Borderlands 2

When the first Borderlands was released, I was all meh about it. When the second one was released, I was all meh about it. When the Pre-Sequel!® I was released, I was all meh about it. When all of it’s DLC was released, I was…

…well, you get the idea.

I know that, in theory, I shouldn’t be all meh about Borderlands. I watched some of the first one being played, and it was hard to escape the video trend when the second game arrived. For a short time I was pretty fascinated with watching people as their fav faighters – Lillith, Mordecai, Brick, and Roland in the first game, and Axton, Zer0, Salvador, and Maya in the second – take on the strange and lovely world that was Borderlands. I read so many blogs and articles from folks professing their undying adoration of the franchise. And the bottom line in each of them was that the games offered so much crazy fun that it had to truly experienced first-hand.

I watch, I read, I listened, and yet…I was still all meh.

It’s hard to deny Bordelands appeal. I mean, the games look so goddamn good, that alone should have make me want to take up arms years ago. I will admit that when I watched the first Borderlands, I was a little turned off by the fact that it was more FPS and less RPG. … … Hmm. Thinking on that point a bit more, that’s probably why I never latched on. The first game came out in, what…2009? Yeah, I was probably all GTA IV and Fable 2, then. It would have been hard for me to turn my attention elsewhere.

No lie, last weekend I was in ye olde Wal-Mart getting garden pots and ice cream because, y’know, and I couldn’t help but stop by the bargain bin in the games section. There were several copies of Borderlands 2, and I swear I came *this close* to buying one of them. But I didn’t.


I think I should have.

Right now, I’m in a gaming phase where I’m more interested in games of recently past zeitgeists than I am in current or upcoming games. I recently started Batman: Arkham Asylum, and I’m absolutely loving it. I’m eyeing the Bioshock series next, just the original one that’s sitting in my Steam library. And in there is also a bunch of GTA games, older ones – San Andreas, Vice City, etc. — that I’ve not played. Those have piqued my interest. I’m thinking that, at some point, a desire to play Borderlands, the first or second game (or both? Does it matter?), will well up strongly enough. That point just isn’t now.

Have I played Borderlands 2?

If yes, then do I consider it a “must?”
N/A. You guys tell me. Is Borderlands 2, or the games in general, “musts?”

If no, then do I want to play the game before I die?
I’m pretty sure that I want to. Should I go back to Wal-Mart? Because I’m feeling like I should.

(P. S. No, I shouldn’t! Because I already have the game in my Steam library! Damn, I should check that place more often. But the question remains…should I make it a “must?”)


  1. I have never played the first Borderlands but I have been playing Borderlands 2 and Borderlands the Pre-Sequel together with my boyfriend. We beat the 2nd game but we still have so much DLC to beat (and we already have beaten most of it). I love the Borderlands series and would consider it a must play. Have you checked out the Diablo games? Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls I would also recommend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never played a Diablo game, but I understand that they are pretty great. I’ll make a note to check out the 3rd one — thanks!

      I like seeing all the love for Borderlands 2. It’s definitely making it seem more and more like a “must!” 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is fun! The story and the dialog is what makes the game too, in my opinion. It is definitely more fun to play with a friend. Diablo 3 is great and you can also play multiplayer

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d say Borderlands (and its sequels) are best played when you have someone to play with. I found the game to be at its most enjoyable when coordinating with a friend and comparing gear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Multi-player is sounding more and more like the way to go with this game. And I don’t even like multi-player! Haha! 😃 Still, I do look forward to giving it a go when the right time comes. Sounds like any time spent with the game will be worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Borderlands 2 is the best multiplayer game I’ve ever played with my friends. I got my wife into it and every time we want to play a good FPS we always choose Borderlands 2. The first one was good, but not great, and the Pre-Sequel was disappointing. Part 2 is fantastic and is a good place to start in the series in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice! I’ll have to remember to stick it in the ol’ “install” queue on Steam. Especially sounds like a good game to get going with friends and such over the holidays! Still not sure my rusty FPS skills won’t take more of a beating, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Even if you’re not good at FPS games you’ll be good at Borderlands. The game doesn’t get hard until you complete it a couple of times. If you have friends that like this game I recommend it. I’ve even played it by myself and have a blast.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the first one. It was good but the only reason I played it is because I loved the second and it was on sale. I think the thing that’s really gotta catch you is the sense of humour. It’s crude, cynical, full of pop-culture references and honestly not gonna grab everyone. Funnily enough, I often find myself alone in praising the pre-sequel, and I think that’s because all the Aussie references (it was made by 2K Australia) resonate with me in a way they don’t with people who have never watched ‘The Castle.’ And that’s fine.

    So yeah, I’d say give it a go. But if don’t like the sense of humour don’t worry about putting it down.

    Handsome Jack is one my favourite video game villains of all time though.


    • Hmm…staying power is kind of important when it comes to games. I also get easily bored if I’m not *really* in to what I’m playing. I can see something like Borderlands becoming a slog when it’s not firing on all cylinders. Something to keep in mind. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d like to say Borderlands is a must! But at the same time, nobody should force themselves to play game they’re meh about just because everybody else loves it. Actually, my boyfriend got me into shooters and we’ve played a bunch together, especially Halo and Gears of War, but for some reason he doesn’t like Borderlands! I’ve tried to get him into it because I enjoy the games so much, but hey, I guess they’re not for everybody. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, it’s proof that just because someone prefers a certain genre of games, it doesn’t mean that person will like e-v-e-r-y game in that genre. My husband is a big fan of FPS games, but Borderlands didn’t go over well with him either. Maybe my lack of FPS skills will make Borderlands 2 a great game for me…or a terrible one. Guess I won’t know till I try!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think the key to enjoying all the Borderlands games is to play it with at least one other person. Do the co-op if you can. The game isn’t much fun solo and it’s one of those games I’ll only play if I play with one other person. My friend thought the first one was boring when she tried to do it solo until I got the game and we played and beat it together. She played and beat the second one solo and thought that was way better than the first, while I played and beat the game with her. And now we’re playing the Presequel together. I just think these games might be better suited as group play if my experience is any indication. 🙂 Maybe rope your husband into playing with you one day?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s very possible we got the game for the multiplayer, and it’s cool to know that’s one of the game’s strong points. Since I don’t play a ton of FPSs anyway, it could also be a good way to prevent it from become either frustrating or stale. I’ll have to keep that in mind. 🙂 Also glad to hear that the second game eclipses the first — then I don’t feel so bad about not having it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Local co-op multiplayer, you say? Hmm…sounds interesting. That could explain why we originally picked it up, but I’m not sure. The game is feeling less and less like a “must” and more like a “try it someday” venture.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve heard good things about the Borderlands series but have never played them either. I’m not itching to play it anytime soon though, so I kind of know how you feel. Although, I don’t own it on Steam already, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • According to our Steam receipts, we picked up the game a couple years[!] ago, and I don’t even remember why. I’m guessing it was probably super cheap and that it seems like a good idea at the time. But then…we rented the first Borderlands when it first came out, and it went over like a lead balloon. I guess there’s just no logic to explain things, but now that I know we have the game, I’ll be more likely to try it at some point. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I got this game in a compilation which also includes Spec Ops: The Line and Mafia II. Maybe I should give it a spin at some point; I’m up for a decent shooter after playing through the decidedly subpar Spec Ops: The Line.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually saw that compilation in the store. Considered it briefly, but neither of the other games are my cup of tea. It’s been so long since I’ve played a true FPS that I find any of them a little intimidating. I’m thinking that the game’s awesome art style might help ease me into things. I gotta at least try…someday, that is.

      Liked by 1 person

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