This title is exclusive to PlayStation VR and was reviewed as such.
One of the hardest parts about being a Games Journalist, hell, any kind of journalist, is having to review something that is of great importance to you. I remember when I first saw the trailer for the original Borderlands, I must have only been 12 or 13, but I knew that this game was gonna change my life. And it did. I played the absolute hell out of that game, finished it multiple times, and bought it on multiple platforms. Still to this day I will load it up when I’ve got a spare minute and nothing to play. Borderlands 2 was much the same, I loved it, lived it and still continue to play it. When I saw the announcement for Borderlands 2 VR I was scared. The game has been brought to many platforms since it was released, some good (Hello Handsome Jack Collection), and some not so good (*cough* Vita *cough*), and I’ve always stood by the stance that VR is not at a point where we can thoroughly enjoy it at home. So when it came to checking out the VR-ified version, I feel the nerves were justified.
That’s enough about my life, let’s get into the game eh?
First of all, I think it’s important to go into what’s new in the game, and how it differs from the base version of Borderlands 2:
- First of all, and most obviously. It’s VR. The truest First Person you can get is you right? Aim by turning your head, instead of the thumbsticks
- You can now hit up your local Catch-a-Ride and zoom around Pandora in first person, which take it from me is more terrifying than you’d think
- BAMF Time – This is a feature unique to Borderlands 2 VR enabling you to slow down time to setup your next attack whilst simultaneously repelling enemies around you
- Teleport – Walking is for the weak, teleport instead. No more pesky stairs!
- Use your Move Controllers to navigate menus and more.
I may have missed some, but to me, these are the key new additions. I’ll break down each one of these new features as I go through the review, so let’s get ready to rumble kiddos.
Visuals and sound:
As I stated above, I’m not typically a fan of in-home VR. It doesn’t cut the mustard when compared to professional or attraction grade VR. But kudos given, where kudos due. Borderlands 2 VR looks good. From the minute you are awoken in the snow by our good friend Claptrap, you are transported into the world of Pandora, and it truly feels like you’re there. I don’t have anything to complain about. The same goes for sound, this is a game that won awards and it deserved to, so I’m pleased that in the port to VR, two of the most key elements were kept in-tact.
The game translates well to VR, but unfortunately comes across too gimmicky for my liking. You aim your weapons by turning your head, which frankly is not how aiming guns work. You use a combination of your sight and arms/hands to aim a weapon and it feels unnatural to just use the headset. I understand why, they wanted to use the motion sensors, and in all fairness they did a good job of it. But all it does is detract from the gameplay, instead of add to it. It also leads to some pretty serious motion sickness as you’re constantly spinning your head to aim. So that’s like a nested complement I think? It works well, but doesn’t feel good or necessary.
The new elements:
BAMF Time and First Person driving were added along with the VR systems. And they’re both pretty cool, First Person driving is pretty disorientating, but this can’t really be helped without taking away from the immersion of VR. The BAMF time is really awesome, but makes an already easy game for returning players or vets, even easier. Combined with having an action skill, makes our little Vault Hunters even more formidable.
All in all, if you’re a fan of Borderlands, you own a VR and have $79.95 NZD to spare, I say go get it. Is it worth the price if you’re looking for a good VR game and you’re not a fan? That’s for you to decide. The pros definitely outweigh the cons, and in a sale I would say to get it hands down, but it’s hard for me to recommend a game at almost the cost of a recent AAA title, that doesn’t add enough to the gameplay to warrant the price. The question in the title remains unanswered, but for now, I’ll see you in Pandora!