While certain genres have experienced renaissance periods this year, like the role-playing or puzzle platformer ones, other types of games have remained popular, including shooters, no matter their preferred perspective (first-person or third-person).
While some titles resorted to treading on the same ground as their predecessors (Medal of Honor: Warfighter), others decided that change was needed. In no case is this more apparent than in Borderlands 2.
The first Borderlands was a decent experience that focused more on its huge number of weapons and different classes than on other aspects like story or mission variety.
In Borderlands 2, however, the developer Gearbox Software decided to give all an overhaul to all the game's mechanics and features .
While the guns got even more numerous and outrageous, the story also received a lot of work, as did the mission variety.
The actual shooting mechanics were also tweaked, as different gun types really stand out from others and different weapon manufacturers produced wildly different items. From the Bandit-made weapons that had extra ammo capacity, to the Maliwan ones infused with elemental effects, or the Tediore guns that you have to throw like a grenade once their ammo runs out, no gun feels the same.
Using the guns also feels great and you need to allocate a lot of time to browsing your inventory, comparing your weapons, and deciding which one deserves a spot in your quick-select menu.
Besides knowing what weapons you wield, you also had to learn to spot the different guns used by your enemies and react accordingly. From the hilarious shotgun-packing midgets, to the hulking Goliaths that relied both on guns and fists, you had to know what weapon to use at what time and on what type of enemy.
For its variety, its great feel, and its big challenge, Borderlands 2 is one of the best shooters of the year.