Name: Borderlands 2 VR
Developer: Gearbox Software
Platforms: PlayStation VR
Reviewed on: PlayStation VR
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided by a publisher for review purpose
I love the Borderlands series, and when asked if I could play Borderlands 2 in VR, I answered that I couldn’t wait to be Handsome Jack’s henchman yet again, what? You didn’t want to be his henchman? C’mon! You filthy vault hunter…
I’m not going to set a score within this topic, as nothing has changed storywise. They’ve added a few more writing/speech lines on certain characters. But besides that, nothing new.
Let’s dive into the visuals of Pandora inside this glorious VR headset. The art style, character models and environmental graphics works perfectly inside the PlayStation VR. It might be because of the “outdated” graphics, not that Borderlands’ graphics are outdated yet, but to put it another way, a small mix of PlayStation 3 graphics and PlayStation 4 graphics, so we can say that Borderlands 2 VR’s graphics can be placed in-between.
Sounds as well as the voice acting hasn’t changed either, but the one thing I have to complain about is the user interface inside menus and the black border around characters occasionally tend to be blurry from far away. As for the menus, they are just flat 2D boxes that float around in front of your eyesight, this feature is something I really dislike in PSVR games since it can make the text hard to read and navigation can be a bit clunky sometimes. Other than that, facing your enemy eye to eye, and seeing Claptrap up close is a feast for your eyes and experience.
Borderlands 2 VR is exactly what you would think a VR version of Borderlands 2 could have been. Therefore, I will only focus on the VR aspects of this game, as for the gameplay itself, such as character creation, skill trees, looting etc, it’s exactly the same.
During my first hour of gameplay, I noticed at once that Borderlands 2 VR clearly was a non-VR title before, as the user interface and movement aren’t well optimized for the platform. A great example of this is the user interface menu described above. When it comes to the movement I will explain that bit more detailed under ‘Controls’.
Putting my personal issues aside regarding the menus, it’s a simple point and clicks with the PS Move controller or the Dualshock 4. Same goes for the gunplay, if there’s one thing I really enjoyed during my experience, it was the thrill of firing Pandora’s weapons against my foes up close and personal. Shooting enemies, doing main and side quests and looting for that legendary loot sadly becomes really repetitive and boring in the long run, why? Because of the lack of multiplayer. The very foundation of experiencing Borderlands 2 was playing with friends online in co-op. As different characters have their own special ability, Gearbox have tried to add new abilities to make it more suitable for the platform, but the experience isn’t the same as before. AI’s seems to be a bit nerfed as well, and that might be a good thing, as your movement is a bit restricted, either by using the sticks to flick to new directions or pushing buttons on the move controller (X, Square, Circle, Triangle) to face another way.
Overall, my experience was a blast of Borderlands nostalgia, I laughed, I yelled and I even puked (forgot to take a break from the motion sickness). Aiming with a sniper rifle to get that perfect headshot. Driving in first-person is incredible to experience if you loved the non-VR version of this game.
Controls might be one of the biggest and most important aspects, to get that perfect VR experience. Sadly, there are a few things that really destroy the joy out of this title. On the positive side, there are lots of different control schemes and comfort options to decrease motion sickness and customize it to your liking. The PlayStation Move controllers work perfectly, once you have it properly set up, gunplay feels “on point” most of the time.
But the PS Move controllers hold back the motion controls, even though the gunplay works great. I struggled a lot with the fact that my controllers were always going out of reach, even though I knew I was perfectly inside my camera view. Constantly changing up my settings, switching controllers from PS Move to Dualshock 4 all the time. Even though there are many options, I encountered motion sickness after approx 15-20 minutes, so if you’re a stubborn bastard who love playing Borderlands anyway you can, I recommend you take frequent breaks to avoid motion sickness.
As for the controls within the gameplay itself, such as movement in firefights, I found a bit struggling at first. Since this was a non-VR title before, the AI personality and movements haven’t changed, so I found myself in many chaotic situations where enemies were all around me. I even found myself “inside” the first boss all the time, because he constantly rushed towards me, I got no time to move away or change my position. The most annoying thing though, as for the first-person shooter in VR you would have thought that your PlayStation Aim controller would work perfectly in this title, you’re probably right, it would have been awesome. But sadly the PS Aim controller isn’t compatible with this title.
I would say there are approximately 30+ hours of gameplay in Borderlands 2 VR. Unfortunately, you will only get the base game, no DLC or expansions from before has been added to this version. So the only replay value I find here is to get that legendary loot, replaying the game all over again with an all-new character or simply just enjoying Pandora’s beautiful graphics inside the VR headset.. (There are four different character types)
Replay Value 6
Borderlands 2 VR isn’t a game-changing VR title for the PSVR. But you can expect tons of content, as this title besides Skyrim VR has the most content compared to other VR titles for the PSVR. The gunplay works smooth, and the hunt for loot is real, unfortunately, there are some aspects about the controls that drag the experience down, and the lack of multiplayer and PS Aim controller compatibility doesn’t help. If you love the Borderland series, you will love this. If you never played a first-person shooter inside a VR headset before, I would recommend trying another title before you head into the dangers of Pandora.
User Review( votes)
- Visually looks good inside the PSVR headset
- Tons of content
- New jokes, great writing
- Optimizing your controls to your comfort works great
- No PS Aim support
- No Multiplayer
- Motion sickness might occur on long play sessions
- PS Move integration could have been better