For those who missed the intro post here, I’m quite inexperienced with FPS games and trying to get better. I got Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360) for Christmas hoping it could be the game to open up the FPS genre to me. Now that I’ve had a chance to play a little bit of Borderlands 2, (I’ve actually played the first hour or so of the game three times now) I’d like to discuss some of my first impressions.
There are four characters/classes to choose from with a little blurb about their “combat style” and their unique skill/ability. I won’t get into all of them but the character I chose, Axton (the Commando), has the ability to build a turret and provide extra firepower in combat. While I’d love to discuss the usefulness of this ability, it’s not available right off the bat, so I can’t actually comment on the turret at this time but I have high hopes.
Another disappointing aspect in character creation is that you can’t zoom out or rotate your character while customizing your appearance. There are locations in game where you can later update your appearance (since it is just cosmetic) and there you can rotate and see a more complete view of your character, so why not in character creation?
What stands out most to me now that I’ve had a chance to reflect is how odd it seems that when you start up there’s no difficulty select. Instead, it seems the quests you get in game have a designated level to them, so if you are that level it’s “normal”, if it’s above your level it’s “tough”. I’m not sure if this is going to be a good thing or a bad thing.
Also somewhat jarring to me were some of the default control options. Specifically, melee attack is mapped to clicking the right stick. I found this somewhat odd since your aim still seems to matter when making a melee attack, so aiming and attacking with the same button just felt unnatural. After playing with the default controls a bit I went into options to try out a different layout, and I’m going with one called Nuked. The table below explains how this alters the default layout and how I feel about those changes.
|Function||Original Mapping||Updated Mapping||Comment|
|Melee||Click on Right Stick||Right Bumper||Shooting and melee now located in close proximity on the controller, takes an attack off of the right stick|
|Grenade||Right Bumper||B button||Possibly a problem being a face button, trying this remapped to Left Bumper next time I play (which will put the character’s yet-unused turret ability on the B button)|
|Crouch||B button||Click on Left Stick||I doubt I’ll be crouching and moving much at the same time nor do I fear accidentally clicking the stick while moving and going into a crouch|
|Sprint||Click on Left Stick||Click on Right Stick||No problem with initial mapping, but since you can’t shoot and sprint simultaneously no conflict of interest here|
|Cycle Weapons||Y button||A button||Not sure why this changes in the layout, just feels disorienting, will be changing back next time I play|
|Jump||A button||Y button||See ‘Cycle Weapons’|
Next time out I’ll discuss what went well for me through my first few hours of Borderlands 2, what did not, and try to track my progress with cold hard numbers.