Borderlands 2

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Borderlands 2
Developer(s)Gearbox Software
Publisher(s)2K Games
Director(s)Paul Hellquist
  • Sean Reardon
  • Matt Charles
Programmer(s)Steven Jones
Artist(s)Jeramy Cooke
Writer(s)Anthony Burch
EngineUnreal Engine 3
ReleaseWindows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • NA: September 18, 2012
  • AU: September 20, 2012
  • EU: September 21, 2012
  • WW: November 21, 2012
PlayStation Vita
  • NA: May 13, 2014
  • AU: May 28, 2014
  • EU: May 30, 2014[3]
  • WW: September 30, 2014
  • WW: July 20, 2016
PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • NA: March 24, 2015
  • WW: March 27, 2015
Nintendo Switch
  • WW: May 29, 2020
Genre(s)Action role-playing, first-person shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Borderlands 2 is an action role-playing first-person shooter video game developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games.[4] It is the second game in the Borderlands series and the sequel to 2009's Borderlands. The game was released for Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and OS X on September 18, 2012. It was ported to the PlayStation Vita on May 13, 2014, and released for Linux on September 30, 2014.[1]

Borderlands 2 allows players to complete a campaign consisting of central quests and optional side-missions as one of four (six including downloadable content) treasure seekers, "Vault Hunters", on the planet Pandora. The game's story centers around the Vault Hunters on their quest to find a new alien vault and liberate Pandora from the tyrannical Handsome Jack. Key gameplay features from its predecessor, such as online collaborative campaign gameplay, randomly generated loot, such as weapons and shields and character-building elements commonly found in role-playing video games are in Borderlands 2.

The game received critical acclaim and was a commercial success. Downloadable content for the game was released, including new characters and storylines. The Game of the Year Edition of the game was released on October 8, 2013 in the U.S. and October 11 internationally, including all the previous downloadable and upgrade packs except for the new campaign.[5][6][7] A PlayStation Vita version was released in May 2014, and was developed by Iron Galaxy Studios in collaboration with Gearbox.[8] PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports of Borderlands 2 and its DLC were released as part of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection on March 24, 2015.[9] Borderlands 2 had sold over 22 million copies, making it 2K's highest-selling title. A prequel titled Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel was released in October 2014, and a sequel titled Borderlands 3 was released in September 2019.


Salvador utilizing his Gunzerker ability to dual-wield weapons

Borderlands 2 is an action role-playing game played from a first-person perspective.[10] The gameplay revolves around the completion of missions and the collection of randomly generated loot (such as weapons, shields, skins, and other items) with various rarities, statistics, and elemental effects. Four playable character classes are available in the base game, each with their own unique abilities and skill trees: Axton, "the Commando", can summon a turret to provide offensive support. Maya, "the Siren", can "phaselock" enemies by trapping them in a sphere of energy for a few seconds. Zer0, "the Assassin", can temporarily become invisible and spawn a hologram decoy to distract enemies; an attack delivered in this state provides bonus damage. Salvador, "the Gunzerker", can use his titular ability to temporarily dual-wield weapons.

New gameplay elements added to Borderlands 2 include a trading system during multiplayer play; slag, a substance that increases damage to targets that are covered in it; new "E-Tech" weaponry; Eridium bars, a new currency for purchasing storage upgrades and other premium items; and the "Secret Stash," a small storage area for transferring items between characters. Increased character customization options are also made available, with collectable items unlocking different character head designs, color schemes, and vehicle paint schemes. A major addition to the game is the "Badass Rank" system; points are awarded for completing various in-game challenges, which in turn award tokens that can be redeemed to increase the player's base stats. These stat improvements apply to all of a single player's characters.

Similarly to the original, completing the main story campaign unlocks "True Vault Hunter Mode", a New Game Plus which increases the difficulty of the game by making enemies stronger, accordingly improves the probability of finding rare and higher-quality items, and allows the player's character to reach level 50. There is also an "Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode" that spawns more difficult enemies and further increases the probability of rare item drops. This mode also raises the level cap to level 61 (72 with an additional DLC pack, The Raid on Digistruct Peak).



Like its predecessor, Borderlands 2 features four playable characters: Axton the Commando, Maya the Siren, Salvador the Gunzerker, and Zer0 the Assassin. New to Borderlands 2 are two additional characters available as downloadable content: Gaige the Mechromancer and Krieg the Psycho.

The four player characters from the first game, Roland, Lilith, Brick, and Mordecai, return in the form of non-player characters that the new characters will encounter on Pandora, or in various missions.[11] Other characters like the Guardian Angel and Claptrap return to aid the player during quests. Characters from the first game such as Scooter the mechanic, Dr. Zed, Marcus the guns and ammo merchant, Mad Moxxi, and the insane archaeologist Patricia Tannis join new faces such as the cyborg Sir Hammerlock and Scooter's sister Ellie as quest giving characters.


Five years have passed since the events of Borderlands, when the four Vault Hunters, Roland, Mordecai, Lilith, and Brick were guided by a mysterious entity known as "The Guardian Angel" on the planet of Pandora to the Vault, a mysterious alien structure that was rumored to hold ancient and exotic technology and riches. Instead, these Vault Hunters were confronted by an alien abomination known as "The Destroyer" inside the Vault. After defeating The Destroyer, a valuable mineral called "Eridium" started flourishing through Pandora's crust. Handsome Jack, president of the Hyperion Corporation, secures this new resource and makes use of it to attempt to "bring peace" to the planet. Now, Handsome Jack rules over the inhabitants of Pandora with an iron fist from his massive space station Helios, always visible in the sky in front of Pandora's moon. Meanwhile, rumors of an even larger Vault hidden on Pandora spread across the galaxy, drawing a new group of Vault Hunters to the planet in search of it.


The game opens with six Vault Hunters (Axton, Gaige, Krieg, Maya, Salvador, and Zer0) aboard a Hyperion train on Pandora. Jack, supposedly supporting them, suddenly sabotages the train and leaves the Vault Hunters for dead in a frozen wasteland. The Vault Hunters are found by the last remaining CL4P-TP ("Claptrap") unit. The Guardian Angel contacts the Vault Hunters and instructs them to accompany Claptrap to the city of Sanctuary, and to join the Crimson Raiders, an anti-Hyperion resistance movement made up of former Atlas soldiers and Pandoran citizens, in order to defeat Handsome Jack.

Upon arriving at the gates of Sanctuary, the Vault Hunters are asked to rescue Roland, now leader of the Crimson Raiders, who has been captured by a bounty hunter called the Firehawk. The Vault Hunters meet the Firehawk, who turns out to be Lilith, whose powers as a Siren have been significantly enhanced by the new supply of eridium. Lilith informs the Vault Hunters that Roland was actually captured by a group of bandits. After fighting through the bandits' territory, the Vault Hunters rescue Roland and return to Sanctuary.

Roland and Lilith learn that that the Vault Key stolen from Tannis is being transported aboard a Hyperion train, and ask the Vault Hunters to retrieve it. To accomplish the mission, the Vault Hunters enlist the aid of former Vault Hunter Mordecai, and of Tiny Tina, a psychotic, explosives-obsessed girl. The Vault Hunters derail the train, but instead of finding the Vault Key they encounter Wilhelm, a powerful Hyperion cyborg and one of Handsome Jack's enforcers. The Vault Hunters kill Wilhelm and recover his power core, which Roland recommends be used as the power source for Sanctuary's shields. The power core turns out to be a trap; it allows the Guardian Angel, who is actually working for Jack, to lower the city's shields and render it vulnerable to a bombardment from Helios. Lilith saves Sanctuary, which was originally a large spacecraft, by activating its engines and teleporting it away to the sky.

Handsome Jack's plan is to open Pandora's second Vault and unleash the "Warrior", a powerful Eridian monster controlled by whoever releases it; knowing that the Vault Key only charges itself once every 200 years, he is using Eridium to forcefully charge it. Angel communicates with the group in Sanctuary, and divulges that the Vault Key is kept with her in a heavily guarded Hyperion facility. The Vault Hunters embark upon a series of missions in order to assemble what is needed to overcome the facility's defenses, including obtaining an upgrade for Claptrap, visiting the Hyperion city of Opportunity, and enlisting the aid of Brick, now leader of the Slab clan of bandits. During the process, Mordecai's pet bird Bloodwing is captured and killed by Jack; Mordecai vows revenge and joins the other three former Vault Hunters at Sanctuary. Roland and the Vault Hunters assault the Hyperion compound and meet Angel, who is not only a real person, but a Siren, and Jack's own daughter. She requests to be killed in order to stop her father from using her to charge the Vault Key and gaining control of the Warrior. Jack sends in waves of security forces to protect his daughter, but ultimately, Roland, Lilith and the Vault Hunters successfully kill Angel. An enraged Jack teleports in, kills Roland, and captures Lilith, whom he uses to resume charging the Vault Key in Angel's stead. Before Jack can force Lilith to kill the Vault Hunters, she teleports them out of the facility and back to Sanctuary.

Mordecai and Brick decide to learn the location of the second Vault to confront Handsome Jack. While the Vault Hunters travel to the Hyperion Information Annex and obtain the Vault's location, the two steal a Hyperion ship. The Vault Hunters approach on foot, battling Hyperion forces, while Brick and Mordecai are shot down but left alive. Ultimately, the Vault Hunters find and defeat Jack himself but are unable to prevent him from opening the Vault. Jack summons the Warrior, and the Vault Hunters manage to kill it and either execute Jack or leave the task to Lilith in the aftermath.

Brick and Mordecai arrive just as Lilith attempts to destroy the Vault Key. However, she accidentally activates a secret information bank within the Key, containing a huge map of the galaxy with several Vaults marked on it. Lilith remarks that "there ain't no rest for the wicked" before the screen cuts to black. During the credits, various scenes are shown of the Pandorans celebrating Handsome Jack's defeat and taking back their planet from the remaining Hyperion forces, Lilith becoming the new leader of the Crimson Raiders, the Vault Hunters being hailed as heroes for their deeds, Lilith, Brick and Mordecai mourning Roland, and Mordecai hatching and raising a new pet bird called Talon.


Following the unexpected[12] success of the first Borderlands, which sold between three[13] to four-and-a-half million copies since release,[14] creative director Mike Neumann stated that there was a chance of a Borderlands 2 being created, adding that the decision "seems like a no-brainer."[15] On August 2, 2011, the game was confirmed and titled as Borderlands 2, with Anthony Burch announced as the writer the next day. The first look at the game was shown at Gamescom 2011, and an extensive preview was included in the September edition of Game Informer magazine, with Borderlands 2 being the cover story.[16] Like the first game, Borderlands 2 was developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games, running on a heavily modified version of Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3. The game was released on September 18, 2012 in North America and on September 21, 2012 internationally.[17][18]

Gearbox revealed that they would be honoring a late fan of the game, cancer victim Michael John Mamaril, with the addition of an NPC named after Michael in the sequel. Additionally, Gearbox posted a eulogy to Mamaril in the voice of the game character, Claptrap.[19]

Controversy regarding sexism hit a month before the game's scheduled release after Gearbox designer John Hemingway told Eurogamer: "The design team was looking at the concept art and thought, you know what, this is actually the cutest character we've ever had. I want to make, for the lack of a better term, the girlfriend skill tree. This is, I love Borderlands and I want to share it with someone, but they suck at first-person shooters. Can we make a skill tree that actually allows them to understand the game and to play the game? That's what our attempt with the Best Friends Forever skill tree is."[20] Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford responded to the controversy on Twitter, saying "There is no universe where Hemmingway is a sexist - all the women at Gearbox would beat his and anyone else's ass."[21] Randy Pitchford also tweeted: "I'm sure Hemmingway is getting noogied now, but not his fault. A personal anecdote has been twisted and dogpiled on by sensationalists."[22]

Marketing and release[edit]

On August 20, 2012, it was announced that a four issue Borderlands comic would be released in November 2012 to tie in with Borderlands 2. The miniseries was written by Mikey Neumann and published by IDW. It tells the story of how the original four Vault Hunters came to be together at the beginning of Borderlands, filling in their backstory and setting up the events of both games.[23]

Claptrap appears as an opponent in the crossover title Poker Night 2, with players able to unlock new Borderlands 2 content upon the completion of certain objectives.[24]

A 4.6 GB portion of Borderlands 2 became available for pre-load through Steam on September 14, 2012,[25] allowing customers to download encrypted game files to their computer before the game was released. When the game was released, customers were able to unlock the files on their hard drives and play the game immediately, without having to wait for the whole game to download. Borderlands 2 was also available for download on the PlayStation Network on its release date for retail price.[26]

On January 20, 2015, Gearbox announced that it would release Borderlands: The Handsome Collection—a port of Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, on March 24, 2015.[9] On March 26, 2020, Gearbox announced that it would release both games, plus the original Borderlands, for Nintendo Switch as the Borderlands Legendary Collection on May 29, 2020.[27]


Since its release, several PC patches have been published to address technical issues and improve overall gameplay. On November 13, 2012, patch 1.2.0[28] was released to fix several game issues such as the infinite golden key glitch. The most significant of these is the overpowered "The Bee" shield which was given reduced capabilities and effectiveness.[29] A patch later added a colorblind mode to the game.[30]

Aspyr handles porting Borderlands 2 patches for the Mac and has stated there will be a delay on synchronizing new patches from Gearbox Software.[31] When the versions are out of sync, Mac users will be unable to join or host games with PC players until both games are on the same version.

On March 28, 2019, Gearbox announced that 4K support for PC would be released on April 3, 2019; supported consoles will receive this via a patch for The Handsome Collection.[32]

Golden Keys[edit]

Golden Keys are a part of Gearbox's SHiFT rewards program. Codes are released on various social media sites that can be redeemed in the Borderlands 2 main menu for Golden Keys. These open the special Golden Chest that is located in the travel station in Sanctuary. When opened, the chest randomly produces rare equipment of the redeeming player's level.[33]

Virtual reality port[edit]

On October 9, 2018, a port of the game was announced for PlayStation VR, released on December 14, 2018. It is one of few major games from the pre-VR era to have a VR version made.[34] A version for Windows, to work on VR headsets supported there, was released in October 2019.[35][36]

Downloadable content[edit]

Season one[edit]

Four major packs of downloadable content (DLC) and multiple smaller pieces of content have been made available for Borderlands 2. The Borderlands 2 Season Pass allows users who purchase it to access the first four major DLC packs at a reduced cost compared to purchasing them separately as soon as they become available. Also available are two additional character classes (Gaige the Mechromancer and Krieg the Psycho), an additional area known as the Creature Slaughter Dome, the Ultimate Vault Hunter Pack which raises the level cap and multiple heads and skins for character customization. A "Game of the Year Edition" containing the main game, all four major DLC packs, the two character packs, and the first Ultimate Vault Hunter Pack was released on October 8, 2013.[37]

Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty[edit]

Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty is the first post-release downloadable content pack and includes new campaign content. The content was released on October 16, 2012.[38] The storyline takes place in a vast desert that used to be an ocean. Captain Scarlett, a sand pirate captain, works with the Vault Hunters to search for Captain Blade's Lost Treasure of the Sands, whilst repeatedly informing them that she will eventually betray them. It also introduces new raid bosses like "Hyperius the Invincible" and a new hovering vehicle, the Sandskiff, which can only be driven in the DLC areas.

The pack received mixed reviews. IGN called it "a good add-on that doesn't quite live up to expectations", criticising the large number of fetch quests and enemies very similar to the ones found in standard Borderlands 2.[39] However Kotaku called it 'new and exciting', praising the story and the new vehicle.[40]

Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage[edit]

Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage is the second downloadable content pack and was released on November 20, 2012.[41] The campaign's plot is centered around a new Vault discovered in Pandora buried in the center of the "Badass Crater of Badassitude"[42] that will only open "once the champion of Pandora feeds it the blood of the ultimate coward". To find this "champion", Mr. Torgue, CEO and spokesman of the Torgue weapons manufacturer, sets up a tournament in which the Vault Hunters compete. The new areas also feature a new weapons vending machine, which sells high-end Torgue weapons exclusively and use a new currency called Torgue Tokens.[42] The characters and storyline of Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage bear a strong resemblance to those found in World Championship Wrestling, and Mr. Torgue in particular was interpreted as an homage to wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage.[43][44]

The pack received positive to mixed reviews. Joystiq reported the pack's quest to be unexciting and in some cases "downright weak". However it praised the character of Mr. Torgue, referring to him as "interesting and breathtaking".[45] Kotaku found it less entertaining than the previous DLC, criticising the repetitive side quests, but ultimately stated that it was "still an entertaining experience that I'm happy to sink more hours into the game for".[46] However, Vincent Ingenito of IGN stated that "everything you love about Borderlands 2 is here in abundance", praising the "breakneck pace" of the action and length of the campaign.[47]

Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt[edit]

Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt is the third downloadable campaign add-on and was released on January 15, 2013. The title, screenshots, and details were leaked on December 14, 2012.[48][49] It chronicles Sir Hammerlock and the Vault Hunters going on a quest to find rare animals of Pandora and their battle with former Hyperion scientist Professor Nakayama, who is trying to create a clone of Handsome Jack.

The pack received mixed reviews. IGN found it to be the "weakest add-on Gearbox has put on the table for Borderlands 2 thus far", criticizing unfunny dialogue and the new enemy the Witch Doctor, noting that it is "exhausting to the point you're better off saving time and ammunition by running away". They ultimately gave the pack 6.9/10.[50] David Hinkle of Joystiq found the pack to have "dashed expectations", heavily criticising Nakayama and the quest design. However conversely, Hinkle praised the Witch Doctors, noting that they "aren't unfairly tough, making them perfect for those late-game battles".[51]

Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep[edit]

Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep was the fourth piece of downloadable content and final part to be released for free for Season Pass holders. It was released for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 users on June 25, 2013.[52]

The campaign is set within the world of a tabletop role-playing game known as Bunkers and Badasses, with Tiny Tina serving as a game master, sometimes modifying the game world according to her whims. The world is fantasy-themed, with skeletons, orcs, treants (similar to J. R. R. Tolkien's Ents) and dragons featuring as enemies, along with appearances by other Borderlands characters as residents in this world. The campaign's frame story surrounds Tiny Tina's struggle to accept the death of Roland.[53]

Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep was met with praise and acclaim from multiple gaming websites and journalists such as's Vince Ingenito, who gave the expansion a 9.2 out of 10, praising its use of the fantasy elements in its narrative, humorous references to the source material, and sheer amount of content, but stated that there was not a good variety of loot to be had from fighting the endgame bosses.[54] Despite this minor issue with the pack, scored it much higher than the previous entry, Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt. Despite the acclaim surrounding the pack, there have been mixed reviews as well, such as the review written by Christian Donlan for, giving the expansion a 7 out of 10, one point lower than their review of Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt, stating that "Without spoiling anything: does it work? Not entirely. But it is, unsurprisingly, just the kind of trick one of those special long-running TV shows might try to pull now and then – a bit of heavy-handed schmaltz to break up the glib anarchy, a lunge at tonal variation to bring depth to some increasingly harshly delineated cast members." Despite the mixed feelings towards the narrative and themes of the pack, Donlan's review also praised the humor and entertainment value of the pack, stating that "New U stations now babble about necromancy, loot chests can hide mimics and often come with many-sided dice stuck on top, there's a really great joke about punching stuff, and you're carried through it all by that endless ebb and flow between shooting things and picking over their corpses. Is Dragon's Keep fun but lacking surprises?".[55]

Season two[edit]

T.K. Baha's Bloody Harvest[edit]

Gearbox planned to release three, shorter "Headhunter Pack" DLCs by the end of 2013. The first was called T.K. Baha's Bloody Harvest, bringing back the character last seen in Borderlands's Zombie Island of Dr. Ned DLC. Zombie T.K. Baha sends players to fight Jaques O'Lantern, a giant pumpkin boss who gives new character customizations as a reward for being beaten. It was released on October 22, 2013.[56]

The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler[edit]

The second Headhunter Pack was released on November 26, 2013 . It is a parody of The Hunger Games and Thanksgiving day in which players have to compete in a tournament organised by Mr. Torgue and defeat a giant turkey monster.[57][58]

How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day[edit]

The third additional "Headhunter Pack" was released on December 17, 2013. It is about finding Marcus's missing gun shipment train while saving the ex-bandit town of Gingerton from the evil snowman Tinder Snowflake.

Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre[edit]

The fourth Headhunter Pack was released on February 11, 2014. It is about Mad Moxxi's plan to have two Goliaths, one from the Zafords and one from the Hodunks, to marry and end the war between their families. A spin on the Shakespearean tragedy Romeo and Juliet, it also features new weather effects and some new enemies.

Sir Hammerlock vs. the Son of Crawmerax[edit]

The fifth, and final Headhunter Pack was released on April 15, 2014. In the DLC, Sir Hammerlock, Brick, Mordecai, and Lilith are on a vacation on Wam Bam Island when a large monster kidnaps Hammerlock. The DLC culminates in a battle against Crawmerax Jr., the son of the great crab worm from the original game's The Secret Armory of General Knoxx add-on, who is seeking vengeance on Roland, Lilith, Brick and Mordecai. The plot introduces Sparky Flynt, son of the boss character Captain Flynt who, along with five other people whose family and friends have been killed by the six new Vault Hunters, seeks revenge. Before they can be introduced in person, separate allies of the Vault Hunters kill (or in Salvador's case, arrange the death of) the five would-be assassins, before Sparky is killed by the Vault Hunters themselves.

Other content[edit]

Premiere Club: Mechromancer Pack[edit]

The Premiere Club was a pre-order bonus that comes with golden guns, a relic, a golden key and early access to a fifth playable class, the Mechromancer. The golden key can be redeemed in-game to open a special, golden chest that includes rare guns, shields, or mods. On October 9, 2012, it became publicly available as a downloadable content pack. As of October 17, it was renamed as the Mechromancer Pack.

The Mechromancer, later revealed to be named Gaige, was first revealed at PAX East 2012[59] and planned as post-release downloadable content for October 16, 2012, but was released on all platforms a week earlier.[60]

Psycho and Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack[edit]

On March 23, 2013, Gearbox announced two new downloadable content packs for Borderlands 2, only one of which is part of the Season Pass. The first pack is called the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack. It adds a level cap raise from 50 to 61 and a new game mode called the Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode. This is a third playthrough mode that supersedes playthrough 2.5 and scales all enemies to level 50-61. It became available on April 2, 2013. It comes as a free download for all players who purchased the Season Pass.[61][62]

The second pack, the Psycho Pack, contains a sixth playable character for Borderlands 2 - a Psycho named Krieg. Psychos are psychotic enemies fought during the main Borderlands 2 campaign. He is a primarily melee focused character with an action skill called "Buzz Axe Rampage", which boosts his melee damage and causes him to regain health whenever he kills an enemy. It was released on May 14, 2013 and is not included in the Season Pass.[61][62]

Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2: Digistruct Peak Challenge[edit]

Released on September 3, 2013,[63] the DLC increases the level cap from 61 to 72 and introduces the Digistruct Peak Challenge, a new map where Patricia Tannis will let players fight high-level enemies (which can be over-leveled to "impossible") to earn new loot. A free update prior to the DLC's release has added additional backpack, ammo and bank slots, to be purchased from the black market. This is not included in the Season Pass.

Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary[edit]

Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary was announced and released on June 9, 2019. The DLC was released for PC, and for The Handsome Collection version of the game on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It was available as a free download for the first month after release.[64] The story of the DLC picks up after the events of Borderlands 2 and acts as a bridge to the story of Borderlands 3, setting up the transition to the new Sanctuary 3 base ship and bringing characters from 2014's Tales from the Borderlands into the bigger story.[65] In the DLC, after Helios station has crashed on the surface of Pandora, Lilith and the other Vault Hunters struggle with what they have learned from the Vault map, of potentially many more Vaults on other planets. As they try to figure out some way to make a space-worthy ship, Sanctuary is attacked by Dahl's Colonel Hector, who has created a powerful mutant army using a strange floral spore. The group abandons Sanctuary and takes shelter at a former bandit camp, now empty except for its leader, Vaughn, as Hector mutated his followers. The Vault Hunters work with Vaughn and other allies to take back Sanctuary and the Vault map from Hector.[66]


Aggregate score
MetacriticPC: 89/100[67]
PS3: 91/100[68]
X360: 89/100[69]
VITA: 64/100[70]
Review scores
Game Informer9.75/10[72]
Game Revolution4.5/5 stars[73]
Giant Bomb4/5 stars[75]
PC Gamer (UK)90/100[77]

Borderlands 2 was met with critical acclaim. Aggregating review website Metacritic gave the PlayStation 3 version 91/100,[68] the PC version 89/100[67] and the Xbox 360 version 89/100.[69] IGN awarded the game a 9.0 out of 10, praising the game's sense of humor, world structure, and role-playing systems, while feeling disappointed by the game's lack of meaningful visual customization and the sharing of loot during co-op play. They stated that the game had roughly 30 hours of gameplay, and was worth playing multiple times.[76] IGN also nominated the game as one of its ten finalists for Game of the Year 2012.[81] Game Informer gave the game a score of 9.75 out of 10, claiming that the game is one of "the most rewarding gaming experiences" of the current console generation.[72] Borderlands 2 would go on to win X-Play's game of the year.

Borderlands 2 was one of the best-selling games of 2012, and has become the best-selling game in the history of 2K Games, with 8.5 million copies sold by February 2014.[82] The following month, it was announced by Gearbox that the game had sold "well over" 12 million copies.[83] As of August 2015, the game has sold over 13 million copies, making it 2K's highest-selling title.[84] The title had reached over 20 million sold with at least 1 million players playing the game each month as of April 2019, and remains the highest-selling title of the series.[85] Buoyed by the upcoming Borderlands 3, the game's total sales reached 22 million by August 2019.[86]

Borderlands 2 wound up with five D.I.C.E. Awards nominations at the 16th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards, including "Game of the Year", "Action Game of the Year", "Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction", "Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay", and "Outstanding Achievement in Character" for the characterization of Tiny Tina. At the ceremony, the game won only one award for 2012's "Action Game of the Year".[87]

The PlayStation Vita port received mixed reviews. While complimented for offering the entire game and additional content on a handheld console, the port was generally panned for its decreased graphics and sound quality, lag issues and inconsistent frame rates, and that it only offered two-player multiplayer rather than four. IGN gave the port a 5.4 out of 10, concluding that "its compromised visuals rob it of much of its bombastic charm, while its erratic performance and unreliable touch controls keep the gameplay from shining like it has in the past."[88][89]


Year Award Category Result Ref
2012 Spike Video Game Awards 2012 Studio of the Year (Gearbox Software) Nominated [90]
Best Xbox 360 Game Nominated
Best PS3 Game Nominated
Best Shooter Won
Best Multi-player Game Won
Best Performance by Human Male (Dameon Clarke as Handsome Jack) Won
Best DLC (Mechnomancer Pack) Nominated
Character of the Year (Claptrap) Won
2013 VGX Best DLC (Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep) Nominated [91]
16th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards Game of the Year Nominated [92]
Action Game of the Year Won
Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Character - Male or Female (Tiny Tina) Nominated
2016 Steam Awards 2016 The 'Villain Most In Need Of A Hug' Award Nominated [93]
2019 Steam Awards 2019 The "VR Game of the Year" Award Nominated [94]


Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford stated in February 2014 that there were no plans for a third, main installment in the franchise; the company believed that a sequel to Borderlands 2 would have to be "massive", but that "when you think of what Borderlands 3 should be... No, we don't know what that is yet. We can imagine what it must achieve, but we don't know what it is yet." However, the company still believed that there was an audience for new Borderlands content; in April 2014, Gearbox announced that 2K Australia was developing a game set in between the events of the first two Borderlands games, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, released October 14, 2014. The game focuses on the rise of Handsome Jack, and features four of his henchmen—Athena (from The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC), Claptrap, Nisha (Lynchwood's sheriff from Borderlands 2), and Wilhelm (a Hyperion cyborg who was a boss in Borderlands 2)—as playable characters.[95][96][97]

At a panel during PAX South in January 2015, Pitchford announced that the studio was preparing to begin work on a new Borderlands game—which he described as "the big one", and began to offer a number of new staff openings related to the game. The game would be developed specifically for the eighth-generation consoles Xbox One and PlayStation 4.[98] Randy Pitchford confirmed at the April 2016 PAX East convention that a Borderlands sequel will be Gearbox's next game after Battleborn, though he is not sure if it will be called Borderlands 3.[99] Pitchford and Randy Varnell said they would put Easter eggs to the next Borderlands in the DLC for Battleborn.[99] Borderlands 3 was officially revealed on March 28, 2019 and released on September 13, 2019 on the Epic Games store and six months later, will appear on other store fronts such as Steam.[100]


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External links[edit]