I've been playing Borderlands 2 for a month or so and I have to say that it is one of the most fun and best-designed games ever. With one exception, which I'll get to in a moment, every component of the game is excellent:
- The guns are the stars of the show. There's a huge variety of weaponry, and it's always fun to find something new. The way that weapons fall behind as you level gently nudges you to try new things.
- The enemies are fun, varied, and smart. Unlike many games, there are very few instances where you can just hide behind terrain and slaughter baddies who wander around impotently. It seems like every bad guy has a leap attack, a grenade, or something to push you out from behind cover eventually.
- Challenges! I love the challenges, some of which are specific to a level, or an enemy type, or a weapon, or even span the whole game.
- The missions are fun. The rewards are occasionally underwhelming, but most missions end with a red chest that give you a random assortment of cool items.
- Graphics: I love the style.
- Audio: The voices are great, as are all the effects.
My only complaint is that the character leveling system doesn't feel very substantial. Your health and damage get increased automatically when you level up and are completely outside your control. All you get to play with are a few skill trees, but most of the points you invest don't feel like they have a significant impact on the gameplay. I'm only level 25, so it's possible that the higher tier skills have more of an effect on your character.
Basically, Borderlands 2 has the gameplay that I was hoping for out of Skyrim. The world of Skyrim was huge and fantastic, and the story was great, but the actual mechanics of playing the game were boring to me. The combat wasn't fun, the spells were monotonous, and the enemies were predictable and repetitive. So wouldn't it be great to mix the two? Yes it would! Someone make that game for me.