Welcome back to Pandora.
The PlayStation Vita is a great platform that is missing its first good AAA first-person shooter that consumers can play on the go. Call of Duty: Black Ops – Declassified was the platform's first attempt, but that experiment ended up as a disaster for both Sony and Activision. Sony still believes it can deliver a console shooter experience that can be both a critical and an economic success by betting the entire deck on Gearbox Studios and Take Two Interactive’s best-selling game of all-time, Borderlands 2. Will this be the shooter that the platform finally deserves?
Borderlands 2 on the PlayStation Vita is being developed by Iron Galaxy Studios with Gearbox Studios, and it’s what you come to expect from the series with loot-grabbing on center stage. From the very beginning the series has always been a challenging and occasionally mindless shooter that you can enjoy with your friends.
With the portable version of Borderlands 2 you can carry over your progress from the PlayStation 3 with six out of the eight downloadable packs. I envision the Vita version to be a bigger attraction for those who have spent hours already in Pandora, but I wouldn’t make it the reason to get the PlayStation Vita when it releases.
The cel-shaded art style is back, and it’s still one of the best-looking first-person shooters to date; however, that has come at a cost on the Vita. The game’s graphics have been toned down to be able to work with the system's specs. Interface issues make the experience clunky, resulting in the map being condensed and pushed to the upper-right-hand corner. It’s missing the little things that transformed Borderlands 2 from a great game into a phenomenal co-op shooter.
Borderlands 2 on the PlayStation would have been perfect if it launched two years ago when the sequel first released. The industry is currently in the midst of transitioning to next-gen consoles, and has some appeal for current-gen games. I am not going to plug-in my PlayStation 3, but on the other hand the PlayStation Vita can be an easier way to extend the game’s life further for fans of the series.
Borderlands 2 is expected to release in Spring along with a PlayStation Vita Slim bundle.