Let me just start by stating that Borderlands 1, from the start, provided a gaming experience like no other. It was to me the first game that included FPS with damage hit points, RPG level up elements (experience builder, skill tree level), and loot beyond your wildest dreams. When I saw the announcement that Borderlands 2 was in the works my only question was not when I would play it, but how many hours will I put into this game like the first.
Borderlands 2 starts off with you seeing a bunch of new heroes but with similar abilities from the first. You have Maya(Siren), Zer0(Assassin), Axton(Commando), and Salvador(Gunzerker). While these characters have similarities from the first their play style is much different.
If you are worried if you should play the first don't be. You can easily pick this up and it will give you a brief look back on the first game as well as provide you with a well thought out tutorial to get you accustomed to how everything works.
The game's main story involves you going after a notorious villain named Handsome Jack who is probably the most psychotic, deranged villain I have ever come to know in any game. He has great one liners and definitely gets on your nerve while you are working through the story to get to him.
Without spoiling too much, you will run into the original characters from the first game. For those that played the first it is a great reunion to see your old characters and where they are now. Other memorable characters are back as well such as Moxxi and my personal favorite, Scooter.
Maya is somewhat like Lilith as she is a Siren class character. Instead of Phasewalking, like you were able to do in Borderlands 1 with the Siren, she has a Phaselock ability. Phaselock can be used to trap an enemy mid-air in an orb. Not only does it freeze the enemy for a few seconds but it also inflicts damage while also allowing your partners to deliver more damage.
Zer0 is the class that I chose just by the unique skills it has. Zer0 is a robot assassin that somewhat resembles Mordecai when it comes to sniping. The skill tree that I chose, and was able to deal massive damage with, was the Melee tree because his ability called "Decepti0n" allows you to deploy a clone while cloaking you at the same time. You are able to sneak up on enemies and deal massive damage.
Axton is the Commando that is quite like Roland from the first. Both are soldiers that specialize in weaponry and as such you are able to deploy a turret anywhere on the playing field to take damage as well as deal damage to the enemies.
Salvador the Gunzerker is the craziest of them all. Just like the Brute from the first Borderlands, you are able to go into "Gunzerk" mode and pretty much be a tank and rage with dual weapons as opposed to duel fists in the first.
It is your standard FPS run and gun. You can have up to 4 weapons in your equipped menu at all times to cycle through, and then you have your shield, grenade, relic, and mod. The relic and mod are new this time; only shield and grenade previously. Relics and Mods enhance your characters abilities whether it be health regen or skill additions to your tree.
Once you hit level 5, you are able to apply a skill point to your tree. Each character has three trees that you can follow. I highly recommend researching your tree with the character you decide before you just start picking because nine times out of ten you will pay to reset your skills and start all over. You can find the skill tree builder here: http://www.borderlands2.com/us/#characters
The weapons are pretty much the same from the first. You have shock, incendiary, corrosive, and new this time slag which will slow down your enemy as well as increase the damage regular bullets do. There are two new types of weapons this time around; one new gun and grenade type. The Tediore weapon when you reload will allow you to throw your current gun and when that gun explodes you regen a new gun in your hands (probably the coolest way to reload in any FPS). The new grenade type is called "Singularity" which will create a vortex that will suck in any enemies in the area before releasing the huge explosion.
The game is good in length and my first play through, without completing all of the side quests, took just over 20 hours. I am currently level 32 and the max is 50. You do have the option after you beat the game the first time to do a second play through where all the enemies from the start will be your level and higher so you can level up. This adds to the gameplay because the loot will be just that much better as you progress.
If you are a fan of the first or a fan of FPS in general, I highly recommend you check this out. The comedy alone is worth the price of admission as you will laugh constantly throughout the game whether alone or with friends. It is preferred to play with others as your loot will definitely be worth it, and you will get better exp because the difficulty of the enemies increases with each additional player that comes into your game. The cel shaded graphics are upgraded and add a new beauty to the world of Pandora. You do not want to miss this trip as it will be forever remembered to me.
Also, they have announced a "Season Pass" that will add to the game with 4 DLC packs that will be coming out. Next Tuesday the 16th of October will also release a new DLC character called the "Mechromancer". For those that already own the game and pre-ordered it she is free, and for others she is will be a ten dollar price. You can learn about her here: http://borderlands.wikia.com/wiki/Gaige