Review: Borderlands 2 (PlayStation Vita)

Review: Borderlands 2 (PlayStation Vita)

Well, Sony asked and you guys answered: You wanted Borderlands 2 on the PlayStation Vita and Sony delivered Borderlands 2 on the Vita, are you happy? Oh, you want to know if it’s any good? Let’s just talk about how Sony managed to talked Gearbox and 2K Games to allow a port of Borderlands 2 to Sony’s handheld. Oh, so you really want to know how Borderlands 2 is on the PlayStation Vita? Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The short answer is that the Vita version of Borderlands 2 is the weakest version of the lot, by quit a margin. While the PC version still holds up great, and the console versions remain to be no slouches, the Vita version just isn’t there. An ambitious project that’s far beyond the reaches of the handheld’s capabilities it seems.

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Look, it must be said that it’s impressive to get a game the size and scope of Borderlands 2 onto a handheld device. Visually, it has seen a noticeable downgrade but it’s not an ugly game at all. When you finally get over a hill and see a vista waiting for you, you will probably feel impressed that this looks as good as it does on a handheld.

However, a bunch of compromises had to be made in order for it to run. First off, visually, it has been reduced. Things don’t look terrible though as the cell-shaded art-style works rather well regardless. Enemies also don’t remain on the ground after they die. Instead, the explode into a red mess and disappear.

Despite its number of draw-backs, the game still struggles to run consistently most of the time. Unfortunately, the game rarely reaches 30 frames a second and will spend most of the time in the twenties or even teens. This is incredibly disappointing when you realise that this game is all about smooth gameplay. The visuals could take as many hits but it still wouldn’t be as detrimental to the game as frame rate. The developers have stated many times that they will patch the game to improve stability and a consistent frame-rate but until then, it definitely hampers the experience.

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The co-op has also seen a compromise. The game now only supports two-player co-op rather than the four but with other, better versions out there, I’d suggest you just get it on anything else with some friends and enjoy it there.

The game comes with a bunch of extras including two of the four major DLC packs although the best, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep isn’t available. There’s no denying that this package has dozens and dozens of hours content for you to enjoy, if you can look past its performance difficulties.

As I’ve already said, this is definitely the weakest version of Borderlands 2 out there. However, it is still one of the best shooters available on a handheld. If performance can be smoothed out and a decent and consistent frame rate can be achieved, this game may be worth your salt. But for now, it’s just a bit of a let-down.

Borderlands 2 score

Owner of Game-Smack, Jason plays everything that's possible. Goal of Game-Smack: Overhearing a stranger "Game-Smack? I've heard of that. It sucks!"

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