At the beginning of Borderlands 2, you've been left for dead on the godforsaken planet Pandora. Fortunately, Claptrap, the chatty robot from the original Borderlands, comes to your rescue and nurses you back into fighting trim. The bad news: You cannot escape. The good news: There are so many guns lying around Pandora you can dish out way more pain than you can take.
You play as one of four "vault hunters." Salvador, the "Gunzerker," can wield two firearms at once, while Axton, the commando, can deploy turrets. Maya, the siren, has psychic powers, and Zero, the assassin, can become invisible and blindside the enemy. They're all fighting against the charismatic sociopath Handsome Jack, who wants to claim all the riches of Pandora for his Hyperion Corp.
No matter which hero you choose, you'll be able to wield any of the weapons in Borderlands 2, from pistols and sniper rifles to machine guns and bazookas. And you won't just be filling your foes with lead: Certain guns will electrocute them, or set them on fire, or coat them with corrosive goo.
The war against Handsome Jack gives Borderlands 2 a spine the original sorely lacked. It's hardly an original plot, but developer Gearbox Software has laced it with so much morbid humor that it feels completely fresh.
RATING M for Mature
PLOT It's war.
DETAILS Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, $60
BOTTOM LINE Shoot, loot and laugh.