'Borderlands 2' PS Vita Release: Review Scores Rolling In [VIDEO]

By Luke Caulfield , Updated May 14, 2014 04:31 PM EDT
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Gearbox's Borderlands 2 hit the PS Vita in North America today, and from the looks of things, it seems like hundreds of guns on a handheld ain't what it's cracked up to be compared to the console version, making it a real love it or leave it affair. We've collected some of the scores to help you make up your mind on this one. All scores are out of 10.

Presenting Borderlands 2's Most Annoying Gun

PlayStation Lifestyle, 9.5/10 - "The staple cel-shaded graphics of the PS3 title are recreated beautifully on the Vita’s screen. I was consistently impressed and had to remind myself often that I was playing one of my favorite PS3 games on a Vita, it looks that good. There are a few graphical aspects that are toned down for the sake of the portable, such as shorter draw distances and most enemy deaths occurring in a splash of blood while the body just vanishes (no popping the head of a psycho while playing the Vita version), but things like this are extremely small trade offs for how faithful the remainder of the game is to what we know and love...If you own a Vita and haven’t had the opportunity to jump into Borderlands 2 yet, there is no better time than now. If you already own Borderlands 2, you will find that you are honestly paying for the portability, as the game is virtually identical in every way that matters. The ability to cross-save your character data shows just how confident they are in the reinvigoration of the console version in a portable space. Some very minor issues may hold it back if you really want to get nitpicky, but they are only issues when compared directly with its PS3 counterpart. As amazingly as this game was done, not only is Borderlands 2 an excellent portable version of the console game, I would argue that it is simply one of the best games on the Vita to date...Quite simply, there is no other way to play Borderlands 2 on-the-go, and the positives of what it is far outweigh the negatives to me."

IGN, 5.4 - "I can’t help but feel just a little bad for the folks at Iron Galaxy. In many ways, porting the excellent Borderlands 2 to Vita could be considered a fool’s errand of sorts, but they’ve pulled it off as well as anyone could have expected. If that sounds like conditional praise, it’s because it is. The Vita version of Borderlands 2 is remarkably content complete, right down to the two DLC character classes and all the major expansions, but that means very little given how deeply and consistently its technical issues compromise the moment-to-moment gameplay that’s supposed to form the core of the experience...Surely, there will be people who are so hungry to play Borderlands 2 on-the-go, that they’ll be willing to put up with the Vita version’s issues, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Borderlands 2 is a great game, full stop. But very little of what’s made it a blast to play over the last couple of years hasn’t been poisoned by this version’s technical issues. Its compromised visuals rob it of much of its bombastic charm, while its erratic performance and unreliable touch controls keep the gameplay from shining like it has in the past."

Borderlands 2 Is Out In The Vita Slim Bundle- How Much Space Will It Take?

The Escapist, 5 - "Nobody can take away the impressive fact that Borderlands 2 has been ported to the PlayStation Vita with almost zero compromise in the content department. It's remarkable that Iron Galaxy got the entire game onto Sony's handheld system, and that it actually works. It's hard to say that Borderlands 2 is a bad port, because one gets the impression that Iron Galaxy did its very best, and that the PS Vita has been pushed to the limit in order to get as faithful a replication of the shooter-looter sequel as possible. That said, one cannot overlook the fact that, at its very best, the PS Vita version is the very worst Borderlands 2 experience available. Whether this is the fault of the game or the system's limitations is up for debate, but the simple fact remains - every alternative is better than the PS Vita option, despite how undeniably impressive it is...That Borderlands 2 has been squeezed onto the PS Vita with all of its extra content is commendable. That it had to become a far worse game in the process is not. If you don't have access to an Xbox 360, PS3, or decent gaming PC, and you have never seen Borderlands 2 in action, then I can recommend this. If you have another way to experience the game, then you really have no reason to go for this."

Kotaku, No Score - "Borderlands 2 is at its best when four players are engaged in a pitched multiplayer fight against a massive boss. Unfortunately, the Vita version of the game only allows for two-player multiplayer, which is mathematically half as fun. Well… actually, I've had plenty of fun playing two-player Borderlands over the last couple years, but it's still a shame that one of the game's biggest selling points—super fun four-player co-op!—is cut in half...Borderlands 2 on Vita is the worst version of a good game. And I really mean that—the core game is still good, funny, fun. No matter how clunky the controls and watered down the visuals, it's still Borderlands 2 in a lot of respects. But without the smooth bounce of the console/PC version, and without those versions' four-player co-op, the Vita version sacrifices too much. Despite the fact that I was playing it for work, it left me routinely questioning why I was spending time on it when I could just play the game on PC. In this case, portability's not enough."

So there you have it. It's not so much that it's a bad port, but the fact that Borderlands 2 can sometimes amount to a slog-fest certainly doesn't help. It sounds like the only reason to give it a go is if you missed the game when it hit PS3 and Xbox 360 way back when.

For a nice refresher of when the game was all sleek and new, you can check out the game's launch trailer below.

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