Experiences in Borderlands II

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Experiences in Borderlands II

Post  AKMARK5000 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:43 pm

Experiences in Borderlands II

MATURE CONTENT, CONCEPTS AND LANGUAGE!
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The Borderland Game Series continues in 2012 with Borderlands II.  Despite this cartoony style of the game's environments and characters, the gameplay falls into the FPS genre of games.  

You don't really need to have played the first Borderlands game to have a fun gaming experience with Borderlands II. In fact, maybe skip the first Borderlands and start playing Borderlands II.  There are plenty of game videos and review to catch you up on the backstory details.

"Experiences in" is a series of short impressionistic reviews designed to deliver quick notes and comments about different games with the budget or frugal gamer in mind.  Borderlands II is such a robust game, but I'll keep it short so that you can quickly decide to buy it or skip it.

Image Click STEAM Product Page

Image Click STEAM Product Page

Price: On sale at STEAM, $30 bought the base game bundled with all the major DLCs (expansions, add-ons).  Please keep in mind that there are many other character-specific DLCs available... somewhat confusing.  I recommend purchasing the base game with a Season Pass or the Game of the Year version. (GOTY).  Play the game a little and decide which character you want to play for the long term.  Then sort through the character-specific DLCs and buy the relevant one's to your character.

Storyline: Despite the game's technical relation to other Borderlands games, the Borderlands II storyline is entertaining and intriguing with a solidly thought out plot if you've followed the entire series... if not, no problem, you can catch up through the various wiki's, videos and reviews if you want.

Game Mechanics: If you've played modern first person shooters you'll find Borderlands II handles well. The controls have a nominal learning curve and the keyboard keys can be modified or remapped.  

Weapons and Equipment: Borderlands II is about guns and loot.  Prepare for an information overload experience here. There are loads and loads of them.  You even have special abilities to choose such as super speed or fighting ability.  Guns and ammo both get picked up off dead enemies, bought via vending machines and found in loot boxes scattered throughout the game.  There is also a SHIFT Code system whereby you enter is special codes that are found outside the game (ex. webpages).  These codes are used to unlock special boxes that dispense weaponry.

Graphics: The graphics have a cartoony look... like a comic book style.  But that can be changed.  I'll cover the details in a separate post.  Overall, they are well done with a minimal impact on your computers hardware.  

Game Modes: Unlike many FPS games out in the marketplace, Borderlands The Pre-Sequel is best played with a few friends.  Just like previous games in the series, battling the computer generated enemy AI is the best gaming experience around.  This game has a 4-player COOP mode... no multiplayer mode... only Singleplayer (SP) and Cooperative (COOP) modes.

Requirements: Even the recommended requirements are kind of low in my opinion.

RECOMMENDED: 
OS: Windows XP SP3/Vista/Win 7/Win 8 
Processor: 2.3 GHz Quad Core processor 
Memory: 2048 MB RAM 
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 / ATI Radeon HD 5850 
DirectX: Version 10 
Hard Drive: 20 GB available space 
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0 c Compliant

Note: If you are not familiar with Borderlands 2 (BL2), I've provided a couple links to game guides regarding the game:

==> http://borderlands2.gamepedia.com/Borderlands_2_Wiki
==> http://www.ign.com/wikis/borderlands-2

Let's Modify It !!

The first time trying BL2, I was in no way impressed with the outlandish cartoon style of it.  This leaves me asking myself why I purchased BL2 in the first place... perhaps I got caught up in the promotion last year.  Anyway, this time, I did some online research and modified BL2 to a graphical style that suited me.

Example Original Vanilla Version (click picture to enlarge):


Example Modified Version (click picture to enlarge):


I. SweetFX Modification - I've written about it in previous articles and have applied it to many games:

Installation:  Simply extract the download into the BL2 game folder (where the .exe file is located):

- C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Borderlands 2\Binaries\Win32

Download Custom SweetFX BL2 Modification: ==> ul.to l6acxf6p

II. Cinematic and No Into Tweaks
-These remove the dark outlines that gives BL2 a pronounced cartoon style and disable most of the introduction movies making Borderland appear different and load and start up faster.

Installation:  Simply extract the download into the BL2 game configuration folder:

- C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Borderlands 2\WillowGame\Config

Download Custom BL2 Cinematic No Intro Tweak: ==> ul.to p5x3z30d

Important Note: ... MAKE BACKUPS before applying mods, tweaks, etc etc!  Usually, the tweaks in the download zip are done manually.  In case the above does not work for you, reapply your backups of the original files and then try it the manual way...


Last edited by AKMARK5000 on Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:51 pm; edited 25 times in total (Reason for editing : Update Information)

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Re: Experiences in Borderlands II

Post  AKMARK5000 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:58 pm

Usually, the tweaks in the download zip are done manually. In case the above does not work for you, reapply your backups of the original files and then try it the manual way... here's how to do it yourself...

Manual Cinematic Tweak -This removes the dark outlines that gives BL2 a pronounced cartoon style:

Go to the Borderlands 2 configuration folder:

- C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Borderlands 2\WillowGame\Config

Open the file DefaultEngine.ini ... once your cursor is there, search for the following line:

- DefaultPostProcessName=WillowEngineMaterials.WillowScenePostProcess

Note: to make this easy, invoke a search... CTRL+F and in the "find box" just copy/past the above line.

Once the line is found, replace it with the following:

- DefaultPostProcessName=WillowEngineMaterials.CinematicScenePostProcess

Manual No Intro Tweak
- This tweak safely disables most of the introduction movies:


Disabling the startup movies by editing the DefaultEngine.ini again like in the previous "Cinematic Tweak." The lines to find are found under [FullScreenMovie]:

[FullScreenMovie]
StartupMovies=2K_logo
StartupMovies=Gearbox_logo
StartupMovies=NVidia
StartupMovies=Loading
SkippableMovies=2K_logo
SkippableMovies=Gearbox_logo
SkippableMovies=Attract
SkippableMovies=NVidia
ConfirmSkipMovies=MegaIntro

...and comment out the 'StartupMovies' lines as follows (do not edit anything else):

[FullScreenMovie]
//StartupMovies=2K_logo
//StartupMovies=Gearbox_logo
//StartupMovies=NVidia
//StartupMovies=Loading
SkippableMovies=2K_logo
SkippableMovies=Gearbox_logo
SkippableMovies=Attract
SkippableMovies=NVidia
//ConfirmSkipMovies=MegaIntro

This should cause the game to skip over these startup movies when you start Borderlands 2.

Manual No Launcher Tweak - The BL2 Launcher Splash Screen (play/setup screen) can also be disabled by setting the following launch option within Steam... [ -NoLauncher ] ... without brackets of course.

To change launch options with Steam, do the following;

- Right-click on 'Borderlands 2' under the game Library in Steam and select Properties
-Under the General tab click the 'Set launch options...' button
- Enter the launch options as per above and click OK
- Close the Borderlands 2's 'Properties' window and launch the game

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Re: Experiences in Borderlands II

Post  AKMARK5000 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:53 pm

Purchasing is confusing for any game.  Especially one filled with micro-transactions and multiple downloadable content packages.  Here's a guide to help figure out exactly what is available as far as DLCs.

==> http://www.ign.com/wikis/borderlands-2/DLC

Example, here's the downloadable content add-ons (DLC). Note that I only purchase DLCs that actually add something like levels or whatever, but not the character costumes and not the themed content either.

Season Pass - Oct2013
Captain Scarlett and her Pirate's Booty - Oct2013
Collectors Edition Pack - Oct2013
Collectors Edition - Feb2014
Headhunter 4: Wedding Day Massacre - Feb2014
Mr. Torque's Campaign of Carnage - Oct2013
Première Club - Oct2013
Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt - Oct2013
Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragons Keep - Oct2013
Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack - Oct2013
Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack II - Feb2014

Mechromancer Pack (character specific, but necessary for my character)

Generic Guide: http://www.ign.com/wikis/borderlands-2/DLC

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Re: Experiences in Borderlands II

Post  AKMARK5000 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:13 pm

Here are some Golden Key SHIFT Codes to try. They unlock the gold chest in sanctuary or unlock character skins and heads. Please keep in mind that these Golden Key SHIFT Codes are time-limited!

Code:

Symbol meaning; ★ = Multiple Keys ★★ = Special Items/Gear

★ 10 Gold Keys
PC: C3KJ3-WCZW3-H5TFK-BTB3T-9RKTZ

★ 5 Gold Keys
PC: CBCB3-SW36X-KJXW3-TTT3J-SFBSB

★ 5 Gold Keys
PC: CJKJB-XWBR6-WJXKJ-JB3TB-WTCWX

★★ Spooky Customizations
PC: K3K33-SFH5X-WBX5B-BJB33-Z9J3F

★ 5 Gold Keys
PC: 5TKJJ-5THRC-XZZ3J-33J33-TSZSC

★ 5 Gold Keys
PC: WJCBB-SSFFC-XH93J-BJTBT-Z66ZW

★ 5 Gold Keys
PC: KJKJ3-T396C-RS93J-TJ3BJ-5W3S6

★ 5 Gold Keys
PC: CTC3J-KR9H5-WTZ3T-TJ3TB-6SRRJ

★ 5 Gold Keys
PC: WB53J-KRRXW-5KXCB-STKTT-XC5BR

★ 5 Gold Keys
PC: KJWB3-6RXRC-CKR5B-H3WB3-WZRF5

★ 5 Gold Keys
PC: CJCJ3-B6XXC-CK6WT-HTWTB-5SSW5

★ 3 Gold Keys
PC: KBC3J-95WXF-WBSBT-TTJJB-KTC6K

★ 3 Gold Keys
PC: KB53J-RW5XX-539BT-BJT3J-CC55T

★★ Salvador Class Mod
PC: WJKBB-KXC3J-5BBCR-5X33J-XZ6RZ

★★ Krieg Class Mod
PC: WTCJT-J653B-C3TKF-5X333-F6JRH

★★ Maya Class Mod
PC: WJWJ3-FXC33-KT3CR-KR33J-J9B35

★★ Zer0 Class Mod
PC: CBWJ3-S5CJ3-WTTCF-WX333-9STBF

★★ Axton Class Mod
PC: 5JKBJ-K9WHW-WBZTJ-T3TTB-TW9HR

★★ Gaige Class Mod
PC: W3C3B-5JRZC-WJH33-JBJJB-9S6CJ

★ 5 Golden Keys
PC: K3WJT-BFBRW-S5RTT-TBBB3-9XWZ5

★ 1 Golden Keys
PC: KBWJJ-WTXB9-C59J6-WFBTJ-TK6BJ

★ 3 Gold Keys
PC: W3WJ3-3JXTT-6RW5T-SB53B-XJBX9

★ 1 Golden Keys
PC: WTC3B-Z5ZWC-HW6JT-JJJBJ-9FWXR

★ 5 Golden Keys
PC: K3K33-3W9JT-6XJJT-TB3JB-HWZZF

★★SKINS★★

Axton
PC: KTK3J-FR3JS-ZX55B-B3BJ3-HSRB6

Gaige
PC: 535BB-3R3BZ-HF5K3-JJB33-3BF3J

Zer0
PC: CTKJ3-9CBJS-9R5WT-JBJ3T-WKXKF

Maya
PC: CBCJ3-W5TT9-S65K3-BJJ3B-XHWWC

Krieg
PC: CBKJ3-5FT39-ZRCCT-JTJB3-RFJ5B

Salvador
PC: 5J5TT-RCJBS-ZXWCJ-TJ3BJ-TK3FB

★★Heads★★

Axton
PC: KJKJT-WHBKX-HC9BT-TJBJ3-XJFSJ

Gaige
PC: CBKBJ-6ZJW6-HKH3T-B3T33-F5ZRS

Zer0
PC: CT5BB-XTW5X-9CSBT-3BTTJ-FT5X5

Maya
PC: KTC3T-WTW5F-ZCHB3-BT3B3-XJ9WR

Krieg
PC: CBKBB-ZHJC6-SWHJT-JJ3BB-3CXHS

Salvador
PC: WBCJJ-33KWR-S5Z33-BJTTB-65WJJ

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