11/DEC/13

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Viqor's gameplay for Borderlands 2 (PC)
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Viqor played Borderlands 2

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Viqor said...
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While Borderlands 2 feels like an incremental improvement in many way, one place where the jump feels much more significant is the visuals. The first game had a distinct and attractive art style, no doubt, but it was marred somewhat by low rez textures and limited graphics options, both carryovers from its console roots. This time around, Gearbox has obviously payed much more attention to the PC version in general, and especially in regards to graphics. Improved character models and much sharper textures really make the art style pop, while a greater range of effects only serve to strengthen the production.

However, the real standout if you have a high-end NVidia card is the game's implementation of PhysX. While unfortunately PhysX is limited to visual presentation as long as NVidia restricts hardware acceleration to their own cards, the eye candy it produces is still mighty impressive. Cloth reacts to bullets and bodies and can be torn realistically, liquids flow, and explosions produce tangible debris. The overall effect elevates the presentation and is impressive to the point where it might even sway some potential customers away from AMD's camp and towards an NVidia graphics card.
Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 (PC)

Genre/Style: Shooter/First-Person Shooter
Release Date:
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Something to note with the original Borderlands is that the cell-shaded/sketchy visual style was added in the ninth hour of development - a very wise decision to help set the game apart, but certainly one that was a bit rushed. Most/all rough edges in the art and visuals can be attributed to this decision to change it all mid-stream.

For the sequel, the art direction has been established from day one, and man does it show! :D

And just last night, I was tossing around the idea of dropping an older nvidia card in my 3rd PCIe slot just to use it as a PhysX card! For BL2 obviously, but I'm also planning to replay Mirrors Edge on PC soon, and it also benefits from PhysX
@bendrexl I remember hearing that about the cel-shading in the original game. I think they even showed off the game at some point before the change over.

The PhysX stuff is really worthwhile even if it is just visual panache. There are ways to get PhysX to run off a 2nd slot NVidia card even if you are using AMD for a primary board (although it involves some unofficial driver shenanigans).

You also might want to try just increasing the PhysX setting in Borderlands 2 before installing extra hardware. Unlike Arkham City and most other PhysX enabled games, BL2 allows you to run PhysX on medium or high without an NVidia card, it just runs on your CPU instead. It might end up chugging, but I think it's worth trying at least.
@bendrexl here's some footage from the original game before they added cel-shading. It's kind of amazing just how similar the models look, although without the effect it ends up feeling much more generic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_RUhRPlgZI
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