Hands-on With Borderlands 2 on PS Vita

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Hands-on With Borderlands 2 on PS Vita

The PlayStation social team recently had a chance to play a build of Borderlands 2 on PS Vita, and as the group’s resident Borderlandophile, I immediately called dibs. What can I say about this game? It’s Borderlands 2 on the Vita!

Controlling Borderlands 2 on PS Vita is a customizable affair: just go into options and remap to your heart’s content. To change a control, tap the action or button (even the abilities assigned to the touch screen or rear touch pad) you want to change, then tap wherever you want the action to be. By default, tapping different areas of Vita’s rear touch pad yield a sprint or a melee attack, while a tap on the front screen tosses a grenade or activates your character-specific ability.

Borderlands 2 on PS Vita

Shoulder buttons L and R still aim and shoot, though I did notice a useful new feature that takes advantage of PS Vita’s built-in gyroscope: when you’re aiming down the sight, moving PS Vita will adjust your aim.

Borderlands 2 on PS VitaBorderlands 2 on PS Vita

Environments and character models are surprisingly detailed, and the game overall runs at a solid clip, generally hovering in the vicinity of 30 frames per second. Slicing dudes up as my main cyborg-man-alien-mystery-assassin-thing Zer0 still makes me feel like a cyborg-man-alien-mystery-assassin-thing.

The gang’s all here, by the way, including DLC characters Gaige the Mechromancer and Krieg the Psycho. In addition to all six vault hunters, Borderlands 2 on Vita includes the campaign packs “Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty” and “Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage”; the Vault Hunter Upgrade pack, and the Collector’s Edition Pack!

Borderlands 2 on PS VitaBorderlands 2 on PS Vita

Borderlands 2 is a blast when you’re flying solo, but the PS Vita version also includes support for two-player online co-op play between two PS Vita owners. We checked in with the SCEA Third Party Production team, who confirmed that while they strived to include four-player co-op in the game, they made a decision late in their development cycle to focus on providing the best two-player-only co-op experience possible. As a result, the maximum co-operative player count for Borderlands 2 on PS Vita is capped at two.

Borderlands 2 on PS Vita

Oh, and good news for anyone who’s played the PS3 version for dozens of hours: you’ll be able to bring your save data from the PS3 version (standard or GOTY editions) of the game to your PS Vita, and vice versa. Just upload your save to the cloud when you are done playing on one device and pull it down when you want to play again. Cross-save, baby!

I’ll admit to being slightly skeptical when I heard Borderlands 2 was coming to PS Vita. It’s a big game! I’m still a bit unsure that making this thing happen was possible by any earthly, mortal means. But hey, I’ll take black magic and alien technology if it means I get to play one of my favorite PS3 games on the go. Put me down for one on May 6th!

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4 Author Replies

  • I’m looking forward to this:
    Are the trophies synced with that of the PS3 version or does go the same way like Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time?
    When will the other DLC not included with the Vita version be made available?
    Can we play our Mp3 music in the game’s background?

  • Thanks for the inside story, looking forward to replaying this on the go and with friends this time around.

    • Justin Massongill

      Anytime! I’m glad cross-save is a thing — I dumped countless hours into the PS3 version.

  • Looks Good! I Can’t Wait Till The 13th!

  • EGAD’s I am a little mouthy frothy for this…..perhaps a bit rabid if you will.

  • Almost forgot, can you asked these guys to include local co-op, you know, use either PS Vita’s Wifi to Wifi or using a local Wifi connection and not requiring to be online to do so, ala monster hunter back on the PSP?

  • Awesome. I’ll be getting my first Vita Tuesday bundled with this game. Time to finish up the PS3 trophies.

  • Co-op is online only? No adhoc?

  • Winscar_Shinobi

    Kinda disappointed that its only 2 player, because it does kill a lot of the fun (I and 3 of my friends got borderlands 2 midnight day 1 and played for about 48 hours, taking short breaks here and there) but if it wasnt gonna work then it wasnt gonna work. Also what #5 said I am also curious about.

    Being able to import and export saves are awesome but how will that work with dlc? Like my zero is level 72. Will the vita say lol cant use him?

    And also <3 Justin. Im a borderlandophile too and favorite zero as my character.

  • Winscar_Shinobi

    Also my borderlands 2 vita bundle is already paid and im just waiting for tuesday.

  • 2 players online co op you guys said? Ok just for that feature alone you just sold 2 copies, i hope we get more online co op vita games in the near future.

  • Photos taking me to a broken Flickr link…

  • Will you be able to enter SHiFT codes on the vita?

  • I need Borderlands 3 for the PS4 so I can play 2 player local co-op and use the vita as a second screen (like Need for Speed Rivals). But I guess BL2 for the Vita will have to keep me occupied until then.

  • Is the DLC going to be cross buy? For instance, I do not own any of the DLC on the PS3 yet, but I have pre-ordered the Vita bundle. With the DLC become available on my PS3 game once I activate it on my Vita? And vise-versa, if I purchase the Tiny Tina DLC on my PS3, will it become available in my Vita version of BL2?

  • Please, please, please consider adding in adhoc multiplayer post release.

  • i was a little bit hurt that it was capped at 2, BUT U KNOW WHAT?????? IT’S BORDERLANDS ON VITA, IT DONT EVEN MATTER, AS LONG AS I CAN PLAY WITH SOMEONE IM A OK WITH IT :)

  • game looks very interesting..although i must say im getting very tired of FPS ..i would seriously like to see some more 3PS on the PS VITA..im patiently waiting for a GTA or SAINTS ROW to come out..or even a new military game..like UNIT 13 that actually has a story and maybe online matches..4 vs 4..something or anything that can make online fun. Back to the topic ..lol ..i will be getting this bundle next month..simply because its a great deal and the slim VITA looks amazing! Keep up the good work SONY!

    PS…stop making 10 models of PHONES AND PCs in ONE YEAR!! and you wont be in such DEBT!! SMFH!!

  • Although this is great and all, im a bit disappointed that I cant play with ps3 players. Was really hoping for that. I think i’ll wait to get this as I have my eyes set on Soul Sacrifice Delta coming out on the same day.
    Looks great though. Great job bringing it to vita.

  • I was hoping for some VITA 4 player local coop at least. I’m cool with it being limited to 2 player online. But this would be a great game to sit around between classes and play with my friends when “studying”. :P If it were possible in the future, any chance we could get 4 player local adhoc support? If it’s a network issue or hardware, just curious to know. Oh…And will this have VITA TV support even though it isn’t officially here? I would import it if it meant some good old Borderlands 2 VITA to “console” cross platform.

    It kind of is Cross play if that is the case…ha…haha…Funny…

  • Hi Tom Gilmore ;)

    Nice article, thanks for the info. I too am wondering whether there will be ad hoc multiplayer…

  • Wish there was a way to bring over my saved games/characters from the PC version! Still, I guess there are worse games to start fresh in.

    That’s really fricken cool about the insane controls customization you can do. Is this the first Vita game to offer such a thing, because I certainly haven’t seen one as customizable as this!

    My only real skepticism, or maybe more appropriately, wariness, stems from my extreme dislike of console shooters – namely that it’s hard to go from the insane precision and accuracy of keyboard & mouse to crappy analog sticks. Still, it’s fricken Borderlands 2, so I may just have to deal with it!

  • In addition, I’d also like to express my extreme disappointment that all the DLC (at least the ones in the Season Pass) are not included, or at the very least Tiny Tina’s DLC. Tiny Tina’s is arguably the best DLC for any game ever made.

  • And ad-hoc??

    This will decide if i buy the game or skip on it

  • my only question is file size. I am just wondering if I want to go digital or physical.

  • Does anyone know how much space you will need for the digital copy of Borderlands 2? I’m thinking about getting the bundle and I would hate for the game to take up the entire 8 GB memory card.

  • Mine is paid for. Just ship it already!

  • Sony, ive been searching the internet and cant find the answer im looking for. Will you please give me a reply back, since im a loyal sony fan. Does borderlands 2 ps vita have ad hoc?? I need to know ASAP. thanks in advance.

  • I don’t think I want this anymore. 2 Player co-op… really isn’t cutting it for me. I’ve paitently waited for this version so I can play 4p co-op with friends. Now we can’t play together unless it’s in pairs. Vita really can’t get any breaks smh

  • @25 (SammyJammy20):

    Vita games have a base cap of 4GB (which is likely why only select DLCs are included instead of all of them). I wish Sony would raise the cap though because it’s severely hindering developers IMO.

  • @nYcFrEeWiLL82: they stopped making a pc (notebook) entirely, so i guess there’s no prob

  • Dragonslayer_023

    Only two player coop? Wasn’t aware of that until now, probably wont be buying unfortunately.

  • Only 2 ppl? I was hoping to play with 4 ppl –‘

  • Oh just 2 player Co-op… That’s disappointing, sounds like I’ll be skipping the title , gotta give the news to my friends now as well

    I was all excited

  • Freedom Wars will be able to play with 8 players, why borderlands can only 2? ¬¬

  • Borderlands Vita = Sillys!

  • You know your still going to buy it sillys! What else are ya going to play on the Vita lolz

  • I got my Vita last week just for this! (I wanted the OLED one) Toss up some video, we wanna see it play!

  • death_nation100

    I preorder it back in april it already so i’m stoke I also bought Persona 4 golden back in january I’m stoke.

  • Wow you lucky I can’t wait to get it on my vita :(

  • can’t play with PS3 players? only 2 player co-op? I even read they gimped the # of mobs in areas… idk, they think the Vita can’t handle it? lol Of course it can…..

    Guess I’m getting the PS3 version after all. My friend already has that anyway.

  • I’m really looking forward to this one and have been holding off on buying it on other platforms. One quibble: it looks like none of the characters or geometry have shadows! This was a pet peeve of mine for Ratchet and Clank FFA. I suppose its less of an issue in first person than in a third-person platform, but I would gladly trade some resolution (this one does look sharp in that respect) for shadows and richer shading. I feel like Uncharted Golden Abyss hit a sweet spot in that respect.

    Can you say whether this was a final build that you played?

  • Wait, if we only have 2 player co-op then you’re saying that we are content locked out of most of the raids. You NEED 4 people to pull those off unless you have an incredibly skilled and well-geared group. Plus, that’s where the fun is! Playing with a group. It was designed and meant to be a 4 player experience. I have no idea what technical limitations they are referring too. I would take performance drops if it meant we could actually have the real Borderlands 2 experience.

    Incredibly disappointed that Sony and Gearbox would falsely advertise this for so long only to pull back the curtain mere days before it is released. Definitely making me wish there was a different vita slim bundle at this point….

  • CrusaderForever

    Thank you for this game! I have been waiting for BL2 on the Vita! I actually stopped playing PS3 BL2 just for this game. Looking forward to transferring my PS3 BL2 saved game over to the Vita and saying hello to Mechromancer! Truly a remarkable feat getting BL2 on the Vita. Congratulations Sony and Iron Galaxy I hope you sell millions, well deserved!

  • Mintblend_44321

    KRIEG THE PSYCHO anywhere and everywhere! This is gonna be so freakin sweet!!!!!

  • Question: Can you comfortably play, and access all the important controls, (by remapping) without having to use any of the touch controls?

    The only way I can play Vita requires me to hold it in a way where my hands are always on the back touch area, so I don’t play games that use that area.

    I don’t hate touching the screen itself, but it’s so strange and unnatural for video gaming that I avoid it whenever possible, since it’s usually just confusing the way games use it.

    I love Borderlands, but I’ll only buy the game if it can be played normally.

  • What if you dont have your PS3 anymore will you still be able to get your save file or progress from the game server ? or do you HAVE to still own the console version cause thats game be a game breaker for me if not :( please let me know

  • Is there ad hoc? Thats the buy or not buy question for me..

  • What’s the word on how it deals with the second Ultimate Vault Hunter Pack, like, are characters capped to 61 on Vita? Or can level 62+ and even Over Power level characters play on Vita? How does it deal with that DLC as well as costume parts from the unported DLC’s?

  • So I’m still gonna have to wait for a digital stand-alone release huh?

  • Bustin’ Justin, thanks for the informative post & the much needed input screen!

    I’m okay w/ 2-player co-op! Remember people, the population has been dialed down cuz the Vita will selfcombust if it mimics the PS3 or the PC original 1:1… Think of our poor hands! Gaming for us will be a memory! ;)

    So- in regards to smaller hoards, having 4-player co-op will imbalance the game & wreck the fps!

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