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

  • @ boomstickbhg: Theoretically, based on what Justin said, you should be able to map the current four “touch” controls to the D-Pad, then rely solely on the triangle button to switch weapons rather than using the D-Pad for shortcuts. If you’re willing to give up that quick select option, it could probably work.

    @ Justin: So, the article was kind of vague, and no one who has danced around this question has gotten an answer. Does the 2-player co-op situation mean that we won’t be able to play with a PS3 player? I have a few friends I played BL2 with on PS3, but they don’t have Vitas yet, and I don’t think they’re planning to get them either. If this is Vita-to-Vita only play, that’ll make it a lot harder for me to find friends to play with.

  • Two player co-op? That is three pre-orders cancelled right there. Thanks for ruining a great game, and truthfully demonstrating that the Vita is actually incapable of playing PS3-quality games.

  • Do you have any plan on release a bundle with a different game!?

    I am not a fan of BO or any other FPS but I really want the PS VIta!

  • Cross save question: If I had a character build on the PS3 that used weapons exclusive to the two DLC packs not included in BL2 Vita, will the save still work?

  • 1 important question that will decide if I’ll buy it on vita:
    can I somehow copy saves from my PC/Steam version of Borderlands 2 to vita? (I don’t own ps3)

  • This might at some point be a game that I might consider for my PS Vita even though i’m going through the game on PS3. This will spur the platforms sales even more!!!!!

  • wow, this could really save the future of the ps vita! i mean, because of this game, and ONLY JUST because of this game i’m going to buy a ps vita. I hope is going to be great on the ps vita, and as far i know the graphics are well made and are not buggy as hell. But after al,l the vita still is a pretty powerfull game handheld and i would rather like this instead of a wii U, which is the real epic fail of the last few years. So don’t blaim the ps vita for not having enough third-party games, third-party developers just don’t want to make games for the ps vita, that’s just how fair and easy it is…

  • Any word on how large this will be?
    Space is precious but I would prefer the digital download compared to physical.

  • Does the Vita version support three player cross-play with the PS3 version like PlayStation All-Stars? Me and two of my friends have to take turns playing Borderlands 2 on the PS3 because it only supports two player split-screen. If it’s not supported can you please try to patch it in? It’s a big selling point for me.

  • Hello there.

    Sorry if I am late, but Justin Massongill * could u please take this feedback to SONY and all developers working on it and tell them

    * keep improving the game as good or better than what KZM’s team doing :).

    these guys at KillZone mercenaries are doing a great work, and so these should encouraged and keep updating/patching/tinkering with the game nonstop until it reaches best wanted optional.


  • I was afraid some form of “watering down” of the game was gonna happen. It’s a shame, being able to play this with four players on ones vita would of been great. Too good to be true I guess. Gonna pass on it… Got more than enough two player games on the vita right now… And limiting this to two… Doesn’t make me wanna buy it again when I own it for ps3 already. Way to get our hopes up guys.

  • Why no cross play functionality? And only 2-player co-op? I am not amused. This would have been a good buy if it weren’t for those two facts. I want to be able to play 4-player co-op with my family who have the game on PS3. This Vita release is just a huge disappointment to me. :(

  • Looks pretty good. Gonna buy it in release date!

  • Please tell me there is a add-hoc mode whare im currently living we cannot get internet in our house because me and my brother are getting this to play together also how much room dose the game take up do you have to download all the add ons or are they on the card and dose that mean we get those addons free for the ps3 game?

  • When is this coming out?

  • Is there any word if there is going to be a digital release? If so how large is the file? And will it be the same price as the physical version?

  • I’m thinking about getting PS plus membership, but will the PS vita version becomem free like the ps3 version or do I have to buy the full game?

  • Can’t wait to play this. Getting my Son the Vita bundle for his graduation, so we’ll be able to play together once the regular game is released on the 13th.

  • Why not release the game on the same day as the bundle??

    Still buying bundle, but it would be cool for other people who have Vita’s to not have to wait..

    Just a thought, digital could release same day as bundle and retail version on Friday..

  • Im already sold when they announced Borderland 2 on Vita,now im more excited to get my copy!!!

  • unbelievable! how they can fit a huge ps3 game into ps vita!! 1st day 1st day!!!

  • Add me looking for a SKILLED FPS player to 2v2 with add me Odewification

  • “generally hovering in the vicinity of 30 frames”

    Wha? Generally hovering in the vicinity? Ouch. This sounds like the game will have slowdown problems from the get go. Hopefully, the review will sort this out. I know some reviewers were not impressed with the framerate and this article seems to say that the problems were not resolved before release.

  • I wanted to pre order this but I really wanted the white Vita. I already own BL2 for the PS3. I hope we got a ton of new Vita owners!!!

  • So, does Pre-Ordering the Borderlands 2 Bundle Pack give you access the Premiere CLUB?

  • sold my old vita to get this, can’t wait, because I had to wait a week after selling it until this comes out….

  • I’ve seen a few people ask and didn’t see an answer anywhere. Any word on whether or not DLC purchased on PS3 will be available for download on the Vita?

  • Any news if the DLC is on the cart or via download codes? Just picked up two Vitas (one for me, one for the Mrs) in preparation for this game but they came with 4GB memory cards. Obviously we will end up buying larger cards eventually but I’m just wondering if a 4GB card will be large enough to handle a physical copy of Borderlands 2. Thanks :)

  • I got my Ps Vita Bundle. i have PS Plus i have my save data on the cloud and yet i cant use my Character. i am really annoyed since i have been hours trying to get my character into my Ps Vita. i have been looking online to see if there is any help but there is nothing.

  • will you be able to do local co-op with two vita’s? (not via internet, but direct connect to each other?)
    also, can you use a PS3 controller with vita for this game?

  • Enjoying the game on Vita well enough but frustrated that the PS3 cross save patch hasnt come out yet. I bought the Vita slim to get the game early and now I cant carry my game saves over until everyone else can just buy the game also? That’s a bit frustrating. Any word on when the PS3 cross save patch will show up, or if I’ll have to wait until next week? :/

  • Has any one figured out how to upload your character to the vita, it always says I don’t have a character save.

  • Not sure of this has been brought up already but when I get to the title screen it says “unloadable inventory this save data contains items from dlc you do not have or are permitted to use” anyone else come across this? If so what does it mean

  • Just got Borderlands 2 for PSV 2 days ago. How wonderful it is to play this on the go. Have been playing GOTY editions of Borderlands and Borderlands 2 on PS3 for the last 10 months or so every day, trying to complete challenges — taking longer than the game itself. CANNOT wait for Borderlands 3 and Tales from the Borderlands to come out!!!!!! Have a great day and stay safe!

  • Any eta on ad-hoc being added in?

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