When we dream of replaying our favorite traditional games in virtual reality, what are we really envisioning? In the case of Borderlands 2, the beloved looter-shooter from Gearbox, you might imagine looting and shooting with newfound immediacy, flinging yourself headlong back into the vibrant world of Pandora to delight in its distinctive hand-drawn environments first-hand. What you are probably not picturing is an awkward, unwieldy, often defective-seeming port, which reimagines the nimble action classic as a sluggish and clumsy slog for the PSVR.
So much of what made Borderlands 2 great has been stripped out of its VR version that it feels as if it’s been ransacked by Vault Hunters. The most conspicuous absence — and one that changes the experience in a fundamental way — is cooperative play. Borderlands 2 does work in single-player but it was always intended to be enjoyed with up to three friends, yoked together in frantic bouts of madcap chaos. Racing to snag coveted loot before it’s whisked away from under you is an essential component of its popularity, and for many people accustomed to its whirlwind pace, Borderlands VR is bound to seem lonely. It’s the kind of feature whose omission is frankly unforgivable.