Borderlands 2

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Borderlands 2 Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Co-op, sci-fi 1st-person shooter rains blood and body parts.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 32 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 77 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Borderlands 2 wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive Messages

Borderlands 2 is an action game based on a fictional universe. It's a first-person shooter that doesn't have any positive messages for its players -- it's just pure, unadulterated and visceral entertainment for mature players.


Positive Role Models

You play as a character named Salvador (a "Gunzerker), a mysterious fighter with deadly skills that allow him to wield two weapons to inflict a lot of damage on the planet Pandora. You don't learn much about this character, his background, or motivations but killing many thousands of creatures doesn't translate to a good role model.

Ease of Play

Even if you never played Borderlands 2, fans of first-person shooters should find this game fairly easy to pick up and play. Played on the Xbox 360 for this review, the controls were similar to other games, such as analog sticks for movement and camera, triggers to fire, and so on.


Borderlands 2 features a lot of intense violence -- mainly with machine guns, sniper rifles, flamethrowers, and explosives -- and shows graphic depiction of blood and gore. During the gameplay you can cause enemies to explode into chunky bits, dismember or behead them, while cinematic cutscenes also show deadly acts of violence. Mostly human-like bandits and wild creatures, enemies scream out in pain.





The game has some sexual references, including dialogue that contains lines about your "bone," "getting to second base" and a reference to "incest." Players can also collect adult magazines during the game but they do not depict nudity.


The game contains some strong language including the words "s--t," "p--sy" and "a--hole." Some words are bleeped out, such as "God-[bleep]-ing-dammit." Borderlands 2 can also be played online, with profanity often heard in a multiplayer game.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

In one mission, players consume alcohol in a bar, but it's not excessive.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Borderlands 2 is rated "Mature" because it's extremely violent, bloody, and gory. You can kill thousands of enemies, by shooting them, blowing them up, and using a flamethrower. Gamers will see "gibbed" body parts fly onto the ground. The game has sexual references, alcohol consumption, and profanity.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 15-year-old Written byLAXDad October 3, 2012

OK for mature 12+, too much of a joke to be taken seriously.

In all fairness, it's a violent game. Not as violent as games like 'Call Of Duty'
and 'Battlefield 3' but it's got a lot of shoot... Continue reading
Parent of a 7, 9, and 13-year-old Written byCaringGameReviews February 15, 2013

Not as bad as you may think

My 13 year old wanted this game a lot. We went to Best Buy and I saw the cover of the game, I said no right away. After watching YouTube videos of this game, I... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byMcSleezy December 17, 2018

The Best Game Ever Released

In My Opinion, I Really Love This Game. It Has So Many Guns In The Game, So Many Missions/Side-Quests, Cool And Funny Characters Throughout The Game, And Really... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byMannyReviews November 7, 2020

So you wanna hear a story?!

A great game with a mischevious and funny storyline, and plenty of potty humor for little kids. This game is ok for the most part, there is some violence that c... Continue reading

What's it about?

Ushering in a \"new era of shoot and loot,\" BORDERLNDS 2 is an over-the-top first-person shooter that drops players on the planet Pandora to fend for themselves against deadly bandits and alien creatures in a go-anywhere \"open world.\" As with its predecessor, the game has you take on many missions and challenges while firing at enemies and looting corpses for better gear. Borderland 2's key differentiator -- along with its unique art style -- is the cooperative nature of the game; up to four players can band together and take down enemies with multiple weapons -- and eventually defeat the notorious Handsome Jack and his corrupt corporation. Taking place five years after the original tale, Borderlands 2 also adds a role-playing element with various upgrades (namely, skills) that adds to the game's replayability.

Is it any good?

Borderlands 2 is a good game, especially if you liked Borderlands. Along with the fast and frenetic gameplay, unique visuals, and multiple modes (drop-in/drop-out, side-by-side, or online co-op (a must!)), this sequel offers many more missions and challenges than its predecessor, exceptional writing, and memorable characters and enemies. Looting baddies gives you better weapons and other bonus items and rewards. This world is generally more enticing to fight in compared to the previous game. There isn't much to complain about with Borderlands 2, except for the odd graphical or audio glitch, but it hardly detracts from the overall experience. Fans of mature first-person shooters will no doubt enjoy running and gunning through this wild adventure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it was necessary for Gearbox, the game's developer, to make the content mature enough to get a 17+ age rating. Wouldn't the game be as fun without all the carnage, strong language, and sexual references? Or does that add to the appeal? Wouldn't more copies sell if it were rated "Teen"?

  • What is the impact of media violence?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love games with fast action

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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