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How prevalent is that whole side of it in the overall feel and the details/story?

Well, the guys you're taking it out on seem pretty clearly to be bad guys. I don't get much of the "anti-hero" feel just based on what happens in the opening act. The mask you never really get to see (you never see your character's least, I haven't as of yet), and functionally it make a difference because it's what allows you to zoom.

I'm not usually a fan of this genre (olden times). I'm giving Assassin's Creed a shot as well despite never really having gotten into that series, and it hasn't really sucked me into it (though I really am not far into it yet). This one did, though. The game-play is simply fascinating.

If it's like the first one (which I did play solo all the way through plus two of the DLCs), there's a massive XP difference when on-foot vs. in-car. To me, the cars were there to give you a bail-out or an easy-button when you needed it, but you were going to level up verrrry slowly if you just went around using it for everything.

I dunno if it's just me, but leveling feels super slow even outside of the car. I feel like I've played 20 hours and I'm only level 14. Maybe I'm using the car too much, but I don't think so. I'm using it to get around, and I use it to kill everything I come across when I do. But there are many areas I can't use the car, and many others I don't. It just feels like I get very little experience when walking around and killing things.

The first had the challenges but they were just worth generic XP that would speed your leveling. How's the token-redeeming thing work that makes it functionally different?

This doesn't speed leveling per say. You don't get experience points for killing 25 guys with the vehicle turret, or for collecting 250 white color items, or whatever. You get "Badass Tokens." Then you redeem those tokens. Each token you redeem gives you five random options for increasing your attributes for one of them. For instance, you redeem one token, it will give you the choice to improve your:
- Maximum Health
- Firing Rate
- Shield Recharge Speed
- Melee Damage
- Elemental Effect Chance
You pick which of those five you want improved. Next redemption will have five different ones. Etc.

There are something like 20 attributes which can be improved, and each token you redeem gives you a different set of options to choose from. The first time you improve an attribute, it improves 1.0%, second time 0.7%, then 0.6%, and every one after that 0.5%. You get the tokens fairly quickly, so you can improve your characters quickly by doing so. Apparently these attributes translate across all your characters, such that if you start a new game, your new character will have those same bonuses. Because of that, I'm generally trying to go well-rounded with my token redemption. But because there's tons of attributes, and you get them randomly when you redeem, this is sort of forced on you anyway.

And the first had fast-travel once you fixed the system as part of Act 1 - or does the second change how it works, like it's fast-travel from anywhere rather than having to reach a "station" first?

Well, I hadn't opened the fast-travel station in the first one. I like doing pretty much every side quest before doing the main quest, so I hadn't gotten through much of the main story. I remember I'd killed Sledge, but that's I think as far as I made it in the main quest in the first one. Same thing in the second, I only just rescued the Firehawk in the main quest.

- C -
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