I think borderlands 2 is an improvement. For a start the single player mode actually offers some challenge in game play. Even though the split screen option is there on the PS3, it's a relief to know I can enjoy playing this solo.
There's a touch of darksouls there in that you start to learn the various positions of enemies in certain areas (but after awhile you'll be moving around following the story quests so much that that begins to reduce). Though this fades out latter as you don't cover the same ground as before. It seems a missed opportunity to have a puzzle like landscape you can learn, instead of zipping through new areas and just fumbling your way through instead of finding elegantly profitable paths through them. That'd be another thing that'd be interesting to pick up from dark souls - if you die, have it possible to pick up the money lost somehow. Have it sitting at some further point. Granted when you die the bad guys don't come back in borderlands 2 like they do in dark souls, so the mechanic can't be perfectly replicated without an even larger change being made.
Aesthetics wise, the returning of bandits bugs me - this sort of thing bugs me like clipping graphics bug alot of people. Why do the bandits just keep coming back? I'm gunna write a post about the respawning ecology of borderlands, simply to make my self less tooth grindy, in the next post.