To The Moon and Back: Borderlands The Pre-Sequel
Well I guess it’s finally time to end my self-imposed exile from the internet, and what better way to do so than with a head first dive back into something that is near and dear to my non-beating heart. I am almost positive that you all know of my love for Borderlands, and just a few days ago, we got the latest installment in the psycho murdering, bandit decapitating and loot gathering franchise that has captured me beyond what most games do. There’s just something about it.
I intended to do a straight up review of said game, however, I felt like it would be a dishonorable move considering how my previous Borderlands article went, and figured since you guys liked that one so much, I would stick to the same formula. This will be a review, but it will also be a look into our newest set of Vault Hunters…..or shall we now call them Jack’s Hunters? No…..because it’s so much more than that.
Borderlands The Pre-sequel takes place in between Borderlands 1 and 2, and fills us in on how Handsome Jack comes to be….Handsome Jack, or the asshole of Pandora if you will. The weird thing is….Jack is actually somewhat likeable in this game. Say what you will about his first appearance, but he’s actually trying to be the good guy here, but shit keeps getting in the way, as it is wont to do. Let me get this out of the way real quick, I love Handsome Jack. Even in Borderlands 2, I had absolutely no problem with him. I thought he was a very charismatic villain and brought a fuck load of pinache and style to the whole thing. I never truly hated him….until the end when we find out what he’s been doing to his daughter ( its not dirty you perverts.)
Taking place on the moon Elpis, Borderlands the Pre-Sequel jam packs a host of new features to the players, mostly in the form of low gravity fights and goddamn butt slams. I fucking love it. I originally thought that the lower gravity and lack of oxygen would be a pain in the ass, but it never feels forced or thrown at you in a way that will be annoying. Yes, you are going to run out of air, and yes you can die, but there are liberal amounts of oxygen vents and canisters to keep you alive. You will never be hard pressed to survive, unless you play the way that I do and run into every battle screaming and shotgunning everything in goddamn sight. I like the Conan approach.
The loot once again brings itself to the foreground, and you are going to be constantly running into new guns, shields, and everything else you will need to survive on Elpis. If there is one thing that I can say about the loot system in this game compared to the others, it definitely feels as if they give you just enough time to enjoy each new gun you find before getting a new one. I like that. I can’t tell you how annoying it is to constantly have to open up your inventory to see what is best or what will be the most effective. Everything murders quite well, and you will not be disappointed. You will never be short on things to kaboom people to death with. Everything feels smooth and crisp in terms of graphics and gameplay, however, I would have liked it if they had a few more fast travel stations. You are going to be doing a lot of running around, and sometimes it can get a bit tedious. Sometimes you’ll be running around and seeing nothing but landscape, but that usually ends quick when you cross by some enemies. Which by the way, some of the enemies definitely feel as if they are just reskinned from the other games. I am not necessarily opposed to that, but they could have at least given us a bit more in terms of opposition.
Now that we got the general gameplay out of the way, let’s get to what you guys really want….The fucking Vault Hunters! Like last time, I will give you all a brief glimpse into our newest murder machines, and as a bonus, I will provide a track that I feel is appropriate to each Hunter…..because I know you love it.
Wilhelm is the first of our newest Vault Hunters, and my personal favorite. We have met him before in Borderlands 2, but now we get to see and play as he goes from human to mostly cyborg. Depending on what skill tree you choose, you can actually see him becoming more metal than man before your eyes, which is something I have absolutely no problem with. Using some drones as back up, Wilhelm is our gun blazing soldier who is efficient with almost anything you put into his hands……except dicks….he doesn’t seem the type to like holding those for extended periods of time. Wilhelm is essentially the Brick of this crew, and he actually says he likes Brick during a cut scene, and it definitely prompted a chuckle from me. If I had to pick a track that would be perfect for him, it would “ A Rusty Glove” by Horse The Band. Go ahead and listen and tell me I’m wrong. You can’t….because you are now captivated.
Athena is our resident Gladiator and as her name and style suggests, she is very proficient with a sword and shield. She is essentially Wonder Woman, but a lot more violent. Slicing and skewering everything in sight, she adds a more close up and stealthy approach to murdering on Elpis. I was originally debating on choosing either her or Wilhelm as my first character, but chose Wilhelm due to the previous paragraph. Athena is also the core narrator of our story. I won’t tell you why or how, as that would ruin the fun, but trust me when I say she ties in quite nicely to the overall story and because of her, we get to visit some old friends. Athena has only one track in my mind that plays when she is on screen, and that is “Valkyries Ride” by Amon Amarth. She is almost a Valkyrie, or Fury if we’re going that route, but her demeanor and attitude definitely make her the type to carry dead souls off the battlefield….even if she put them there herself.
Nisha is our Sherriff incarnate. Like Wilhelm, we originally met her in the previous game, but she gets way more screen time this go around. Wielding pistols and generally bringing the law down on those unfortunate to cross her path, Nisha will put a bullet in your brain before you even realize it happened. With a smile on her face, she dishes out dual fisted justice directly into your face. I love her. Nisha is close to the personality she had in Borderlands 2, but she is much more fleshed out and important this time around. For her track, I could only think of one thing…” Your Treachery Will Die With You” by Dying Fetus. Just listen to that and tell me I’m wrong. You can’t and you won’t. Her acceptance of Jack and her slightly twisted sense of justice plays well to this track.
Do I really have to give you guys any sort of backstory on ClapTrap? The goddamn guy has been with us since day 1, and now we actually get to play as him. ClapTrap is vastly different than the other hunters in terms of gameplay, mainly because of his erratic style. His special moves vary depending on the situation, and his sheer comedic value outshines most of the other hunters. I actually wracked my brain pretty hard trying to come up with a track for him, and after entirely too much time surfing through my mental database and trying to find something appropriate, I was hit with a vision. Maybe ClapTrap’s comedy, erratic behavior and penchant for partying comes from a malfunction in which he has to do these things….or die? With that in mind, I chose the LMFAO parody from Key and Peele titled “ Party Don’t Stop.” Just listen to that and tell me that this must be the only thing running through ClapTraps curcuits….it’s borderline horrifying, yet highly amusing. You have to feel bad for the guy….but not too bad.
Well there you have it. You cannot tell me that I don’t give you guys what you want. You must also pardon me as I have been out of the game for a couple weeks and am just a tad rusty. Between playing the game and a host of other things (keeping up with all of my fall shows) my brain has been stretched to the limit. But I do this for you guys, and for you all I will keep coming back. See you all next time Hunters!! Now go get that fucking loot!!!
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