Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Aaron Bui ’15

The vast lands of Pandora do not appear in Gearbox Software’s new game, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, developed by 2K Australia, but instead it takes you to the Australian-influenced moon of Pandora, Elpis, and the Hyperion Corporation’s giant space station, Helios. As the name of the game suggests, the story takes place in between the first and second Borderlands games, revolving around the origin story of the beloved villain from Borderlands 2, Handsome Jack. Four new playable character classes are available and actually tie into the story from the previous games. Nisha the Lawbringer is your run and gun character, clearing out rooms with her aimbot skill which allows her to hit criticals on her enemies. Athena the Gladiator is your team medic and tank as she absorbs damage with her Aspis shield. Wilhelm the Enforcer deploys two drones, Wolf and Saint, to deal damage and heal himself, respectively. Finally, Claptrap the Fragtrap makes his ever so annoying return to the series with his randomly generated action skill, which can turn him into a Gunzerker or deploy a disco ball that shoots lasers. All of these characters actually talk more and contribute to the dialogue of the story, seeing as they all come from a previous Borderlands game.

Like its predecessors, the game focuses on “shoot and loot” with tons of combinations of guns, especially with the new edition of the laser-type weapons. I do find it annoying though that I have to check a gun’s stats to see which gun is better every time I take down a boss. The addition of the laser weapons adds a fun little addition to the game, though makes the game a bit easier with their pinpoint accuracy. A new element has been added to the game to replace the slag weapons from Borderlands 2, cryogenic, which pretty much allows you to freeze enemies. Players now have to watch their oxygen levels as they travel across the moon and the space station, as their oxygen depletes with their O2 kits (pronounced “Oz kits”). Players can double jump and slam at the cost of oxygen, but fortunately, oxygen is never a hassle but does limit what you can do. Even with this added content, the boss fights never feel grand or intriguing, even the final boss. I am rather disappointed with that, but I hope the DLC has better content (oh and just saying, buying the season pass grants you access to all DLC, including the four-planned DLC and any future content afterwards).

All-in-all, the game is more geared towards Borderlands fans, so I suggest you play at least Borderlands 2 before getting into the game as there are some cameos that are referenced to the previous games. I enjoyed my playthrough of the game a lot, even with some of the faults that I stated. I still recommend you to play Borderlands 2 before this one so you can get the full pleasure of the inside jokes in the story. The laser weapons and cryogenic element adds a bit more flavor to the Borderlands gun looting, but the gun play is largely similar to previous titles. The double jumps and slams do add a different type of gameplay, so I appraise the developers with their take on the moon, even though it’s clearly influenced by the dev team’s origins. The game is a solid entry into the series, with a few faults and repetitive features (which I do enjoy), so have fun!