Published on October 23rd, 2014 | by Erri0
Borderlands: The Pre Sequel Review
Sandwiched between the plot lines of Borderlands and Borderlands 2 lies the adventure of Handsome Jack and four new vault hunters, all of whom were either NPCs or enemies in the previous games. They have been hired as mercenaries by Handsome Jack, who’s gradual journey into bad assery and evilness is followed in the main story line of Borderlands : The Pre Sequel.
I gave each character class a go before deciding on Nisha for my main play through. Nisha’s first appearance was as the Sherriff of Lynchwood in Borderlands 2, a title given to her by her boyfriend Handsome Jack. This relationship is set up in B:TPS via unique dialogue between Nisha and Jack right from the start. Nisha’s primary skill, Showdown, drastically increases gun speed and damage whilst allowing players to cycle through visible enemies. Athena is an assassin who was once employed by the Atlas Corporation, and she was first seen in the Borderlands DLC The Secret Armory of General Knoxx. Athena’s primary skill is a flipping bad ass shield that she throws like Captain America. Wilhelm is a Hyperion engineer who’s skill trees allow him to be increasingly augmented with technology. This nicely wraps into Wilhelm’s portrayal in Borderlands 2, where he is seen as a cybernetic enemy boss. His primary skill deploys two drones: Saint, who defends Wilhelm, and Wolf, who will seek out and attack enemies. Lastly, there is Claptrap… who is just ridiculous. His primary skill gives him a randomised effect depending on the current situation and among these effects are some of the skills seen in previous playable vault hunters. Some of these effects can be incredibly over powered, while others can actually give a negative side effect to players in your party.
It is obvious though that a lot of effort has been put into making playing the game through again rewarding with the different classes. I noticed that each class has different dialogue responses to quests and characters, and them to you. A lot of people are annoyed at poor clap trap, Nisha has a bit of a love interest in Jack (and love rivalry in others), Wilhelm is a tad of a psychopath with not much of a sense of humour, and Athena comes across as the most level headed and also gets the overall narration of the story.
The game is set on the moon of Pandora, Elpis, and the Hyperion Moon Base, Helios. The lack of gravity and oxygen affects game play in areas outside of buildings, making for sweet moon jumps (and yes, it is exactly how 10 year old you imagined it to be). Oxygen levels need to be kept an eye on but is easy to manage with strategically placed air vents.
Having the game developed by 2K Australia rather than big daddy Gearbox clearly shows in quests, dialogue and its voice actors. The moon feels like a mini Australia with appearances of a jolly swagman, bogan cussing shotgun, and most notably in NPC Janey Springs. Janey acts as the players guide for the first part of the game, but at times her okka Australian accent and dialogue was so cliché it was cringe worthy. Crikey! Both the main story line and side quests are littered with references to Australiana, video games, and pop culture in jokes. There are also references to and the past two games that a fan of the series would love and appreciate, but could be lost on a first time player of the Borderlands franchise.
The game graphically looks exactly like Borderlands 2 and game mechanics feel the same as well. Co-op is once again open to four players and amps up the difficulty with each extra player in the party. It is essentially the same as the last two Borderlands – shoot the bad dudes, collect sweet loot, have a laugh at the punny jokes and level up your skill tree to reach ultimate bad assery. There have been reviews saying 2K Australia have played it too safe and have just delivered extended DLC for Borderlands 2. I would have to disagree here. Yes, the storyline is not as long as the previous two games but it still of a decent length, not to mention the large amount of side quests. The addition of the moon mechanics and change of scenery is enough to give the game its own distinct feel without straying too far from the Borderlands formula. This is a game built for Borderlands fans and does not disappoint.
Summary: If you liked the last two games then you will like Borderlands: The Pre Sequel. It delivers more of the same which any Borderlands fan will be happy with! However I wouldn't recommend it as a starting point for someone new to the series due to the timeline jumping between the two previous games and hidden references that new players won't be able to appreciate.