Print Edition: October 22, 2014
“Execute plan shoot-that-chick-in-the-head!” is one of the fantastic phrases Handsome Jack yells out during the early chapters of Borderlands: the Pre-sequel. This latest installment to the Borderlands series continues on the the moon of Pandora, in a prequel to the second game, or sequel to the first game, depending on which way you look at it. This edition pairs you with the previously villainous foe, Handsome Jack. Aside from a humourously sadistic story that will probably unfold with gratuitous amounts of betrayal, killing, and dismemberment, it also has some great new features.
The first, and most ridiculous, is the ability to play as Claptrap the robot. Although it seems like a bad idea, Claptrap turns out to be a fun addition — in a Borderlands way. One of Claptrap’s first skills activates a random special that may or may not work in your team’s favour. These attacks range from Claptrap becoming a wizard, to forcing every player to unload their guns against their own will. There are more characters to choose from, but who cares! You can be Claptrap!
Next is the need of oxygen and the lack of gravity. At first I found the constant struggle to find oxygen annoying, but it definitely adds a sense of urgency to the gameplay. The low gravity, however, is not a favourite at all. Sure, the lack of gravity in this game provides an interesting way of getting across larger gaps and craters, but it also messes with your sense of motion while trying to complete the simplest tasks. Even though I don’t enjoy this aspect of the game, it adds realism — the game is set on a moon, and gravity would be messing with your crap all day.
Another brand new feature, and definitely my favourite, is the gun grinder. It grinds guns. So, if I take three guns of equal rarity and put them in the grinder, a new (possibly better, possibly worse) gun will come out!
But how different is Borderlands: The Pre-sequel from Borderlands 2? It is, without a single bit of under- or overstatement, the exact same game. The start menus are the same, the gameplay and graphics are the same. It still has slot machines, terrible one-liners, bad puns, and an unrealistic amount of weapons to choose from. It is more of an advanced expansion rather than a brand new game — which was disappointing for a moment. I stopped myself while playing and thought, “This is the exact same. What the junk?” Then I came to the realization that I loved Borderlands 2. What should change about it? That being said, do not expect anything revolutionary from this game or you will be sorely disappointed.
Overall, I find this game to be just as enjoyable as the previous installments of the franchise. It has a few new options, an exciting storyline, and has stayed true to its origins. If you liked the first two games, you will enjoy this part of the trilogy. Borderlands: The Pre-sequel offers an attitude-driven, grotesque, post-apocalyptic continuation of an already fantastic series.