Borderlands The Pre-Sequel takes place between Borderlands 1 and 2. We follow four new vault hunters that are called upon by none other than Handsome Jack himself. Jack is paying the Vault Hunters to help him fight off the forces of Colonel T. Zarpedon as she takes over the Hyperion Deathstar… err Station. We slowly watch Handsome Jack descend into madness as he builds an army to overthrow Zarpedon and save the Moon.
What we liked
- Familiar Formula – It’s more of that Borderlands formula that we’ve come to love so much. The amalgam of Diablo and First-Person Shooters with tons of loot drops. If you’re any kind of fan leveling up, collecting items, and completing challenges for badass rank. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has all of that and then some.
- New Hunters – New heroes dive into action with their own combat Nisha the Lawbringer, deals death with two weapons. Wilhelm the Enforcer, brings along the help of his robotic friends Saint and Wolf. Athena the Gladiator, staves off foes with her Captain America shield, and Claptrap – much like his programming – randomly executes programs that can be helpful to the team or grate on their nerves.
- Grindingggggg – In its own little way, Borderlands has finally created a crafting system. Players can exchange 3 guns of a similar rarity and transform it into something new. The payoff is increased by using Moonstones (Formerly Eridium) to increase the chance of a superior weapon with added effects.
- Moon Zooming – The Moon Zoomy is a fun new vehicle made for negotiating the rocky structure of the moon. It can bound high into the air over jumps and slam down on enemies, and it is a lot easier to control than the Moon Buggy.
- Is this a good weapon? – Gear problems still arise in the Borderlands series that I hope will one day be a thing of the past. There are just too many crappy weapons and armor in this game. Even a lot of the purchasable and crafted weapons barely make the grade. I’m not asking for the mother lode of all weapons every time something drops, but can it at least be accurate and take less than 5 seconds to reload?
- Vault Hunter Voices – I’m glad that the Vault Hunters are no longer silent, but their dialogue outside of the Echo’s just sounds terrible. Wilhelm is the worst offender as he’s supposed to be a joke character that randomly talks trash. He instead sounds completely bored in every joke line he delivers.
- Low-Gravity – I like the idea of low-gravity and in some ways it works wonders in The Pre-Sequel. Its fine for flying around and shooting enemies out of the air, but it can be a pain for all the platforming in game. It feels like you have less freedom to just float around doing tricks and escaping enemies. Narrowly missing edges due to a lack of boost, or slamming into invisible walls gets old really quickly. I feel like it would fared better by allowing some sort of ledge grab animation, I mean they already do it with the ladders in the game.
What we didn’t like
- Story Lacks Character – The Pre-Sequel is not nearly as humorous as Borderlands 2 was, not even in the slightest. The tone is toned down significantly in comparison to the previous games, and a lot of the vulgar humor that is a staple of the series has been censored. Instead, we listen to heaps of dry dialogue that’s trying too hard to dance around its PG script.
- You’re a boss? – Boring boss fights involving platforming enemies, or idiots that stand there and take shots to the face like they ordered them up at a bar.
- Stop and Go – PS3 version showcases some muddy visuals and experiences choppy frame-rate in large areas when the battle gets hectic.
- Moon people are boring – Except for many of the original cast, the newer NPC’s just don’t have the same essence as Borderlands 2. Springs is probably the exception to the rule, but everyone else and that includes the villains aren’t that interesting. That’s not to say that they are awful, but all too quickly I began to ignore them and focus on heading to the quests.
- Oxygen Failure – Oz-Kits are cool and all, but the need to find oxygen all over the place gets old really quickly. You can do a small amount of boost jumps before you have to scramble to an oxygen vent. It probably sounded nice in the development room, but it can be a real pain for getting around. I can see them thinking this was a way to make the game more strategic, but in its current form – it’s annoying. Trying to do some of the tricky platforming bits can often reveal a torturous design.
- The Nightmare before Moon Zoomy – Terrible driving mechanics with the Moon Buggy and a craggy moon planet will give most first-time players nightmares.
I found myself enjoying yet another Borderlands despite a few setbacks. When you’re playing with friends and scavenging for levels and loot – the fun feels endless. It’s those moments when you’re not distracted by another player that you see all the flaws and lack of advancement. Geek Citadel gives Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel 3 stars out of 5. It’s good to have another Borderlands to play, but not enough has changed to warrant paying full price for what looks like an expansion pack.