The Borderlands series returns to desktops and consoles alike to bring you more loot, more leveling up, explosions, firefights, and other things that made the Borderlands franchise popular. But, this time Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel brings players experiences that most of us probably didn’t imagine to see in a Borderlands game. From mid-air combat and double jumping with air jets, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel introduces gameplay never before seen in any of the other Borderlands franchise games or DLCs. While presenting new gameplay and features (and, as always, bringing in a billion gazillion more guns), Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has its ups and downs. Huge fans of the Borderlands franchise will probably love this game and get many hours of play, while at the same time players that did enjoy the other Borderlands games may not find this game nearly as satisfying as the previous two. Unfortunately, there is plenty of repetition and only a few new concepts introduced to the Pre-Sequel. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel leaves me with mixed feelings, as there is without a doubt no lack of content. However, there are a lot of things left to be desired, including poor texturing and rehashed gameplay that’s beyond obnoxious and slightly lazy; there are plenty of things to nitpick with this game. In this review I will try to cover all of the major selling points, pros, and cons for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Many gamers are going to find that what they think of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel comes down to how much they loved the previous two games. And that love for the previous two games will ultimately make or break this third installment to the series.
After putting about 10 solid hours of play into this game, I can say that in this review I will not be covering the story in depth or be giving away too many spoilers beyond what you may see in the trailers. I will mainly, for this review, be focusing on what’s new to the series with this installment and how these new elements affected my gameplay experience for better or worse. Like I said, I’ll also go over the main pros and cons of the game and give a brief explanation to why you may or may not enjoy it, so without further ado let’s jump right into it.
First off, we’ll tackle the gameplay, premise, and pros. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel brings what you would expect of a new Borderlands game to the table. New classes, new abilities, more loot, and of course a million bazillion more guns backed up by a cast of characters with extremely entertaining dialogue in a game that like its predecessor Borderlands 2. It definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously. Why doesn’t it take itself too seriously? Well if you’re asking that question, you must not have played Borderlands 2 or understand what this series has become to itself. The answer though, is a joke. Borderlands will constantly keep you entertained by knowing it’s a video game and having no problem making fun of itself. To put it in prospective for the other Borderlands fans, this game takes place after the first game, but before the first. Gameplay is just as explosive as the previous games, adding vertical combat with the drop in gravity. Fights become hectic and pure insanity when multiple players and enemies are all flying around the air trying to blow each other out of the sky. Tons of new and classic guns have been added to the game, yet this variety seems to produce what seems to be a con (which we’ll get to later). New classes have been introduced along with one of them being Claptrap. Yep, the most obnoxious video game character in my opinion to ever exist is playable…and boy did I play him.
Playing Claptrap has all sorts of little perks, like the sound of a wheel instead of feet running, and probably the most annoying and hilarious dialogue I’ve ever had a playable character say. In addition to space combat, a gazillion guns, and great dialogue there are a few other things that I really enjoyed; scenery design was gorgeous, the actual physics behind the low gravity was consistent and fun in combat. For the first time, characters in Borderlands have been given dialogue in game outside of the occasional cut scene and this game was at the top of its game in recreating the fun of the Borderlands 2 experience, and creating a fun and interesting story.
On to the disappointments: this game was obviously not supposed to be the next “big” Borderlands game, or at least I hope it wasn’t supposed to be. The biggest complaint to be made about the Pre-Sequel is that there isn’t enough new content and/or changed or differently presented content to make it really feel like a new game. The experience, with the exception of the new moon content, feels identical to Borderlands 2. Graphically, I almost cried. It’s been two full years and the graphics (not even in resolution capability) have not improved, and to top it off, some of the texturing is downright lazy. I would love to talk to what I imagine is the “Lava” department at 2K games and Gearbox and ask, “Why at max settings does my lava still look like a shitty JPEG slapped on the ground?” This is a serious question. In addition to that, the only complaint I have is that compared to its predecessors, it seems that loot which spawns never does so properly. I seem to obtain way too many guns I can’t use and never find an upgrade for what I’m carrying. Your best bet for getting great gear is to collect and sell all the crap loot to go buy a good gun off the shelf.
Overall, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is a good game, but depending on your status as a Borderlands fan, has the potential to be a great game. Huge fans of the series will love this game, new comers and semi-fans like myself will find this game lacking and want to call it a $60 DLC for the second game. With this all in mind, the game is extremely fun, but may disappoint if you wanted to see major changes to the series. As far as story goes, fans will love its very new and different direction. My advice, if you’re a huge fan, it’ll be worth the money for the story. But if you’re just a gamer, you may find you want to wait for a sale or hold off to avoid buyers regret, as it doesn’t feel as different and new as I had hoped for.
I give Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel 3.5 “Claptraps” out of 5
By Austin Gragg