The Pre-Sequel comes out of Pandora’s Gearbox

Jacob Olson

Gearbox Software’s new Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel continues the Borderlands franchise’s great mixture of shooting, looting, and character customization, making for an exciting and hilarious game.

WILHELM, one of the four playable characters in
WILHELM, one of the four playable characters in “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel,” rides on a vehicles called the Stingray in Triton Flats.

This new game serves as an interquel between the original Borderlands (released in 2009) and Borderlands 2 (released in 2012).

Along with the franchise’s trademark wit, humor, and mixture of RPG and FPS gameplay, The Pre-Sequel adds several new mechanics to the game – namely limited oxygen, low gravity, and lasers.

Players have the choice between 4 different characters – Athena, Wilhelm, Nisha, or Claptrap.  Each class has a unique ability and three separate skill trees, allowing players to choose exactly what kind of character they want to play and how they want to play them.

Athena possesses a powerful shield called Kinetic Aspis that she can hold up to absorb incoming damage, and then throw it at the enemies like a disk to do devastating damage.  Wilhelm can summon his two drones, Wolf and Saint, that can give several buffs to Wilhelm and do extra damage to enemies.  Nisha can activate her ability to auto aim targets and gun them down.  Claptrap can activate vaulthunter.exe malware in order to change Claptrap into a random protagonist from Borderlands 2.

Just like the predecessors to this game, recordings of various characters are littered throughout the world and can be listened to in order to get a good laugh and learn more about the lore.

The story takes us away from the game’s planetary setting of Pandora and brings us to its moon Elpis.

It is here that we begin learning more about Jack, the antagonist of Borderlands 2, and his descent into villainy. As players venture through the game, they learn how Jack went from a programmer at the Hyperion corporation (a manufacturing company in the Borderlands universe) to a maniacal villain who aims to rule Pandora under an iron fist.

Right off the bat, lead writer Anthony Burch makes sure that this isn’t a tale of the misunderstood villain.  Jack is still the ego-centric, maniacal character that we fought against in Borderlands 2.

One thing that Gearbox is notorious for within the previous two Borderlands games is the slow pacing of the story and long, tedious wandering. Unfortunately, they did not address this issue in the new game, and there are still times when I’m wondering to myself, “When am I finally going to fight again?”

Gearbox’s Australian team led much of the development. Though I love the change in atmosphere and how everything looks, they could have changed a few things to make the gameplay smoother. Some respawn locations are quite inconvenient, some missions aren’t laid out well, and some platforms seem solid – until you end up falling through them.

Despite all that, the humor and the captivating gameplay throughout Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is enough to carry me through the boring and slow parts of the game and allow me to continue with my journey through Elpis.