Developed by:2K Australia/Gearbox Software Published by:2K Games Genre(s):
  • FPS
  • Platform:
  • Microsoft
  • PC
  • Sony
  • Cost:$59.99 ESRB Rating:TEEN Players:1-2 (2-4 Online) Release date:October 14, 2014 Reviewed on:PC

    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

    Vault hunters rejoice as a new Borderlands is upon us! With a new “world” to explore, weapon types and game changing mechanics to utilize, we’re looking at some serious FPS action. So dust off your guns and distribute your skill points, we got more bandits to shoot…

    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel picks up directly after the events of the second game. Athena, the Atlas Corp assassin, has been captured by Lilith, Brick and Mordecai (who’re still healing from their most recent battle with Jack). In an attempt to find out why Athena was working for Handsome Jack, they interrogate her. This results in a flashback to the events prior to Borderlands 2; Athena narrates the happenings leading up to her capture, starting right after the death of General Knoxx. As she progresses through the story, gamers will learn how things came to be, peppered by Jack’s decent into madness.

    While the story of Handsome Jack’s rise to glory is interesting, what gamers are really stoked for is the gameplay. The good news for us is that the Pre-Sequel brings in a handful of new elements to the series. Of course, there are always new vehicles and guns – the things we’ve come to expect from expansions – but this time they are accompanied by new mechanics as well. For one, instead of taking place on Pandora, the action has been moved to its moon (Elpis). Because of this change in environment gamers will have to take certain things into consideration when looting and shooting. Elpis, being a moon and all, has low gravity. There’s also a severe lack of oxygen which makes OZ kits a necessary piece of equipment to have when out and about. Combined, they can alter your movement; the low gravity allows for long jumps while the oxygen stored in the kits can be used to float/boost you around. The OZ kit also allows you rapidly drop back to the ground by crouching while in the air. This can be very useful for those times when an enemy launches you into the sky or when you just need to quickly change your trajectory.

    Using the OZ kits makes traveling on foot more interesting. Not only that, it can used to fight off enemies. If you go jump high enough before hitting crouch, you’ll slam back to the ground and release a shock wave that will damage enemies under you. However you choose to use your oxygen, you have to remember you’re doing just that. Though it depletes over time, boosting around will burn through your air and once that’s gone you’ll start to take damage. There are o2 stations throughout Elpis that create breathable environments within small areas. Standing in them will refill your reserves, giving you a chance to catch your breath.

    People don’t play Borderlands just to get from point A to B. They want to shoot things. Thankfully there are new gun types to play around with. Take the cryo gun for instance. Cryo guns will slowly freeze enemies in their tracks; it’s great for fast moving, hard to hit foes. Once frozen, delivering a hard enough attack will shatter them into pieces. There are also new laser weapons that can cause enemies to catch fire in oxygen filled areas. They come in the rifle and beam category (think Ghostbusters) and are my favorite addition to the arsenal. With the new weapons and different effects in breathable and non-breathable atmosphere, you really have to think about your strategy. Not in a tactical or planned type of way. More like a “hey, we’re in an o2 filled bubble, let me cook these clowns” type of way.

    Another area that saw some improvements was the vehicles. For the first time you have an option to have four of the new vehicles out at the same time. The Stingray, a sort of hover bike, made driving quite a bit more enjoyable for me. In place of the boost used in older vehicles is a jump ability, which when used properly could send you over large gaps and some buildings. Beyond the few new elements presented here though, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is more of the same. And that’s ok. Completing the story is only the tip of the iceberg. After the final boss there are some special quests that open up. Also, when you’ve had your fill with the first play-through you can move to the more difficult or true vault hunter mode, offering up new dialog from fan favorites like Tiny Tina. This new “script” helps to keep the second play-through fresh and is almost guaranteed to make you laugh (which is good because there isn’t as much content as previous games in the series). The voice acting is of the standard we’re used to and the music doesn’t disappoint – I dig the futuristic sci-fi sounds that complements the atmosphere.

    The characters you play as aren’t that different from the previous hunters, sans a few cool special abilities. Claptrap’s special skill seems to have random effects each time you activate it (leading to hilarious encounters) and Athena has a shield that soaks up damage before being unleased back at enemies. Wilhelm deploys two helper bots – one that heals and another that deals damage – while Nisha increases her gun speed and damage, quickly targeting multiple enemies to be dispatched. Other than that, you’ll go through similar skill trees and unlock similar abilities. Again, it’s a lot of the same thing we’ve been playing for years, just a little better. I don’t have a problem with that. I did have some issues with the game during my first playthrough though. Namely a few bugs, one of which wouldn’t let me drop my shield as Athena; the game wouldn’t let me go down because she was absorbing all of the incoming damage. Another made it impossible to run. My character would look like they were running but didn’t actually move any faster than walking speed. While these things didn’t ruin the game (the shield bug actually helped out a lot), they’re worth nothing.

    All and all, this is another Borderlands game. If you played the first two games and didn’t find them entertaining, chances are you won’t like The Pre-Sequel either. It’s still full of references to pop culture, dark comedy, over-the-top shooting, and looting – fans of the series will know what they are getting into and like it. New comers will definitely enjoy the crazy humor, interesting story and wild shootouts. If you can’t get enough of the world of Borderlands this should provide you with hours of fun!



    Although there are a handful of new features and cool mechanics, the Pre-Sequel is more of the same. Still, it’s darn fun!



    There are some minor graphical upgrades but nothing to write home about.



    The voice acting is always top notch and will definitely keep you entertained. The futuristic sci-fi music is a nice change as it lends itself to the new setting.

    Replay Value:


    In classic Borderlands fashion you are encouraged to complete more than one playthrough. The hunt for loot should keep you going until the upcoming DLC packs are released.

    Final Score:


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