New installment “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!” a humorous addition
By Nicole Wallack
Nov 4, 2014
“Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!” follows closely in its predecessors’ footsteps in many ways. It is instantly recognizable as a “Borderlands” game from the art direction, to the role-playing game (RPG) aspects, to the loot system, to the typical four playable characters of different classes. However, “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!” does set itself apart from the other two “Borderlands” games by being more playful and humorous.
The “Borderlands” series cannot be said to take itself particularly seriously. Even from its name and exclamation point, it is evident that “The Pre-Sequel!” plays off of its known penchant for the lighthearted. The events in the game occur after the first “Borderlands” game and before “Borderlands 2.”
The first “Borderlands” game chronicles the adventures of four “vault hunters” on Pandora. Pandora is a colonized planet at the end of the galaxy. After the realization that Pandora had vast amounts of mineral resources, the planet became a hotbed of criminal activity as people were exploited to become miners.
The only way out of a life of oppression seemed to be to look for vaults of alien technology. Those who decided to be this sort of renegade treasure hunter were deemed “vault hunters.” It is as these vault hunters that you play as in the first “Borderlands” game. There are four playable characters in this game, each of a different class with different upgrades.
“The Pre-Sequel!” opens on three vault hunters, Lilith, Brick, and Mordecai, interrogating a captured playable vault hunter from “The Pre-Sequel!,” Athena. Athena tells the story of how she was hired by Handsome Jack to be a vault hunter. The game then allows you to play through Athena’s flashback as one of the four playable characters in the game (Athena, Wilhelm, Nisha, and Claptrap) and is the first interaction that you have with the villain from “Borderlands 2,” Handsome Jack. Athena was present in the downloadable content in “Borderlands,” Nisha was the sheriff in a town in “Borderlands 2,” Wilhelm was a boss in “Borderlands 2,” and Claptrap was the last remaining robot of his kind and a major character in “Borderlands 2.”
“Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!” also gives backstory to the infamous “Borderlands 2” villain Handsome Jack. In “Borderlands 2,” Jack is the head of the Hyperion Corporation and self-declared leader of Pandora. In “The Pre-Sequel!” however, he has a much more lowly position as a Hyperion programmer. The murderous, crazed villain from the second game seems nowhere to be found in the timid and helpless Jack that we are introduced to in “The Pre-Sequel!”
Aside from the plethora of references that are sure to delight longtime fans of the “Borderlands” series, “The Pre-Sequel!” proves to be an enjoyable game on its own. The dialogue is clever and witty in classic “Borderlands” style.
The actual game takes place on Pandora’s moon, making the environment have low gravity. Thus, jumping is more exaggerated and overall less restricting. That’s what the theme of the game seems to be, less restricting and more absurd. This in no way detracts from the game. On the contrary, it makes the game more unique and overall more fun to play.
A veteran of the series, University at Albany junior Katerina Weikel said that, “Ever since I’ve gotten into the ‘Borderlands’ series, I’ve loved them all and ‘The Pre-Sequel!’ just blows my mind away. It’s got all of the awesomeness of ‘Borderlands,’ but on the moon.”
In fact, “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!” has been met with generally favorable reviews from critics, with IGN giving it an eight out of 10 and GameSpot giving it a seven out of 10. Fans of the “Borderlands” series have also seemed to respond favorably to the game.
UAlbany junior Sean Collier said, “It was such a fun game right from the start, everything I loved about the old games was there and more. There’s more cut scenes, more loot, and best of all, there was more Handsome Jack.”