The first two Borderlands titles
took the world by storm with their irreverent humour. But now, it seems
that the franchise needs to go back to the drawing board if it wants to
Blazing guns, crazy characters and a lack of respect for anything
normal may have worked wonders before, but now the game just feels
I started with Athena, a female gladiator whose shield can absorb
plenty of damage before hurling the stored energy back at the baddies.
You can even turn her into a clone of Captain America with her
ricocheting shield, if you invest her skill points in the right places
as you level up.
Then there is Wilhelm the Enforcer, who controls the flying robots
Wolf and Saint. Wolf is designed for combat, unleashing volleys of fire
on enemies while Saint stays back to heal his master.
Nisha the Lawbringer is the ultimate gunslinger. She specialises in
dealing plenty of damage with her guns. And then there is Claptrap, the
lovable robot mascot from the earlier games, but which is now a
playable character with a random special ability ranging from summoning
a mini-turret to aid you in battle to morphing into a robot butcher
with giant knives.
Like before, you can level up your characters and gain skill points
to invest in customisable skill trees. You can make your hero tougher,
or eschew survivability for the ability to deliver more powerful
There are three new trademarks of this latest edition of
Borderlands. Fighting on the oxygen-starved moon adds urgency to your
actions as you race against time on the moon's surface in search of
The reduced gravitational pull on the moon lets you leap higher into
the air and fall back more slowly, so you can enjoy shooting at enemies
while you descend. Then there is the butt-slam. If you can curl up into
a crouching position while airborne, you can wreak some serious damage
when you slam down on any critters below you.
While the Pre-Sequel does offer some nifty mouse and keyboard
"gunzerking" exercise for the fingers, four new characters to play and
cool anti-gravity jumps to master, the whole adventure feels so "been
there, done that".
In fact, I felt tired as I slogged through 12 hours of charmless
slapstick comedy, which kept me from treasure hunting in Destiny.
The garish hand-drawn graphics add some life to the game. But it
feels passe next to new games such as Destiny, Ryse and Shadow Of
Mordor, which make the most of the eye-popping performance of the new
generation of gaming consoles.
It is telling that this Borderlands game neither runs on the Xbox
One nor the PlayStation 4, testament perhaps that the game developers
themselves did not take their own game quite seriously enough.
- $74.90 (Xbox 360, PS3); $59.90 (PC, version tested)