You might be saying to yourself, “wait, this isn’t a trailer,” and you’re right. But given my love for the Borderlands series, I wanted to hop on this as soon as I could. So, yeah. A new Borderlands game.
…This is hard for me to get into because feel like I should be excited for this—a new game so soon and with world-expanding elements? It sounds so perfect, like everything I ever wanted. I’m just not excited, though. The only feelings I can muster are ones of acceptance and moderate disapproval—not feelings I want to associate with this series. Looking at the consensus of the fandom, I hate to say it, but I’m far from alone in feeling this way.
Officially called the pre-sequel (it fits in right before Borderlands 2), the game seeks to explore big bad Handsome Jack’s rise to power and, I assume, the people he used to get there. Keeping with the choice of four available player characters, our roster this time consists of a less robotized Wilhelm (one of the most annoying bosses to grind off of in BL2), a well-equipped claptrap named Fragtap, Nisha who’s better known as the Sheriff of Lynchwood, and ex-Atlas assassin, Athena. I love claptrap and the two ladies, and Wilhelm can come too because why not, so I’m looking forward to seeing how they all got there. I’m especially interested in the women, though, and not just because my dream of more than one playable female character in a Borderlands game has come true. As the sheriff, Nisha is cruel and relentless in her desire to cause suffering and maintain order, but here she’s simply known as the lawbringer. I’m interested in seeing if her relationship with Handsome Jack is what causes her to be so merciless in the future, or if she was always that way. I left BL2 wanting more of her and, well, now I’m getting my wish.
Athena, on the other hand: what the fuck is she doing here? While the other three characters could easily be duped into helping Handsome Jack, Athena knows the original vault hunters from the General Knoxx DLC. She wouldn’t fall for Jack’s bullshit about ‘saving Pandora’, even if he was slightly convincing. Plus, why is her class a tank class now when she was an assassin before (at least, I don’t associate ‘the gladiator’ with an assassin playstyle)? I could be blowing smoke out my ass, and this could be a completely different Athena, but it feels like 2K Games completely forgot about her character. Although they do have me wanting to play just so I can find out what’s up with her—touché, 2K.
No matter how interesting the characters are, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m just tired of Handsome Jack. So tired. I know, I never thought I’d say it either, but with one DLC from BL2 dealing with his lingering influence on Pandora, a game full of ECHO recordings giving his life story, and Tales from the Borderlands covering even more of his plans, I’m completely over his Handsomeness. 2K Is really overextending his popularity, as well as the popularity of the franchise as a whole, and I think it’s going to come back to bite them in the ass.
Also, not excited to be playing on the moon. Oxygen mechanics? Yeah, not fun in fast-paced gameplay.
Knowing 2K, the writing is going to be fantastic, and the gameplay will more than likely end up being good, and even fun, but this isn’t a title I’m going to be buying on release day.