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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel review: Borderlands 2 in space

Hayden Dingman | Oct. 14, 2014
For months I've been referring to Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel as More Borderlands or, occasionally, Morederlands Borderlands. That's still an apt description. Other possible titles could be Borderlands: The Largest Borderlands 2 Expansion or Borderlands 2 in Space.

Even two of the classes feel like thin re-skins of old games. Athena throws her shield almost the same way I used to throw Bloodwing, and Wilhelm is clearly the heavy weapons class just like Roland and Axton. Nisha's Lawbringer class, a play on her role as the Sheriff in Borderlands 2, lets her lock onto enemies without aiming, but it's a relatively useless skill and actually is worse to use on a PC because it's faster to line up headshots than to auto-aim body shots.

Only the iconic robot Claptrap feels like a truly original and fresh class choice — Claptrap's special ability is actually a wildcard that emulates one of the other ten or so classes from previous games. Unfortunately, in order to play Claptrap you have to put up with listening to Claptrap for an entire game. If you can do that, well, you have more endurance than me.


Fans will inevitably pick this up, though. It's not bad. It's not broken. It's still fun. It's Borderlands. You'll get a quest, you'll run to a spot on a map, you'll shoot a lot of things, you'll collect the guns that pop out of their exploding heads, and then you'll most likely sell all those guns.

Gearbox Australia has made a few small tweaks to the loot system. In Borderlands 2 you'll collect moon rocks as a secondary currency. These moon rocks can still be used to purchase character upgrades, but also are used to unlock special chests at the end of most story missions.

There's also a device called The Grinder that lets you put in three guns of the same tier and get a rarer gun in return.

Unfortunately I think both of these additions slightly undermine the core loot grind. I felt like I received a lot more white and green guns in The Pre-Sequel, with blue-and-higher loot few and far between. Opening one of those special moon rock crates confirmed my fear — purple items are basically guaranteed to spawn in there. However, the gun inside is totally random which means you could save up for three hours (as I did) only to purchase the crate and find a nearly useless rocket launcher (as I did).

And it's just not as satisfying to get a gun from a crate as it is seeing a bunch of rare loot erupt out of a boss after a hard-fought encounter. You're lucky when that happens, and even luckier if you can manage to grab those guns — I counted more than a dozen occurrences during the game where an enemy dropped a rare-ish weapon but low gravity made it float over the edge of a cliff and fall into oblivion.


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