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Chris Kavan's Video Game Reviews (451)

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Sword Coast Legends 3.5/5
Spelunky 2.5/5
We Are the Dwarves 1/5
Seiken Densetsu 3 ( Sec... 2.5/5
No Man's Sky 3.5/5
Shadow Warrior 2 3.5/5
Foto Flash 3.5/5
Warhammer: End Times - ... 3/5
Windward 3.5/5
Vertiginous Golf 3/5
Dead Island: Riptide 3/5
Battleborn 3.5/5
Doki Doki Literature Cl... 4.5/5
Life is Strange 4.5/5
Kraven Manor 2.5/5
Masochisia 4/5
Titan Quest 3/5
Game of Thrones - A Tel... 4/5
Slender: The Arrival 3/5
Yet Another Zombie Defe... 1.5/5
Lara Croft and the Temp... 3/5
Senran Kagura Estival V... 3.5/5
Mass Effect 3 4/5
BADLAND: Game of the Ye... 3/5
inFAMOUS 2 4/5

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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel   PC (Steam) 

Still Borderlands, but a bit Down-Underwhelming    3.5/5 stars

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is not quite a full-fledged sequel, but a bit bigger than an average DLC add-on. For those wanting their fix of FPS action and gun-collecting mania - it will do until the inevitable third entry in the series comes around. The game mostly plays it safe - tweaks a few things here, adds a new weapon here - but if you've played the first two games, you pretty much know what you're in for.

Presentation: Not much has changed from Borderlands 2. The cell-shading style is retained - the color palette is still woefully limited (but grays and blues this time!). The music still forgettable but the script and vocal talent it still a highlight. The game does its best to differentiate the setting and it's a decent change of pace, but don't expect anything major to blow your mind.

Story: My main quibble with the pre-sequel isn't so much the story (which is told in the present, but takes place between Borderlands and Borderlands 2), but the lack of compelling characters. Sure, you have Jack (not Handsome yet), who is fun to watch go from an actual caring person to a power-mad psycho - but aside from him, no one really stands out. You still have the odd screwball here and there - but the Australian-themed moon of Elpis doesn't hold anyone near as awesome as Torgue, Tiny Tina or even Ellie. Granted, it seems nearly every character from the previous two games makes at least one appearance (some in the DLCs), but it can't hide the fact that there just aren't that many compelling characters this time around. Not even Moxie can save the day this time. In any case, I found extra DLC "Claptrap's Claptastic Voyage" to be much better (if shorter) than the main game myself. It was trippy yet kind of deep - and the ending was unexpectedly dark but made a lot of sense when you look at the characters.

In any case, the main gist is that the moon of Elpis (a mirror of Australia - including many a thick accent) is under attack from a commandeered Helios space station that the gruff Commander Zarpadon has taken over. Jack is all about saving the people of Elpis - at first, once he learns that Zarpadon has uncovered a vault, he realized the vast power it could hold and soon changes his mood from savior to savage. The characters helping Jack all wind up in Borderlands 2 - Nisha, the lawbringer, Athena the gladiator, Wilhelm the Enforcer (before he goes full cyborg) and, of course, Claptrap himself. The DLC also includes the Handsome Jack Doppleganger and Aurelia the Baroness (Sir Hammerlock's sister). We learn a bit about their history (if you choose to seek it out) as well as how they all wound up under Jack's command in Borderlands 2 (most of whom eventually die horrible deaths).

Gameplay: Not much has changed on this front - but the moon of Elpis with its super-low gravity does offer a few new twists on the the standard game mechanics. For one, a new item, the Oz Kit, gives characters who have to breath much-needed oxygen while also providing a new way to attack. There is also a new laser weapon - that comes in a few different forms - that provides a bit of a change. The slag weapons from Borderlands 2 have been replaced with cryo weapons - I found this to be the best change, as freezing enemies (even bosses) was quite fun. I, of course, was designated Claptrap for the main game. Instead of having a unique ability - Claptrap (depending on what skill tree you decide to go down) instead uses a random ability gleaned from each of the previous characters. Sometimes I would lay down a turret, or summon a corrosive minion, or become the gun wizard and shoot really, really fast. But because the abilites are random, at other times I would become a Gunzerker - but not only me - everyone in the group became a gunzerker - which sounds awesome, but not when you're already low on bullets. Sometimes I became a bomb - a mostly useless ability that more often than not resulted in my own death rather than injuring many enemies. In any case, Claptrap was interesting - in the things he said, but at a character was hit-or-miss at best.

Aside from that, while Nelson was good at getting legendaries to pop up all over the place, I found myself (until near the end of the game) always low on funds - something that I didn't previously have much trouble with. Thus my shield always seemed to be lacking and my guns constantly seemed to be outclassed. I did get a few legendaries that made a difference, but unlike Nelson I didn't find the loot that much changed and maybe even worse than the previous game - enemy drops were especially disappointing.

Replayability: Like Borderlands 2, you can pump up the difficulty to "True Vault Hunter Mode" if you want more of a challenge. Couple that with the array of characters, the replay is very high for those who want it.

Overall: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is still Borderlands - I was just hoping for a little more meat on its bones.

Presentation: 4/5
Story: 3.5/5
Gameplay: 4/5
Replayability: 5/5
Overall (not an average): 3.5/5

 

 


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Nelson Schneider

Nelson Schneider- wrote on 12/03/16 at 01:49 PM CT

 

I think the reason you were constantly out of money is the fact that you died a LOT.

 
 
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