Nisha Triumphant

This weekend, Nisha the Lawbringer completed an epic quest on Elpis, the moon of Pandora. In other words, I finished Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. I’ll not spoil anything for those who haven’t done so yet.

I pretty much went straight down Nisha’s “The Riflewoman” skill tree, which was ironic because I tried to solely stick to pistols and SMGs. When I put the final bullet into the final boss, it was a plain old pistol that did it.

I was chugging along doing whatever quests came along (though I steadfastly ignore timed ones) until one point where I decided not to do side quests and save them for replays. That plan didn’t work, though, because I soon wasn’t high enough level to continue the main storyline, so I went and did some of them until I gained a couple levels.

The game is a lot of fun, and a nice bridge between the first and second games. It fills out Jack’s character a bit without giving him sad “thorn-in-his-paw” or “daddy-never-played-catch-with-me” nonsense to motivate him. Jack’s an asshole because that’s who he is, though it took something to really get him to lean into it. (Playing as Nisha is tough because she’s just as much of a psychopath as he is, so it’s weird for her to eventually see him differently.) Just about everything slots into place nicely.

As I mentioned before, it’s about 80% “more of the same” and, to be honest, I didn’t really take too much advantage of what was different. Instead of slag weapons you have cold weapon that can freeze their targets and you now have laser guns. I didn’t really use either of these weapon types too much, nor did I really take advantage of the Grinder, a machine that can turn junk weapons into potentially good ones. I did, however, enjoy jumping and boosting in low gravity, as well as butt-slamming: jumping and boosting and then rocketing down hard to send a shockwave around you. I like to leave some stuff to play with later.

I also said before that the landscape was very samey from area to area, which is certainly true when you’re on the moon. However, and this is not too much of a secret, you don’t stay on the moon the whole time and soon you are in different types of places, some of which are incredibly cool.

The combat is what you’d expect. There are three boss fights which are huge pains in the ass, not just because they’re hard but because the respawn place is hell and gone from the fight, so when you die you have to run back to where the action is. The main issue at the moment is that there’s some glitchiness to the game. A couple of quests behaved weirdly, the final battle did NOT like Nisha’s “Showdown” ability, which seemed to overload the Xbox 360 in a way I’ve never seen before, and worst of all, the Xbox periodically can’t read the disc, though that may only be my copy.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is pretty simple: if you liked the previous games, there’s no reason not to like this one. If you didn’t, there really isn’t much that will convince you otherwise. It’s not quite BL2 level, but it’s pretty damn good. And of course, we’re only starting to see the DLC with the release of the Handsome Jack Doppleganger Character which adds a fifth playable character. I went ahead and bought the season pass because I know I’ll be grabbing whatever other stuff they put out for it.

Up next on the Xbox? I’m not really sure, to be honest. Maybe more Borderlands TPS?

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