Five Paragraph Reviews: Borderlands: The Presequel

So to help spread my searing insight to the entire world, I've decided to take on the absolutely monumental (not really) task of reviewing entire video games in five reasonably sized paragraphs or less. First up to the plate is a game that Makuta of Comedy would not shut up about a few months back: Borderlands: The Presequel.

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As a general rule, space tends to make things more interesting. Something that would normally have been fairly routine, such as, say, an espresso cup, is breaking news when you combine it with space. Space in and of itself is basically the last mysterious front for mankind since we've explored just about everywhere here on Earth, which makes it all the more impressive that Borderlands actually managed to get more boring when put in space.

Well, perhaps that's a bit of a broad statement. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel doesn't really take place in space, just on the moon. Quite honestly, I get the feeling this was one of those concepts that was implemented before the ramifications were really thought through. Whereas the first two Borderlands actually had a nice bit of variety in their terrain, Pre-Sequel's is about as boring and empty as Eljay's list of meaningful accomplishments in life; seen one set of grey cliffs located over some bizarre insta kill lava substance, seen 'em all. The enemies thankfully have a bit more variety, but are basically never defeated by tactics more complex than pointing the end of your gun at their head, so all the artistic changes in the world don't actually mean a lot.

Pre-Sequel's story is something I'm not entirely sure I'm fully equipped to review well. The overarching narrative itself is simple enough; you get hired by a guy who will probably wind up being the main villain of Borderlands 2 to hunt some vault on the moon when things go awry and bad guys wind up taking control of the space station with a giant death laser attached. The bigger problem with Pre-Sequel's story is the way it progresses. Your main goal is basically given to you at the start and never wavers throughout the game. Borderlands manages to milk a 40 hour game around this by basically setting up an artificial roadblock in your path every 5 minutes. I lost count of the amount of times I was sent to access some sort of computer terminal, and then the terminal just so happened to fail and forced me to spend another 15 minutes trudging around the place looking for the local computer fix all device. Borderlands has obviously never been about deep narrative value, but this gets more repetitive than that stupid lightsaber fight at the end of the third Star Wars.

Gameplay is what makes a video game, though, and never fear because Borderlands is ready to disappoint you on that front as well. The actual core gameplay of Borderlands works decently well, it's just that the game itself has enough ideas to fill a maybe 10 hour long campaign and tries to stretch it out into a 40 hour one. What Pre-Sequel and Borderlands as a franchise seems to be selling itself on more than anything else is its loot/level based format. Which is a fine starting point; leveling up and getting better weapons can both be excellent incentives. The trouble is that Pre-Sequel seems to think that's the only thing it needs to do in order to continue being interesting 30 hours in, and that strategy towards video game design fails as reliably as Kahi's car in New York.

So yeah, Pre-Sequel continues Borderlands' proud tradition of being extremely dull. I suppose if you enjoyed the previous Borderlands games, you might enjoy this, because the general core mechanics, same stupid "set up an obstacle every 5 minutes to pad out the run time" format towards level design, and the same "humor" that sadly didn't die in a horrible fire at the end of Kid Icarus: Uprising are still intact. In fact it's all intact, there's no effort to improve or innovate in any way at all; one of the character classes is basically copy/pasted from Borderlands 2. In short, Borderlands Pre-Sequel is an extremely boring game and I can only recommend it to people who can overdose on collecting guns and mad people like @Takua.

Final Verdict: Too many hoops to jump through, too few chances to murder one of those mother f**king Claptraps.

-MT

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I am a mad people.

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