Borderlands:The Pre-Sequel is a game I'm going to play for another 200 hours, I'm quite sure of that. Like Borderlands 2, the depth of character customization - with the promise of new characters coming as DLC - and the choice of weaponry and defensive apparatuses you can mix and match from combined with shooter RPG grind-and-loot action set against a humorous backdrop of interesting characters will keep me at it for a long while. That being said, B:TPS still has the issues of the second game and some other issues of its own.

This game is too much like Borderlands 2, at least between 1 and 2 there was a world of differences in the UI and game systems, but this is pretty much an expansion pack. The new mechanics have their pros and cons. The air system is okay - you have air that drains constantly while you're in a vacuum - and while it affects a bit the game at the very beginning, everything drops air, enemies, chests, there are air zones here and there, air vents, etc. The claptrap character doesn't need to breathe but I didn't have issues with the human guys. At least you can break the helmets of your enemies and they slowly take air damage.

Air is also used to power your jetpack and your new slam attack - which I probably don't use enough. The jetpack is a little double-jump-ish and allows you to cross longer distances than a normal jump wouldn't clear. The moon gravity also allows you to make higher jumps than normal. That being said, the map design's verticality is quite obtuse. It's not obvious at all what you are supposed to be able to clear by jumping and what's a real obstacle - worse yet, it happened to me a few times that I jumped somewhere and I was completely locked out of where I should go next and I had to die to respawn.

Laser weapons are fine, they come in continuous fire and rail-gun type deals and you can find some of all the elements. The new cryo element is also pretty cool - get it - it allows you to freeze enemies and shatter them with your melee attacks - or let them get shattered when they fall from high places. Of course, enemies are also equipped with lasers and all elements they can chuck at you but at least you can't freeze yourself. Ice damage seems to work about on everything - like explosive - so you should be good with a fire weapon, a shock weapon, an ice weapon and a corrosive weapon.

The enemy variety is interesting. With big floaty creatures that spawn others, soldiers in power suits to dog-like monsters that split in two when you defeat them, there's plenty to shoot around. The bosses are okay too - most of them have obvious weaknesses or allies that you can shoot down to make the fight easier. Fight for your life makes a return and I still hate the frustration of not being able to defeat an enemy to revive, the frustration of dying just as the last enemy dies, the frustration of dying against a boss with no other enemy to kill, the frustration of having a special skill to help - by detonating a huge nuke as a last ditch measure to not die - but still die for some reason. The frustration of being sent back really far because of some odd checkpoint placement.

The maps are kinda weird too, they have paths that lead nowhere but seem like they should let you go around to your destination, they have dead ends where you feel like there should be a quest there, but you have none, so you know you'll have to do stuff then pick up a quest and then come back there. Why isn't the quest system re-worked a bit? On my second playthrough I decided I was going to do zero side quests, the game was much more enjoyable - but then I hit a wall where all enemies had skulls next to their names and everything I looted was too high level for me, so I went and did sidequests.

Then there's the issue of moonstones. You get them from defeated enemies and in quests and they are used like eridium was in Borderlands 2 - to buy capacity upgrades from the black market - but you can also use them to buy powerful buffs from Moxie's. You can use them in the Grinder - a machine that combines stuff into different stuff - for rarer items. You can finally use them to open special chests that cost a lot of moonstones to open but contain purple items and things like that. I bit the bullet and tried it once, the game became way easier after that because the guns were quite strong. I secretly wondered if they were going to sell moonstones for real money.

I really hope Borderlands 3 is going to be different in enough ways as to fix what's wrong with the Borderlands franchise right now. I also hope they don't change too much, because I like many aspects of the game as it is.

AuthorJérémie Tessier