Pointless Nonsense

Posted in video games by Bill on January 9, 2017

bl-psBorderlands: The Pre-Sequel has a framing device taking place after the second game, but the actual action takes place in a flashback that takes place between the first and second games. This is not a narrative device that makes any sense in video games. I had the same problem with Dragon Age 2. If someone’s telling a story about the past, but I can change the past, is the story full of lies, and I’m controlling what lies happen? Or am I seeing visions of a possible future, dynamically altered by my actions in the present? Neither possibility holds together very well.

It’s kind of a Handsome Jack origin story. Plenty of familiar faces (or at least voices) make appearances (Jack, Moxxi, Lilith, Roland, Torgue, Hammerlock, and very briefly Tiny Tina), and one of the player characters is Athena from the BL1 General Knox DLC. More problems with the flashback: Athena is telling this story to Lilith, as if Lilith had never heard it before, but Lilith is a major player in the story being told, and should already know all of it except for the very beginning and the very end. People from the framing device interject dialogue periodically, but Lilith never interjects to say “I already knew this, skip past this part” or anything.

It’s the same “loot shooter” concept. The only major changes are the introduction of laser weapons, the new freezing elemental (and removal of slag), low gravity, and the oxygen mask equipment item . The mask determines how long you can survive without air, how much damage you do when slamming into the ground, and gives some bonuses. But basically the same deal. I was pleased that for the first time, I found one of the amusing guns that talks to you to be actually useful (this one was the “boganella,” the Australian version of a lady redneck, who shouts obscenities at your enemies when you kill them, and obscenities at you when you switch to another weapon).

I played as Athena, which was slightly different from my usual sniper/shotgun build, in that she had a defensive power and I put points into her melee ability. It worked out reasonably well. I also managed to get her to be pretty speedy, which helped out some on fetch quests, but also proved to be detrimental in getting XP, since I would run past enemies instead of fighting them. But I managed to not be completely overmatched at the end, so it worked out ok.

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