And lo, the Pre-Sequel was upon us. At this point, I can’t even remember how I got introduced to the whole Borderlands world. I think I was looking for something co-op and cheap, browsing Best Buy’s bargain bin. Say what you want, but Borderlands cover art was definitely attention grabbing with the bandit blowing his brains out with his fingers pointed to his temple. And I came into it at a good time, the lull between Borderlands GOTY and Borderlands 2.
Borderlands was different. Different from the Call of Duties, Battlefields and Halo. The concept of FPS/RPG was like mixing chocolate and peanut butter for the first time. Why didn’t I know about this before? And while I didn’t fully embrace the cel shading, after a while, it grew on me. Hell, I watched The Simpsons and Family Guy; this was just interactive animation for all I cared. And Borderlands was story driven, well written and voice acted. I was a fan. Mordecai and Bloodwing sniping all the way to the vault FTW!
Borderlands 2… Borderlands 2 and I have a love/hate relationship. I never pre-order a game. I will never again pre-order a game. Borderlands 2 was the exception. The whole concept of co-op works great when your friends are excited to play first day with you and you all get it day 1. But then, reality sets in and play time gets interrupted by life. By week 2, I was solo running BL2.
Wait, stop right there. I can hearing you saying, “Well, why didn’t you go out and make new online friends.” Simply put: my tolerance for whiny, swearing squeaky preteens is low. Super low. And yeah, I ‘m sure there are plenty of awesome people out there to play with, but I just don’t care.
So back to BL2. I rolled Axton all the way to the end. I even built a death strategy to toss up my turret right before I died and toss my grenades. I tried to explore every corner, run every mission. But while I battled toward the next level, I noticed something. I was spending an inordinate about of time managing my inventory. Way too much time. “Hm… should I take the SMG that has fire damage even though I run out of ammo really fast or the sniper rifle that has a long reload time and small clip or the rapid fire pistol or the acid rockets or… or… or… or…” BL2 became a micromanagement sim. While that may be the beauty in standard RPGs, RPGs don’t have that many variables to worry about. Normally it’s just, “Does this weapon have a bigger damage number than this weapon.” Easy. But BL2 was about live situational adjustments. Take a fire weapon for flesh guys, acid for robots, shock for shields, slag for more damage, explosives for general use, rockets for groups, snipers for long range, assault for med long, pistol for med, smg for med short, shotguns for short. It all detracted from actual play. It’s weird to say, but it’s too much loot.
Even after getting most of the BL2 DLC on Xbox and then repurchasing the game and all canon DLC on the computer, I don’t think I’ll get Pre-sequel today. I think the monotony of BL2 got to me. I think there is an OCD part of me trying to optimize my inventory in BL2 and never really succeeding. I’ve groundlevels in MMOs. I have the patience to ding. But I can’t abide a messy inventory.
Will I get the Pre-sequel? Eventually. Once they come out with GOTY edition and it hits $20-$30. *Sigh* Even BL2 GOTY isn’t a complete edition since they are still milking headhunters and character skins. But… that’s for a different gripe.