Hey everyone! Recently Shaun, Tech Guy and I started up a play-through of Borderlands 2, with the goal of eventually beating the game in full together (All side missions, all DLC). Shaun and Tech Guy had already beaten the game, but me? Well, I have a bit of a confession to make. I’ve never beaten the original Borderlands.
It’s not that I haven’t tried! In fact I’ve started the game on two separate occasions with the goal of seeing it through to the end. But everything I get a few levels in I just seem to hit this wall. Whether it’s the fact that I seem to have to do every side quest to level appropriately for the main mission, the fact that most fights devolve into me dumping bullets into some alien dog with more HP then God, or just the really ‘bleh’ nature of the world/characters… I’ve just never been able to bring myself to play through it!
So when Borderlands 2 was announced I wasn’t exactly excited to play it, as you might imagine. Especially when the four playable characters looked so similar to the original four; you got your sniper guy, your buff guy, your engineer guy and your Siren. I was more then willing to just let the game pass by and never play it.
But then they announced that there’d be a fifth character! A spunky little girl named Gaige who could summon a killer robot. This, of course, gave my pause. FIVE playable characters? If they felt confident enough to include five playable characters over the last game’s four, then perhaps they really did decide to mix things up class-wise and retool the balance between them. So as reviews came in, and word of mouth spread, Borderlands 2 became a game that I’d be more than willing to play, but just not one I’d go out of my way to do so for.
Fast forward to today, and I can’t wait to hop back into Pandora and shoot some Baddies! What changed? Well a lot, actually. But for the sake of this post I’d like to focus on one thing; the characters.
The characters in Borderlands 2 are just plain BETTER than the characters from the original. From their quips and jokes, to their personal backgrounds and ECHO logs. Even Lilith, perhaps the most interesting of the original characters due to her inhuman powers, is still just kinda “there” as a Vault Hunter on Pandora. The first game lacks a lot of that extra context and story that really sells you on the characters in number 2.
So yeah, Gaige. Where do I even start? Here’s a character who, more or less, is pretty much everything I’ve loved about video games past and present. For the sake of simplisity, I’m just gonna make a lost…
Why Gaige is such a B.A.
1) She’s got goggles, finger-less gloves and a robotic arm. Three things that every character could use more of.
3) She can summon a death robot. This robot can shoot lasers. LASERS. N’ough said.
4) She likes to quote the Unreal Tournament Announcer. “M-M-M-Monster Kill kill kill!”
5) She likes cupcakes, hot chocolate, and her favorite color is purple. Why does this make her a B.A.? Because I said so.
6) She can get claws and slice people up like wolverine. SNIK SNIK Bitches!
7) Anarchy is broken. No seriously, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!? YOU’RE BREAKING THE GAME GAIGE!!!
8) Accuracy can suck it.
9) Everybody loves a good air guitar, or a bad one.
10) The 4th wall is there to be broken. Don’t let anyone tell your differently.
11) Sometimes God-Complexes are fun. By ‘sometimes’ I mean all the time.
12) Punk never dies.
The list could probably keep going, but I think you get the idea. Sure the characters in Borderlands 1 had snark and moxxy, (not that kind of Moxxi) but they lacked the sheer volume of attitude and character that the classes from Borderlands 2 bring. Now it’s true that Gaige is just one of those character that hits all the right notes for me, visually, thematically and play-style wise; so I’ll admit to being a little bias. But the same could be said about the Necromancer from Diablo 2, which was pretty much the sole reason I played that game. Sometimes a character just connects with you, as a player.
Borderlands 2 is a fantastic game, but I’d be lying if I said a large portion of my enjoyment from it came from playing as Gaige. Surely I’m not alone here though, what about the rest of you? Have you ever resonated so well with a character that you’d probably be willing to trudge through hell and high water just to play as them?
Sound off in the comments!