How Gaige saved Borderlands for Me

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.

The Original Borderlands Cast.
The Original Borderlands Cast.

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.

Early concept art for Gaige.
Early concept art for Gaige.

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.

2) Stripped stalkings. As my love for both Rita Mordio and Alice have have suggested, I’ve got a soft spot for a lady in stripped stalkings. It’s only slightly creepy.

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!


5 thoughts on “How Gaige saved Borderlands for Me

  1. I agree, Gaige is awesome. She and Zer0 are the two characters I’ve played as in Borderlands 2, with Gaige being the newer choice so I haven’t committed many hours to her yet. But I love your list here! I also look for good characters, and finding a fun playable character makes a game way more enjoyable than it otherwise would have been… even if it’s already a great game like Borderlands 2.

    1. I’ve played as Maya and Salvador, and love them both. Salvador’s movie references speak to my soul, and nothing’s quite as satisfying as raising my hand in the air and exploding an annoying Buzzard in the air 🙂

    2. Nust keep playing as her and youll be laughin your ass off. Why? Shes a punk chick with red hair and a badsass robot. All good factors. (mostly the badass robot part)

  2. Yes, Gaige is just one of these characters that deserve their own 300 episode cartoon.
    It’s just so sad that Borderlands’ characters’ personalities consist of nothing but monologue and skilltree references. Interactions of the character with the NPCs and other vault hunters would have made it even more awesome.
    Gaige really is that kind of character I can Identify with. The Unreal Tournament references are especially awesome. One of her skills is literally the SHOCK RIFLE COMBO!!
    And these subtle pokes of her skilltree at My Little Pony.. hilarious! Each on it’s own barely noticeable, but in combination dead obvious.
    And her style and the cybernetic arm and Anarchy and how her skills change the way you play and, and,… Son of a socket wrench! ALLAN, WRITE SOME DIALOGUE HERE!!

  3. that all fine using with claws on tvhm but when you reach uvhm, with claws does no damage at all, you end up getting kill more often.

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