What To Know Before You Play ‘Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!’

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! is out today, and spraying bullets everywhere. But before you boot up, you should know a few things.

The Oxygen Mechanic Will Change How You Play

Essentially, any time you step outside of a force field on Elpis, you’re officially on a countdown timer. It’s not that oxygen is remotely hard to find; it isn’t, and the game does a good job of making that an added layer of strategy while you shoot and loot. The butt slam is incredibly useful, and you’ll need it, but it also gets you into everyone’s face, so plan accordingly. You also need to be aggressive and move quickly to get oxygen from your enemies, so think carefully before you decide to just snipe everybody.

Low Gravity Is Both Your Friend And Enemy

There are other reasons to be aggressive. For one thing, anything not contained in an atmosphere bubble is eventually going to float off, never to be found again. And in a game that has looting as one of its central mechanics, that can really sting. Seeing a rare item float off into the void will break your heart the first time it happens.

On the other hand, you can also now pop straight up and shoot over an enemy position, an incredibly useful strategy that you’ll wind up using a lot, especially if you want to chip at a tough foe from a distance. Also, there are more platforming sections but they’re less annoying than some FPS games.

You Can’t Go Full Munchkin On This Game

The game strongly encourages you to mix and match from the skill trees, but be aware that 2K Australia has done an excellent job of balancing out your abilities in this one. You will get definite advantages and new strategies will open up every time you spend an experience point. But you’re not going to be able to turn yourself into a human threshing machine this time around. Well, Wilhelm does that more or less literally, I suppose, but you are going to have to mix and match your weapons and powers to win instead of just pressing X and wiping out the room.

Get All The Moonstone You Can Find

Remember in the second game, how you had to go out of your way to find Eridium to unlock weapon slots and other upgrades? In this game, that’s Moonstone, and there’s actually plenty of it lying around. That’s because if you include some Moonstone in the game’s weapon randomizer, The Grinder, it bumps it up to the next level of rarity. Which reminds us…

The Grinder Is Spectacular

Instead of unloading your crappy guns, you can now dump them in the Grinder and try for a different gun. It completely changes how you view vendor trash; every gun is now potentially valuable and you’ll find yourself comparing its attributes and hoping that you manage to combine stuff into just the right weapon. It tends to skew towards the goofy, though, so be warned.

The Beam Weapons Will Be Your Go-To

Essentially throwing a flamethrower-type weapon into the mix, the laser weapons are actually surprisingly useful and effective. Most of the beam weapons stand out because if you get one that deals more damage the longer you keep it on a target, and you will, it can be a good way to clear away the annoying bullet sponges before murdering their friends.

Beyond that, it’s… well, it’s Borderlands. You shoot, you loot, and you just keep doing it. Which, really, is the whole point; why mess with perfection?