As of the publishing this, the 6th playable character class for Borderlands 2 has been active for over a day. I’ve been tracking this guy since his teaser trailer, and immediately began making hypotheses regarding what his play style would be. Now that I’ve had a chance to rampage a bit around Pandora with him, lets take a look back at what we got right and what we got wrong:
THE CHECK LIST
1) SECRET ORIGINS (+1)
There’s still not much on the backstory of Krieg. From what we can deduce from his ramblings, he’s been tortured by Hyperion, he wasn’t always insane, and he was supposed to protect someone but didn’t. Outside of that, I haven’t located or heard any rumors as to why he was tortured/experimented on, who his family is/was or where they are from (be it Pandora or some other planet), or how he escaped or otherwise released from his experimenter captors. Even in this video with Creative Director Paul Hellquist, his backstory is very brief. Anyone else?
2) THIS THING IS PISSED! (+1)
If you’ve watched any of his trailers, there’s really not much to more to say about this. Also, his skill trees are BLOODLUST, MANIA, and HELLBORN. Oh, and his special skill is called BUZZ AXE RAMPAGE. And if that STILL isn’t enough, we have learned that his character class is called the PSYCHO.
3) MELEE BASED (+ 2/3)
I would say “Nailed it!”, but looking closer at this skill tree selections, I have to state that it’s only 2/3 true. His MANIA tree is heavily melee based while also requiring the player to be close to death, so that one is covered. However, the other two, BLOODLUST and HELL BORN, are only partially melee. BLOODLUST also includes elements of gunfire and grenade damage in to the mix, and HELL BORN adds a ton of fire elemental damage. In these cases, melee is complimentary to the build, not the focus.
4) BIO-MECHANICAL (0)
So he’s got that cable going from some kind of pack on his back, wrapping around his chest and arm, and attaching to his bolted gauntlet, but that’s about it. From what I can tell, it’s little more than aesthetic. Not necessarily complaining, just pointing out that this point is a bust for me.
5) TMNT LAB RAT (0)
So, so very, incredibly, terribly wrong. Simply a case of making the evidence fit the claim rather than pure objectivity. Want another crazy prediction? Based on the audio logs found in the Wildlife Exploitation Preserve, Krieg is Tiny Tina’s dad who was presumed dead but managed to survive out of sheer love for his daughter.
FINAL SCORE = 2 2/3 – 5. Meh. I need a better metric, something a little less arbitrary.
So far, Krieg has been pretty much what I had expected. A whole lot of crazy with plenty of blood splatter to spare. His skill set is akin to Gaige’s with the stacking, but they took the “counter intuitive” aspect of her Anarchy stacks and went to town! Personally, I’m focusing in the MANIA tree so I can eventually transform in to a Super Badass Bandit! Building his skills and adjusting my play style will be critical and tricky, as I’m going to be dancing with death the entire time, especially since I’m about to make Krieg susceptible to friendly fire soon for the sake of massive melee bonuses. Other interesting skill: PULL THE PIN. This is where Krieg drops a free grenade if he dies. If the grenade takes anyone out, you are awarded with double xp. This unfortunately does not generate a 2nd WIND as during a FIGHT FOR OUR LIFE, but at least you can take one of those mo-fo’s with you!
I like to synergy of the BLOODLUST tree as well. The first two options don’t appear to do much, but a great example of this synergy is in the BLOOD FILLED GUNS skill. Here, the more BLOODLUST stacks you acquire, the larger your gun’s magazine becomes. Not a huge game changer at first, but consider this: you get your stacks by DEALING DAMAGE. As you’re firing off your gun, you’re constantly dealing damage and thus building stacks. It’s only when you stop shooting or RELOAD your gun that you then run the risk of losing your stacks. With larger magazines, you’ll be reloading LESS OFTEN. This will, in turn, allow you to gain more stacks, Which then increases your magazine size further, which will allow you to build even more stacks, and back again. Also, the rest of the skill tree is heavily dependent on the number of stacks you have. It’s as if once in a battle, he’ll just begin to swell with power and carnage.
As for the HELLBORN tree, I am personally not a fan of it. Then again, as of the time of this entry I’ve only gotten my psycho up to level 10, so I am unable to speak in great detail about any of the trees, much less this one. It seems too one dimensional with the fire, but heck, Gaige seemed to do just fine with her Electrically heavy tree LITTLE BIG TROUBLE.
There’s one aspect of Krieg that I enjoy much more than I thought I would, and that would be his split personality. For the vast majority, he’s babbling all sorts of maniacal insanity. But every once in a while, you’ll hear him speak in a much softer, compassionate voice. Things like “say thank you….NIPPLE SALADS!!!!…..close enough” while you’re being revived,
The only pointless, weightless, and absolutely trivial complaint I have with Krieg is with his appearance customization! I know! How superficial! The problem comes in that he’s bare chested! Save for his mask, bolted gauntlet and random arm sleeve, there’s not nearly comparable visual contrast as with the other characters. Apparently, he’s too badass to wear a shirt……I can relate…..
Anyone else out there using Krieg? What are your thoughts on our new Vault Hunter?