To celebrate the upcoming (and long-awaited) release of Borderlands 3, we’re looking back at our favourite missions, moments and characters from the first three games in the series!
Next up for our Borderlands Week coverage is 2014’s Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Taking place in between the events of Borderlands and Borderlands 2, The Pre-Sequel follows the rise of Handsome Jack, and the takeover of the Hyperion ship Helios by Colonel Zarpedon.
The game’s setting of the Pandoran moon Elpis means that players now take oxygen levels into consideration, and the low gravity in space allows players to glide around and slam into enemies. We also get a new element type (freezing enemies with ice weaponry, then smashing through them with a melee attack is always hilarious), and a new weapon type (lasers that change the way they fire depending on the oxygen levels around you).
The choice of vault hunters this time around?
- Athena – a lethal warrior who players may recognise from the first game’s DLC. Carries a deadly bladed shield.
- Wilhelm – a bounty hunter who is obsessed with cybernetic body augmentations, and Handsome Jack’s most feared henchman in the sequel.
- Nisha – a gunslinger, who eventually becomes the mayor of Lynchwood and Handsome Jack’s main squeeze.
- Claptrap – Yep. Exactly who you think it is. The game even makes sure if you’re certain that you want to p[lay as him.
- Lady Aurelia – The sister of Sir Hammerlock. Has ice abilities, doesn’t give a single crap about the missions.
- Doppelganger – Handsome Jack’s body double. Not as brave or bold as Jack, but has been promised that he’ll be paid, *ahem*, handsomely for his troubles.
Besides Lady Aurelia, each of these characters are ones that you’ll approach in either the first game or the second game (based on the trailers, Aurelia is going to be in Borderlands 3).
So, here’s our favourite side missions from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel…
Your first missions after landing on Elpis are given to you by Janey Springs; an overly optimistic junk dealer. Before you’re able to gain access to the town of Concordia, she helps players out with an Oz kit (one of the many Australia-themed jokes in the game), showcases her writing of kids books (it gets pretty dark and graphic quickly), and urges you to kill Deadlift (he’s “kind of a dick”).
One of the last missions before heading into town requires you to obtain a light reactor for Springs, which is located in a small building surrounded by peaceful kraggon. In order to gain access to the building, players must annoy these beasts with a weak weapon, which forces the kraggon to crash through the rubbish blocking the entrance.
This is all well and good, except that Springs isn’t the only person interested in the light reactor. The other interested party? Mr Torgue! His interest in the reactor differs entirely from Janey’s though, as he wants you to destroy the reactor by chucking it into the lava below.
It’s one of the few missions in the game where players are given a choice as to who they want to submit the mission to, with a fiery laser weapon from Springs or an explosive shotgun from Torgue.
Also, as a side note, Torgue explaining that the friendzone doesn’t exist is a welcome notion.
Many of the game’s best missions take place on Helios, particularly in the Research and Development department.
Jack has been informed of a dispute on Helios’ weapon production line that has ground things to a halt in Research and Development, so it’s up to the players to go and investigate the issue.
As it turns out, the technical setbacks are all due to a pair of Cl4P-TP robots that are stuck in an infinite loop of arguments in regards to what weapon they should be producing. To the player’s left, is a stuttering CL4P-9000 who believes it’s his grenade mod that fires snowballs, and to the right is a foul tempered DAN-TRP that wishes for his laser rifle to be mass produced.
In order to break the loop, players must find the restraining bolt, and then decide which robot to shut down.
Much like the previous mission in this list, the end result of this mission boils down to which weapon you’d prefer to add to your arsenal (my personal choice? the snowball grenade mod!). Their descriptions as being robots who were respectively built with “peaceful warrior” and “sexy megalomaniac” settings are hilarious, and the fact that both of these Claptraps are homages to evil AIs in pop culture is a nice touch too.
Sticking with the Helios missions, this entry takes place in the Hyperion Hall of Heroism, and is focused once again on the ship’s robotic crew
In a small room located near Jack’s office, players encounter R-0513 (yep, a reference to The Jetsons), a maid outfit-wearing loader bot whose sole purpose is to “OBLITERATE GERMS”. It turns out that her cleaning crew are missing, so the vault hunters must go around the area, knocking over bins, shooting pipes to spray water everywhere and putting a few bullets into an oil barrel to make the liquid leak everywhere. The emerging cleaner bots must then be captured and returned to R-0513.
On first glance, the mission sounds like it’ll be an incredibly tedious task, but the true star of the show here is R-0513’s dialogue. Obsessive, blunt and laser-focused on janitorial functions, the loader bot is an absolute highlight, and harkens back to Borderlands 2‘s C3n50r807 loader bot from the Captain Scarlett DLC campaign.
No Such Thing As A Free Launch
Next up, we’re back on Elpis as we are given a mission by Cosmo Wishbone – a self proclaimed “polymath extraordinaire” – who has decided to send a piece of his music into orbit on a huge satellite, so that everyone on the moon will be “blessed” by it.
In order to do this, players must explore Triton Flats and Outlands Spur for the machine pats necessary for the satellite’s launch. Some are simple to find (the hydraulic pump is in the pumping station, obviously) while others require a little bit of patience (hey, at least you get a guided tour of a bunch of junk from Tony Slows in the meantime!) and there is some fighting involved too (time to kill a whole bunch of shuggaraths!).
As is to be expected, the launch of Cosmo’s satellite doesn’t exactly go according to plan. During his launch, the resident DJs from Moxxi’s bar in Concordia, Boom and Rang hijack Cosmo’s broadcast, forcing him to increase the power of his broadcast to an extent where it ultimately electrocutes and kills him.
Wherefore Art Thou?
The final entry in our list is once again based just outside of Concordia.
One of the residents of Concordia, a worrisome man named Myron, has appealed to players that his dear wife Deirdre has gone missing somewhere in the Triton Flats. Upon discovering the wreckage of her moon buggy, the message she has left on an echo recorder seems quite suspicious.
It turns out that not only is Deirdre alive and well, but she despises Myron and hatches a plan to get him off her case. We then discover that she has a twin sister than he is unaware of, so killing her would convince him that Deirdre is dead.
Myron’s reaction to the dead body of “Deirdre” is more over the top than anticipated, and commits suicide.
Two birds, one stone huh?
The Pre-Sequel is arguably the weakest game in the franchise so far (when compared to the main games, anyway), and honestly feels like a huge DLC for Borderlands 2 at times, but it is still a pretty fantastic playthrough. It’s a much sillier game than its peers, and the new weapon/element types (ICE! LASERS!) work well with the game’s mechanics.
What are your favourite missions from The Pre-Sequel?
Let us know in the comments below, or send us a tweet at @PetWolfGaming!
Join us tomorrow for a look back at our favourite missions from Borderlands 2!