When Borderlands 2 was announced, gamers were excited. Many looked forward to shooting their way across Pandora as a dual-wielding Gunzerker, or slicing through foes as a stealthy robot/ninja. One of the bigger disappointments for me was that after release I ultimately settled on the Commando – a class substantially similar to the Soldier in the first game.
Although all four of the included characters looked and functioned differently, there wasn’t any particular build that really seemed unique, or had this internal cohesion where you mapped out all of your skill points from the beginning and looked forward to level 50 when you finally finished the build. Today, with the release of the Mechromancer character class, all of that has changed.
To start with, the action skill is every bit as awesome as it sounds – you have a robot called Deathtrap which you summon to fly about and visit pain on your enemies. This pain is delivered via what can only be described as Wolverine-like digistruct claws. Again, every bit as awesome as that sounds.
Two trees let you focus on how your character, Gaige (a less annoying Tiny Tina-alike), interacts with Deathtrap, boosting his combat abilities to work in conjunction with your guns. The third combat tree, termed Ordered Chaos, focuses on stackable bonuses called Anarchy. Collecting stacks of Anarchy has pros and cons, like trading damage for accuracy, or shields for health, which you’ll have to weigh in building that character type.
(You can even interact with the above skill tree!)
Sadly, even the romance of mechs isn’t perfect. The way the character works leaves one complaint, which is that once Deathtrap is deployed, he cannot be reclaimed (unlike the turret). Maybe developers didn’t want to unbalance the game with reclaims resetting the ability’s cooldown, but it just makes players wait for Deathtrap to fizzle when no more enemies are around before moving on to the next group of bandits. And there are some practical, real-world problems too.
First off, purchasing just this one character is going to cost $10. Second, at this point you’ve likely already played the game through once, and the Mechromancer is awesome enough to make you regret having to essentially start completely over just to take advantage of it. Third, if you are in any way excited about this, then you probably got this DLC for free when you pre-ordered the game.
That last one isn’t sad for you, it’s sad for Gearbox. Presumably, the reason they couldn’t include it on the disc is that they spent time post-production working out all the kinks, details and balancing. That’s a lot of effort to put into something that majority of fans (i.e. potential buyers) have already been given for free – if you didn’t pre-order the game, then you probably aren’t fanatical enough to justify this extra entry price.
That doesn’t make the product any worse; as far as pure content goes, the addition of this single character really adds a huge element of fun to the game. So if money isn’t an issue for you, despite a little niggle, the Mechromancer is wholeheartedly recommended. But if you live in a world where you can’t afford every piece of post-release content, then this is one where you should wait for a sale. Then definitely buy it.