Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Pandora's Box - The Borderlands Begin

Welcome to the Badlands: Fun and Games Sold Separately

Meet your new best friends.

So you're looking for The Vault huh? No, I don't mean the Vault Tech, super-tech, underground trash cans no, I mean THE Vault. Well good, you've come to the right place.

The Magic Bus: Meet the Class

Okay, so it ain't so magical, but it's where you start your journey like it or not. Driven by a fat, middle-aged man who reminds me quite a bit of Roman Bellic from GTA: IV, this thing seems more like an APC than what I'd call a bus but hey, when you're driving through skag-infested deserts on Pandora you need all the protection you can get.

This is where you get to meet our four intrepid... Heroes? Sure, for lack or a better term let's call'em heroes. You've got Mordecai "The Hunter", Lilith "The Siren", Roland "The Soldier" and Brick "as Himself". Just for future reference, Brick's the massive mountain of muscle in the middle of the title image, Roland's the armoured dude to the right, Mordecai's the twiggy-looking four-eyes bastard and Lilith well, I'm betting you can figure out which one SHE is... Get it? Good. Moving on.

Each character has their own traits, skills, specialities and so fourth but for this little series of articles we'll be focusing on Mordecai as he fits my style of gaming the best.

Mordecai: The Hunt Begins

"Another million for that
annoying bird."
Listed as 39 years old (though that's not stated as for Borderlands 2 or the original), colour-blind and with a negligible appetite, this skinny dude is your typical marksmen. He likes covert strolls in the moonlight, high-calibre rifles and falconry. He and his pet "Bloodwing" make a daunting duo so it's no small wonder his bounty is listed (provided Bloodwing is killed as well) as the second highest of the original vault hunters next to Brick's.

It was a no-brainer for me picking Mort (as I'll be calling him) for my character. A solitary sniper with first-strike, first-kill capabilities? Always a good choice so long as you can keep your distance. As an alternative fighting style to sniper rifles, Mort's skills can also be used to buffer his effectiveness with handguns giving you great long and short range potential. Now this DOES technically leave out the mid-range stuff like assault rifles and SMGs as well as completely neglecting launcher skill but really, there's not a lot to be changed with skills involving SMGs and rifles... They tend to function regardless of who uses them whereas if you botch an attack with a sniper rifle or pistol... You can be in for a world of hurt so every bit counts. Not to mention when you're GOOD with rifles and pistols the skill boosts can make you nigh-untouchable.

Well, now that we've got you acquainted with the attitude-to-be of this series, let's REALLY get started shall we?

Light My Fyre: Outpost Fyrestone

-Dr. Zed's Shop (Not really an MD)-
You start your adventure, at least the part you control, just outside of a sleepy little outpost called Fyrestone. Why the name? No idea. Maybe Pandora's hot as hell and it sure is rocky so, there, rocks and hot weather gets you Fyrestone... And inbred people trying to spell gets you the 'creative' name. Regardless it's a pothole on the road to the vault but a rather important one because this is where your primary armoury and medical facilities are until you branch out into the other, larger settlements.

Here you'll find Zed, a non-doc who's here to keep you stitched up and in the fight. After a mission or two the armoury will open up and you can start buying and selling weapons to suit your needs... Depending on what the shop has in its inventory. Since you're Mordecai (provided you're following in my footsteps) you'll want to look at sniper rifles and pistols first and foremost. Everything else is just shiny little bonuses. Staying with handguns and snipers will provide the best bang for your buck.

Making the Most of Mordecai:

Now I'm not going to be doing some detailed walkthrough as to how you should take on the quests and bounties, no sir. I'm going to giving you universally applicable tricks to help you take down ranges of enemies rather than spend time honing in on just one or two. Occasionally this series is going to put a spotlight on a certain individual or individuals but mostly? I'll be teaching you how to make the most of Mordecai.

I hope you'll tune back in when I release the next article. This has just been a brief introduction to adventure. Come back soon for the main course.

Enjoy your swim!

Joshua J. Taylor

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