Borderlands 2 Psycho Pack: Holy %$@# !!

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Announced during PAX East, the sixth playable character for Borderlands 2, Krieg, is upon us. A few weeks back, I got to sit down with Ryan Heaton, Lead Level Designer and Adam Fletcher, PR and Marketing Manager at Gearbox Software and we took a long look at all that Krieg has to offer.

Coming to us straight from the twisted mind of Paul Hellquist, Creative Director for Borderlands 2, the Psycho Bandit, Krieg, is literally a game changer. Seriously, take everything you know about combat in Borderlands and throw it right out the window because it won’t work here. Hellquist has been wanting to make this character class for some time now and he finally got his chance.

All the expected humor is present in Krieg with his actions and of course, dialogue. As a psycho, he’ll often have fights with himself as his calmer side can and will argue with his more aggressive side at any time during gameplay. It’s quite hilarious and a lot of fun to play.

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Krieg’s main Action Skill is Buzz Axe Rampage and every time he strikes with his over-sized bad ass buzz axe, he gets full health. In the Bloodlust Skill Tree, when you fire your weapon and it does damage to anyone, you build a stack and every single hit continues to build the stack. The result of this then alters all the skills in this Tree. For example, your Buzz Axe Rampage will last 10-15 seconds with a 120 second cool down period, but when you have Blood Trance, for every stack, the Rampage time gets increased.

Buzz Axe Bombardier will add dynamite to your Buzz Axe when you throw it, so even if you don’t quite hit your target you’ll still be able to do a lot of splash damage, increased of course by the number of stacks you have at the time. The big daddy at the bottom of the Tree is the Bloodsplosion. When you kill an enemy with say, 10,000 Damage but they only needed maybe 7,000 Damage to die, the extra 3,000 gets funneled into an Elemental Nova from the body of the dearly deceased which, again, increases with the number of stacks you have at the time, great stuff.

The Mania Tree is probably the nuttiest of the bunch because everything here increases when you’re just about to die. With Empty The Rage, your melee damage gets increased but you get additional bonuses if your shield is down and even more if you’ve already emptied the clip in your gun. Feed The Meat increases your maximum health but also increases your shield recharge delay. Pull The Pin will drop a grenade automatically when you die and if you happen to kill an enemy, you’ll get double XP from it.

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Another fun skill, Field Of Rampage, lets you take more damage while decreasing the 120 second cool down period of your Action Skill. It also allows teammates to damage you which decreases the cool down period even more. Silence The Voices increases melee damage but increases the chance that you’ll attack yourself because, hey, he’s a psycho after all. Release The Beast will turn you into a Badass Psycho when you activate your Action Skill while at 33% health or less. This actually physically transforms Krieg’s arms, one tiny, one huge, and increases your melee damage exponentially and allows you to use your Action Skill again immediately when it ends allowing you to chain it again and again as long as you’re still at 33% health or less.

The biggest effect on gameplay however comes from Light The Fuse. With this skill equipped, when you get into a Fight For Life situation, Krieg is able to continue moving at full speed, dynamite in hand, throwing it at every enemy you can find. You can, alternatively, get close to an enemy and hold down X to detonate the dynamite in a suicidal blaze of glory and if you happen to kill that enemy, you’re instantly revived.

The Hellborn Tree revolves entirely around you being on fire. Yup, you need to be on fire so this one is seriously insane (and fun). Your first skill increases your chances to catch on fire when you ignite an enemy and all subsequent skills rely on you being on fire. For instance, the Numb Nerves Skill will decrease all damage while you’re on fire. So not only does it decrease the fire damage (yes, you’re still taking damage from being on fire, even though it’s required here) but it’ll also decrease any gun or melee damage you receive.

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Delusional Damage will let you catch on fire with any element gun, while Hellfire Halitosis turns your melee swing into you breathing fire. However, the last skill in this Tree is one of my favorites, Raving Retribution. With it, when you take damage, your body will automatically shoot out homing fireballs once per second, it’s absolutely insane.

Krieg will be available this Tuesday, May 14 on the PlayStation Store for $9.99 and I can assure you, it’ll be worth every penny.

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Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 18 consoles and 4 handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation.

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