By TaliciaDragonsong 32 Comments
When’s that moment telling you you’re poor as shit? The moment you pull out a ladder, put a green blanket over it and wrap Christmas lights around it. That’s when. If it wasn’t so hilarious I would feel terrible about it. But ah well, it lights and from a distance you’d be fooled! Shame my living room is not allowing anyone a distanced look at it because it’s a fucking broom closet. Yay holidays!
So I love Jennifer Hale’s voicework. She’s Commander Shepard to me more than she ever was Bastilla, Samus or any other role I ever liked her in. She made me go crazy for her character in Halo 4 right away when I heard her in the trailer for Spartan Ops but hen Mass Effect 3 released earlier this year it was her voice that instantly took me back into the setting again. Commander Shepard, for all the emptiness that the character actually has, had evolved into something I never wanted to let go. While playing through the third installment of the series I felt attached to my Shepard and I could just as well picture her starting exploits as a Spectre as I could remember her darker days with Cerberus. I met new people, species and fought intense battles but through it all I felt the closest connection to my own Shepard. The game’s singleplayer was pretty stellar, highlights being the Citadel and Tuchanka missions. The way some characters made their cameo’s was unforgettable and some of their quotes will stick with me for a long time to come. I was saddened to see a loss of choice in a lot of situations but it was still executed well enough for me to feel engaged in the happenings. I won’t spoil so I can’t name details but besides some crazy things this was one heck of a ride. Now if we can just remove the sidequest/eavesdropping Shepard thing from my mind it would have been even better.
Here’s the kicker though.
I loved the singleplayer but once finished I was done. Unlike Mass Effect 1 where I finished the game 26 spread over 5 characters I felt no need to even replay it as my second Shepard (Male Renegade Soldier/Vanguard) as I did in Mass Effect 2. The wonder has been taken out of the universe for me. And knowing how it ends, how futile all my choices felt in the end, I can’t go through it once more.
So why do I love the multiplayer so much? Simple: You can play a Krogan.
I did not live fully until I had the ability to smash enemies into the ground as a tall power house with a claymore shotgun (imagine a cannon, in your hands) and him shouting and laughing at his enemies’ demise as I flung them left and right or shot their torsos clean off. The way the multiplayer offers me a vast set of characters which nowadays even include Vorcha (STRONGESTTT) and Volus (ksst) is unprecedented for a game’s universe. At least to me. Remember how we all wanted to play a Wookie? Rodian? Zabrak? We wanted to play those races and discover their styles and methods. And when we got to play such races they were often simple reskins. Understandable but a wasted chance. Now I won’t claim Mass Effect 3 MP does everything right but a lot of the races have their own animations and especially little stuff like the Vorcha’s over-cover-grab (Pull the enemy down, slash his face like a maniac several times) or the Geth’s channeled pulse attacks are just a wonder to behold. Almost every race we wanted to play is playable, often with a unique class or build that makes them fresh to play. Where Krogan’s can get so riled up they can bash Phantoms to death with their heads Vorcha’s will regenerate health faster than they lose it and Batarians will smack the ever living shit out of you with a well placed Falcon punch. Pro tip: Grab a rifle and melee the same enemy 3 times in a row. It goes from rifle butt to baseball bat real fast and this wild second and third swing is even able to hit more than one enemy if they’re close enough together.
The only things that suck in the multiplayer is the random nature of the store and the dependence on others. Sure I could solo (and I did) but often when you get a bjective round with 4 terminals needing activation three times in a row it kind of gets silly.
The game is still magic however and I will probably play it for as long as I have my XBL Gold subscription.
Wanna know how many hours I put into Borderlands 2? Because I sure don’t! Last time I checked I actually scared myself because I wasn’t even at the end of the game. I recently finished the game as Salvador the Gunzerker and Axton the Commando. The Commando was a co op game and Gunzerker solo. There’s just something childishly fun about playing a midget dual wielding two guns while intensely humming “Hall of the Mountain King” and shooting the ever living shit out of everything. There were times I did nothing but hold down both triggers, the talent tree making sure I either didn’t spend bullets per shot or I even got bullets back per shot instead of consuming them, and I shot everything to hell for almost two minutes. One of Salvador’s lines was amazingly appropriate when he started screaming: “This is ridiculous!”. I couldn’t agree more.
Speaking of speaking about voices being voiced, I really love the game’s soundtrack and voicework. The bandits sound crazy, the animals nasty and Handsome Jack is a glorious bastard. The way he taunted me the entire game, especially during some of the sidequests like destroying his statues, was one of the best things in gaming overall. The writing was very sharp and him telling a story of how he scooped out a guy’s eyes while being in tears of laughter over it was hilarious. Even more so his ending being: “So the moral of this story is: You’re a total bitch”. How can you not love this guy? He’s convinced he’s the hero, he’s crazy as shit and when he gets angry at you (like really angry) he’s actually pretty fearsome and at the same time you start feeling some pity for him. He’s obviously deranged and as the story progresses this gets more and more visible. Amazing writing overall save for a few cliché things but overall one of the best games I ever played. And that’s without mentioning the fun combat, action skills and all the goddamn loot! Shotguns that launch entire clips of grenades, pistols that shoot through their clip faster than you can reload it or sniper rifles that are actually flamethrowers. Fuck me.
But I digress. I meant to say I really love the lines the player characters have and playing Gaige the Mechromancer has been a blast. The entire cast has this fine line between things they could actually say and totally w-t-f did my character just say things. Hearing Gaige go “I’m such a B-A” with the ego of a spoiled brat is just as much fun as Salvador gurgling and screaming in his Gunzerker mode while yelling “ I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I’M DOING”. Checking the wiki for their full quotes only leads to more laughter and when I see people bash the game for being childish I actually feel the need to pick a fight with them. This game is so worry free, so self aware and so fucking silly that it is a threat to freedom of speech when someone speaks against its cast or writing. You might not like it but I implore you to let go of your heinous presumptions and be overwhelmed by a world where all of these things make sense. Sure there’s references to pop culture and internet things everywhere but World of Warcraft (to name but one) has been getting away with it for ages but this game can’t?
Cool story bro.
Next time I’ll spend a shitload of time describing why Borderlands 2 is one of the best games ever. But for now I can only wish all of you fuckbags a happy 2013.
Game loads, follow your dreams and never back down. Pick up your controller, pen or cornflakes and take the world by storm.