The character that immediately reached out to me when the first "Borderlands" dropped was Brick -- a loud, explosive meatloaf of a man whose solution to all of life's problems (including difficult math) was punching it in its stupid face. Admittedly, not the best character in that game to solo but definitely right up my ally as far as playstyle is concerned -- run in, rage out, punch everything to death, and (sometimes) get revived by more prudent players. Learning that the original four characters wouldn't return, I was a bit dissappointed by the loss of my favorite vault hunter and his successor -- Salvador the Gunzerker -- just didn't quite click with me.
Here's where Krieg comes in to play. As the second DLC character, Gearbox goes out with a literal bang with a psycho killer that has a taste for blood. In my mind, he is the very essence of how "Borderlands(2)" was meant to be played -- balls to the wall, spitting in the face of sanity, and generally not giving a flying f*ck about life or death!
No Pain, No Gain
Krieg is all about high risk/ high reward -- and the name of his game is pain. The Buzzaxe ability has a tremendously long cool down, about 2 minutes, but taking damage reduces the time. In essence, you'll want to jump in the fray as quickly as possible to dish out damage -- and receiving -- to launch into another Buzzaxe bloodlust. Additionally, each kill made with the axe rejuvinates your health which creates a vicious cycle of death that boosts your ability skill again. Furthermore, the final skill in the Mania tree allows for a zero cooldown for starting up another rampage . Basically when your health drops below 33% and you buzzaxe is ready go again, you can activate it --turning you into a monstrous badass psycho which insatantly fills your health. Krieg is the character that will force you to break your gaming habits of avoiding death and replace them with the heart and soul of a man on his last thread and just say, "F*ck it" I'm going out with a bang!
Choose Mania Path First
Properly controlling the psycho takes a bit of skill and unfortunately, Krieg doesn't have many innate gun perks to buff. Instead, you'll be relaying on his devestating melee attacks and Buzzaxe power to dish out most the damage. Choosing Mania can boost your basic melee by 250% and it further increases depending how much damage you're taking! In fact, a properly geared player will become the angel of death against the most powerful of foes -- often single-shotting Badass class enemies and even some bosses. The Mania path allows for this best by giving you all the tools necessary to beat your victims to death. If you're newer to melee classes, the middle path gives a great taste of everything that makes Krieg so fun to play.
This isn't to say the other paths-- Bloodlust and Hellborn -- aren't as good. They're just a little more techincal. Mania is great to get your feet soaked but unlocking the full potential of a flame-spewing hell beast or grenade tossing, explosive timebomb is equally entertaining. All thing said, I recommend a full build of Mania with a supplemental skills in Hellborn.
If you're playing the psycho as straight up gunner, then you're playing him wrong. As I mentioned before, Krieg doesn't have any natural passive buffs to any particular gun class, like all the other character have. However, there are a few perks on the skill trees that can temporarily boost your skills with everyone's favorite crowd pleaser -- the shotty. You'll want to invest in a good shotgun early on as it serves two functions to help you adjust to Krieg -- one, it forces you to get up close and personal; and two, shotguns dish out a tons of damage over a wide area. This character needs to be in the front lines soaking up damage, drawing aggro, and generally being a menace to everyone. His skills are all dependent on his masochistic tendencies and by choosing a weapon that keeps your enemies close, you'll break your gaming habits of avoiding
Death Can't Kill Me
Krieg doesn't fear death -- he embraces it. Violently if needed. There's a skill on Mania path that I've wanted in this game since day one. It's called Light the Fuse. If nothing else, you'll want this skill as it changes Fight For Your Life in the most awesome way. Instead of dragging your bleeding out near death body around you'll have the ability to sprint around, chucking dynamite at nything that moves. As a last f*ck you to Pandora, you can blow yourself up. As Kreig will take considerable damage in the forefront of battle, this skill will end up saving your life over and over throughout the journey to kill Jack.
Krieg breathed new life into "Borderlands 2." After my 6th or 7th time through the campaign and some of the DLC, I got really burnt out. Obviously, I had a blast most of the time but Gearbox really turned the game on its head and asked, "What do you have left?" Krieg answered by swinging an axe to his face and screaming, "Bring it on!"
Krieg The Psycho Bandit will be available May 14th for $9.99 or 800 MS Points.
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