Borderlands 2 DLC: Krieg the Psycho [VIDEO GAME REVIEW]

PsychoPack CoverDeveloper: Gearbox Software
Distributor: 2K Games
Genre: DLC
Unique Elements: Single Player, 4 Player Cooperative Multiplayer Local & Network
Series: Borderlands
Systems: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Estimated Play Length: 30 hours
MSRP: $9.99
Discount Link: CLICK HERE
Website: CLICK HERE
Trailer/Video: CLICK HERE
Purchase Site: CLICK HERE
Reviewed by: Chris Young
Final Score: 4 Moons (out of 5)

After months of teasing following the announcement trailer for Krieg the Psycho being shown at PAX East, Gearbox Software has finally delivered this sixth playable character to the Borderlands 2 roster.  At a price of $9.99 or 800 Microsoft points, does the character deliver enough to justify to cost?

Krieg faces down the fearsome warrior.

Krieg faces down the fearsome warrior.

PRESENTATION

Krieg the Psycho, aside from being everything his name implies, is the ultimate all or nothing, high risk, high reward character.  His skill trees are designed to keep you pressing forward in an all-out, no holds barred attack.  Why sit behind cover and take shots at enemies or sneak in for a backstab when charging you opponent head on to deliver a face full of axe can solve the problem faster.  While using his action skill, Buzz Axe Rampage, Krieg’s melee damage and movement speed are increased.  He can also throw his axe at retreating enemies, causing them to stumble.

GAMEPLAY

Krieg’s first skill tree is called Bloodlust, named for the stacking Bloodlust ability that defines the tree.  Every time Krieg deals damage he gains one point of Bloodlust, stacking up to 100 times.  More Bloodlust stacks enable faster weapon swaps, quick reloads, more damage and increased duration while using Buzz Axe Rampage.   The ultimate skill in the tree, Bloodsplosion, causes enemies to violently explode in a torrent of blood, damaging nearby enemies.

Krieg's three skill trees are Bloodlust, Mania, and Hellborn.

Krieg’s three skill trees are Bloodlust, Mania, and Hellborn.

The Mania tree is by far the most insane and seems completely counterintuitive at first glance.  The whole point of Mania is to keep your health as low as possible.  You want to take damage, you want your shields down, and the lower your health is the better.  Krieg’s ability to convert overkill damage into health and his chance to hit himself with his own melee attacks means your health bar is constantly draining and refilling.  But what if you flirt with death one too many times and Krieg’s health hits zero?  Forget fighting for your life on your knees like other vault hunters, you’re a psycho bandit!  Light the Fuse enables Krieg to pull dynamite from his pack and run around flinging it at enemies or even detonating himself to score a kill and revive.

The final skill in the Mania tree, Release the Beast, transforms Krieg into a Badass Psycho Mutant when Buzz Axe Rampage is activated below 33% health.  While in this form Krieg deals even more damage and receives a significant reduction to damage he receives.

Still not impressed?  How about being able to breathe fire like a goddamned dragon!  The Hellborn skill tree is all about being on fire, literally.  Again, this sounds counter intuitive but it actually works.  Skills like Numbed Nerves grant Krieg damage reduction while on fire and Elemental Empathy leeches health from burning enemies and channels it back to you.  The ultimate skill for Hellborn Psychos is Raving Retribution. While on fire, taking damage from enemies will spawn homing fireballs which explode on impact; stand close enough and the explosions will set you on fire all over again.

GOTHIC FIT

With the new playable character Borderlands 2 might play differently but at its core it retains the post-apocalyptic havoc, irreverent humor and brutal explication on the social norm that will definitely be a welcome touch to our readership.  Krieg will absolutely appeal to the Gothic gamer looking for even more chaos than usually found in the already absurd world of Borderlands.

CONCLUSION

The mantra high risk, high reward is all over Krieg.  His overly aggressive play style will definitely cause a few deaths for both you and your team as you master playing Krieg right on the edge.  He is a fantastic addition to the already packed five character roster of Borderlands 2.  If you’re looking to get back into Borderlands 2 or just want a change of pace, I highly recommend giving Krieg a try.  You won’t be disappointed.

Presentation: 4.0 Moons (out of Five)
Gameplay: 4.5 Moons (out of Five)
Gothic Fit: 4.0 Moons (out of Five)
Final Score:  4.0 Moons (out of Five)

Score: Four Moons

Author: Chris "Synct" Young

Chris "Sparvex" Young is an avid gamer and history buff. When he's not laddering on Starcraft II, you'll find him refining beer recipes for homebrewing or immersed in a good fantasy series.

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