Axton and Gaige: Command and control.
Borderlands 2 as a game so far has been an enjoyable experience. Now before I get into the break down and review: no one told me that if I deleted images from my media storage that it would also delete them on my articles. Earlier today I scrolled through some of the articles – like Salvador the Gunzerker’s review – only to find that the images were not there! Now I just feel like a complete idiot for not noticing this earlier as before today the images still appeared on the articles I published. There shall be more caution in the near future, but anyways enough of me wallowing in my abstract pity: you want to hear if Axton and Gaige is worth your time when you are venturing through the Borderlands.
Axton was one of the original 4 Vault Hunters to be released with the main game; and similar to Gaige, he can call upon a “minion” if you will, which comes in the form of a sentry turret. The turret can then be upgraded through the tech trees to improve the overall performance, and combat capabilities throughout the game. Aside from that, the back story to Axton is essentially the same as Roland from the first Borderlands: a soldier gone AWOL (absent without leave), seeking riches and glory in the untamed wilderness of Pandora.
Now when I first played Borderlands 2 I did not care much for Axton or his sabre turret. Slowly however, as I went through the game with Salvador the Gunzerker, I realized that having a “minion” does come in handy because when you are down and no allies are nearby – or they are ignoring you to get revenge – the turret can save you in the form of kill-revives. This extra “pick-me-up” came in real handy in tight situations where I was down, and needed a revive fast. Aside from his special ability, Axton plays pretty much the same as the other three Vault Hunters. All weapons are useable, weapon drop rates are the same, and the story line is exactly the same – melee weapon and animation are somewhat different though. While Axton and Gaige share the same trait of having a minion as an ability, their play styles branch off from that point onward.
Gaige was a DLC character added into the game sometime shortly after release, and her play style has an interesting twist towards it. Similar to Axton, Gaige calls upon a machine to do her bidding – which comes in the form of a legless torso robot named Deathtrap. Gaige can – like Axton – upgrade Deathtrap via the skill trees available to her, further increasing damage output, and increasing survivability on the battlefield. Gaige also has one particular skill that takes a bit to get used to – especially for those Counter Strike players who know the value of reloading when the opportunity presents itself rather than waiting for the gun to go empty.
Titled “Anarchy” Gaige can rely on this skill to increase her damage output every time she empties her magazine into the enemy. Anarchy gives her increased damage, but at the expense of accuracy. Therefore when Gaige stacks up – and yes these bad boys stack like pancakes on a Sunday brunch – enough anarchy, she will do tons of damage, but be about as accurate as a Star Wars Stormtrooper – to separate the crappy Storm Troopers from the good, Warhammer 40,000 Storm Troopers that serve in the Imperial Guard, and Inquisitorial forces. Now this can sort of be countered with “close enough,” where bullets can ricochet off walls and end up inside the enemy. This sort of “hit me of you can” routine makes Gaige both enjoyable to play as, and challenging at the same time as pointing straight at the enemy may yield the musket-style shot in which it just flies past their heads, leaving you frustrated as they approach closer and closer, and your magazine reads two bullets left, but if you reload all those anarchy stacks disappear. When I first played as Gaige, it was strange. Stacking anarchy was about as fun as letting Thrashers impale me on their spines; however over time I got used to it, and ultimately ended up liking the ability. Borderlands 2 certainly is a wacky game, and Gaige is equally insane – with her cutting off her own left arm, and replacing it with a robotic arm that had Deathtrap programmed into it.
Ultimately both characters are worth a shot when it comes to Borderlands 2. Both are equally unique, both are quite enjoyable, and useful in tight situations where your allies might abandon you. Definitely Gaige is worth the money in terms of being a DLC character, though the Psycho Krieg is quite the enjoyable character to play as, and being even more insane than the other five Vault Hunters, he also warrants a look at in the near future.
Great, this means I need to now go and review him too (sarcasm intended). Anyways folks that is a look at Axton and Gaige: try them out, as the turret deployment skill does come in handy for games that incorporate a sort of “minion” control feature – like Team Fortress 2 with their Engineer, or Guild Wars 2 with their Engineer. Thank you all for reading, and I shall see you next time.