Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
At long last, the time has come, traveler. After deep dives in Athena, Wilhelm, and Nisha, our quartet is finally complete. In fact, with the fourth playable character, Claptrap, the party is more complete than it's ever been.
Claptrap is a character that people either love or hate, which carries through to his appearance in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. You're never far from his one-liners, and many of his abilities will have a direct impact on other players.
I'm not just talking about buffs and heals. Claptrap can mess with your party in weird ways thanks to his active ability. VaultHunter.exe is one of the most random elements I've seen in an RPG since Final Fantasy VII with Cait Sith's gambling-based limit breaks.
When you activate VaultHunter.exe, Claptrap assesses the situation. Are you alone or with friends? Is one of your allies fighting for their life? How many enemies are nearby? The result triggers one of many different abilities that mimic any of the other playable characters from across titles.
I gunzerked, dropped a turret, went into showdown mode, and went a little crazy like Krieg. Some of the results are new, including a huge bomb, a flood of Torgue grenades getting tossed automatically, and one that will likely earn the ire of your teammates. One vaultHunter.exe result makes the entire party bounce uncontrollably, but with the benefit of reflecting bullets.
If you find Claptrap annoying as an NPC, you will likely despise playing alongside him. I absolutely loved the randomness of the active ability though, as it seemed to recharge quickly, though that could have been tuned for demo purposes.
I opted for the skill tree that caps off with Claptrap looking for some love from his friends. He can ask for a high five. If granted (via a punch to the face), he and the team get a buff for being such best buds (called "I Love You Guys"). If denied, Claptrap gets a different set of bonuses as thumbs-down icons fill the screen (aptly named, "Screw You Guys").
Many of you have asked some sensible questions about how Claptrap functions mechanically. He's shorter than the other vault hunters (he's the Odd Job of the bunch). He does require oxygen (no, we don't get it either). When he "runs," he doesn't have a look bounce, creating the effect of rolling quickly on his one wheel. He can also jump and climb ladders. He functions like any other vault hunter in terms of core mechanics, but everything is thematic and flavorful.
Claptrap might just be the biggest writing and designing accomplishment the Borderlands team has ever pulled off. He's fun to play, exactly as maddening to listen to, and you get to punch him in the face.