Borderlands 2: Hands-on preview with Krieg, the new character class DLC

Putting the new bandit class through its paces

Nathan Irvine

Mad ‘un

Range warfare – that’s what I’m good at in Borderlands 2. With the sneaky skills of stealthy assassin, Zer0, I creep to a vantage point and rain hot hell onto the unsuspecting idiots below. From such distances I can use sniper rifles, rocket launchers and countless grenades to bombard the enemy safe in the knowledge that by the time they get near, they’re already halfway to hell.

I defeated the game’s final boss, The Warrior, by exploiting a glitch where I could shoot it from afar without taking a hit. I’m not proud of this – well, I am a little – but long-range battles are my comfort zone and something I’ve poured hours into honing in Borderlands 2. This sixth character class DLC, Krieg, changes all this instantly.

The new bandit class thrives in toe-to-toe dust ups. He’s labelled a psycho for a reason and his skill set is all about taking damage to find the super-strength to beat his foes – just like Hulk Hogan. Krieg is no more comfortable than when he’s at death’s door and out of all the Borderlands 2 characters, he’s the biggest game-changer.

Disclaimer: Whilst playing as Krieg at the hands-on event, Gearbox were kind enough to give us a load of points to max out one skill tree. The result skews domination in our favour, but we still understand and love the cut of his jib.

Our attraction to this specific skill tree? The Hellfire Halitosis ability

This new class comes packing three equally powerful skill trees – Bloodlust, Mania and Hellborn. Krieg’s action skill is the delightfully titled Blood Axe Rampage, but we’ll talk about this more later.

Bloodlust is as close as you’ll get to that range warfare I mentioned above. There are bonuses to be had that increase reload speeds (Nervous Blood), power-up assault rifle damage during Fight For Your Life (Bloody Revival) and brilliantly attach a grenade to your axe so when you throw it at an enemy it’ll carve and explode in one (Buzz Axe Bombardier).

The perks of Mania are melee based, which means you’re rewarded for diving into scuffles. Standout skills here are Pull The Pin that drops a grenade when you die and if it kills your assailant you’ll bag double XP. Light The Fuse, which replaces Fight For Your Life and allows you to move as normal and toss dynamite at enemies for a limited time.

Alternatively, you can detonate the lot as a last resort and if someone is taken out in the blast radius, you automatically revive. There’s even the opportunity to transform into a Badass Psycho Mutant and deliver 100% more damage with Release The Beast.

And then there’s Hellborn, which we poured most of our points into during our hands-on time. Our attraction to this specific skill tree? The Hellfire Halitosis ability that lets Krieg breathe hot flames of justice when you click ‘melee’.

The introduction is over. Click the next page to get a feel of what Krieg is like…


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