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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel - Claptrap Impressions

Posted on Saturday, August 30 @ 18:43:52 PST by

Laser inferno disco ball. 'Nuff said.

2K showed off the Claptrap as a playable character in Gearbox Software's upcoming Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel for the first time in America at PAX, and the results are fantastic. But as tragically optimistic and awesome he might be, don't let Claptrap hear that or it'll go to his head, and then he'll never stay quiet.

As you might already surmised, Claptrap has gone through several hardware and software changes since Borderlands 1 to turn him into the deadly robotic assassin, taglined Claptrap the Fragtrap, in the Pre-Sequel. As a Hyperion robot, Claptrap has been reconfigured by Handsome Jack as a militarized unit and been made part of the team to battle the Dahl corporation and take over the moon. Since Claptrap becomes a regular robot by Borderlands 2, it can be assumed that something will happen to him that causes the inevitable downgrade, but who knows?

Claptrap is an advanced character who banks on randomness. Depending on how you distribute your skill points, Claptrap will routinely rotate between sub-routines that tend to give him better stats for a particular gun or with melee attacks. The last ability in the Fragmented Claptrap skill tree sends out a wave of damaging rainbow circles every time a sub-routine is replaced. How fabulous.

On top of that, Claptrap's action skill, VaultHunter.EXE, is a program that will grant the robot special random perks from a set of action packages determined by what's happening in combat, like whether there's a super-badass in play or if Claptrap is low on health. The worse the situation, the better the outcome. One of those better outcomes is Funzerker, a play on the Gunzerker class, which gives Claptrap two guns as he rages across the battlefield firing rapidly and uncontrollably. If you want grenades instead of guns, you'll want to land on Torgue Fiesta 

This action skill, however, is noted for being malware, or at least very buggy software, so it may affect the your fellow Vault Hunters for better or worse. For instance, One Shot Wonder will empty all bullets from a clip with a single shot but all the bullets expended will stack if you hit. So just make sure everyone in your party is deadly accurate.

The best of the lot by far, though, is the Laser Inferno, which launches a spinning disco ball into the air that deals a feverish amount of elemental damage of all kinds on nearby foes. The final boss in the demo I tried, which was about halfway through the game at around Level 35, was a tricky foe that downed my character several times. I managed to scrape by, catching Second Winds in tight situations. But once I received the laser inferno, I just stood next to the boss and watched as his lifebar drained to zero in about ten seconds. I can only imagine and fear what a team of four Claptraps would be able to annihilate.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel arrives in stores on October 14, 2014 on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC in North America.
Related Games:   Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

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