Your starter for ten: what is the end product of the collision between looting, shooting, cel-shading, Mad Max, blithe grinning and absolutely zero expectations? If you answered anything other than Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, please imagine Paxman looking at you like you just suggested that China is a fruit.

Let’s start with the ‘zero expectations’ part. Be honest, did you ever think this last-gen only effort from the relatively unknown 2K Australia would ever top the game’s post-sequel, Borderlands 2? No, and you’re quite right to. It doesn’t. However, it’s eerily good atmatchingsaid pre-prequel(?) in fact the best way to think of this is as a really big bit of DLC that lives up to the series’ impeccably
high standards for add-on content. One that justifies the full price of a game.

The looting, shooting, cel-shading, and such. It all happens on the moon now!
(At least,amoon. Elpis actually, Pandora’s satellite planet.) Imagine that. Imagine the low-gravity hijinks you could have with Borderlands’ sublime trigger-pulling and loot piƱatas on amoon. Both those core elements are unchanged actually, so excellent but not worthy of any special praise just for not having been broken. However, your new climes facilitate jump pads, jet-boosting and butt-stomping thanks to the reduced gravitational pull.

Jump and grind
Essentially you’re now more likely to encounter enemies while floating about, and will be even more confused about your quest markers because there’s much more verticality now. Let us stress this though: jumping long distances really slowly over lava lakes is so fun that after you finish playing you find yourself thinking about it. Oh, and enemies all have helmets that can be shot out to
suffocate them slowly a handy tactic if you find yourself fighting for your life a lot and want to bank a few Second Winds at the start of a gunfight.
Vehicles are all-new and appropriate to the locale, and laser weapons make a natural debut in the high camp sci-fi setting. But it’s the Grinder that most steals our affections. After completing a side quest for new character Janey Springs you’re given a device that eats guns and spits out if you’re lucky or
throw in some black market currency better guns, giving your finds more meaning now.

Now then, Mad Max. 2K Australia’s done a great Gearbox impression on the new systems and mechanics front, but happily it hasn't tried to ape the existing humour. Instead you’ll find bosses based on Ned Kelly and a wealth of top notch Aussie voice acting (principally Ms Springs, your early comrade). Returning characters make up the majority of The Pre-Sequel’s plot, most interestingly a
pre-evil Handsome Jack, but the tone as a whole? 2K Oz owns it.

Sadly, that isn’t quite enough for The Pre-Sequel to merit thereallybig praise. Its successes are the same successes of its predecessors, and by and large they’ve been dropped into this game unchanged. That’s why it’s better to think of this as XXL DLC rather than a sequel a sequel’s supposed to further the series, to make meaningful steps into the new. And for all its endearing qualities, this one doesn't do that.