Finally, the day has arrived in which vault hunters around the globe wait no more to get their hands on the second DLC character class for Borderlands 2, as Krieg The Psycho recently made his debut to the public on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. But, how does this genetically modified raging slab of meat fare against the dangerous perils of Pandora and compare to his fellow vault hunters? Find out in this review for Borderlands 2’s Krieg The Psycho DLC.
Krieg The Psycho, who is pretty much what his name implies, can simply be described as the ultimate bad-ass psycho who can mimic every attack from the countless variations of psychos that he has run into as a vault hunter. He can blow himself up with a bundle of dynamite to take someone out, and transform himself into an actual bad-ass psycho, or into those pesky fire breathing burning psychos, all while carrying a pretty bad-ass version of a buzz axe during his Buzz Axe Rampage, which happens to be his action skill. Once activated, it allows Krieg to deal massive amount of melee damage or to throw it at unfortunate foes who are not within melee range.
Depending on the skill trees paths for Krieg you decide to go down, which are Bloodlust, Mania, Hellborn, you will be sure to experience a refreshing change of gameplay, ranging from acquiring stacks of Bloodlust to buff multiple attributes, to turning Krieg into an actual bad-ass psycho who loves pain and being able to run around the planet of Pandora setting everything, including himself, on fire.
The first skill tree for Krieg, and probably the most useful one if you’re a gun-totting vault hunter who prefers to put a few holes in anything that gets in your way, is Bloodlust. This skill tree is just for you, as it features numerous skills that give Krieg buffs such as extra weapon swap/reload speed, more melee/gun damage and and a tweaked grenade fuse time among other useful things, thanks to the Bloodlust mechanic.
It also grants Krieg a Bloodlust stack, which gives him a small percent buff per every Bloodlust stack he currently has. Don’t worry, if you don’t tend to reload often, you will be glad to know that you will still keep your stacks of Bloodlust. However, they will decay quickly over time if you aren’t constantly killing enemies.
Finally, the capstone skill for the Bloodlust skill tree, Bloodsplosion, which, upon killing an enemy, will cause their corpse to release a nova, dealing the same elemental damage of the final blow to nearby enemies. It’s great for taking down the numerous mobs found across Pandora.
Krieg’s Mania skill tree, which is essentially his very high risk-high reward tree, will turn you into a psychotic masochist with some very unique skills. In this state, damage dealt to Krieg by either friend or foe will allow his action skill to cool down much quicker, since you can be damaged if you decide to pick up his Fuel The Rampage skill. Talking about teammates, Krieg can not only be downed by them, but if you pick up his Redeem The Soul skill, you will be able to instantly revive them when downed at the cost of downing yourself.
The Mania skill tree is also home of probably his best health regeneration skills, Thrill Of The Kill. This skill allows Krieg the ability to add any overkill damage you caused an enemy to return back as health. The capstone for the Mania tree, Release The Beast, is something that fans of Borderlands have been requesting for awhile. It allows Krieg to turn himself into a bad-ass psycho if his health is low enough. Upon doing so, Krieg is granted a 100% melee buff , 50% damage reduction and instant action skill down when it’s over.
Hellborn, the third and final skill tree for Krieg is all about one thing and one thing only: Lighting yourself on fire to gain numerous buffs to the fire element while scorching the many enemies on Pandora who stand in your way. If you’re worrying about this skill tree being almost useless against armor like those Hyperion robots, fear not. He receives weapon damage and damage reduction while he’s on fire, which thankfully, is not hard to do as his Delusional Damage skill allows him to set himself on fire regardless of what elemental damage you’re causing.
Included in this scorching hot skill tree is probably one of my favorite melee override skills in the whole game: His Hellfire Halitosis. It allows Krieg to spew fire onto his foes who dare to be near him. Raving Retribution is capstone skill for Hellborn, which activates once Krieg has been lit on fire. Once he is, he’ll be able to spawn a fireball that actively seeks out anyone who’s damaged him.
The most important thing that Krieg brought to the table is something that Borderlands 2 was missing from the first game: A tanking melee character, who’s capable of not only receiving damage but as well as dishing it out, which Krieg is well capable of, thanks to his action skill which promotes a very fun, in-your-face play style. It makes him one of my favorite characters to play as.
In addition, his crazy play style also probably makes him one of the best characters in the game to make quick work of multiple enemies at once and is what Maya The Siren should’ve have been able to do in terms of elemental damage. If you’re also worrying that playing the story once more might be a drag with Krieg, it’s actually not. In fact, when I went through the story mode, I found myself enjoying it once again, even after I beat it numerous times.
Those who love to customize your vault hunters with the sweet heads and skins you found will be happy to know that out of the six vault hunters, Krieg definitely has the least amount of rubbish heads and offers a wide variety to choose from. You’ll find things from the quirky looking masks like his ‘Ahahaha’ and ‘Double Suplex Time’ to the more menacing Diablo-esque helmet, ‘I Hear Your Blood’ mask. Krieg will be sure to have something for Borderlands 2 fans that they will be looking forward to wearing and unlocking.
Finally, even though Krieg’s Bloodlust skill doesn’t seem like much at first, it can actually be very devastating, even against raid bosses with the right set-up, as long as your able to reach the 100 stack cap of BloodLust and chain his kill skills with multiple Bloodsplosions at once. No raid boss will be much of a challenge to you, if you’re lucky enough, that is.
With every good thing, there’s always something bad about it and, with Krieg, it’s no different. As much of a bad-ass he is, you’ll find yourself becoming your own worst enemy at times. With skills such as Silence The Voices from the Mania tree, which gives Krieg a huge melee bonus, the cost of having a 12 % chance of attacking himself seems to happen a lot more often then described. I’ve witnessed numerous times hurting myself in consecutive melee attacks, instantly putting me in a down state at very crucial moments.
Unlike the rest of the cast of playable characters who have a skill that allows them to slag an opponent without needing to change weapons, Krieg doesn’t. This becomes very problematic for him at the late stages of True Vault Hunter Mode and even more, Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, where slagging a baddie is almost a necessary if you plan on beating any creature with armor or shields on.
In addition, Krieg seems not to be the melee character that Gearbox devs have stated you can look forward to when you get your hands on him. The Assassin character class can easily out-damage Krieg in the melee department with no sweat and reach the damage cap (999 million) with the right set up, thus allowing him a much easier time with raid bosses, unlike Krieg. In fact, from my time playing with him, he’s actually more of a jack-of-all trades as he can almost do everything, but doesn’t really excel in one specific area, aside from dealing fire damage and killing himself.
And The Ugly
As much fun Krieg was, there were some apparent issues with him that’s very easy to see if you play with him. For starters, and probably most importantly, the math that’s used to calculate his melee damage during his Buzz Axe Rampage is completely different from the regular melee formula, making Captain Blade’s Rapier, which deals 200% melee damage, with a good roid shield deal more damage then the Buzz Axe melee with the same roid shield.
At times, using Buzz Axe Rampage seemed to hinder my visibility a little too much – to the point where I had issues determining where to strike at due to the added visuals once you enter it. Speaking of his action skill, if you’re serious about doing a melee build, you’re better off just using Captain Blade’s rapier with a roid shield, as it offers tons more damage then his Buzz Axe is capable of.
Since Krieg does have a lot of skills which can either hurt his teammates or hurt himself in numerous ways, you will tend to die — a lot. This brings up his skill Light The Fuse from the Mania tree, which at first looks pretty cool, but is just a bad gimmick that tends to be almost useless to revive yourself if you’re playing a co-op game with two or more people on True Vault Hunter Mode or higher.
As much fun as I had with this character during my review time with Krieg, I found him to be a little lack luster in some crucial areas as stated above and was turned off by some of his skills doing a lot more harm to him then his enemies. The issues with his Buzz Axe Rampage damage output is also annoying thanks to how the math for his damage is done for his action skill.
Overall, if you’re on a budget, I wouldn’t recommend dropping the necessary cash for him as his other vault hunter pals do a much better job in certain areas such as elemental/melee damage, end game/raid boss viability, and overall usefulness in a four player party than he does. Also not recommended for anyone who lack patience, as he will test it often since he’s capable of constantly dying from anything, including himself and his team mates.
3 / 5
For that, Krieg the Psycho gets three out of five stars.