Krieg’s Brain Freeze: Borderlands 2

By Adam Smith on May 31st, 2013 at 6:00 pm.

The latest Borderlands 2 video reveals the sad plight of Krieg, the playable psycho character whose troubled mind you can enter for $9.99. Disconcertingly, Krieg’s inner monologue reveals him to be a thoughtful and frustrated individual. The words that come out of his mouth – words like ‘poop train’ and ‘meat bicycle’ – do not reflect his thoughts, suggesting there has been a breakdown between brain and mouth. Or between brain and other parts of brain. It’s a bit like the time I approached a bar and inadvertently ordered a pint of Carling even though I wanted a beer. You’ll undoubtedly recognise some parallel to your own life when you press play, below.

Are all of Borderlands’ psychos similarly afflicted? It’s a horrific thought.

Even though there are seven hundred and fifty trillion guns on Pandora, I like the idea of hitting people with a rusty axe but I haven’t had time to check this out yet. Is Krieg much cop?

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49 Comments »

  1. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    I’m like that, except in reverse.

  2. PsychoWedge says:

    after all these dlcs the Borderlands 2 Goatee is going to be a thing worth a couple of bucks.

  3. Morph says:

    That was surprisingly sweet.

  4. Kregoth says:

    Well she seemed mildly encourage about his cockatiel powerdering.

  5. kael13 says:

    What a brilliant trailer. I kind of want to buy this now.

    • Spengbab says:

      And THATS how they get ya. Next, you’ll be buying horse armor!

      But yea, pretty clever stuff. I haven’t purchased BL2 yet (And doubt I ever will), but how does this work? Is it just a playable character for multiplayer, or is there a story involved with the guy?

    • mouton says:

      And the I remember how poor and grindy the actual game is and I want to cry.

  6. hemmingjay says:

    2 of the 3 paths for Krieg are pretty awesome. He’s not overpowered to an extreme but just slightly enough to make it satisfying to play through again. Especially if you set yourself on fire repeatedly.

    • The Random One says:

      “Hey, add some thoughtful commentary on the subject at hand. Don’t just regurgitate memes, OK?”

      AND IN THE GAME

      “Sigh.”

      PSHYCHOFACE

  7. RedViv says:

    Somebody should make a game about this. Because really, Borderlands 2 is not.

  8. Ecto says:

    Oh man, this is terrifying. All those psychos… All those hundreds – thousands of psychos I murdered in cold blood. Are they all like this? Reduced to an inner demon fighting the outer monster? Because in that case, the vault hunters are even worse than they seemed before. Jesus.

    • lowprices says:

      No. Those guys were all just jerks.

    • RedViv says:

      Anthony Burch has stated that Krieg is a unique case that has not been driven completely out of his own head through the wonderful Eridian stuff that makes psychos go psycho, hence leaving him stuck in the same head with the… psycho.

      So rest easy, the Vault Hunters are still the beloved knobs for a good cause.

      • Ecto says:

        Word of God saves the day… Still, it’d kinda be more interesting the other way around

        • RedViv says:

          I do not think that Borderlands 2 is the correct opener for this particular can of worms. As stated above.
          Still… Yeah. Mighty intriguing topic, and I would have loved if the one cinematic storytelling adventure about someone potentially losing their mind and flipping and killing people, at least the only big one I can think of, would not have ended with Zombie Neo Jesus fighting against Immortal Mayinkatec conspiracies and Hidden Robot Overlords.

      • grundus says:

        That’s weird, because in the side quest in Caustic Caverns where Tannis gets you to push a minecart, she tells you that everyone on Pandora (well, a lot of them) are ex-employees of the Atlas Corporation who were left behind when it decided to bugger off without telling anyone. Many of them went insane because of the conditions on the planet and became bandits and psychos, so the people you’re killing are actually scientists, manual labourers and family men/women.

        I read an article somewhere – might’ve been Eurogamer – about the differences between Jack and the Vault Hunters, and I came to the realisation that you’re almost as morally bankrupt as he is, and the people of Pandora are mostly just as bad; you get told to go and kill bandits ‘just because’, sometimes with a vague reason to do so, while the reason you want to stop Jack is because he views the people of Pandora as bandits and wants to kill them ‘just because’. I mean where’s the difference between Jack going to Pandora to, er, ‘open the vault’ (is it really necessary to avoid spoilers this late in the game?) and the Vault Hunters going to Pandora to stop Jack, which means killing a lot of bandits – who are the formerly sane victims of their situation and haven’t made a conscious decision (for the most part) to be evil murdering bastards, apparently – anyway? And the people you don’t want to kill want you to go and kill more people for them!

        P.S. That Eridium explanation doesn’t add up, there was no Eridium around in the first game but there were plenty of psychos. Or was he saying that Krieg was driven mad by Eridium and the others weren’t?

        • RedViv says:

          The explanation for the insane amount of psychos (and Tannis) has once been given as that not only are most folks on Pandora driven mad by the search for the Vault, but that any artefact and pointer to the Vault is very likely tainted with Eridium.
          So… It’s pretty much that Pandora itself hastens the development of any kind of stress-induced mental troubles into utter insanity.

          • Corb says:

            on top of the fact that the “laborers” were also all convicts…cause…you know, it was prison planet so most of them were already crazy to begin with. (all covered in the first game))

  9. juandemarco says:

    And now I want a Borderlands 2 cartoon series. That would be awesome!

  10. Dominic White says:

    It’s worth noting that while in-game, 95% of what Krieg says is the usual insane gibber (although he gets slightly more lucid and even poetic during kill-rampages), you occasionally hear his inner voice/conscience chipping in with some quiet introspection.

    There’s one idle line where the inner voice threatens to kill himself if he ever harms an innocent, and the psycho voice is screaming back in protest. Other players in co-op only hear the screaming.

  11. TsunamiWombat says:

    This is brilliantly uncharacteristic of Borderlands. Based on this alone, making me actually care about this character…I think i’m going to reinstall and get this DLC.

    • Stevostin says:

      Actually Borderland 2 is like that. Very good writing. The playable vanilla character have more charisma than the ones from the first game but what makes it stand are really the NPC. I’ll rember Jack for the rest of my gaming carrer. “Butt Stalion says hello”

  12. Stevostin says:

    I like it but it’s pretty sad that they try to make it like the Vault Hunters are truly the good guys. If you look at it, they really are a bunch of psychopaths and the people they’re helping are even worst. A good exemple is that lady who ask you to shoot on here city without getting the shield up just to kill an annoying prick. It’s fun, it’s rewarding, but let’s be clear, if you kill people who behave like asses, you’re a psychopath. My take on Bordlerlands 2 is that like Hot Line Miami it’s a game that admit having you play a true, monstruous criminal. I hope they’ll never seriously pretend you’re not killing innocent.

    • Foosnark says:

      This.

      I actually quit playing BL 2 because of it. Handsome Jack was a brilliantly written villain worthy of a lot of hate, but the “good guys” were not much better. No respect for life, treating murder like a game.

      After the Sandy Hook shooting I decided for good that it’s just not fun to shoot virtual people in the head and then chuckle about it, set midgets on fire, and so on.

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        I, on the other hand, thought that the writing was superbly pitched to encourage thoughts of that nature. Instead of the usual black/white morality, there were only different shades of sewage-brown.

        Why is the Resistance resisting? For freedom? The Psychos are as free as it is possible for a human being to be despite the supposedly oppressive Hyperion rule – free from law, free from morality, free even from sanity, just like the Corwids of the Free. Instead, the “heroic freedom fighters” are fighting for the ability to impose laws, and doing so in a brutal and callous manner which is pretty much indistinguishable from the “might makes right” anarchy in which the Psychos revel.

        Handsome Jack’s crime is merely to set himself above others, and use violence upon those in opposition to him. Who, in Borderlands, doesn’t? Why does Jack, who wishes death to the player, earn more enmity than a nameless Psycho who wants the same thing? The Psycho is close enough to enact violence upon, and Handsome Jack is not. His continued existence is a goad, and as the game continues, vengeance is forgotten, and eventually the only thing driving the player is the wish to end the one constant, Jack’s voice. All that remains is the player’s desire to kill him for his temerity to annoy the player and not suffer.

        • Zyrxil says:

          I think you’re thinking about it too much (or not enough?).

          There are clearly still innocents and civilians on Pandora, even though you don’t really interact with them. They were there in New Haven, in Sanctuary, and in all the other towns that are mentioned but not populated. The devs made it very clear that Jack likes to kill, torture, and experiment on such innocents (and his grandmother and daughter) for fun and scientific knowledge. He also wants to ship in new settlers to live in his new city for the sole purpose of having them worship him. You might make the case that players aren’t much better than Jack, but it is made very clear that the Vault Hunters at least are trying to protect civilians. The only similarity is that they both have no compunction about killing real Bandits/Psychos who rob and raid civilians.

  13. Vermintide says:

    See this… This is good. I’m now gonna have to buy a game I didn’t previously own because the marketing was actually thoughtful and charismatic, and it’s a genuinely interesting idea. I love shit like this.

    Either way this is game promotion and general… Ideas-ness done right. A lot of people dislike the Borderlands style of generic gunplay and lump it in with CobBlopsField of Honour, but this is what sets it apart.

    Probably won’t have nearly enough film-noirism (the only genre to have inner monologues, fact) as I’d like, but hey.

  14. anark10n says:

    Fanfiction writers are going to have a field-day with this…

    Disclaimer: I have nothing against fanfiction writers, just saying

    • Nicodemus Rexx says:

      Fan Fiction writers can do whatever they want, they’re ignored easily enough… it’s the actual writing staff of a game you gotta watch out for. (See Metroid: Other M for a Prime example of when this becomes a problem.)

  15. Nicodemus Rexx says:

    I’m impressed at how deftly Gearbox has changed my mind on Krieg.

    When they announced him I thought he was just gonna be a cop-out. I assumed their thinking was: “Let’s play as a psycho rather than come up with a truly original idea!” And his voice in the early videos sounding so similar to the other psychos didn’t help, so I wrote him off in spite of interesting ideas for play mechanics…

    And then I read Anthony Burch’s “Inside the box” on the difficulty of writing a psycho who you could play as with out feeling like a total sociopathic sicko… and my opinion started to turn…

    And now this video comes out, and I gotta say I love this idea for a character. I’m friggin sold!

    As soon as I have disposable money. ._.

  16. cpy says:

    Damn i love borderlands! First i was like omg, this is horrible, but when you play it, it’s really fun and psycho is just like me! Love it! :D

  17. F3ck says:

    One of a handful of games that genuinely brings me so much giddy pleasure…I often find myself in rapt joy with gratitude for its mere existence.

  18. running fungus says:

    Are all of Borderlands’ psychos similarly afflicted? It’s a horrific thought.

    This is an old thread, but I’ve only just started playing BL2, and I can say that there was a point where a psycho’s ramblings were perfectly understandable, and he went on about how he couldn’t save his wife and he found her dead and there is no hope and… I suddenly lost all appetite to play.

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