After a very long and arduous play-through, the words that I can use to best describe Krieg are “Holy” and “Crap”. There are quite a few more expletives between those two words but the meaning is still the same. When Gearbox first released information on Krieg, they described him as a high risk, high reward character. (ain’t that the truth) The scales are definitely moved more to the “high risk” than “high reward”.
For people who thought that Krieg was just a beefy version on Zero, you are right. You will continue to be right as long as you take away Zero’s cloaking and ability to be amazing with guns, I found out (the hard way) that Krieg doesn’t really need guns. His melee ability is good enough. And screw cloaking! Krieg wants to you know him and the voices in his head are coming with a very big buzz saw axe to turn you into a fine red mist.
Form the very beginning; I was slaughtering the lower level enemies just with my melee alone. I had the special Gearbox guns but I did not need them. I just kept whacking things with my axe until they died. Now I know why Brick likes punching things so much. Getting to the midpoint of the first play-through is where I found Krieg’s Achilles heel. Though he has wonderful melee ability and skills that can increase that already wonderful melee ability to ungodly heights, one-on-one fights is where he falters. If Krieg has good guns, then he can obviously kill whatever is in his way but what makes Krieg, well Krieg, is his melee ability. This is where the high risk comes into play. You have to get close enough to the person to hit them when you are in you Rampage mode. Assuming that you kill them enemy before he kills you, you’re golden. But if that doesn’t happen, welcome to Fight For Your Life mode. You will be seeing that a lot. And I mean a lot.
Going down Krieg’s Mania skill tree gives you all the melee bonuses your little crazy psycho mind can handle. I am not going to talk about every single skill but I will say this; I did not need the Bloodlust tree because as I mentioned, Krieg doesn’t need guns. I used the Mania and Hellborn tree and I was just fine. That and the Bloodlust tree only worked as long as you were constantly attacking with its gimmick of obtaining Bloodlust stacks. The moment you let go of the trigger, the moment the bonuses left. I didn’t like that. Plus, when I got to the appropriate level and could turn into a Badass Psycho is when the game got a little too easy. I am only saying a little because though doing 250% more melee damage on top of getting all my health back on top of all of the other bonuses, I was still getting killed. It’s not an “easy” but it is a “Let’s give you fighting chance” button.
There were only two things that I would call glaring issues with Krieg. One of them is his standard melee attack animation. I am not sure if this is intentional but the screen shakes. And if you are going to be using Krieg the right way, you are going to using melee a lot. With that being said, you may get a bit of a headache constantly watching the screen go up and down while you are attacking. Another issue occurs when Krieg is striking while in Fight For Your Life mode. If you notice before the camera goes back into first person view, Krieg’s arm is doing a crazy extension as he strikes. It doesn’t impact the gameplay, but I just thought it was weird.
Hopefully, people (by people I mean hardcore Borderlands 2 enthusiasts) will make builds that can accommodate for Kreig’s disability when fighting raid bosses. If you want a character where you just want to run and f*** s*** up while are all of your friends are cowering behind cover, get Krieg. He is amazing at that and adds a well needed element in the game.