First I wanted to say to Gearbox thank you for this game. Here’s hoping they actually read and pay attention to these forums.
With that out of the way I attempted to watch every single video and read every article critiquing the game and it’s obvious that the game itself, the mechanics, are a vast improvement to the predecessors. The problem I keep getting is I’m being told “the story is horrible.” Even knowing people said that I was not prepared for what the game does to the vault hunters and crimson raiders.
The whole situation that happened to Lilith, which…I think unlikely, is possible. This sets up the story, gets some mechanics going in the game but doesn’t ultimately remove the character. Plot was created without having to completely destroy something that was already established.
Cut to Ava and Maya. While I initially didn’t like Ava she started to grow on me. She may have only had one side quest that was mostly like “boo hoo my life was so bad before maya picked me up” but Ava had a lot of potential as an apprentice to Maya and I was really excited to see that evolve.
Then about the midpoint of the game happens and the writers decided that they wanted to repeat the Lilith scene but add more drama. While drama can be a powerful motivator, all that was done in this case was prove to me that the writers don’t care about this franchise at all. It is one hundred percent obvious that the characters and community were completely disrespected.
The Maya death scene was handled wrong, taking a powerful character and killing them off so easily it made them a whimpering victim. Maya had time to notice something was wrong and get an entire message out to Ava before she died. In the time it took her to do that she’d have been able to shoot Troy in the face, slit his throat, or dash him against the wall. Instead she simply stood there and was turned into dust. On top of all of that, upon the vault hunters return, everyone learns of Maya’s death. We got a small scene where they lament a little then decide to soldier on because it’s war. We get a small bit of shouting then it’s basically never mentioned again and no one seems want to really point the finger at the culprit: Ava.
Ava is currently a character whom could have been removed from the game and no one would have noticed. This passing the torch bit to a completely undeserving character and having to kill off a good character that just started to get more development? More than unacceptable. The dynamic Gearbox had going between the two characters was very interesting but I simply do not feel that Ava has the strength to stand alone and now the whole Maya thing has destroyed any interest in that character.
I obviously feel very strongly about this and also do not know what plans Gearbox has. I also understand that sometimes people in these things die. Its also likely going to be true that Maya is dead forever but that in and of itself irks me to no end. This situation, above everything else, literally took the magic out of Borderlands for me. I had gotten so mad initially that I had to quit for a while. Even after starting back up I ignored all side quests and pushed through the main story in hopes that something cool would happen but even victory over the twins felt hollow. I did not feel a hero this time. I feel defeated. Now I don’t feel as if any of the characters matter, I don’t feel as if the writers will give any of the character any thought as to what they can actually do and consistency will fall the way of bad comic book writing. At this point, in order to be able to play through the rest of the game, they’d need to add the ability to skip all cut scenes because I just can’t bring myself to go through this main story any longer. Dramatic I know but it is how I feel.
As always there are ways the writers could still use this situation to achieve the impossible while still telling a good story. In Borderlands 2 Jack refers to the new you stations specifically. These things are acknowledged as something that exists in the world rather than just being a player character mechanic. Why not have a situation where Tanis with her new found powers was able to figure something out, find Maya’s code digistructed in one of the New You’s and pull her out in time for some amazing scene? Two sirens having the same power has also now been canonized by the Calypso twins both being power parasites. They may have had to have a bond but who’s to say inheriting the power of a previous Siren couldn’t be a strong bond? Lets also not talk about how cool it would be to have Krieg team up with Tanis and Eva to do this.
On top of that we have seen that, through various sciences, people have been able to be brought back from death.
Ultimately I feel that doing some sort of resurrection through new you and Eridian would be emotional and heroic. Some may think reversing Maya’s death would detract from Ava but I counter that her dynamic with Maya together was amazing and having a team siren like that would be endearing and fun. There is a lot more to be done with Sirens as we’ve still hardly even jumped into what their powers are, can do, or their purpose and origin.
This whole thing felt so contrived and forced…it bothered me so much I just really wanted to get my thoughts out there.
I look forward to thoughts and comments.