[Update 2: Got two shitty pistols. I hate my life.]
[Update: Decided to reward myself when I hit level 20. I'll let you know how it goes.]
I've made no attempt to hide my love for Borderlands 2. Even before the game was out and I was granted the opportunity to write my first ever Destructoid feature, my excitement for the title had already began bubbling up like a b-- wait, no. Not gonna make this blog about that.
Anyway, thanks to a few of the best friends a guy could ask for, I've been playing the game since day one, and after dozens of hours spent slaughtering swarms of psychos, murdering mobs of Bullymongs, and stockpiling more weaponry than an NRA member prior to January 19, 2009, I'm still giddy with excitement every time I boot up the game and grab my controller.
But what keeps me coming back for more? Is it the rock-solid shooter gameplay? The fantastic sense of "go-anywhere, do-anything" exploration? The phenomenal art direction and character design? The witty dialog? Nope, nope, nope, and nope. Sure, all those things add up to make Borderlands 2 one of the best games of 2012, but they're not the real reason I continue to happily hop around Pandora with a childlike smile on my face, long after that "new game glow" has faded.
Then what, you ask? This:
For those of you who've yet to tread the streets of Sanctuary, the game's main town, a little background: What you're looking at here is the Golden Loot Chest, unlockable via the Golden Key you get for either A) pre-ordering the game, or B) joining Gearbox's "Shift" club. The Chest (or, rather, the items inside it) levels up with you, so the longer you wait to pop its top, the better the weapons you'll receive.
As I was gifted my copy of the game and thus did not receive a pre-order bonus, I have only one Golden Key to my name, which means I'm allowed to open the Golden Loot Chest one time... and then it's gone forever.
AND HOLY SHIT THAT'S EXCITING.
There are so many ways to approach this situation that my mind is simply swirling into madness. Should I open it now and take advantage of the early boost in stats the weapons may offer? (I'm currently at level 17.) Should I wait until I'm a level 50 and hope for a goddamn BFG to pop out? What if the weapons suck? What if they're fucking awesome?WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO?!
No matter what I decide, the fun is truly in the not knowing; the excitement will be over as soon as I turn the key, and, regardless of the payout, I'll never again capture this feeling.
Talk about exhilarating.
I've never before experienced such a mind-breaking decision in a videogame. For all their choices and so-called moral dilemmas, Mass Effect, Fallout, BioShock -- you name it -- had nothing on the Golden god damn Loot Chest.
I haven't yet decided when I'll use my key, but no matter what ends up happening, I am absolutely reveling in the uncertainty. This, ladies and gentlemen, is choice done right in a videogame.