I Believe In Handsome Jack

It’s funny how a place can change in such a short period of time. The Pandora of the original Borderlands was simply not a fun place for me to explore. Brown wasteland after brown wasteland ad infinitum, and that’s before mentioning the never ending grind. It was tedious to say the least. Borderlands 2, which starts in a wintry hell before moving on to more diverse vistas, was significantly less environmentally challenged (as it were) but still…dat grind, bro.

But the Pandora of Borderlands 2 wasn’t a place I was prepared to give up on, despite sometimes wanting to – have you seen just how many bots you have to shoot? I mean seriously. The reason why? Fairly simple actually. Jack.

Handsome Jack. Whilst Borderlands had its own villain, Jack had so much more depth as a character. Sure, the game starts with him attempting to kill you and all your buddies – he is ultimately the villain of this piece after all – and he continues to do awful things all throughout the campaign. The thing is he’s just so damn likeable.

From start to end, Jack is the only person who held my attention. On the few occasions when he directly issues you a mission, they became priority one. Anything that could potentially involve digging some more info on him. And that one special mission in Endeavour, cutting down the statues of him.

Why is he such an interesting character? There’s more than a few reasons but I’ll keep it short (because, hey, this is The Short). Firstly, a name can tell you a lot about a person and Jack is no different. He’s egotistical, seemingly genuinely believing in his good looks despite the fact that he has to wear a mask. Second, because he also seemingly believes that he’s the hero of this story, not the Vault Hunters. He’s the one who’s been wronged and triumphed. He’s the one who will stop those in his way. Finally though, and this is the biggy, it’s because he’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma. He’s not flat out insane like Far Cry 3‘s Vaas. He has motives, a bigger plan (which happens to span both games) but moreover, even by the end of the game, we know very, very little about him apart from from a few wonderful nuggets. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some characters get spoiled when we know too much about them (Hannibal Lecter, I’m looking in your general direction).

Plus, y’know…butt stallion. It may be childish but damn, it works.

Basically what I’m saying here is that I’m pretty much going full fanboy over Jack and if we don’t get some sort Charlie’s Angels inspired DLC with him in the forefront, I’m going to be severely disappointed. Y’know, just instead of Angels…Stallions. And instead of fighting evil, horrendous tasks as Jack’s revenge.

I mean…we did sort of mess up his year.