Adventuring through Pandora is difficult and fighting through it is even harder. But all that could change when playing as the Commando, because of your trusty little turret, property of Dahl industries, has more firepower than one would expect. Though not as crazy as the Gunzerker, if you’re looking for an incredibly well-balanced soldier class that has good weapon skills, survivability, and a nifty little buddy that cleans up baddies with cold hard lead while you sit around and sharpen your tomahawk with the skulls of your victims, then this class is for you!
Note: This isn't really a guide. It's more of an overview just to help you choose your character. After all, the game never tells you what a character is capable of in the character selection. If you haven't checked out our review for Borderlands 2, don't forget to check it out here first.
No need to turn corners, that’s what turrets are for
Every class has a unique ability they can activate every now and then that is unique to the specific class.
For Axton, that’s his trusty portable turret, The Dahl Sabre Turret. This turret is very powerful and depending on which specialization you choose to do, you can add additional turrets on the battlefield or equip them with very powerful weapons like a missile launchers. It even has a 360 degree turn radius!
Mix of Brawn and Brain
Every class has three skill trees, each rather different in concept. You don’t pick a skill tree and have to stick with it. For one, you can re-spec at any safe haven town and on top of that, you can distribute your points in any of the skill trees. So you can focus on the one that gives you the most gun damage for instance, or distribute them evenly between the one that’ll give you more speed and the one that’ll give you more armor.
Axton’s three specialization choices are Guerilla, Gunpowder, and Survival
Guerilla focuses on close-ranged engagements. It adds to your personal ability to do damage as well as heavily upgrades the turret so it can provide suppressive fire while you clean-up.
If you go down this path, Axton gains abilities that grant him more damage for kills which give you an incentive to run and gun. Your turret on the other hand, becomes a stationary turret of absolute annihilation because you’ll be able to equip it with missile pods as well as double the amount of guns the Sabre Turret has to offer which quite literally doubles the firepower.
This specialization focuses more on medium engagements. This path buffs your own abilities much like Guerilla does but uses the turret more for a distraction rather than something you deploy for suppressive fire so you can run in. Consider this the more “tactical” spec tree.
If you max this class out, you’ll eventually be able to deploy your turret pretty much anywhere you want with the “Longbow Turret” ability, which increases your turret deploy range by 10000%. At max level, every time you set down a turret, you create a nuclear explosion. So essentially, you can run in one direction, set off a nuclear explosion in another which creates enough agro to get enemies off your back, and proceed to shoot off the tails of unsuspecting monsters.
Pretty much as it sounds, this specialization enhances your defensive capabilities and focuses more on deploying the turret very frequently. This tree makes Axton rather un-killable because you heal from pretty much everything you do and should you actually get downed, you have a much easier time getting back up. All I can say is… If you like to be annoying this tree is for you!
The last ability in this skill tree is one called “Gemini” which alloys you to deploy two turrets at once. Prior to obtaining this skill, there’s another ability called “Phalanx Shield” which allows your turrets to deploy a shield that blocks incoming damage. On top of these two abilities, you may not have the deployment range of Gunpowder but you can rest your turrets on walls and ceiling. So with a shield, you can completely block off a corridor with two turrets.
Playing as the Commando
Axton is a pretty interesting character. If you plan to play by yourself, I definitely recommend him because the help from the Sabre Turret is rather amazing. In group play, I’d definitely consider him a more offensive support class. Unlike the gunzerker who runs in and massacres things or the Siren who can dish out disables, Axton can cover angles with a turret rather than sending a player to die or even use the little Sabre to provide un killable cover-fire. That’s not to say the commando can kill on his own… After all, there wouldn’t be a $5,000,000,000 bounty on his head for nothing… But that might be because he’s a douche’.