BorderLands 2 Preview
The sequel to 2009′s Borderlands, Borderlands 2 is an upcoming first-person shooter with role-playing elements currently under development by Gearbox Software for the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3and Xbox 360 platforms.
Five years have passed since the events of Borderlands, when vault hunters exposed the secrets of the Eridian Vault. A man called Handsome Jack has taken credit for the vault hunters’ actions and claimed the wealth of the Vault, allowing him to take over the Hyperion Corporation and effectively gain dominion over Pandora. Promising to clean the lawless planet up, Handsome Jack embarks on a campaign to exterminate Pandora’s existing colonist population and industrialize the planet. The main symbol of Handsome Jack’s rule is a massive supply base built in the shape of an “H” on Pandora’s moon. The base is always visible, and can deploy Hyperion forces to any point on Pandora.
Borderlands 2 begins with the player fighting to the death to win a priceless cache of loot in a gladiatorial tournament run by Handsome Jack for his personal amusement. The player succeeds and gains notoriety, but Handsome Jack sees this as a threat to his popularity with the people. At the tournament’s end he denies the reward and leaves the player for dead in a tundra. The mysterious Guardian Angel from the first game then contacts the player and explains that Handsome Jack must be killed, directing the player to rescue the four original vault hunters from Hyperion’s clutches to accomplish this. Although Jack’s full intentions are unknown, part of his plan involves finding an ancient evil named “The Warrior” that is located somewhere on Pandora.
Like the first game, there are four playable characters in the game, though the characters are all new. The first new character is Salvador, nicknamed “Gunzerker” who resembles Brick from the first game in abilities, but also can dual-wield any combination of guns. The second character is a siren named Maya, similar to Lilith from the first game, but has a different ability to Lilith called Phaselock. The other two characters are a commando character called Axton, who relies on turrets like Roland from the first game and an assassin character called Zer0, whose ability creates a decoy of himself and becomes invisible for a short time, where he can unleash a critical hit on an enemy with his sword or gun. Non-playable characters Guardian Angel and Claptrap return to aid the player during quests. The four characters from the first game, Roland, Lilith, Brick, and Mordecai, all return in the form of NPCs that the new characters will encounter on Pandora or in various missions. In addition to Axton, Zer0, Maya and Salvador a fifth playable character was revealed at PAX East by Gearbox referred to as the “Mechromancer.” The character, who is a red-headed cyborg that can summon a D374-TP (“Deathtrap” – a hulking, floating machine made of scrap parts), is currently in concept stage and Randy Pitchford stated that they would begin to work on her some time after the main game is completed “in a couple months.” It will be post-launch date DLC (Gearbox hopes around holiday time/before Christmas) and will be free for people enrolled in the “Premiere Club” by preordering the game.
Arid Nexus – Blight region.
Caustic Caverns – An area with thick, sometimes hostile, flora and natural bridges spanning corrosive pools of acid.
Eridium Blight – Blight region.
Frostburn Canyon – Arctic region.
The Highlands – Highlands.
Opportunity – Urban region.
Sawtooth Cauldron – Blight region.
Thousand Cuts – Highlands.
Three Horns – Arctic region.
Tundra Express – Arctic region.
Wildlife Exploitation Preserve – A nuclear-ravaged area populated with aggressive fauna and Hyperion robots. Creature Slaughter Dome – pre-order bonus. An Underdome-style arena that pits players against the toughest monsters in Pandora. Includes Moxxi’s Rocket Launcher as an added bonus. Experience and gear gained in this arena will transfer over to the main game.
Party Truck – Driver and gun turret positions with space for two extra riders in the back. Riders in the back of the truck will fire their own equipped guns.
Vehicle suspension and physics were all redone, adding the ability to power slide. Hitting a rock will no longer stop the vehicle dead in its tracks.
Buzzard – A flying vehicle. Buzzards are piloted only by bandits and will not be available for control by players.
Bandit brand weapons – Bandits themselves have started making their own weapons. Their weapons sport the largest magazines in the game.
Jakobs – Jakobs weapons will fire as fast as the trigger is pulled.
Tediore – Tediore weapons have a different feel for Borderlands 2, having been described as “Cheap, plastic pieces of crap” and “Wal-Mart guns” by Randy Pitchford himself during a demo presentation. Instead of being reloaded, Tediore weapons are thrown away and explode like grenades; the more ammo left in the clip, the bigger the explosion. A fully-loaded gun regenerates in the user’s hand after the expended weapon is discarded. Due to their explosive capabilities, there is a chance they will explode in the user’s hand before throwing it away.
Vladof – Vladof continues with their tradition of weapons with extremely high rates-of-fire. Vladof weapons have variable numbers of minigun-like barrels and feature fire rates that increase as the trigger is held down. The more barrels the weapon has, the faster it will fire.
Torgue – Torgue weapons will feature Gyrojet ammunition.
Dahl – Dahl’s guns will focus on stability, precision and burst fire, and feature camouflage coloring.
Hyperion – Hyperion weapons will retain their customary high accuracy, with a “sci-fi” styling, featuring glowing elemental effects and bold stripes. Unlike other weapons, the accuracy of Hyperion weapons will increase the longer the trigger is depressed.
Maliwan – Maliwan weapons will retain their focus on elemental damage.
Character customization – New gear, skins, and “heads” will be made available as drops from bosses and certain enemies and as mission, challenge, and levelling rewards, and will feature varying grades of rarity.
E-Tech – A holdover from the original Borderlands’ Eridian weapons E-Tech is a barrel modification technique that works with all brands of weapons.
Badass Points – Used for tracking overall ranking. The harder the challenge is, the more Badass Points are racked up.
Elemental nerfing – Whereas in Borderlands an elemental-based enemy (e.g. a fire skag) could be killed with sheer bullet damage from a similarly based elemental weapon (e.g. a Hellfire SMG), in Borderlands 2 enemies will take significantly less damage from weapons utilizing elements they have a resistance to.
Multiple Choice Quests – Some quests will feature a choice in how they will be completed. For example, after retrieving questionable photos of Moxxi for Marcus, Moxxi makes a counter-offer to deliver the photos to her. These choices are largely for entertainment but Gearbox has hinted that decisions made during some of the quests can significantly affect the storyline. The player will also have choices in mission rewards.
Trading Interface – A trading system will allow players to formally trade or sell items. Players can also wager items to be dueled for.
Traps – Some normally loot-dropping items (chests, plant pods, etc.) will contain traps (monsters jumping out, corrosive goo spraying, etc.).
Adaptive Shields – Some shields will grant the elemental resistance of whatever damage type they were last struck by.
One Point Wonders – “Game changer” skills that can change available options and gameplay style but only require a small investment to unlock at a basic level.
Eridium – A new element that can be used to augment other elemental powers. It is also a currency that can be used to buy the most powerful weapons. Eridium also can be used as in-battle temporary buffs.
Borderlands 2 will be coming out in september 18th 2012 for the, PC, Ps3 & Xbox 360.
If you pre order it before it comes out, you will get a free map.