Borderlands 2 Preview

Borderlands 2 1

The original Borderlands was a game that fit no single genre perfectly and made no bones about the fact that it was carefully designed to be a happy hybrid. Not only did it meld together a first person shooter and an action RPG, but it took the best parts of both and brewed them into a post apocalyptic splatterfest. Combining a fast paced “in your face” type of shooters gameplay with the leveling and stat distribution aspect of a RPG and then throwing in a healthy dose of loot and upgrades proved to be a recipe for success.

Though Borderlands was tied together by an overall plot involving various competing corporations and alien interference, it was focused on a series of traditional style RPG quest which had you helping a variety of Pandora’s denizens or working off of strategically placed bounty boards. Players could employee an almost infinite combination of potent firearms to complete these objectives. Offering both single player and multiplayer the “role-playing shooter” had arrived with quite a bang.

Borderlands 2 stays true to the formula that Gearbox created with the original and intends to enhance what worked and better areas that were seen as needing attention. Returning will be the familiar questing system, which will still offer experience, cash and item rewards to players on the completion of missions. Players will also still be able to choose a specific type of character, each of which will still possess a focus in certain areas that help to decide when trying to build around a certain role or weapon specialization. Multiplayer will makes its obvious return and deliver the popular online cooperative gameplay that Borderlands has become synonymous with.

Gearbox has pledged to rework certain areas of gameplay, such as putting more variables in the enemy AI and making enemies less predictable in their actions. There are also changes to the games environment which are both to create more of a realistic cycle and to make the game feel more connected and less like individual instances tied together with waypoints.

Borderlands 2 will start off 5 years after the Eridian Vault has been found and looted by the original team of vault hunters. The sequel will continue with brash outspoken NPC’s and focuses on the claim of Handsome Jack, who takes over the Hyperion Corporation. Handsome Jack finds enjoyment in holding arena style tournaments such as were found throughout the first game, but decides that when the player achieves victory in the one he just held that the player could be dangerous. Without going into the plot, this scenario sets the player up similar to the start of the first game and on a path to vengeance.

Though all of the four characters that are selectable are new, each of them fills a similar role to their predecessors. The original cast will also be making appearances throughout the game as NPC’s – which unfortunately means that importing a veteran character from the first game is not possible. Gearbox has already confirmed a fifth character type which will not be available until a later DLC is released.

Graphically, Borderlands looks to keep the same style which Gearbox changed to in the development cycle of the first title. The colorful take on this vast wasteland actually works exceptionally well and the second game looks to be a successful continuation of that theme. PC users and especially those who employ graphics cards by Nvidia will get to enjoy an impressive array of enhanced physics renderings.

Borderlands 2 is set for a September release and has a lot of gamers itching to get back in up close and personal with a slew of psychos, mutants and insanely screaming midgets – all set upon wreaking death and destruction on the player. The time to step back on Pandora, pick a shiny weapon from your carefully horded cache and lock and load is rapidly approaching!


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