Announced by Gearbox Software on August 3rd of last year, Borderlands 2 is finally preparing to hit the shelves on September 18th, later this year. Borderlands’ iconic art style, coupled with its unique combination of first person shooter and role playing elements made it something many people enjoyed immensely. Now, five years later we’re finally getting the sequel we’ve been waiting for, and it promises to deliver an amazing follow-up experience.
Borderlands 2 takes place five years after the events of its predecessor. Handsome Jack has taken over Pandora and has essentially taken credit for everything you worked so hard to accomplish throughout Borderlands. This time around, instead of searching for the Vault, you’re tasked with killing this dictator and restoring peace to Pandora. The Guardian Angel who guided you through most of the major twists and turns of Borderlands returns to lend your player direction in your mission to save the world. The first major problem you encounter is requiring the aide of the four original vault hunters. There’s something terribly wrong here, though. These hunters have been imprisoned by Hyperion, Handsome Jack’s corporation, so you must find your way to where they are being held and free them from Jack’s evil clutches.
Many characters are making appearances again, including Dr. Zed, the four Vault Hunters from Borderlands, and everyone’s favorite, temperamental robot, Claptrap. This is by no means the complete list of characters to return from Borderlands, but why spoil all the fun now? The class system in Borderlands 2, the process by which you customize your character to your specifications, is extremely similar to Borderlands. We have the Commando (Borderlands’ Soldier), Siren, and Assassin (Borderlands’ Hunter) making another appearance, remaining largely unchanged from Borderlands. Players who fell in love with these play styles before will mostly likely enjoy these classes just the same, if not more depending on how Gearbox has decided to improve upon their already solid mechanics. Replacing the Berserker class from Borderlands is the new Gunzerker class. Where the Berserker class specialized in in-your-face combat, and brutal melee attacks, the Gunzerker class is able to dual wield any weapons in the game for finite periods of time, upon Action Skill activation. The final and most original class making an appearance in Borderlands 2 is the Mechromancer class. What really makes this class unique from all the other playable classes is her core mechanics. She is able to control mechs, including the D374-TP (“Deathtrap”), though the full extent to which this ability is utilized is something that has yet to be released in detail. The only real downside to the Mechromancer is that she will be available as day one downloadable content, free for those who pre-order the Borderlands 2, and costing a small fee for those who don’t.
Along with allies, many of the enemies, vehicles, and weapon manufactures that you’ve all come to know and love will be making the cut in Borderlands 2. The list of returning enemies is rather small compared to all the new Robots, insects, worms, and various other monsters you’ll be fighting in Pandora on your journey, not to mention all the new capabilities these foes have been given, including the ones you already know about like Bandits and Skags. In addition to enemies, we’ll be seeing the return of vehicles, with the addition of the Buzzard, which serves as a helicopter, though it will only be usable by enemies in pursuit of you. Lastly, Borderlands 2 is going to be featuring many of the weapons manufacturers players all became accustomed to, each with their own perks that separates them from competitors. For instance, Maliwan weapons will retain focus on elemental damage, while Tediore guns have been reworked to act as explosives upon the emptying of the cartridge, an interesting ability that has the potential to both help and harm the user.
Gearbox has ensured that the return voyage to Pandora is going to be a great one. For those of you who haven’t played Borderlands, you can pick it up for around $20 online or even cheaper on Steam if you catch is on sale; it’s definitely something worth checking out. This game is coming out on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, so make sure to mark September 18th on your calendar – Borderlands 2 is going to be a game you’re not going to want to miss.