Fans of the Borderlands series will finally have another chance to sate their never ending desire for more as Gearbox Software and 2K Games have announced that there will be a third installment into the shoot-and-loot phenomenon that is Borderlands. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has been in development for over a year by the two companies and is slated to be released sometime before the end of this year.
This newest installment into the award-winning series will give players a chance to fight through the events that took place between the first two games. Four new playable characters will be introduced as we find out how the super-evil, egocentric Handsome Jack came to be the antagonist in the second game. Playing on Jack’s side during his more humble beginnings, players will watch the man’s rise to fame and power, often on the backs of other’s. This change in perspective will be extremely interesting as we will get to contrast the villain of Borderlands 2 with the quiet computer programmer that Jack once was. The game is set on the moon looming over Pandora, and the giant satellite that shot at players in the second game.
Those who have played the games before will be somewhat familiar with the four playable classes, and die-hard fans will be ecstatic. These new classes include Athena, a former Atlas Assassin and former member of the Crimson Lance who first made an appearance in downloadable content for the first game. Wilhelm, a man turned cyborg that was the first boss in Borderlands 2 and Jack’s personal bodyguard. Nisha, the lawbreaker who later becomes the Sheriff of Lynchwood and Jack’s lover. The greatest inclusion will be the ability to play as the fan favorite, bad-mouthed robot, Clap Trap.
Rumors had initially leaked on the internet concerning the game’s production, sparking a fervent search for more information as fans of the series desperately sought for anything they could find.. After much questioning, Gearbox and 2K Games released a developer’s video that laid out the specifics of the game as well as a look into some of the new features.
The game will be operating on the Borderlands 2 engine, giving it a huge edge over the first game and allowing this new installment to be a perfect transition for those who have played through the series. None of the major game mechanics have been changed, attesting to the quality of Borderlands 2.
There will be at least one new mechanic added to the game, oxygen. As players will be traversing an atmosphere-free moon, there will be no air to breathe. To combat this environmental danger, developers have introduced an oxygen tank system that allows players to traverse a low gravity environment, adding a whole new aspect to the game’s already intense firefights. While there will be plenty of interior locals in the game, the moon and the Hyperion moon base are connected by large, open air maps that require players to traverse open space.
Your air supply will be tracked in a new gauge located on the player’s display and will become a constant concern when you’re wandering around outside. The tank will be upgradable using new “Oz Kits”, giving the tank more versatility and different bonuses. This new piece of equipment will come with its own slot in the player inventory screen, similar to class modifications. New and upgraded Oz Kits will be added to enemy loot tables as well, giving players a chance to reap even more benefits from killing foes. The new Oxygen tank feature will not only affect the player’s ability to breathe in the open-space environments. You will be able to use your tank as a sort of jet-pack, giving you an extra boost in your jumps and increased mobility on the battlefield.
The new installment will also continue to expand the immense arsenal that the Borderlands Series is known for. Millions of different guns can be dropped in the game, each slightly different than the last. There will be the classic, elementally-powered weapons that utilize fire, electricity, and other sources, but the pre-sequel will also be adding cryogenic freezing weapons as well as powerful, laser based firearms.
2K Games was wise in not trying to change anything foundational to the recipe, instead opting to only add interesting and innovative features. Anyone who has played previous installments will more than likely find the same pleasure in this newest addition. Look for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel before the end of the year for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC.