Borderlands 2 was one of the oddest announcements this year. For those of you have forgotten the saga that revolved around Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford, it all took place in August and started with Eurogamer saying they’d heard an announcement about the game would be arriving “soon”, with the game to release in 2012. Now this is the sort of news that crops up frequently, and often turns out to be wide of the mark or flat out wrong. Generally it’s treated with responses of “We don’t comment on rumours or speculation” from the companies involved. However, this time Randy Pitchford took a slightly… different approach.
Instead of just letting it slide by or refusing to comment, Pitchford took to Twitter. He started by calling Eurogamer’s article, which “confirmed” the game, shoddy journalism. Of course it wasn’t all that shoddy, given that the game was officially confirmed just a single day later. That confirmation wasn’t enough to keep Randy off of Twitter, with him going on to suggest some foul play from Eurogamer and equating the leak to the News of the World phone hacking scandal. It was all, frankly, a bit strange.
As for the game itself, it was a few weeks until we got some real details about the sequel to 2009’s Borderlands. The game remains set on Pandora, although takes place five years after the first game. Whilst the four characters from the original game will return, they’ll only serve as NPCs who crop up during various campaign missions. Instead the game will feature four brand new characters trying to over throw Handsome Jack, a villain who’s risen to power by claiming the treasure of the first game’s Eridian Vault.
Unsurprisingly it looks like these four characters will share several characteristics with the first game’s characters, although as we’ve only seen two so far this is just an assumption based on that. The first of these two characters is Salvador, a large man nicknamed “Gunzerker”. As you may have guessed he’s pretty handy with a gun, and has the ability to dual-wield any combination of guns. In many ways he’s like Brick from the first game, in both abilities and in appearance.
The second character is a Siren, like Lilith from the original game. Named Maya, her powers are unknown right now, although it seems unlikely that she’ll share Lilith’s phasewalk ability, as all Siren’s have different powers.
In other changes from the original, Gearbox have vastly expanded the game’s colour palette, although it keeps the cel-shaded art style. Whilst the original wasn’t a wild flurry of colours, they really have decided to branch out in the sequel. Frankly it’s looking quite beautiful right now, and it will probably only get better as more details and images of the title appear in the coming months.
Although the game retains much of the gameplay from the original, there have been some tweaks. These include a significant expansion of the game’s weapon system, an overhaul to the vehicles and a new dynamic quest system. This means that if, for example, a friend dies during a quest not only will you fail the quest, but it will have ongoing consequences on the game’s plot.
As the game is currently set for a July 30th release we can probably expect to see a lot more about the game in the coming months.