The original Borderlands was released well over two years (October 20th, 2009 to be exact) and it came as no surprise to many that Gearbox, the developers of Borderlands, announced a sequel not long after the game’s popularity exploded among critics and normal folk alike. The thing that helped Borderlands in its popularity explosion is arguable, but there’s no doubt that one of the things was the wide variety of weapons and when I say wide, I mean wide. According to Gearbox, as of its release, Borderlands featured around 17,750,000 different variations of guns. While finding all of those is pretty much impossible, it’s still fun to look. I found at least twenty. I’m about half way there.
The other thing was the combination of RPG mechanics and standard first-person shooting mechanics. As a trailer for the game once put it, “The RPG and FPS made a baby,” simple, but correct. The game introduced many different open-world opportunities and tons of NPC’s to grab some quests from. The heart of the whole experience was the loot, though. Oh the sweet loot, watching guns and money pop out of your enemies was like watching candy rain from the sky.
All of those stunning features shall return in Borderlands 2, along with a few new well-appreciated additions. In a rather surprising note, one of the first press releases sent out regarding Borderlands 2 was a casting call for a female to portray the Siren Lilith in a live-action scene in the game. At this point I was not sure if this should be a good thing or a bad thing.
In the first real press release sent out following the game’s announcement, the mantra “bigger, better, and more badass” was placed upon the game. As stupid as that sounds, it fits the attitude exhibited by everything pertaining to Borderlands perfectly. Also unveiled was the return of everything you loved from the first but most importantly, when you preorder Borderlands 2, you gain access to the “Borderlands 2: Premiere Club.” Being in this club will get you a unique gun pack, an item to increase the player’s gear-hunting fortune, and a key that will unlock a rare item through something called the “Golden Sanctuary Loot Chest.”
In arguably, ah hell, not arguably, the best trailer released in the past 10 years, Gearbox unveiled a few things. You’re going to get a lot more of the same stuff, some UI enhancements, and four new characters. The characters names are Axton (Class: Commando), Zer0 (Stealth), Salvador (Gunzerker), and Maya (Siren). The more interesting of the bunch seems to be Salvador. He’s a Gunzerker which obviously means the man loves heavy weapons, obviously. The big thing about him seems to be the fact that he can wield multiple heavy weapons, like a sniper rifle and a rocket launcher, perhaps? Because that seems like the best choice. Also mentioned was more wub wub, which no one can deny their want for.
Eventually, the role of Lilith (and the actress, Yasemin, Arslan) was unveiled. In Borderlands 2 she will play a role similar to the Guardian Angel from the first game, occasionally popping up In a live-action role with thoughts on the current situation in the game’s returned setting, Pandora. Don’t fret though as the Guardian Angel character will return as well, though we’re unsure in what form.
Possibly the last “big news” surrounding Borderlands prior to its release hit around two months ago as Gearbox announced two special editions of the game, the first being called Deluxe Vault Hunter’s Collector Edition (100 bucks), and the second dawned the name Ultimate Loot Chest Limited Edition (150 bucks). Awful names aside, the Deluxe Vault Hunter features “a copy of Borderlands 2; authentic Marcus Kincaid bobblehead ; Inside the Vault: The Art & Design of Borderlands 2 hardbound book; collectable sticker set; map of Pandora; digital comic download code; and bonus downloadable in-game digital content. “ While the Loot Chest contains “ all of those items, plus a collectable scaled replica of the red loot chests found throughout Pandora in Borderlands 2; steelbook case; Creatures of Pandora wide-format ID chart; lithograph postcard set; field notes from Sir Hammerlock; cloth map of Pandora; and a numbered certificate of authenticity. “ Why you would purchase either of those two editions is beyond me but if you do, enjoy it!
Let’s all be honest here, pretty much no one cares about the fiction in Borderlands. If you do, I’m glad, but I know most people don’t and if you’re like me, you don’t care what’s new in Borderlands 2, you just want more. Which is exactly what Gearbox is giving us; they’re delivering more of everything with a small dash of new content. In most games, that would be a strong negative. In Borderlands, however, that’s one of the best selling points you can present.
Borderlands 2 releases September 18th for America and 21st for Europe.