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Sequel preview Borderlands found success by mixing two approaches that have historically been left apart; looting and humour.
Think about the 'loot driven' games of the pre Borderlands era and you're likely conjuring images of faux medieval dungeons filled with orcs, giant spiders, horned helmets and burly dwarves swinging elaborate, gargantuan axes. Your goal in these worlds being to collect and parade a never ending stream of equipment, each piece minutely progressing a stream of statistics. These games, in their clich, in their attempt to provide an atmosphere in which to satisfy that Lord of the Rings nostalgia that burns so strong in so many, are often humourless to the point of depression. By unashamedly embracing the bizarre and pushing the humour further towards the ridiculous and crude, Borderlands has brought engaging shooter mechanics to an audience put off by the stuffy approach. As you may guess from its moniker, Borderlands: The Pre Sequel! is no different. it's both prequel and sequel), with publisher 2K very quick to dismiss any notion of this being in any pandora bracelet for kids way 'Borderlands 3'. Being nestled pandora australia jobs between the two allows developer 2K Australia (usual captain Gearbox studio is taking a backseat for this one) to have some fun filling in the gaps and shining new light on existing personalities. If you've played Borderlands 2 then you'll remember Handsome Jack, that game's fetching antagonist and self proclaimed ruler of planet Pandora. Jack is back in Pre Sequel! but this time he's framed as the good guy, at least at the start the game's plot is set to tell the story of how he gains power and, presumably, develops his tyrannical personality. You don't actually get to play as Jack, though; doing so would surely negatively infringe on the telling of his story. Instead, he's the one giving the orders to four new playable characters that, in typical Borderlands fashion, fall into specific class types. Over the course of the demo we're shown (weighing in at around 40 minutes) we only get to see one of the quadruplet first hand, one second hand and just mere glimpses of the remaining two. Athena, the character used in the demo, represents what has been christened the 'Gladiator' class. If you were an avid Borderlands 1 player then you'll already be familiar with Athena, as she appeared in 2010's The Secret Armory of General Knoxx. Her abilities are designed to allow her to take enormous amounts of damage as well as encourage enemies to focus their attentions on her. If this was an MMO you'd call her a 'tank'. She comes equipped with a special ability dubbed 'Kinetic Aspis' that absorbs enemy attacks, stores their power in a glowing red shield, and unleashes it back at the aggressor to the tune of incredible harm. A fitting tool for a 'tank'. Accompanying her on this taster mission is Wilhelm, an earlier form of the robo bodyguard that unflinchingly follows Jack's every command in Borderlands 2. Wilhelm, as the 'Enforcer' class (special ability: summon warrior drones), starts as 100 percent flesh and bone here, slowly becoming more cybernetic as you upgrade his skill tree. This being Borderlands, don't expect any meaningful commentary on what it means to be human in an increasing technology driven world, a la William Gibson, but stark visual change to a character as you play will at least act as an interesting novelty. Nisha and Claptrap are the two we've not seen. Yes, that's the Claptrap that has become the series' mascot, here he's playing the 'Fragtrap' class. Nisha, who appeared as the Sheriff of Lynchwood in Borderlands 2 takes the mantle of the Stetson suited 'Lawbringer' class. Arguably, however, the biggest character of all in any Borderlands offering is the setting. Our demo is set on a moon of Pandora, the mission being the forceful destruction of a base there that's disrupting an intergalactic signal Jack is trying to broadcast. What's the purpose of Jack's broadcast? No idea. 2K is staying incredibly cryptic about anything that comes close to narrative details. Adhering to the same rules of Earth's closest celestial neighbour, the reduced gravity of Pandora's moon means movement is 'floatier' and jumps can be performed that are both higher and further. To further pandora outlet exaggerate this effect, there's also a jetpack to equip that allows for glides across long gaps and gives you the option of initiating attacks from the air. Additionally, there's no atmosphere on Pandora's moon. To combat this you must employ the services of the new 'Oz Kit' item, a system that provides oxygen vital for both your life and fuelling your jetpack. Oxygen within your Oz Kit lasts for a limited time, with you having to refuel at stations inside buildings and occasionally found out in the dusty grey wilderness. It's easy to predict that you're going to have to be careful in regards to how you distribute your oxygen resource in such a way so as to access the jetpack's capabilities, while always keeping in reserve enough to cover your journey to the next fuelling station. Which other environments are to be included also remains a mystery, aside from the fact that there will be others. However, the same giant space station that can be seen in Pandora's sky during the events of Borderlands 2 is equally visible in Pre Sequel! ominously orbiting the moon so it would not be entirely unreasonable to assume we'll finally get to fully explore the interior of that particular behemoth. In terms of overall world size, the word from 2K purple pandora charms is that it's bigger than Borderlands 1 but smaller than Borderlands 2. Although, as we've seen with the franchise up to this point, it's the quality of the missions, rather than size of the playing space, that truly dictates the range of the world. Most of us will only explore if there's genuine reason to do so, after all. The final new additions shown off took the form of new ammunition types, namely 'Cryo' and 'Laser'. Cryo is ice based, each successful shot encasing the target with restrictive shards until eventually enveloping them entirely. Once encased they can be shattered. Less was shown of Laser, however it comes in at least two different forms one being a continuous beam that acts somewhat like a very long range flame thrower, the other a bullet of light as fired by the likes of Star Wars' 'Blaster' pistol. Despite these additions, the tone and direction of Pre Sequel! is incredibly similar to that set by its predecessors. That's no bad thing, especially considering that Borderlands 2 is 2K Games' highest selling title to date clearly, there's an enormous appetite for this formula. Sticking to the blueprint is no surprise either, not least considering the fact that Pre Sequel is built on the same technology as Borderlands 2 and will release on the same platforms. Meaning no PlayStation 4 or Xbox One addition. This is a title aimed squarely at existing fans of the franchise, then.
It's not trying to break new ground or define new ideas, it's playing things safe and whetting our appetites for the inevitable, next gen Borderlands 3. The only unknown in Pre Sequel's formula is whether or not 2K Australia is able to provide an experience equal to the kind of thing Gearbox has spoiled us with. Until we can say otherwise, we'll trust them to do a good job.
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