A bit of silly naming aside, developers Gearbox Software and 2K Australia are taking a serious risk in making Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel the next iteration of the open world RPG franchise; a game not only (ambitiously) set in space as rumoured, but straddling the line between being a prequel to the well-received Borderlands 2 and sequel to the original title (as opposed to Borderlands 3). While Gearbox is adamant that Borderlands 3 isn’t in the works, they’ll have to work hard to hold fan interest and prolong the demand for the chronological follow up in the franchise. By the looks of things, they’re pulling out some nifty tricks to do so.
The biggest move is the host of protagonists that will be playable in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel as players aid (Borderlands 2 villain) Handsome Jack’s rise to notoriety. Of these names, fans of the series may be very familiar with Claptrap, the part-time robot helper and part-time hindrance, making a return this time as a playable choice under the ‘Fragtrap’ description, suggesting that he may offer a rather bombastic playstyle.
Also interesting about Claptrap’s inclusion in the game is that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel uses an oxygen mechanic in which characters (and enemies) have to keep an eye on their oxygen tanks as O2 depletion could cause health deductions and even death, but with Claptrap obviously not needing such humanly concerns, playing as him will perhaps give players an alternative to the brand new Borderlands feature.
On the breathing side of things, we have Claptrap’s peers. First up, there’s Nisha, a character in the ‘Lawbringer’ class who wears a fashionable purple cowboy hat, and was previously seen in Borderlands 2 as (the optional boss) the Sheriff of Lynchwood. Secondly there’s Athena ‘The Gladiator’, who is less ‘warrior princess’ and more ‘fearsome tank character who also has a massive aptitude for both absorbing lots of damage and dealing it out.’ Athena also happens to be a medic which makes her a pretty formidable character in battle.
Next up is Wilhelm ‘The Enforcer,’ another gruff, returning face from Borderlands 2, where he played the role of the game’s first boss character. Fans of the series might realise that Wilhelm was unmistakably cybernetic in Borderlands 2 and while he hasn’t quite started on that path to robotics just yet, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will feature his cyber beginnings somewhat, with mechanical upgrades reportedly being a feature in the game.
While all of the characters seem to have very distinct play styles (apart from Nisha – Gearbox and 2K Australia are keeping quiet on her abilities), Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will presumably grant players the tools to fine tune their gameplay as previous iterations of the game have shown. That seems to be supported to with the new addition of Cryo and Laser ammunition types (which join the existing Corrosive, Slag and Fire ammo options) allowing players to mix it up on the fly, so hopefully we’ll hear more from Gearbox on Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel soon.
Which of the classes has gotten your interest? Or will you be waiting for more gameplay information before making your judgements? Sound off in the comments.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be released on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 later this year.