It was just a few days ago when Gearbox officially announced Borderlands 2 and now, more information about the upcoming RPG-shooter hybrid has surfaced. Fans of the original can expect the same co-op action they enjoyed from the first, but this time the game mechanics have received large upgrades, along with an entirely new arsenal of weapons players will pick up along the ride.

The weapon system in Borderlands 2 has been revamped, with players now able to upgrade their arsenal. Many players felt that despite boasting a plethora of weapons, many of the guns in Borderlands felt too similar. This new upgrade system should dispel any feelings of familiarity as players will be able to model their weapon to fit their playstyle. As well, none of the weapons from the original Borderlands will return in Borderlands 2, though weapons will still feature perks or styles exclusive to their manufacturers.

Upgrades come by way of a special element called “Eridium,” which can be applied to guns or vehicles to increase their stats. “Eridium” can also be used as a form of currency in Borderlands. This evokes similarities to Metro 2033, where players could choose between using Military cartridges to improve their weapon’s efficiency or to purchase new items from vendors. Though in the case of Borderlands 2, it is highly unlikely that “Eridium” will be as sparse. As well, players will still be able to upgrade their character in a fashion similar to Borderlands, with the three branch skill tree making its return.

Four player co-op will once again return and the four playable characters from the original will return as well, albeit in a different sense. The playable characters from Borderlands will take more of a backseat role this time, now represented as NPCs. Borderlands 2 will feature an all new cast of playable characters. The first playable character to be revealed is Salvador (pictured above). As always, characters in Borderlands each have their own specific ability, with Salvador’s being the ability to dual wield weapons.

Borderlands 2 will also feature new dynamic missions that will greatly effect the game’s story. For example, if the player fails to complete an objective in the allotted time, their failure could affect the bigger plot at work. The story has a larger role this time around, which is great news for players who were disappointed with Borderlands’ narrative. The AI has also improved, with enemies able to communicate more effectively instead of just representing cannon fodder. NPCs will be able to better interact with the player as well, bring Borderlands 2 up to more modern open-world RPG standards.

Borderlands 2 is set to release in 2012, though no finite release date has been given. Do you plan on picking up the title?  Did I mention Claptrap returns? Yea, I thought that would get you interested.

Source: Game Informer (via Gematsu)