It’s one thing to say that your game will be built with depth and customization in mind, but another to actually see it working in the moment-to-moment gameplay. Much has been made of the ‘gajillion’ gun combinations being added to the weapon systems of Borderlands 2, but sheer quantity of guns doesn’t guarantee an increase in quality. Now two extensive gameplay videos give a closer look at the skill trees and unique play styles of both the Gunzerker and Siren class, showing how spreadsheets and equations apply to bullets and bombs.
Our hands-on time with both classes confirmed our suspicions that Borderlands 2 would be delivering more of the same style and gameplay of the first – not that that’s a bad thing. Most of the changes made have been behind-the-scenes, with expanded skill trees and an approach to the Gunzerker class’ special attacks in particular that simply screams ridiculousness.
While the squat-squad-shooter may seem to be more brawn than brains, the new gameplay videos from IGN provide insights into what the character can become over time. It’s a brief glimpse, but more than enough to get a sense of what’s in store. Have a look:
While the Siren class will be returning in the sequel, it’s becoming clearer and clearer just how different Maya and Lilith really are. From her new Phaselock power to almost unrecognizable skill trees, any concerns that this player class wasn’t being completely revisited as much as any other are unfounded. Gearbox Software obviously has unique and attractive character designs down to a science, but Maya’s best features certainly extend beyond those neon tattoos:
From both looks at gameplay, the emphasis on multiplayer cooperation and squad-based combat is evident. It seems that too often these days a game will claim to offer unique experiences from one playthrough to the next, only to offer slight variations on a foundation of attack-your-way-through gameplay. With Maya’s most potent attack being one that can greatly change the course of a serious skirmish, and Salvador’s being one that works best in conjunction with the Siren’s Phaselock, the potential is there to deliver on the promise of a far less repetitive experience.
Hopefully the same variations will be present in each character class, with an admittedly large portion of our excitement centered around the unfinished Mechromancer class. With the question of customization out of the way, the only doubt remaining surrounds the sheer amount of loot and weaponry, and the risk of being overloaded with inventory.
The interfaces visible in the videos look to be redesigned with a much more extensive inventory and upgrade system in mind, and it would be too hypocritical to claim that Borderlands 2 has too much loot, at least this far out.
Borderlands 2 will release on September 18, 2012 (September 21, 2012 internationally) for the PS3, PC, and Xbox 360.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.