Following-up on a recent Borderlands 2 announcement leak, we now have an official report from Gearbox Software – get ready to return to Pandora (no, not for Avatar 2).

Only one day after news broke that the developer might be offering a Borderlands 2 sneak peek later this month at GamesCom 2011 (surprise, they will be), Gearbox has officially announced the sequel will be arriving in 2012 on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

Of course, we known for sometime that Borderlands 2 was in development but today, in a post on the official 2K Games blog, Elizabeth Tobey, Senior Manager of Interactive Marketing, officially dropped the Borderlands 2 announcement – promising that the fan-favorite franchise “just got a helluva lot more badass.”

Tobey covered a lot of ground – without offering too many specific details. However, based on the announcement, we now know the following:

  • Borderlands 2 is headed to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC during our next fiscal year (which begins on April 1st, 2012).”
  • “You’ll be able to get your first look at the game at Gamescom 2011 from August 17th to August 21st and at PAX Prime (Booth #3417) from August 26th to August 28th.”

Following the initial announcement Take-Two released an official press release that expanded on what players can expect in Borderlands 2:

“Combining invention and evolution, Borderlands 2 features all-new characters, skills, environments, enemies, weapons and equipment, which come together in an ambitiously crafted story. Players will reveal secrets, and escalate mysteries of the Borderlands universe as they adventure across the unexplored new areas of Pandora.”

If the reveal itself isn’t enough, we’ve also got a first-look at Borderlands 2 artwork – and a new character. The first is a sneak peek from the latest GameInformer cover showcasing a new heavy-hitter treasure hunter as well as some interesting Pandora environments (ice levels!) – click to enlarge.

Borderlands 2 Game Informer Cover

The second image appears on the official Borderlands 2 website – and features a close-up of the same Borderlands treasure hunter – ready to kick some Pandora mutant butt.

Borderlands 2 New Characters

A sequel to Borderlands was inevitable, considering the first title was a commercial slam-dunk as well as critical hit, and it’ll be interesting to see where the developers take the sequel. The press release phrasing “combining invention and evolution” is certainly an interesting tidbit – maybe weapon customization and evolving powers will be major features in the follow-up?

The Gearbox brand suffered a bit of tarnish – following the release of Duke Nukem Forever; however, the studio can hardly take the full blame for a title that was pieced-together over the course of 15 years – which resulted in a number of outdated core mechanics (read our Duke Nukem Forever review). That said, Gearbox merely attempted to put a coat of paint on a game that had languished in development hell (a fact Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has frequently discussed) – where as Borderlands is solely the studio’s own creation. As a result, there’s no doubt that Gearbox should have little problem delivering an entertaining follow-up in Borderlands 2.

While no official release date has been unveiled – the GameStop pre-order page has a temporary date of September 1, 2012, which could hint at a Fall or Holiday release for the title. That said, there’s no doubt that the GameStop release date is just a placeholder – and may not have been based-off undisclosed details.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick and let us know what new features you’re hoping for in Borderlands 2.

Borderlands 2 will be released on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC sometime in fiscal year 2013 (meaning April 1st 2012 – March 31st 2013).

Source: Take-Two