Borderlands Pre-Sequel hands-on impressions from GamesCom 2014
I have been itching to get back into the Borderlands universe. Yes, the DLC content was abundant and released regularly, but getting my hands on some meatier content is just what the doctor prescribed.
After a huge success Borderlands 2 had with over 8 million copies sold, we were all wondering what’s next in line for the franchise. Answer came in the form of Borderland: The Pre-Sequel.
Story behind the Pre-SequelStory of the Pre-Sequel is placed in between the first two games. Handsome Jack is not the lunatic we know from the second installment of the series and he gathers a group of vault hunters to help on Pandora’s moon. You will be one of those vault hunters. The game keeps its well known formula of drop-in co-op play, but with new characters/classes and, for the first time, we are introduced to low gravity gameplay as core mechanic of the game. This means you will be able to jump higher and double jump (with help of jet packs you’re equipped with), which brings a whole new dimension to gameplay.
GamesCom presentation and ClaptrapWe were introduced to the story behind the game at GamesCom, the largest gaming convention in Europe, by Matthew Armstrong, Borderlands Franchise director and Tony Lawrence, head of studio of 2K Australia. After taking us through the game’s story background and showing us the just released trailer (found a bit bellow) we learned more about the new characters players will be able to control as well as some new mechanics coming to the game. As the trailer suggests, new characters are not the good guys in a traditional sense. We also found out that a new element has been added to the game – Cryo damage – which freezes opponents so you can shatter them into a million pieces with a nicely placed melee punch. Since we are in space it was only natural to add laser rifles into the mix as well, so that is the new weapon type. Fighting in space also means you can shoot out enemy’s oxygen masks to stun them for a brief moment. Low gravity also introduces ability to swoop from above and smash into the ground, greatly damaging any nearby enemies. You can jump and double jump in the air to activate your jetpack. This can help you propel yourself quickly across the battlefield or make loops to come behind enemies, or position yourself above enemy groups and slam down from above all Thor like.
New Vault Hunters
- Wilhelm was one of the bad guys you got to kill in Borderlands 2 and he is The Enforcer. He has drones, just like during the fight you had with him in Borderlands 2. You can also build him as a tank to soak up damage and heal up.
- Athena – the Gladiator uses a shield as her active skill. Shield soaks up all damage, but you can throw it at enemies to get bonus damage. You can spec her into being more of a melee combatant or buff her shield
- Nisha – the Lawbringer – is a bad cow-girl. Her action skill lets you fire twice as fast, reload twice as fast, do more damage and hit everything she aims at. You’ll, pretty much, get an aimbot cheat from her action skill. One more cool thing about her is that she uses a whip as her long range melee skill, which you can spec for in the talent tree.
- Claptrap – the Fragtrap is the annoying, yet somehow lovable, robot we had to deal with in all previous games. His action skill is called vaulthunter.exe and it basically starts one of the action skills of all other vault hunters. When you cast it, it will analyze the battle field and choose one of the many action skills (some unique to Claptrap). One of them is to drop a mini turret, other is to turn him into a pirate ship that starts firing cannons to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture (no, really, I saw it happen, it is real). His talent trees are pretty unpredictable and effects you get can really make or break a fight. Key is to keep an eye out and react to what’s happening with Claptrap and this can make him the most useful fighter in the team.