2K Australia is taking its first spin with the Borderlands series. The studio previously worked as, in the words of one 2K rep, wingmen on the whole BioShock series. They know games, but this is the first time they’re trying to develop a Borderlands title.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, as the earlier leaks and subsequent announcement revealed, takes place between the campaigns of Borderlands and Borderlands 2. Players will choose one of four of Handsome Jack’s lieutenants, a few of which are older characters made playable for the first time.
Yep, one of them is Claptrap. No, we didn’t get to see that today. Instead, we saw Athena the Gladiator and Willhelm the Enforcer. We only really got a glimpse of Athena’s special abilities during the roughly 20 minute long eyes-on preview.
Athena’s gladiatorial namesake is a direct reference to the shield she totes into battle. A small, circular blocker held in the left hand protects Athena from damage when active. It absorbs bullets and fire, and, when you’re ready to heave it back or the timer runs out, all of that damage can be tossed at opponents, Captain America style.
It’s a neat, rush-encouraging gameplay mechanic, and, in typical Borderlands fashion, it stands to reason that this class will be one worth tinkering with.
But, what about the moon?
First off, the moon obviously has less gravity than Pandora’s surface. That means jumps are floatier, dead bodies fly off into space and stuff leaps out of busted open loot boxes.
There’s also no atmosphere on this moon, so that means players will need to be concerned with oxygen. You can run out of air, and your air is managed by an upgradeable system much like shields. You’ll be able to find special environmental tweaks for your 02 tanks, and you’ll even be able to use said 02 tank to double jump, boost, glide and ground pound.
It looked like Borderlands, folks. Except it was on the moon. The Pre-Sequel has my attention as a mechanic tweaker with completely new classes, weaponry and in-game systems like oxygen.
The demo looked fun, though now I’m jonesing to dive into Borderlands 2 again. Didn’t see that coming.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is set to drop for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC platforms this fall. Stay tuned for more.