Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Announced

WilhelmBorderlands2.jpg

Gearbox Software and 2K Australia have announced Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, a standalone game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. It is currently being developed by 2K Australia in collaboration with Gearbox.

This DLC will be set between the events of Borderlands 1 and 2. The Pre-Sequel lets players get to grips with a fresh set of characters; Athena the Gladiator, Wilhelm the Enforcer, Nisha the Lawbringer and Claptrap the Fragtrap. People who have played the games will probably recognise those names. They will all work for Handsome Jack, the antagonist from Borderlands 2.

Athena was an NPC in the The Secret Armory of General Knoxx add-on for the original Borderlands. She’s an assassin for Atlas’ private military force, The Crimson Lance.

Wilhelm originally appeared as a robotic boss in Borderlands 2, however, in The Pre-Sequel he’s a human, to start with. As you fill his skill tree, he becomes increasingly cybernetic until, when the tree is complete, he should resemble the robot you faced off against in the previous game.

The story is about Handsome Jack’s rise to power. In the new game, Jack has been thrown off the moon’s base by Hyperion. Starting the game as a man with good intentions, The Pre-Sequel will show how Handsome Jack turned nasty and eventually became who he is in Borderlands 2.

The game won't be exclusively set on Pandora’s moon. However ,it will be where a big portion of the game plays out.

One of the things that has been sorta taunting us as we played though all of the Borderlands games is the moon that’s always been up there in the sky and that moon base. We’re finally going to get up there, we’re gonna go to the moon. We’re gonna go up to that moon base and see a side of the universe that we’ve never seen before.
— Gearbox President Randy Pitchford

The new setting facilitates a major new addition to the game: oxygen as a resource. Most simply oxygen is something you’ll need when you venture out onto the surface of the moon, in order to keep breathing. But there’s some more interesting applications too.

One of these relates to gravity. On the surface of the moon players can make huge, slow leaps into the air - leaps that can be extended with the use of a jetpack. Players are also able to ground pound, leaping up and then slamming down to take out multiple enemies with an area of effect attack. 

One of the new elements in The Pre-Sequel is ice. Called Cryo Effect in the game, Pitchford said Gearbox had been discussing whether the element should be included for years, but when 2K Australia got hold of it they said, “F**k it. We wanted ice bullets, so we’re gonna make ice bullets!”

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is set for a "Fall 2014" release.