Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
2K Australia, Gearbox Software
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Genre:First Person Shooter
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is an upcoming first person shooter / action adventure role playing game from video game developers 2K Marin and Gearbox Software that is set to be published by 2K Games, the 2K Marin parent company.
Serving as the third entry into the Borderlands series, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be (like its predecessor) running on Epic Games Unreal Engine 3 and is expected to arrive at some time in Q3 of 2014 on last gen consoles.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be launching on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows via retail disc and digital download.
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In the grand scheme of the smash hit series, Borderlands: The pre-Sequel is chronologically the second game in the established universe. Taking place before Borderlands 2 (which is to this day one of the most well received titles to come from 2K), the game was first announced to the public and the media on April 9th of 2014.
The announcement of Borderlands: The pre-Sequel came out of nowhere as Gearbox Studios had expressed their interest in working on their other titles (namely, Brothers in Arms: Furious Four and furthering the Homeworld franchise) and bringing new life to them, with CEO Randy Picthford saying the Borderlands 2 sequel must be massive in scope and they weren’t ready to tackle that project. “When you think of what Borderlands 3 should be… No. we don’t know what that is yet. We can imagine what it must achieve, but we don’t know what it is yet.”
What made the announcement even more surprising is that “Tales from the Borderlands” is in development under the supervision of Gearbox Software at Telltale Games. The development cycle of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has been primarily been handled by 2K Australia (2K Marin/2K Boston), but given that The Pre-Sequel expands on the engine used in Borderlands 2 and its game mechanics, they have been working closely in collaboration with Gearbox Software to maintain the overall sense of gameplay.
New features that are being implemented into Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel that fundamentally change the gameplay (this includes cryogenic weapons for freezing foes, a jump pack like jet pack and an oxygen gauge that drains with use of the jump pack, striking a balance between maneuverability and survival) were made in a quick prototype and managed to convince Pitchford that they suited the games sci-fi theme and space setting, saying that they were more “natural” in this environment.
To help boost story telling elements amongst the 4 playable characters, they will each receive more dialogue than their Borderlands 2 counterparts. To this end, Anthony Burch (from Gearbox Software) who was lead writer of Borderlands 2 will be returning to the writing staff .
Something that has been both criticised and praised by the gaming community in seemingly equal amounts is the decision to not release Borderlands: The pre-Sequel on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This decision was rooted in the logical conclusion that a larger install base of seventh generation console gamers with experience in the franchise, would be a better market to appeal to rather than trying to launch and sell the game to a comparatively newer and smaller audience.
It has been said that working on Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel could be the breakout title that 2K Australia are looking for, being compared to Geabox Software’s breakout title, Half-Life: Opposing Force.
Given that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is a sequel and a prequel in the Borderlands canon, the gameplay mechanics are unlikely to change in a way that would understandably influence Borderlands 2. Meaning, it makes sense that there are jump packs to help navigate a low gravity environment that don’t appear on the planet Pandora. The changes to weaponry is the inclusion of a laser based weapon and freezing weapons that make use of cryogenic technology.
These can freeze the players foes solid allowing for them to be smashed to pieces with melee attacks. The location of the game is as important to its gameplay as the new weaponry is, taking place on the moon players will have to adjust to and makes use of the ways that momentum affects a moving object in a low gravity environment. It remains to been seen just how strange Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel’s take on Newtons First Law of Motion.
Further confusing traditional Newtonian physics is the inclusion of a jump pack that allows for double jumps, hovering in place and ground pounding attacks. This jump pack is fuelled by O2 kits (o2=Oxygen) which means that you can drain your air reserves if you’re not careful with managing your bunny hopping tendencies from other Borderlands games.
Like in other Borderlands games, players can acquire some status upgrades from certain items, in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. These skills are tied to the 02 Kits and can amplify already existing attacks, like adding an acid status to your ground pound attack. The developers have done some things to turn Borderlands upside down as the Australia team didn’t care about the arguments Gearbox had about whether freeze weaponsnwould be appropriate.
The story in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is one that puts the focus on fan favourite, Handsome Jack as he attempts to escape exile from the Moonbase established by the Hyperion Corporation. As the player progressess through the game, they will get to see the transition from Jack, the man escaping exile, to Jack the man who cares out peoples eyes with a spoon.
Similar to the other Borderlands games, the player will have access to one of four playable characters to take through the story, each with unique skill classes and abilities. The twist in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is that all the playable characters are actually NPC’s from earlier Borderlands games. Beneath is a list of the 4 characters in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
Athena – An assassin gone rogue from the Atlas Corporation who first appeared in “The Secret Armory of General Knoxx”. She uses a specialised energy shield (which can be thrown) to absorb damage.
Wilhelm – Wilhelm is a Hyperion Engineer sometimes called The Enforcer who will continue to augment his body with technology as the player upgrades him.
Lynchwood Sheriff Nisha – The Lawbringer of Lynchwood makes her first playable appearance in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, but there are no details surrounding her or her play style yet.
Claptrap – Everyone’s favorite one wheeled dub step spouting, beat boxing and break dancing robot returns as Claptrap The Fragtrap. As of yet, there are no details surrounding its play style are available.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.