What you can expect from Borderlands 2 can be summed up in one word: variety, lots of variety.
By Jared Henry on 2/8/2012
With no release date yet announced, information on Gearbox Software's upcoming sequel to the action driven, loot-fest, RPG Borderlands has remained in the shadows largely since E3 of last year. With a screenshot here, a cinematic trailer there, a frustratingly vague write up in Game Informer magazine, and a few interviews sprinkled throughout the Internet - fans of the series have been left anxiously waiting for any Borderlands 2 details they can get their hands on. Thankfully, Gearbox developers Paul Hellquist and Jason Reiss emerged from the darkness to shed light on some of the new things we can expect in a recent interview with NowGamer.
Focusing on improving virtually every aspect that made the original Borderlands such an unexpected success, Gearbox is firing on all cylinders when it comes to upping the ante in Borderlands 2. Most importantly, fans of the original were particularly vocal about the things they didn't like about the game. Whether it be the lack of plot direction, environmental variety, weapon aesthetics, or NPC interaction - Gearbox has taken all the feedback, both negative and positive, and applied it to the development of Borderlands 2 to make the best game possible for their fans.
Reiss states that one of the biggest changes comes in form of world exploration. Being confined to a relatively small portion of the in-game planet Pandora, Borderlands left players with little variety in their surroundings. Borderlands 2 takes players to another area of Pandora, offering a much needed change in the terrains that can be explored.
That being said, one word that is repeatedly used is variety; weapons, enemies, quest direction, NPC interaction, and skill trees have all been given a heavy dose of variance. For example, in Borderlands there were a total of 120 different kinds of grenades that were assigned to one of four class functions such as teleportation, health regeneration, or explode on contact. In Borderlands 2, there are more than 18,000 grenade variations.
What's more, the "bazillion" guns in the original may seem like a lot, but this was disappointingly limited to small factors such as a miniscule increase in damage rather than aesthetic differences. While the immeasurable amount of guns is "very similar to the original Borderlands... this time the qualitative difference - the difference in feeling - is dramatically different." Hellquist adds, "We have focus testers who come in and find that a whole class of manufacturer's guns are completely useless and the worst things ever, but then another guy sitting next to him will say, 'You're insane, these guns are the best things ever!'"
To find out more, feel free to read the interview in its entirety here.
Borderlands 2 has a projected release date for 2K's 2013 fiscal year, which begins in April 2012 and ends March 2013.