If you’re a diehard fan of Gearbox Software’s’ cult hit, Borderlands, then you most likely saw some of the leaked footage onto the internet already, for the sequel. Things are looking good so far however, with more impressive visuals, better enemies and most importantly, all new guns.
In an interview with Kotaku, Gearbox Art Director Jeramy Cooke explained how the sequel will be a completely fresh experience.
Borderlands 2 is set to begin with four new classes entirely, with the first character, Roland the dwarfish gunzerker being the first revealed. While we won’t get a chance to play again as our favourite Hunter or Siren class, that doesn’t mean that we wont see them either.
"We decided to bring back all the original playable characters as NPCs in the new game," Cooke explained. â€Because everyone is so connected to them. I keep doing interviews where people tell me, ‘Oh, I played the game for 300 hours.’
â€œThese people spend so much time with these characters, but then, they don’t really know who they are. This game is five years after the vault was opened, and we wanted to show what’s happened since then."
Moving onto the topic of how Pandora itself has changed, Cooke remarked that "We’re also trying to put a lot more variety into the actual zones themselves".
"There was a lot of repetition of the same brown rocks last time, and we said, ‘We’re not doing this again.’ We want people to see the whole rest of Pandora. We had made a map a long time ago for Borderlands one, and it had grasslands, it had volcanic areas, it had icy areas, and we just never really got to build them all. So for Borderlands 2 I said, ‘We are going to go see the rest of Pandora.’"
One of the problems with the original Borderlands however, was the rather idiotic enemy AI. Players generally dealt with an AI that was built using kamikaze scripts and intelligence, as their default action was to always charge a player, never taking advantage of the environment to protect themselves.
"We saw people in the first game exploiting the AI," Cooke said. "Hiding around a building, getting the AI stuck and stuff like that, so now AI can completely navigate where players can navigate. They can jump from rooftop to rooftop, climb ladders, they can kick barrels down stairs, they have a much better sense of what’s going on in the worldâ€.
â€œThere’s a whole new layer of communication, there’s a whole new layer of statesâ€”we have wounded states, all these awesome buff states where guys hulk out. The AI is totally new from the original gameâ€.
But of course, the most important question that everyone is asking, is what kind of new weapons will we be getting in the sequel? "There are a lot more guns this time," Cooke explained. â€œLike, several orders of magnitude more. Our core gun system that we had last time we revamped the base code system for that to make it more efficient so that we could add more partsâ€.
â€œSo, in the past game we might’ve only had like five or six parts for a gun, now there can be more like twelve, fourteen parts in a gun. We parameterised the scope views as wellâ€”before, it was all static art, so you might’ve only seen one of six scopes, but now you’re going to see eighty-seven bazillion scopes, because they’re all parameterised. Guns dropped by bosses are going to have much more personality."
The first Borderlands was a quirky game that came out of nowhere, winning widepsread support and love from the gaming community, and was followed up with several DLC packages. If the sequel can keep the craziness of the original, while mixing it up with bigger guns, stages and more challenging gameplay, then we might have some game of the year material on our hands when it finally arrives.
Last Updated: September 7, 2011