At a media blitz in New York this week, Gearbox's Randy Pitchford announced the next entry into the smash-hit Borderlands
franchise, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
. The game is being co-developed by 2K Australia and Gearbox and has been in the works since early 2013.
Taking place between the events of Borderlands
and Borderlands 2
, The Pre-Sequel
is set to follow the rise of Handsome Jack (who was not always bad, by the sound of it) and detail how he became the evil megalomaniac that gamers dethroned in Borderlands 2
As you can expect, four new protagonists will be at your disposal. While complete details are still to come, 2K has revealed that gamers will be able to play as Wilhelm (Handsome Jack's robotic lackey in Borderlands 2
) who was once a human (albeit cybernetically enhanced). As Wilhelm levels up, he gains more cybernetics, powers, and slowly begins to lose what makes him human. Fans of the original Borderlands
may be pleased to hear that Athena, the former Atlas assassin from The Secret Armory of General Knoxx
, is another one of the playable characters. Athena's main ability is a shield which can absorb damage and be upgraded to unleash all kinds of protective and destructive mayhem. 2K was a little more tight-lipped on the final two playable characters, but has announced that one will be Nisha, the sheriff of Lynchwood in Borderlands 2
and - brace yourself - Claptrap
. Each of these characters will come with a full backstory and the course of the game will reveal how each character changes from a happy (possibly noble) member of Handsome Jack's team to something entirely different.
The game is set to occur on Pandora's moon and will introduce new mechanics such as an Oxygen or "Oz kit" which will allow players to double-jump, hover, fly, and do a damaging ground pound move. Like the rest of the gear in the Borderlands
franchise, Oz kits can also augment other stats like fire rate, reload speed, damage, and elemental attacks.
Those looking to get one last kick out of their 360's can rejoice as The Pre-Sequel
is being exclusively developed for the previous generation of consoles so that it can leverage on the tech of Borderlands 2
. In a quote to Polygon
, Pitchford mentioned why The Pre-Sequel
isn't coming to the new generation of consoles:
The game will launch on the platforms that all Borderlands customers are familiar with. So it's Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, and there is not a next-gen version of this. One hundred percent of the budget and the investment and the resources and the talent that have been invested into Borderlands Pre-Sequel have been spent to create content, have been spent to iterate technology from the Borderlands 2 engine. So none of the investment has gone toward creating new technology. None of the investment has gone towards figuring out how new platforms work. It's all about creating, focusing that energy on creation of entertainment and playable entertainment.
Gearbox and 2K have also released a trailer with some pre-Alpha footage.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
is slated for a release this fall.