Dancing Psycho Midgets? It can only be the Gearbox Panel at PAX!
It’s a Borderlands ho-down!
Plenty of news from PAX East last weekend, including tech demos from Nvidia and some very promising previews of The Last of Us. To go along with this there was once again a flood of news from the Gearbox camp, as they announced a whole host of new bits and bobs for Borderlands 2, and in typical Gearbox fashion, these updates will be arriving very soon.
First up; we have a new playable character; Krieg;
LOOK. AT. HIM! As you can see; Krieg is a bandit. Specifically, a Badass Psycho bandit; easily one of the most intimidating and difficult enemies in the game, and clearly a character built for getting up close and personal. Why he’s decided to become one of the “good guys” remains a mystery, but there’s’ scenes involving secret labs and underground complexes in the teaser trailer; possibly hinting at another piece of DLC, or at least a backstory. Luckily, though no trailers have been released, good old IGN managed to get us some Shakeycam footage;
Interesting choice of class, too. He’s clearly a Tank, like Salvador, but it looks like Krieg is all about going toe to toe with his enemies. Borderlands doesn’t really have any dedicated melee class, and although Zero can be built into a close range assassin, I’m glad we finally have someone more akin to Brick from the first Borderlands on the team. Some of his skills seem absolutely daft as well; of particular note is the “Light The Fuse!” skill, which allows you to run around like a , well, like a psycho in Fight For Your Life, throwing dynamite endlessly before exploding akin to a suicide psycho, trying to take someone with you to allow you to revive. Safe to say I’m very much looking forward to seeing what he’s like to control. Krieg will cost $10, and be released in May.
Second up is Gearbox’s ‘upgrade pack’, containing something that fans have been asking after for a while now; a level cap increase. The pack will increase the level cap form 50-61, it will rebalance the whole game to reflect this, and moreover will also introduce another class of weapons in the game; Pearlescent. Sounds lovely. Although little detail was given on them; players of the original Borderlands will recognise Pearlescent weapons as far and out the most powerful, yet equally rare, weapons in the game.
Moreover, gearbox will also be adding yet another playthrough option to the main game. You know, just in case you didn’t have your fill the first two times you completed the game. Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, as it is known, is basically a New Game plus plus, with higher level gear, higher level enemies and much stronger enemies. Although, playing through True Vault Hunter Mode myself, I’ve got to say gearbox must be aiming for Dark Souls levels of difficulty.
But the best news so far? While the level cap increase and new weapons will cost just $5, the new playthrough mode is completely free, you lucky dogs, you! I mean, good luck getting past the first few hours of the third playthrough without being able to level up, but there you go. This pack will be downloadable from April 2nd.
Next up, we had a teaser trailer for what looks like the next round of DLC; Tiny Tina’s Racism Adventure.
No, seriously, watch the trailer;
Clearly a reference to the public getting riled up a while ago over Tiny Tina using apparently ‘racist’ language; although it’s highly unlikely that the DLC will actually be called this, Randy Pitchford is still showing the world what he thinks of such opinions. As if this twitter conversation didn’t clear it up 100% for you.
Being a teaser trailer, it lacked any facts at all, but it showed all the vault hunters around a table playing “Bunkers and Bandits”, the Borderlands version of D&D. Whether this will actually feature in the game or not isn’t clear (Hint; IT SHOULD), all we know so far is that Pitchford has promised us this final spell of DLC will be the biggest and the best one yet. And let’s face it compared to the slightly bland ones we’ve had so far, it had better be, too (although this last piece of DLC is apparently being developed in-house, unlike the others, so hopefully we shall see some quality stuff). Being bigger than the last; it’s hard to predict how much it will cost; but it will most likely be free to Season Pass holders (unless perhaps Krieg does get his own portion of DLC, too). Either way, it will be available “by the end of June”.
Finally; Gearbox will also be releasing 5000 limited edition Diamond Plate Loot Chests; available for purchase at Forbidden Planet in the UK, or Thinkgeek or Shopgearbox in the USA. This will contain goodies such as a replica Goliath mask and a code for an in game version, cards with codes for 20 legendary weapons which scale to your level, a wanted poster and window decals, a certificate of authenticity, but not a copy of the game, strangely. Maybe it’s all those diamonds. The chests will go on sale in May, for a whopping $99.99.
Although there’s no news on UK release dates; past form dictates they should be exactly the same, although we will have to wait and see as far as the prices go. All in all, not a bad run of announcements. Plenty to keep Borderlands fans busy and giving away free content is always going to be well received. Who knows; this may well be Gearbox trying to make up to gamers after the frankly abysmal Aliens; Colonial Marines, but even so I’m still glad to see developers investing so much time into making a game last longer, and responding to player’s requests.