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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

is an upcoming first-person shooter video game being developed by 2K Australia with assistance from Gearbox Software and to be published by 2K Games. It is the third game... read more

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Status: Released
Release: 14-Oct-2014

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is an upcoming first-person shooter video game being developed by 2K Australia with assistance from Gearbox Software and to be published by 2K Games. It is the third game in the Borderlands series, and a prequel to the 2012 game Borderlands 2. It is expected to be released for personal computers running Linux or Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 14 October 2014.

The rumored existence of the game was first reported on 7 April 2014, and it was officially announced two days later on 9 April 2014.

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Similarly to previous Borderlands titles, the game combines FPS gameplay with mechanics common to role-playing video games (such as quests, character building and randomly generated "loot"), and collaborative multiplayer campaign gameplay. The storyline of The Pre-Sequel focus on four playable characters—all of whom were NPCs or enemies in previous Borderlands games, working as henchmen for Handsome Jack, the antagonist of Borderlands 2.

The plot will follow Handsome Jack's descent into villainy, focusing on his escape and capture of the Hyperion company's base on Pandora's moon Elpis. The game will expand upon the engine and gameplay of Borderlands 2 and introduce new gameplay mechanics, including low-gravity environments, freeze weapons, and oxygen tanks which can be used to navigate environments and perform special attacks.

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Plot

Characters

As with previous games in the series, The Pre-Sequel will feature four playable characters, each with a different class and abilities. All four of The Pre-Sequel's protagonists were non player characters (NPCs) in previous Borderlands games; the first of these characters is Athena, "the Gladiator", a rogue assassin of the Atlas Corporation first introduced in the Borderlands DLC campaign The Secret Armory of General Knoxx. As her primary skill, Athena can use a temporary shield to absorb damage; this ability can be upgraded to make the shield itself into a weapon that can be thrown at enemies, and even allow it to absorb elemental damage which can in turn, be reflected back at enemies.

Nisha, "the Lawbringer", first appeared in Borderlands 2 as the sheriff of the town of Lynchwood. Her primary skill, "Showdown", increases gun damage and speed, and allows the player to quickly switch between enemies in the area. Her skill tree "Law & Order" contains skills oriented towards collecting buffs known as "Order", which can heal, recharge health and shields, or temporarily increase other stats depending on the number of Order stacks collected. The "Fan the Hammer" skill tree is oriented towards dealing additional damage using guns along with the ability to dual-wield, while "The Riflewoman" incorporates skills that provide buffs for point shooting and reload speed.

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Claptrap, "the Fragtrap", is the last remaining robot of its kind as of Borderlands 2; his skill "VaultHunter.exe" gives him and sometimes his allies one of several different abilities depending on the current situation (types of enemies present, current amount of health, etc). Among these effects are the skills used by the previous playable characters in the franchise.

The Hyperion engineer Wilhelm, "the Enforcer", can become increasingly augmented with technology and weaponry over the course of the game, transforming him into the more familiar cybernetic form he possessed as the second major boss in Borderlands 2.

Story

The storyline of The Pre-Sequel will focus on Handsome Jack and his attempt to escape from his exile on Elpis, the moon of Pandora, and capture the Hyperion Corporation's moonbase for himself. The main characters - Athena, Wilhelm, Nisha, and Claptrap - will begin the game as henchmen of Handsome Jack. Jack himself will have "morally good intentions" at the beginning of the story, but will slowly transform into the "horrific, evil villain he is in Borderlands 2 that seems to have enjoyed cutting people's eyeballs out with a spoon."

Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has stated that the game's plot would explore how villains "can be morally ambiguous, doing possibly bad things for the right reasons and then have that reflect what [Handsome Jack] is doing. There are several quests in the game where literally the only narrative purpose they exist for is to show you that the bad guy you're fighting is not actually a horrible person."

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The story will be told in the form of flashbacks, at some time after Borderlands 2, with Athena acting as the narrator. Other characters in the series will often chime in and comment on the story, including Tiny Tina, who is said to "narrate" alongside Athena during the player's second playthrough.

Gameplay

Gameplay in The Pre-Sequel will remain similar to Borderlands 2, but with the addition of new mechanics. Two new varieties of items have been added, including laser guns, and items possessing a cryogenic elemental effect, which can be used to slow down and freeze enemies. Enemies which are frozen can be smashed into pieces by using melee attacks.Gravity will also have an effect on motion while in space, causing players to jump higher but slower, and items such as loot and dead bodies to float away. O2 kits have also been added to supply air when on the lunar surface; oxygen supplies can be replenished using generators and vents, and they can also be used like a jetpack to perform double jumps, hovering, and ground slamming attacks. As with other items, different types of O2 kits can provide stat bonuses and affect how ground slams deal damage.

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Development

Borderlands 2, developed by Gearbox Software and released in late-2012, was one of the most successful video games in 2K's history. Speaking in February 2013, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford stated that there were no current plans for a third installment in the franchise, as the company believed that a sequel to Borderlands 2 would have to be "massive", but that "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." The company also cited a desire to focus its attention onto new games for next-generation consoles, such as Brothers in Arms: Furious Four, Homeworld: Shipbreakers (a new game in theHomeworld franchise, which Gearbox had recently acquired in THQ's bankruptcy auction), and entirely new properties such as Battleborn. Despite this, the company still believed that they had not yet met the demands of fans, or even its own staff, in regards to the franchise (even with the overall success of 2 and the large amount of downloadable content that had been released), prompting the creation of spin-offs such as Tales from the Borderlands, an episodic adventure game being developed by Telltale Games, and a port ofBorderlands 2 for PlayStation Vita.

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A few months after the release of Borderlands 2 (and shortly after it had concluded its contributions to BioShock Infinite), Gearbox began working with 2K Australia to develop a prequel to the game which would take place directly after the events of the original. The decision to make the game a prequel to Borderlands 2 was centered around a desire to use the Hyperion moonbase (a location alluded to, and visible in Borderlands 2) as a playable location; the development team felt that going to the moonbase in a sequel to 2 would be too "boring" for players since the relevant conflict was already resolved, and because "if we're going to go to the moonbase anyway, what if we try something completely different that people aren't expecting[?]" Pitchford noted that this setting would allow the game to address plot elements and events alluded to in the first two games that were not yet completely addressed—on the possibility that the game could introduce holes in the continuity of the franchise, he joked that the franchise already contained plot holes to begin with. He suggested that working on The Pre-Sequel could be a breakout role for 2K Australia, similar to Gearbox's own Half-Life: Opposing Force. As for the size of the game, Pitchford stated that The Pre-Sequel's playable world would be in between the size of the original and Borderlands 2.

2K Australia has performed the majority of development on The Pre-Sequel, but has worked in collaboration with Gearbox on certain aspects of the game. The studio also provided its writing staff—including Anthony Burch, lead writer of Borderlands 2—as a compliment to 2K Australia's own writers. The engine of Borderlands 2 was used as a starting point, allowing the 2K Australia team to quickly prototype and implement features on top of the existing functionality already provided by 2. Most of the new mechanics in the game, such as ice weaponry, were conceived entirely by the 2K Australia team; Gearbox's developers had shown concerns that freezing weapons were illogical in comparison to the other elemental weapon types (such as incendiary and acid), but Pitchford excused their inclusion in The Pre Sequel because cryogenic technology was more "natural" in the space-oriented setting of the game.

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To facilitate personal storytelling, the four playable characters of the game will have a larger amount of dialogue than their equivalents in 2. Developers also felt that The Pre-Sequelwould have more diverse humour than previous installments due to the makeup of its writing staff, and a decision to portray the Moon's inhabitants as being Australians themselves, allowing for references to Australian comedy and culture (citing, for example, a cricket-themed side mission). Bruce Spence, an Australian actor well known for his role as the Gyro Captain in Mad Max 2 (the second film in a franchise that has been cited as an influence on the setting of Borderlands as a whole), will be among the game's voice actors–voicing a gyrocopter pilot in reference to his role from the film.

Release

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be released in North America on 14 October 2014. The game will not be released on eighth-generation consoles such as PlayStation 4 orXbox One. As porting The Pre-Sequel to next-generation consoles would require rebuilding the engine (and thus defeating the purpose of retaining the engine used by Borderlands 2), developers instead targeted the game to the same console platforms that previous installments in the Borderlands franchise were released for. However, 2K Australia's head Tony Lawrence has since considered the possibility of porting The Pre-Sequel to next-generation consoles, gauged by fan demand and sales. In August 2014, financial statements by Take-Two Interactive disclosed that a Linux port of the game was also in development; these details were confirmed by 2K in a statement to gaming news siteIGN.com.

As part of pre-release promotional efforts for the game, Gearbox began releasing Pre-Sequel-inspired character skins for Borderlands 2 in July 2014, and at San Diego Comic-Con, Gearbox partnered with The Nerdist to set up a Borderlands-themed laser tag field at Petco Park during the convention.

On 18 September 2014, an extended 10-minute trailer featuring Sir Hammerlock and Mr. Torgue was released. On 30 September 2014, Pitchford confirmed that the game had gone gold.

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Downloadable content

As with Borderlands 2, four downloadable content (DLC) campaigns will be made for The Pre-Sequel after the game is released, which can be purchased separately or together as a "Season Pass". Handsome Jack's body double, which appeared briefly to be killed by the players in Borderlands 2, will be released as the first DLC character. The DLC missionShock Drop Slaughter Pit will be released on launch as a pre-order exclusive.





Thisarticle uses material from the Wikipedia article Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which is released under theCreative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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