Borderlands 2 Hands-on Gamescom 2012 Impressions -- Killer Skills and Classy ClassesBy Eric Eckstein - Posted Aug 16, 2012
With well over 100 hours into the original Borderlands, I’ve been super excited to see the new progress Gearbox Software has made with Borderlands 2. Now, I finally got my first look at the new Mechromancer class and also got some insight as to what to expect from the rest of the game.
First up, the Mechromancer, a riff on the Necromancer class seen in other games. Borderlands 2’s take has her summoning a ‘pet’ as her action ability, however that pet takes the form of Deathtrap, a devastating robot that rips enemies to shreds and can be upgraded to cause explosive area attacks. While the Mechromancer’s skills are still to be honed, expect to see skill trees dedicated to boost Deathtrap as an offensive weapon, as well as other non-pet skills that yield different gameplay styles.
For example, one current skill is called Close Enough, and it allows bullets to ricochet, hitting targets from behind cover or around corners. In practice, this means precise weaponry may not always be the best kind, as shotguns with lots of bullet-spray can do a lot more damage than an accurate weapon. A lot more to come with her, but it’s a very cool fifth addition to the franchise, and the best news is that Gearbox is ahead of schedule, so we may see her a lot closer to release than originally intended!
We also were able to play with higher-level classes, which have some significant differences depending on which way you drill down on the skill tree. For example, Axton the Commando can either augment his turret so that it puts up a protective shield or allows two turrets to be deployed, or it can even be upgraded to teleport in (Longbow-style) and nuke the entry spot. What’s great about this more nuanced skill tree is that it will make each way you specialize your class more unique.
And you’ll need unique if you’re going to try and take on one of the raid bosses in the game. We got a sneak peek at Terramorphous the Invincible, some giant tentacle worm thing that makes Krawmerax look wimpy. Intended as more of an endgame boss (you only unlock the mission after you’ve beaten one playthrough of Borderlands 2), Terramorphous has a variety of different attacks, from deploying tentacles that lash out or throw rocks at you, to attempting to bat you off the plateau you’re fighting on..
One great change to the fight though is that the boss will have other ways to help you “revive” yourself, so if you go down into your last stand mode, you can more easily pop a tentacle and get your Second Wind vs. just hoping someone rescues you.
Borderlands 2 is definitely the co-op game to beat this year with virtually EVERYTHING improved in the sequel over an already classic game. It's look more and more likely that fans of the franchise will not be disappointed and newcomers will have an even better experience when the game comes out on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC on September 18.