Gearbox Software’s Borderlands was a breath of fresh air and its unique artistic take helped it become a success both commercially and critically. So, how does the developer plan to better such a great game with its sequel, Borderlands 2?
The studio’s VP of marketing Steve Gibson explained exactly that during an interview with Digital Spy:
You can probably feel a lot of the more nuanced things when you’re playing, but one of the big goals was to keep that core experience of the loot and the guns and the character classes. It’s a great formula that works.
But what you can do is change how that experience is delivered and how it feels when you travel through the world. What you do is change the mission system, which is essentially what it’s all tied back to. That’s how you go through the world and how stories are delivered to you.
Gibson delved into more specific improvements in the anticipated sequel:
In the first Borderlands, [an NPC] gives you a destination, you go to it, you do your thing. Then you come back and check it in and that’s it. But now, the mission constantly changes and you keep getting new destinations. You have a sense of adventure where you never know your final destination. You just know you’re going to keep going instead of keep checking back.
It feels like you’re constantly moving forward and the delivery of this story is happening better now with NPCs who actually move.
In addition, Gibson was asked whether players would have to play the original Borderlands and its downloadable content packs in order to get the most out of the sequel:
When you guys play the full Borderlands 2, we worked really hard to reintroduce all of the characters. It’s a standalone game. But if you did play the first one, you will certainly see a lot of things that would be even funnier to you.
Like, Moxxi and her husbands. There are just a couple of lines in there where she references her husbands, so if you’d played [Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot], you’d understand. If you just play Borderlands 2, you’d probably be like, ‘Man, this lady’s just a hussy’.
Borderlands 2 is currently scheduled for a release on September 18th in North America while Europe receive the sequel three days later on the 21st.