A few weeks ago, Gearbox invited Co-Optimus into NYC to check out a build of Borderlands 2. We were told we’d have plenty of hands on time with the game as well as a chance to chat with some of the developers. Tally and Nick took to the task of this brave journey, playing the game for nearly two hours to bring you the latest impressions. Here’s what they had to say.
Nick: It’s been a while since I played Borderlands, but I was pretty excited to sit down and get my hands on the sequel. The first thing I did after choosing my character (the Gunserker) was have a look through the skill trees.
I couldn’t quite remember Borderland 1’s set up, but the three trees each had clear defined goals. I started to unload my points into the damage dealing tree, with extra effects like - “chance to not use bullets.” There were a few other locked skills I really wanted to try, like one that had a T-Rex head as its icon, but we didn’t get to level up that high.
You chose the Siren on our first play through, what stood out with her Skills?
Tally: I loaded up the Siren expecting the phasewalk from the first Borderlands. The skill she had instead was about 20x more awesome. Phaselock sounds a whole lot like phasewalk, but the new Siren Maya is a lot more geared towards party play.
Phaselock grabs an enemy and pulls them up in a timelocking orb above the field. Different talents can modify it so players can do more damage to the enemy that is phaselocked, or hitting that enemy drops little health orbs for the party. One talent even makes it so you can throw a phaselock at an ally and instantly resurrect them. Just looking at the talent tree made it very obvious that Borderlands 2 provided much more meaningful customization options which was extremely exciting for me to see.
How did you find the Gunzerker, Nick, and the team synergy between the Siren and Gunzerker?
Nick: It was pretty obvious when you started to lift enemies in a giant glowing purple orb that I was supposed to shoot them...with both guns. The dual gun ability was definitely handy when we were in a pinch, though I didn’t quite figure out how to determine which two of the four guns you’d pull up when using it. That said it was clear the Gunserker could make up for the shortcomings of the Siren in terms of damage being dealt. Combined with abilities that gained ammo and bonuses attributed to it and I was a one man...errr...dwarf killing machine.
I definitely felt like the enemies and guns had more impact. Things seemed more difficult in general and the pacing seemed a little more intense. There was very little downtime and there was a nice variety of enemies. Granted the one mission took place in a an old zoo, but just in general the enemies felt varied in size, ability, color, etc.