Borderlands 2: Taking Things To The Next Level
Borderlands 2 isn’t shy about pushing its blend of RPG and FPS action. We talk to Gearbox’s creative director Paul Hellquist to find out just how far it can go…
See that ceiling? You can stick a turret on it
“There’s a really cool power for our commando, Axton. He’s got a turret similar to what Roland had, but we wanted to take it to a new level.
“So he’s got a skill that allows him to replace the base of his turret. Instead of it being the standard leg structure it becomes this cool, spiked, magnetic base that allows him to attach the turret to ceilings and walls.
“This allows for far more strategic deployment opportunities – you can pick a place where the turret can see over obstacles and cover objects and become much more effective in those situations.” Paul Hellquist, creative director
You can choose between 400,000 types of shield
“In the first game shields came in two types – your standard regular shield and your Nova shield. We now have eight different types of shield, all with their own unique abilities. There’s the amplifier shield, for instance, and what that does is when your shield is full your next weapon shot gets a huge damage increase, but it consumes some of your shield, so your trading defensive capability for offensive capability.
“We also have the melee shield. When they’re depleted they dramatically increase your melee damage, so it encourages you to go all psycho and go charging into battle even though your shields are down.
“All the variables can be modified using the gear building system, so there are all kinds of different and consistently better versions of your shields to find. In the first game we had around 1,000 shield combinations, but in Borderlands 2 we’re up to around 400,000 combinations.” Paul Hellquist, creative director
Your guns are also improvised explosive devices
“We wanted to bring what the weapon manufacturers did into gameplay. So, Tediore’s thing is that they’re supposed to be these cheap disposable razor kind of products. We were brainstorming and one of our designers, sort of as a joke, said, ‘What if you just threw away the gun?’ We went from us laughing to thinking, actually, that sounds kind of fun. We came up with this mechanic that when you throw a Tediore weapon it will explode, and all the ammunition you have remaining in your clip is proportionate to the damage the explosion causes. So you might not do a lot of damage by shooting your Tediore, but you’ll do a whole load of damage by shooting one bullet and then throwing the whole weapon at somebody.” Paul Hellquist, creative director
You could become a game-breaking power beast
“The hardcore players who are really looking for it… they’re going to find really interesting combinations of gear that go so well with what their character’s skills are doing that they’re going to reach ridiculous levels of power that even we haven’t found yet. Every now and then we’ll find a bug that’s so insane from the combination of skills and gear that it makes us laugh, and we have to figure out what to do with it. Sometimes we’ll just think ‘F*** it! Y’know what? That’s really awesome!’ You’ll have to find two legendary items and be at the highest level or whatever, so we just think enjoy it!” Paul Hellquist, creative director
Borderlands 3 is a very real possibility
“I’m sure if Borderlands 2 does as well as we’re all expecting it to, then something will be done at one point…” Paul Hellquist, creative director
- Borderlands 2 dev: “We’ll just think f**k it. Y’know what? That’s really awesome.”
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- Starbreeze, Syndicate and the next generation
- Crysis 3 – What We Want To See
Check out the latest issue of X360 for the big Borderlands 2 news as well as exclusive content on all the biggest Xbox 360 games. Available on iPad and other digital devices and at all good newsagents!