PAX Prime 2012: Borderlands 2 Closed Doors Demo
By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-in-Chief
I promised it. You asked for it. And without even having a press meeting I managed to talk my way past the 3 hour line to make sure I could report on what was new at PAX for your enjoyment? So what did they have to show at PAX? You could say a lot if you haven’t been following the game closely until now. But I’m just going to assume with how overwhelming your response to our forum poll was that I’m not writing to the uninformed. So let’s skip ahead to what was shown that has not been seen prior!
A massive wormhole thresher… have you seen these things on the trailer released a few days ago? If not be sure to take a look at around the 4 minute mark on it:
Got it? Good now amplify it’s size and speed by 30 and you have an idea of the boss they were demoing at PAX. And no I’m not talking about rough in the typical MMORPG terms of ‘you will have a hard time until you figure out its pattern.” I’m talking about rough as in a team of four developers that no doubt made this creature got torn to shreds in the demo in less than 3 minutes without even getting through 1% of its HP.
It can dig through mountainsides, hit you from all sides with tentacles that shoot poisonous spikes, and use some sort of gravitational power to try to pull you in to your doom, or worse, knock you off a nearby cliff to your certain death. And even if you happen to survive the fall, I assure you your team will be dead by the time you get back into the fight without your support. Yea Borderlands 2 goes hard like that, but it’s expected considering the power of the Badass Rank.
For the uninformed among us, Badass Rank is a system that allows you to power up not only your current character class, but all characters you ever decide to make. Be it gun damage, shield recharge speed, bonuses to specific skills, movement speed, or other miscellaneous powers, you can unlock an unlimited supply of badassness through a system akin to an achievement system. So if at first you don’t succeed, go do some cool stuff on the side until you can return to blow stuff up!
Speaking of fun side ventures, a new interesting type of loot was revealed to drop at PAX. No it’s not a new type of gun. What would the fun be in that when they already offer nearly 100 bazillion guns. Sir Hammerlock is a gentleman and a scholar and wouldn’t lie to you. No the loot I’m talking about is customization including heads, armor, and hairstyles to make each of your character classes a little more unique for when you show off to your online friends.
The final piece of the puzzle revealed to us at PAX was the new Mechromancer class you may have seen me tweeting about earlier this weekend. This class is actually DLC but comes free if you pre-order at specified retailers. So what does it offer that’s different from the rest? Clap traps that, once again, can only be described as bad ass. You are a bad ass aren’t you? Good then let’s continue.
Gauge the Mechromancer is a female mechanist with style that summons overly large clap traps that can be customized with various attachments depending on which skill tree you choose to follow. Although I don’t have the full details on her three skill trees, I know they are called the BFF tree, the Anarchy tree, and the Little Big Trouble tree. The BFF tree offers some pretty unique abilities for your summoned clap trap such as explosive claps when he slams his hands together. He can also learn an ability that sends out an electromagnetic shockwave when he claps his hands together should lightening damage be more useful in your current situation.
Death Claps: Like this, but less funny and more awesome.
The Anarchy tree allowed Gauge to place wolverine styled claws on her death clap to turn it into more of a mechanized tornado of AOE destruction. It also changes up your playstyle slightly by gaining temporary increased damage from both killing enemies and unloading machine gun cartridges fully. They didn’t reveal anything (at least to our particular demo group) about the Little Big Trouble tree and the vague name doesn’t give me much to work with. I guess your guess is as good as mine on that one until more official news becomes available.
So the last question you might ask is how does it play? I can say with certainty that the controls are spot on whether aiming with the console controller or keyboard and mouse. Grenades felt far more accurate and controllable than I have ever seen in an FPS title. The recoil on my weapons and corresponding sound effects really gave a sense of power behind my arsenal no matter which character I tried. My only real complaint was jumping and running felt a little slow but given how little time I had to play with the title this may be the smart design choice to go with given the game as a whole.
With only 2 weeks remaining though you won’t have to wait long to get your hands on this title. I’ve put my pre-order in and look forward to embarking on 4 player co-op with my 3 roommates very soon!PAX