Arena Battles, Terramorphous, and the Mechromancer, Oh My! My hands on preview of Borderlands 2

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by TRACY-MARK GORGAS / Special contributor to NWCN.com

NWCN.com

Posted on September 10, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 1 at 6:45 PM

Borderlands was a huge hit for Gearbox Software.  By the looks of the lines at PAX Prime 2012, Borderlands 2 will be just as big, if not bigger.  When I finally got into the booth we were shown some new tidbits that made me wish I was getting the game today.

First up is possibly the toughest battle in the game, fighting Terramorphous, a huge thresher snake-like creature.  In the first Borderlands there was the quest "You Will Die" in which you fought Crawmerax the Invincible.  That battle was supposed to be "nigh impossible," but someone found a spot where you could safely kill Crawmerax.  Developer, Gearbox, has corrected this problem for the quest "You Will Die (Seriously)" when you take on Terramorphous.  Supposedly there is not a safe spot when you take it on.  In the demonstration they showed, they had four players, each playing one of the four classes, taking on Terramorphous.  While the players were making some small headway against Terramorphous, it was getting more kills against the team.  Clearly Terramorphous was going to take some time and teamwork.  While you may think that once you defeat Terramorphous that's it, it's not.  It can be taken on as often as you want, and you'll want to because it drops "legendary weapons" (the only place they are available in the game).  I wish us all luck.

Next was a closer look at the Mechromancer.  The Mechromancer is the fifth playable character that will be the first piece of DLC for Borderlands 2, it will also be free for everyone that pre-orders the game.  The Mechromancer seems like a cross between a "riot grrl" and a cartoon spoiled girl with a hulking protector.  Deathtrap, her droid body guard, gets some very interesting powers as she levels up.  Explosive Clap was the big power they showed off.  Literally, Deathtrap will move up next to an enemy and clap his hands, the sound-waves generated by the clap make them explode into a chunky red mist.  Good times.   I like the Mechromancer.  She reminds me of the kind of character I play in MMO's.  A character that has a pet who acts as a second fighting character, this allows for a better chance at soloing quests that involve multiple players.  I think, after I finish with Zer0 the Assassin, the Mechromancer will be the next character I level up.

Last was our chance to play the game itself.  We all got to play two-player in a co-op in an arena.  I finally got my hands on Zer0.  He plays a lot like my favorite character from the first game, Mordecai the Hunter.  I rushed through his skill tree putting points into anything that sounded like it helped with sniping and health.  The person I was paired up with took on Axton the Commando.   I have a feeling neither one of us paid much attention to our skill tree build outs, we just wanted to get in and shoot it up in the limited time we had left.  The arena battle we were presented with gave us a pretty good variety of enemies to fight, we got robots and bandits.  The robot that was in charge of running the arena was funny to listen to.  He had a running commentary of inappropriate sexual comments told in an awkward robotic pace.  The combat was very familiar, and if you've played Borderlands before the controls too will be instantly familiar.  The first two rounds were fairly easy to clear, after each round we would get a chance to take what money we have earned and buy better weapons.  Marcus, of course, still runs all weapons and ammo vending machines, while Dr. Zed runs all the health vending machines.
 
In the third round I got killed.  I respawned in the upper area where the vending machines are.  After quickly replenishing my ammo I tried to get back to the arena.  I say tried because the elevator would not work.  After getting nowhere with the elevator I tried to find a way to jump over the walls, no dice.  So I decided to make the best of the situation.  I saw that there was enough of a gap between the floor and the wall that if I angled myself just right, I could snipe enemies from where I was.  As a bonus of my position the floor and wall acted as decent amount of protection from incoming fire.  We finished off the third round and that was where my time with Borderlands 2 ended.

What I got to see and play was like coming back to an old friend.  Gearbox seems to have made Borderlands 2 everything I loved about the first game but with more of it.  Bazillion guns, over the top humor, and the feeling of playing a real badass, it's all here.  I can't wait for September 18th to get here.

For more information see the Borderlands 2 web site
 

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