Pre-Sequel Playable CharactersThe "Claptrap the Fragtrap" thing is a red herring. The fourth playable character will be Angel, since so far every game has included a Siren, and she was too much of a charismatic character to just not feature her in new games. Failing this, we will witness what really happened with Angel and her mom. Or even possible, as an DLC character.
Claptrap's abilities will include not needing to breath in the space areasBecause it just seems pretty logical (the alternative will be some sort of - no doubt hilarious - explanation). Or at least not need to breath as much.
- This is Borderlands we're talking about here. Logicisn'texactlyamajorconcern.
- Confirmed: Claptrap doesn't need to worry about his oxygen supply, though he does whine about his 'psychosomatic' need of it. Also, oxygen is needed in order to power high jumps and Ground Pound abilities.
General speculation as to why lasers and Ice weapons aren't in Borderlands 2
- One possible theory is that they only work as intended on the moon.
- E-tech weapons are generally superior to lasers or cost less for comparable effects, or simply Hyperion desroying all sources of competing energy weapons on Pandora (so that their Eridium monopoly is more profitable).
- According to the ECHO Cast twitter account run by Gearbox, Cryo weapons run on methane that evaporates on non-Elpis climates and laser weaponry crumple in Pandora's atmosphere.
- They work perfectly well on Helios, which has climate and gravity equal to Pandora.
- I'm gonna play the 'Gameplay and Story Segregation' card there - it would be incredibly frustrating if some of your weapons broke whenever you were there.
- They work perfectly well on Helios, which has climate and gravity equal to Pandora.
- Mr. Torgue's campaign to destroy all lasers may have been successful.
- A loading screen message speaks of an incident involving Marcus and a straw. "Don't ask."
Dr. Ted will be selling health and shieldsDr. Zed is the only physician on Pandora who's willing to help anyone. You bought your healing supplies from Dr. Ned in his DLC, and he's dead now. Zombie T.K Baha accidentally lets slip that there's also a "Ted", but quickly remembered that you're not supposed to talk about that "forbidden brother". Marcus will no doubt find a way to peddle his guns even up on the moon, but Dr. Zed's influence doesn't reach that far. SOMEONE has to do it, so why not expand on this "forbidden brother" as another one who's willing to work toward Jack's goal?
- Jossed: The health vendors are operated by Nurse Nina.
Health and Shields will be sold by later female vendorThe footage of the game so far has shown a female doctor on the medical vending machines. She could also be Dr. Ted as speculated above (she'd hardly be the first space dwelling female character to use a misleadingly masculine derivative of Edward/Edwina).
One of the bosses in the game, possibly near the end or even the final boss, will be the original four Vault Hunters.As stated in Borderlands 2, Wilhem nearly killed all four of the original Vault Hunters in the time between 1 and 2. But here's the thing. As also stated in Borderlands 2, canonically it was Roland who killed 9-Toes and did the jump in Piss Wash Gully, Mordecai won the Underdome, and Brick claimed Sledge's Hammer. (Meaning most likely he was the one who killed him) In actual gameplay, anyone of the characters (And their clones!) could have done those feats and more. So it's possible that in the Pre-Sequel you will head down to New Haven and fight the original four, regardless if you or a teammate is playing as Wilhem.
- Jossed: While Roland and Lilith screw you over, you don't fight them in the main game. Wilhelm's siege on New Have is detailed in the credits however.
Jack will discover an artifact that brands his face, and it will drive him insane.According to lore, the psychos came into being when the convict miners discovered an artifact (vault key piece I think), this discovery was covered up but was known to have driven the convicts insane and given them their mutations. So maybe Jack will discover an eridian artifact that drives him insane, or enhances his worst character aspects (jerkiness, etc.) because, as this video shows at around 6:42, Jack cares way more about human life than he does in Borderlands 2.
- Part true: Jack's face was branded by an artifact... via Lilith punching it into his face.
- Also, while Jack had already become pretty far gone by the time he downloaded the contents of the Eridian artifact into his brain, he does seem to be even crazier afterwards, especially given his maniacally laughter during the downloading process.
The Framing Device will be Hyperion propaganda.Marcus was telling the Vault Hunters' story, and sometimes he would let in pieces that imply he's stretching it a bit ("Dr. Ned, who is totally not Dr. Zed from the last story at all...", "And that is how it really happened, except for the part about me getting stood up...", "Is any of this going to be true?" "Yes. Probably a lot of it."). So part of the reason Jack is so heroic in this installment is because it'll be told from a pro-Hyperion viewpoint.
- Jossed. The Framing Device is Athena explaining Jack's rise to power, first to the vault hunters, and later to Tiny Tina then to Axton and Gaige.
Handsome Jack will be a DLC character classBecause come on, there's no way they'd miss that opportunity.
- Unlikely, as making an in-game NPC a playable character would probably break suspension of disbelief a bit too far to handwave as simply being "REASONS". That and you'll have to change a lot of the game.
- As it turns out, Handsome Jack's body double is going to be a DLC character.
Krieg will be featured as his non-slagmutated and non-crazy self.In the trailer we see somebody who looks a heck of a lot like Tina if she was older, so likely, that'll be her mother. In the Wedding DLC for borderlands 2, Krieg refers to "the tiny one and the sad-faced mother" as people he loved. with his psychopathic state, it's likely he might not know the difference between normal fondness and love anymore(at least, his insane loud side).. Seeing how he was a mercenary before his little dip into the world of nasty purple stuff, it's likely he was hired by Tiny Tina's family to protect them. He ends up caring a bit more then planned, as often happens with this kind of thing. During one of the missions, you will end up capturing the family and Krieg to harbor them from the Dahl army. Most likely after having to weaken Krieg, who will be on par with a super badass in difficulty. They'll end up unmentioned again for nasty implications.
- Jossed since the character in question is Janey Springs and she's a lesbian who has a crush on Athena.
Zarpedon will be revealed as either a well intentioned extremist or even a heroic antagonistFirst off considering that every echolog that showed Jack's personality prior to BL 1 (and thus any supposed incident that drove him to insanity) demonstrated he was already a violent psychopath, just a more constrained and hidden one, along with the knowledge of what his ultimate goals are, it's entirely possible that Jack's behavior is all a act or at the very least he's more (though not entirely) stable mentally. Whats more, consider the backstory mentions that one reason Dahl (which Zarpedon works for) left Pandora was due to some discovery that turned the convict labor insane and mutated them, and that said thing has never been elaborated on, it could be that Zarpedon either knows how dangerous Jack or a opened Vault really is, and is taking no chances in dealing with both. But most telling of all is a echocast she gives in one of the Athena gameplay demos where she tells the citizens of Elpis that her actions are necessary.
- Confirmed. Prior to the start of the game, the Watcher had informed her of a terrible war that would break out should the Vault of the Warrior be opened. The Vault on Elpis contained what seems to be the only remaining information on the Vault of the Warrior, so Zarpedon and her crew decided to guard it. After learning about the opening of the original Vault and Jack's hunt for a Vault on Elpis, Zarpedon realized that the only guaranteed way to prevent the war would be to destroy Pandora and Elpis - and their Vaults along with them.
Janey is tall and lanky because she grew up in the low-gravity of ElpisLower gravity = less compression on joints. Also, serious muscle and bone problems.
Athena sees Handsome Jack's Start of Darkness repeating itself.Athena sees Lilith going down the same path Handsome Jack did, from hero to anti-hero to villain, and that's why she was avoiding Sanctuary for so long. Lilith has, like Jack, become less genuinely heroic and more self-obsessed and sociopathic over time and, by the time of Borderlands 2, has become Drunk with Power and has a hard time resisting the urge to show off. She doesn't even use guns anymore and once excitedly spoke to Roland about how awesome it was that she liquefied a bandit with her powers. By the beginning of the Pre-Sequel, she's no longer even doing her own work, referring to friends Brick and Mordecai as her 'best men' (viewing them as subordinate) while merely expressing annoyance with how badly they're hurt by Athena during the capture. After hearing the whole story and Athena confesses her regret, Lilith orders her soldiers to kill Athena anyway, over the objections of Brick and Mordecai no less, which comes as a surprise to everyone but Athena - She correctly predicts Lilith had decided to kill her the moment she was captured because she's expecting her to act like Jack would.
Athena and Janey become an item after the events of the game, and Athena was found because she tried to contact Janey.The game all but flat-out state that they had something together after the events of the game, and Janey appears in the credits being the person to give Athena goodbye as she returns to Pandora, Athena would have tried to contact Janey to ensure to Janey she is alright, and the Crimson Raiders tracked down the signal from the transmission.
- Confirmed as of Episodes 2 & 3 of Tales.
Moxxi avoids Janey at least in part because Janey reminds her of her kidsMoxxi claims that the reason she avoids Janey is because Janey keeps asking after her, but literally everyone in Sanctuary (and Captain Scarlett) did that in 2, Janey's just far more forward about it. And given that Janey has a bunch of technical know-how and essentially runs the vehicle show on Elpis, much like Scooter and Ellie do on Pandora, the commonalities could be a contributing factor there.
The Coming War
- We will finally be able to use our old favorite Vault Hunters again, minus Roland, Nisha, Wilhelm, and Jack's Body Double, who have not survived past the activation of the Vault Map; and we get them with much more OOMPH! Not only has Lilith gained more power, Mordecai a new Bloodwing, and Brick now possessing a big-ass hammer, the new Vault Hunters of Borderlands 2 have gained experience, Athena now has access to what remains of DAHL, Hyperion and Atlas (from whatever Roland had recovered), and with the demise of Hyperion Claptrap's combat software could still be recovered and restored, coupled with a now-voluntary cloaking ability that doesn't override his other protocols. Or at the very least, we can have all of these people fight by our side again, and it will be BADASS. "We will need all the Vault Hunters we can get" after all.
- The Alien will be the primary mission giver in the next sequel.
- If we don't get to play as the old Vault Hunters, we get Tiny Tina (aged up or not), with a Skill that would put Torgue Fiesta to shame.
- Well, we have no way of knowing if Jack's Body Double that we'll get to play as is dead, because he's not the same one as the on killed in Borderlands 2 (who was voiced hilariously badly by Anthony Burch, while this Jack Double appears to be Timothy from the ECHO logs scattered around Jack's office, who is voiced by Dameon Clarke) - also, why would Jack only have one double made of him? Plus having him stick around is a rather fun way of keeping Handsome Jack around without bringing the original back from the dead to cause havoc.
- If by any chance Rhys and Fiona show up, they'll be Vault Hunters in training. Oh, and Michael Mamaril could be an NPC who occasionally helps out.
- Anthony Burch has actually expressed regret at killing off Nisha in Borderlands 2. It's possible that she will be back somehow, still sadistic but somewhat nicer and willing to make up for her past actions, due to Athena's urging (perhaps one sidequest will have her make you send Brick a new friendly Skag puppy.)
- The Enemies of the Vault Hunters will be many, varied, and all deserving of a bullet in the head.
- The Hyperion Board of Directors. Maxim Turner in particular, who will be excessively Affably Evil and won't stop smiling.
- Eridians who are against the Guardian, possibly ones who were locked up in the Vaults as prisoners.
- An Evil Siren. One who's gone full blown A God Am I and is using her phase powers to control or lay waste to entire armies.
- The Dahl Corporation comes back to the planet with their army to reap the riches left by Handsome Jack's reign and Atlas's glory days, along with arming itself with alien tech from the aforementioned Eridians, plus the Seraphs and forming an alliance with nearly all the bandit clans (with the exception of the Slabs) to lay waste to Sanctuary and the Crimson Raiders, who they regard as traitors. Expect nearly all the corporations, apart from the Bandits and Hyperion, allying up with Vladof, Dahl's main rival and now the official sponsor of the Crimson Raiders, to stop them from taking over the planet and Elpis. And who's running it? A sociopathic General Ripper, War for Fun and Profit type with legions of Dahl Space Marines, Alien Soldiers and heavily armed Bandits at his beck and call, plus Handsome Jack's jerkassery and evilness taken Up to 11.
- Also, the Caustic Caverns and Sanctuary Hole, along with Eridium Blight, the Boneyards and the Badlands will be taken over by Dahl, along with the ruins of Helios and possibly most of Elpis as well, except Concordia, which has plenty of Vladof revolutionaries, Jakobs lawmen, Tediore engineers, Torgue bikers and Maliwan mercenaries defending it to the last man.
- I think the reason for this upcoming war is that when the Vault Hunters learned of the existence of dozens of vaults scattered throughout the Six Galaxies, so did everyone else. All those vaults "activated" and made their presence known to anyone inhabiting or monitoring the planets they are located on. This will lead to Dahl, Hyperion, Maliwan, Torgue (now that Mr. Torgue sold off his company and has been fired as spokesperson), Vladof, Jakobs, and possibly even Tediore all fighting each other for absolute control over the vaults, and it'll be the Vault Hunter's jobs to stop anyone who tries. Pandora would only be the beginning.
- I second this section of the WMG, if only because it would mean more varieties of enemies and hopefully new enemy AI to go up against.
- A popular enemy idea is that, if Lilith remains an NPC, she will become more and more corrupted and like Jack, eventually turning into the Dark Firehawk, or worse.
The Moonstones have some special property that has yet to be explored
- They essentially fill the same function as Eridium did in Borderlands 2, Crazy Earl wants them for... something, they're used to activate the Raid Boss (even if that is non-canon) and they offer additional features to weaponry. There's got to be something special about them. My theory is that they counter-act the more negative effects of Eridium dependency or remove the dependency altogether, given their presence on Elpis, which has a wide-open Vault and the more elite members of the Lost Legion and Zarpedon herself are clearly hopped up on enough Eridium that they should probably be dead.
"I wasn't about to leave a job half done"
- What if at least part of the reason Athena refuses to stop hunting the Vault, even when she's clearly working for a maniac and knows it, isn't due to pride about having never left a job unfinished, and more due to the Atlas assassin training making her essentially unable to leave a job half-finished once she's a part of it. I don't imagine the training tolerated giving up or being sloppy about a job either.
The Vaults have Indoctrination PowersWe don't know exactly what the Vaults do, but after being exposed to something inside the Vault, both Zarpedon and Jack became obsessed with finding, opening, and defending Vaults. Zarpedon's faced started glowing purple in a way that we associate with Eridians and Vaults, but it could be that the purple is an effect of the Vault itself, since the white-and-red alien was an Eridian that was different colors. There is something in or about the Vaults that effects people's minds, making them want to defend the Vault at all costs. What we think of as "Eridian", which is to say purple and Vault-like, could actually be just the Eridians corrupted by the Vault, since members of the Lost Legion, including Zarpedon start to look the same after being exposed to the open Vault. The Coming War could be fought with the Vault Hunters and remaining Eridians against the Vaults and Vaultbuilders, with corrupt Eridians (and possibly humans) on their side.
Athena will replace Roland in the Original Four.
- Right now, Athena is a Vault Hunter without a crew. Wilhelm and Nisha are dead, Jack's double probably is, and Claptrap is back to normal. Without Roland, the Original Four have a slot open, a slot in which Athena actually fits perfectly - Like Roland she's an ex-Atlas defector with a good mind for strategy and leadership, like Roland she tends to focus on defending others, and like Roland she is The Heart of her group. Additionally all Roland's traditional allies (bar Lilith) seem to like her a great deal. On a meta level, both were characters in the original Borderlands and both tend to be most effective in group play when built in a similar fashion, supporting allies and distracting enemies rather than doing all the heavy lifting themselves, though both are capable of doing that if they have to. She not only fills the role in the lore, she also fills the role in gameplay.
The next Borderlands game will be an MMO.The revelation of vaults all over the galaxy and the Guardian's statement about a coming war and needing all the Vault Hunters they can get hint at a broad expansion of game scope. Perhaps it will be an MMO wherein all the surviving Vault Hunters are quest givers who sometimes fight by the player-characters' sides.
There will be a Love Triangle in the next game.It will involve Gaige, Pickle, and Tiny Tina. Don't ask me who'll be falling for who. What ever happens, it will involve copious amounts of larceny, robots, explosions, and thieving robots that explode. Moxxi will be the quest giver because she sees it as the most adorable expression of young love on Pandora, and she wants to play cupid.
- Tina is lesbian though, so if anything Gaige would be the one at the center, although by that point she'd probably be as old as Lilith was in the original Borderlands. Here's to hoping we do get a new stealth class in the form of Pickle
Moxxi will try to have Athena killed before Borderlands 3.Hey, Moxxi told her that if she told anyone about her redneck accent, she'd put her in a shallow grave. And she just told the Vault Hunters. Twice. Shallow grave~♥
- Then again all of the Vault Hunters probably noticed it by now at this point anyway.
- The BL 2 Vault Hunters should definitely know about her accent, as tipping her enough in her bar makes her accidentally slipped into it. The BL 1 Vault Hunters probably found out when Moxxi dumped Mordecai, because that's likely something he'd tell them, or they found out about it simply because they've been working with her for so long.
Zer0 is Timothy LawrenceConsidering the Pre-Sequel! takes place like a year or two after the first one, and the second one happened about 3-4 years after this one, a lot could change in that time. Both Zer0 and "Jack" can generate holograms, not to mention Zer0 never shows his face anyway. Granted, not so sure in regards to their height so feel free to joss.
- The ECHO logs you collect where Angel is telling Jack about Zer0 imply that Zer0 didn't know anything about any vaults
- Zer0 is most likely not human. He has four fingers per hand and walks in a notably different manner from Human stance.
The true nature of PandoraTaking into account that Angel is not exactly a reliable source of information, not that it was her choice, but after all we have seen, perhaps our idea about the Destroyer, the Warrior, Pandora itself, and Elpis (specifically Eleseer), has been wrong all this time. We now know Elpis is not actually a real moon, or is one that has been extensively hollowed out. Also, have you ever wondered this: did we open the Vaults in the right order? Whet if the entirety of Pandora is actually a gigantic Halo-like (ecosystem-supporting) Death Star? Think about it. First, Elpis: it could very have well been either the command center from which the Eridians could control Pandora's features from the very heavens. If not this, then at the very least it possesses the same function as a colossal Library Second: The Warrior and the Vault Map. Both I would say could serve separate purposes completely unrelated to the other. It may be this specific Vault that acts as either a networking terminal or a navigation system to relocate Pandora itself. As for the Warrior, it's a failsafe, but not for the Destroyer. It's for purging the entire planet against anyone who comes close to retaking such a dangerous superweapon. Finally, the Destroyer: Ever start up a machine, even a car, but it takes a while to actually get warmed up to its full capability. When we killed the Destroyer, it was hardly at optimum power, and as we already know, it's amplified by Eridium. Perhaps Eridium didn't come from another dimension at all, and was simply buried deep within the planet, but connected to the Destoyer through various veins. One the superweapon was disconnected at the same time that its energy was being pumped into it, well... what happens when you cut off a closed hose while the valve is turned? In short: Vault Map = Navigation/Network, Warrior = failsafe/self-destruct, Elpis = Library/Command Center, Destroyer = primary planet-destroying weapon And the reason behind there being other Vaults in other galaxies? Why does more than one country have a nuke pointed at each other?
The next game's intro will involve all the playable Vault Hunters so far or the six playable ones and the others fighting alongside troops on Pandora or Elpis.
- Because it would be awesome.
Timothy Lawrence will wear a mask in Borderlands 3He can't revert the surgery, so a mask would be the best option to not look like Jack, it would be fitting for Handsome Jack.
Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode will be yet another narration, this time....It will be Athena telling the story to Krieg and Maya. Maya will, of course, provide the rational side and probably ask Athena all kinds of scholarly questions. Meanwhile, Krieg will be... Krieg.
- UVHM has no special narration. It's the exact same as TVHM.
Mr. Torgue will develop a new line of Claptraps.Because Fragtrap explodes a lot, and explosions are AWESOME. Pre-Sequel positioned Claptrap as the kind of tech Torgue would be very interested in, and if Hyperion need to make cutbacks after Borderlands 2 they might choose to sell off a discontinued product line dirt cheap.
Returning Vault Hunters in the next game are:
- The surviving BL1 Vault Hunters and all the BL2 Vault Hunters as NPCs. Athena, Timothy, Aurelia, Claptrap will join them as well, and possibly Nisha, if the writing team decides to use "writing magic" to revive her in some way (and she goes through serious character development over the course of the game).
- The protagonists of Tales from the Borderlands as the newest members and possibly the best so far, having been trained by every existing Vault Hunter in preparation for the war.
In the next game you will have to choose between completing a mission for Hammerlock or his sister Aurelia:They seem to hate each other, so there could be a series of mission of them trying to prove themselves the better hunter and in one of the mission you will given the choice to do want Hammerlock wants you to do, or what Aurelia wants to do.
Shadowtrap will be back.He didn't even look close to dead at the end of Claptastic Voyage.
The next game will focus on six new vault hunters.Gearbox has done well with introducing new and clever characters so far, so reusing the previous cast doesn't sound like something they would waste time on.
Borderlands 3 will not feature Jack as a villain, nor will he appear in any major capacityHe's been killed twice now, it's time for new villains to take the spotlight. This doesn't mean he won't appear, but he won't be the main villain anymore. Bonus points if there's a callback to Nakayama's failure cloning the Destroyer and we get a Jack that is the size of a Lil Psycho running about.
Borderlands 3 Intro MusicJust because.
- Churchill-Change: The tone of the song could match perfectly with the idea that the universe is about to change, and the Vault hunters must either change with it or be swept away.
Jack killed Timothy between games
- He wasn't about to let anyone walk around wearing his old, pre-scarred face, and he had no need for a guy who looked like that anymore. He does have a body double in BL 2, but that's clearly a different guy, and uses holograms instead of actually having Jack's face. And Timothy was considerably less evil than Nisha or Wilhelm, so it's doubtful he'd stay in Jack's employ anyway. He's the one Vault Hunter we don't know the fate of (even Aurelia got name-dropped as still alive), so good chance he's dead. Two possibilities for how:
- Know how in the intro of Borderlands 2, Jack left a decoy on the train◊? That's him, after being heavily tortured and killed by Jack.
- Alternately, maybe Timothy is the source of Jack's mask. Shame to let a pristine copy of his face go to waste, right?
Janey Springs is related to Tiny Tina.
- She probably isn't Tina's mother, since Tina's parents were murdered by Hyperion (no thanks to Flesh-Stick) before the events of 2, and Springs is gay, but there is no denying Springs and Tina look very similar to one another. Perhaps Springs is Tina's aunt, or a cousin?
There are going to be loads and loads of spin-offs.
- With the supposed "War" approaching, as well as the map filled with Vaults spread across the universe, there are going to be a lot of games, each focusing on a different group of Vault Hunters battling and/or working with different corporations to open the many vaults across the galaxy.
- Perhaps there would be one more game taking place on Pandora to round out the trilogy, and then each game afterwards would take place on another planet.
|Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux,PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nvidia Shield|
|Release||Win, PS3, X360, Mac, Linux|
|Genre(s)||First-person shooter, action role-playing|
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is an action role-playingfirst-person shooter video game developed by 2K Australia, with assistance from Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. It is the third game in the Borderlands series, and is set between 2009's Borderlands and 2012's Borderlands 2. It was released for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 14 October 2014. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports were released as part of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection on 24 March 2015.
The storyline of The Pre-Sequel focuses on Handsome Jack (the antagonist in Borderlands 2), an employee of the Hyperion corporation; after the company's Helios space station is captured by a military operation known as the Lost Legion, he leads a group of four playable characters—all of whom were non-playable characters and bosses in previous Borderlands games—on an expedition to re-gain control of Helios and defeat the Lost Legion. The game expands upon the engine and gameplay of Borderlands 2 and introduced gameplay mechanics, including low-gravity environments, freeze weapons, and oxygen tanks, which are used to navigate and perform ground slamming attacks.
The Pre-Sequel received positive reviews; while praised for its new gameplay features, character classes, and for maintaining the trademark humour and style of previous entries in the franchise with an additional Australian comedy flair, the game was criticized by some for having confusing level designs, and for not providing many significant deviations from the core mechanics and gameplay of Borderlands 2 to make the game more than simply a standalone "expansion pack" for it.
Gameplay in The Pre-Sequel is similar to Borderlands 2, but with the addition of new mechanics. Two varieties of items have been added, including laser guns, and items possessing a cryogenic elemental effect, which can be used to slow down and freeze enemies. Enemies that are frozen can be smashed into pieces by using melee attacks. The game features low-gravity environments, causing players to jump higher but slower, and items such as loot and dead bodies to float away. O2 kits are added to supply air while in space; oxygen supplies can be replenished using generators, vents, and through oxygen tank items dropped by enemies. The kits can be used like a jetpack to perform double jumps, hovering, and ground slamming attacks; as with other items, different types of O2 kits can provide stat bonuses and affect how ground slams deal damage. A new "Grinder" machine allows players to deposit combinations of existing weapons to receive one of higher rarity. Vehicles were introduced, including a moon buggy, and the "Stingray"—a type of hoverbike.
As with Borderlands 2, completing the main campaign with a character unlocks "True Vault Hunter Mode", a second playthrough that is higher in difficulty, while beating the mode and reaching level 50 unlocks the third playthrough "Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode".
The Pre-Sequel features four playable characters, each with a different class and abilities. All four of The Pre-Sequel's protagonists were non-player characters (NPCs) in previous Borderlands games.
Athena, "the Gladiator", is a rogue assassin from the Atlas Corporation introduced in the Borderlands DLC campaign The Secret Armory of General Knoxx. As her primary skill, Athena can use a temporary shield to absorb damage; this ability can be upgraded to make the shield itself into a weapon that can be thrown at enemies, and allow it to absorb elemental damage which can in turn, be reflected back at enemies.
Nisha, "the Lawbringer", first appeared in Borderlands 2 as the unnamed sheriff of the town of Lynchwood. Her primary skill, "Showdown", increases gun damage and speed, and allows the player to quickly switch between enemies in the area. Her skill tree "Law & Order" contains skills oriented towards collecting buffs known as "Order", which can heal, recharge health and shields, or temporarily increase other stats depending on the number of Order stacks collected. The "Fan the Hammer" skill tree is oriented towards dealing additional damage using guns along with the ability to dual-wield, while "The Riflewoman" incorporates skills that provide buffs for point shooting and reload speed.
Claptrap, "the Fragtrap", is the last remaining robot of its kind as of Borderlands 2; his skill "VaultHunter.exe" generates random effects depending on the current situation. These effects can have a positive or negative impact on the player and their other party members; among these effects are versions of skills used by the previous playable characters in the franchise.
The mercenary Wilhelm, "the Enforcer", becomes increasingly augmented with technology and weaponry over the course of the game, transforming him into the more familiar cybernetic form he possessed as the second major boss in Borderlands 2. He can summon a pair of drones, Wolf and Saint; Wolf serves an offensive role by attacking other enemies, while Saint defends Wilhelm by providing shields and health regeneration.
Two additional characters have been released as downloadable content. The first character, Jack, "the Doppelganger", is a man named Timothy Lawrence working as a body double of Handsome Jack who can summon digital copies of Jack to fight alongside him. The second, Aurelia, "the Baroness", is the sister of Sir Hammerlock who uses an experimental "Frost Diadem Shard" to deal ice elemental damage to enemies. Both characters become disillusioned with Jack's moral decline over the course of the game.
The opening of The Pre-Sequel begins some time after Borderlands 2 and Episode 3 of Tales from the Borderlands, on the flying city of Sanctuary, where the three former Vault Hunters Lilith, Brick, and Mordecai interrogate Athena after having captured her from the Atlas Domes. Athena recounts her story, starting after the death of General Knoxx, when she received an offer to go find a Vault on Pandora's moon, Elpis, from a Hyperion programmer named Jack. She joins fellow Vault Hunters Nisha, Wilhelm, and Claptrap, on a spaceship headed for the Hyperion moon base Helios. On the way, they are ambushed by the Lost Legion, an army of Dahl soldiers led by Colonel Tungsteena Zarpedon, and crash-land onto the moon base. After meeting up with Jack, they attempt to use Helios's defense system, but realizes there is a jamming signal coming from Elpis. They attempt to escape, but they are stopped by Zarpedon, and a mysterious alien-like warrior. Jack sends the Vault Hunters to Elpis on a moonshot rocket.
After landing on Elpis, the Vault Hunters are helped by Janey Springs, a junk dealer, who guides them to the spaceport known as Concordia. Here, the Hunters, under Jack's orders, request help from Moxxi to find the jamming signal. After raiding a former Dahl station, they find out that the signal was put up by the Meriff, the person in charge of Concordia, as well as Jack's former underling. While this is happening, Zarpedon activates Helios' primary weapon, the Eye of Helios, which fires powerful lasers on the surface of Elpis. The Meriff is later killed by Jack at his office due to a failed attempt to kill Jack from behind. With Concordia secured, Jack and Moxxi guide the Vault Hunters to the next step in retaking Helios. They proceed to infiltrate a Lost Legion base, run by two Dahl officers, The Bosun and The Skipper, in search of an artificial intelligence, which Jack plans to use to build a robot army. After defeating Bosun, it is revealed that the Skipper, who renames herself Felicity, is the A.I. they were looking for. The Vault Hunters travel to a robot production facility, where Jack enlists the help of a scientist named Gladstone to build his robot army. Gladstone suggests using his prototype robot, named the Constructor, which has the ability to construct an infinite number of robots. At first, Felicity agrees to help them by becoming the A.I. for the Constructor, but upon witnessing the violence she has to go through, she begins to hesitate. After being forced into the Constructor bot, she takes control of it and battles the Vault Hunters. Felicity is defeated, and her personality is deleted from the Constructor bot.
Having achieved his robot army, Jack and the Vault Hunters travel to Helios, while enlisting the help of Moxxi and two former Vault Hunters, Roland and Lilith (who were on Elpis for a vacation). They defeat Zarpedon and the Lost Legion, and proceed to reboot the Eye of Helios. It is revealed that the Eye is actually the eye of the Destroyer, the beast that was released from Pandora's Vault in the first game. The Vault Hunters begin to inject slag into the Eye, under Moxxi's directions. When attempting to reboot, Moxxi reveals her true motives for helping Jack: to destroy the Eye and prevent Jack from gaining ultimate power. Jack and the Vault Hunters travel back to Elpis, where they find its Vault having already been opened, as mentioned by Zarpedon during her last moment. The Hunters battle several of the Vault's guardians, and defeat its ultimate weapon, the Deva-like Empyrean Sentinel.
With the Sentinel defeated, Jack enters the Vault and greets the Vault Hunters, but finds no item of value, other than a mysterious symbol floating in midair. As he attempts to interact with it, the symbol shows Jack a vision of the Warrior awakening. However, the vision is interrupted by Lilith, who phasewalks in front of him and punches through the Vault symbol, burning it onto Jack's face. She disappears, leaving Jack behind with the Vault Hunters. Jack, having gone insane from the vision as well as Lilith's attack, swears vengeance on her, and all the "bandits" on Pandora. Realizing that the hero who once saved her on Helios is no more, Athena leaves Jack's employ.
Having finished listening to Athena's story, Lilith orders the Crimson Raiders to execute her, against Brick and Mordecai's protests. However, as they open fire on her, Athena is saved by the alien warrior who appeared on Helios with Zarpedon that day, which reveals itself to be one of the legendary Eridians. The Eridian warns the Vault Hunters of an imminent war, and that they would need "all the Vault Hunters they can get".
During the credits, several scenes showing what became of the Vault Hunters after helping Jack play. Wilhelm is transformed further into a machine, Athena discards the money given to her by Jack, Nisha and Jack establish their reign on Pandora, and Claptrap is dismantled and left for dead by Jack at Windshear Waste. In a post-credit scene, Jack is seen strangling his CEO, Tassiter, in his office, and announces to a woman on an intercom that he has replaced Tassiter as the new head of Hyperion, and tells her to call him by his new name, Handsome Jack.
The Claptastic Voyage story add-on continues shortly after Jack's takeover of Hyperion, as he discovers a secret program called the H-Source, containing all secrets of Hyperion. However, it is hidden inside the Claptrap unit by his deceased boss, Tassiter. Jack employs his Vault Hunters once more to be digitally scanned and sent into Claptrap's mind in order to retrieve the H-Source. However, the Vault Hunters were tricked into releasing 5H4D0W-TP, a subroutine representing Claptrap's inner evil, who attempts to use the H-Source for his own gains. As the group pursues 5H4D0W-TP, they delve deeper into Claptrap's mind, learning of his origins and the reasons for his quirky behaviors. Eventually, the group confront 5H4D0W-TP and defeat him, and retrieve the H-Source for Jack. Jack reveals his plan to use the H-Source to wipe out all existing CL4P-TP units, including Claptrap himself. All CL4P-TP units are later dumped in Windshear Waste, however, 5H4D0W-TP, who still remains alive within Claptrap, sacrifices himself to revive Claptrap, allowing him to be found later by Sir Hammerlock.
Borderlands 2, developed by Gearbox Software and released in late-2012, was one of the most successful video games in 2K's history. Speaking in February 2013, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford stated that there were no plans for a third installment in the franchise, as the company believed that a sequel to Borderlands 2 would have to be "massive", but that "when you think of what Borderlands 3 should be... No, we don't know what that is yet. We can imagine what it must achieve, but we don't know what it is yet". The company also cited a desire to focus its attention onto new games for next-generation consoles, such as Brothers in Arms: Furious Four, Homeworld: Shipbreakers (a new game in the Homeworld franchise, which Gearbox had recently acquired in THQ's bankruptcy auction), and new properties such as Battleborn. Despite this, the company still believed that they had not yet met the demands of fans, or even its own staff, in regards to the franchise (even with the overall success of Borderlands 2 and the large amount of downloadable content that had been released), prompting the creation of spin-offs such as Tales from the Borderlands, an episodic adventure game being developed by Telltale Games, and a port of Borderlands 2 for PlayStation Vita.
A few months after the release of Borderlands 2 (and shortly after it had concluded its contributions to BioShock Infinite), Gearbox began working with 2K Australia to develop a prequel to the game which would take place directly after the events of the original. The decision to make the game a prequel to Borderlands 2 was centered around a desire to use the Hyperion moonbase (a location alluded to, and visible in Borderlands 2) as a playable location; the development team felt that going to the moonbase in a sequel to Borderlands 2 would be too "boring" for players since the relevant conflict was already resolved, and because "if we're going to go to the moonbase anyway, what if we try something completely different that people aren't expecting[?]". Pitchford noted that this setting would allow the game to address plot elements and events alluded to in the first two games that were not yet completely addressed—on the possibility that the game could introduce holes in the continuity of the franchise, he joked that the franchise already contained many plot holes to begin with. He suggested that working on The Pre-Sequel could be a breakout role for 2K Australia, similar to Gearbox's own Half-Life: Opposing Force. As for the size of the game, Pitchford stated that The Pre-Sequel's playable world would be in between the size of the original and Borderlands 2.
2K Australia performed the majority of development on The Pre-Sequel, but worked in collaboration with Gearbox on certain aspects of the game. The studio also provided its writing staff—including Anthony Burch, lead writer of Borderlands 2—as a complement to 2K Australia's own writers. The engine of Borderlands 2 was used as a starting point, allowing the 2K Australia team to quickly prototype and implement features on top of the existing functionality already provided by Borderlands 2. Most of the new mechanics in the game, such as ice weaponry, were conceived by the 2K Australia team; Gearbox's developers had shown concerns that freezing weapons were illogical in comparison to the other elemental weapon types, such as incendiary and acid, but Pitchford excused their inclusion in The Pre-Sequel because cryogenic technology was more "natural" in the space-oriented setting of the game.
The four playable characters have an increased amount of dialogue in comparison to their equivalents in previous instalments; NPC dialogue can change depending on the characters present. Developers also felt that The Pre-Sequel would have more diverse humour than previous installments due to the makeup of its writing staff, and a decision to portray the Moon's inhabitants as being Australians themselves, allowing for references to Australian comedy and culture, including missions referencing cricket, the folk song "Waltzing Matilda", and a talking shotgun based upon the bogan stereotype.Bruce Spence, a New Zealand actor known for his role as the Gyro Captain in Mad Max 2 (the second film in the Mad Max franchise that was cited as an influence on the setting of Borderlands as a whole), is among the game's voice actors–voicing a gyrocopter pilot in reference to his role from the film.
The Pre-Sequel would be the final video game developed by 2K Australia, as the studio was shut down on 16 April 2015.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel was released in North America on 14 October 2014. Initially, the game was not released on eighth-generation consoles such as PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. As porting The Pre-Sequel to next-generation consoles would require rebuilding the engine (and thus defeating the purpose of retaining the engine used by Borderlands 2), developers instead targeted the game to the same console platforms that previous installments in the Borderlands franchise were released for. In July 2014, 2K Australia's head Tony Lawrence stated that there was a possibility that The Pre-Sequel could be ported to next-generation consoles, gauged by fan demand and sales. In August 2014, financial statements by Take-Two Interactive disclosed that a Linux port of the game was also in development; these details were confirmed by 2K in a statement to gaming news site IGN.com. The port, which was accompanied by a port of Borderlands 2 released in late-September 2014, was released for Linux through Steam.
As part of pre-release promotional efforts for the game, Gearbox began releasing Pre-Sequel-inspired character skins for Borderlands 2 in July 2014, and at San Diego Comic-Con, Gearbox partnered with The Nerdist to set up a Borderlands-themed laser tag field at Petco Park during the convention.
On 18 September 2014, an extended 10-minute trailer featuring Sir Hammerlock and Mr. Torgue was released. On 30 September 2014, Pitchford confirmed that the game had gone gold.
On 20 January 2015, 2K announced that it would release a compilation of Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, for PS4 and Xbox One on 24 March 2015. It includes both games and all of their respective DLC.
As with Borderlands 2, downloadable content (DLC), including new characters and story campaigns, will be made for The Pre-Sequel, which can be purchased separately or together as a "Season Pass". The Shock Drop Slaughter Pit was released at launch as a pre-order exclusive.
The first DLC character, released on 11 November 2014, is a body double of Handsome Jack, "the Doppelganger"; he can summon clones of himself known as "digi-Jacks" to fight alongside him. Jack's skill trees mainly focus on granting bonuses to himself, as well as his Digi-Jacks.
The first DLC campaign, The Holodome Onslaught, was released on 14 December 2014; it includes missions in the titular challenge arena, which features Athena re-telling a shortened version of the game's story to Borderlands 2's Axton and Gaige, the third playthrough, "Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode", raising the character level cap to 60, along with an additional mission that ties into Handsome Jack's presence in Tales from the Borderlands.
The second DLC character, Lady Aurelia Hammerlock, "the Baroness", was released on 27 January 2015; she is the elder sister of supporting character Sir Hammerlock. Her action skill is a homing ice shard which can cycle between enemies as they are killed by it: her skill trees provide enhancements to the shard, can increase cryo damage, and the ability to assign a teammate as her "servant"—allowing both players to benefit from bonuses granted by each other's kills.
The second DLC campaign, Claptastic Voyage and Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2, was released on 24 March 2015, coinciding with the release of The Handsome Collection. The DLC's title is a reference to the film Fantastic Voyage, which has a similar plotline involving miniaturisation and travel through a body. It features the player characters being sent into the mind of Claptrap by Handsome Jack to retrieve a mysterious piece of software known as the "H-Source", hidden within it by Hyperion's former CEO Harold Tassiter, resulting in the release of Shadowtrap, the digital manifestation of Claptrap's FR4G-TP program. The story also features the CL4P-TP genocide and a deeper look into Claptrap's depression. 2K Australia's creative director Jonathan Pelling cited Fantastic Voyage, Tron, and the holodeck of Star Trek as influences on the campaign, explaining that "We thought the best way to get to know Claptrap a little bit more was to actually go inside his mind and see what he thinks. To get those perspectives, recover those memories, and dig through his dirty laundry." The DLC also raises the character level cap to 70, and feature a customizable challenge arena.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel received positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review website Metacritic gave the PlayStation 3 version 77/100 based on 24 reviews, the Microsoft Windows version 75/100 based on 55 reviews and the Xbox 360 version 74/100 based on 16 reviews.
Daniel Bloodworth from GameTrailers gave the game an 8.4/10. He praised the characters and the new gameplay mechanics introduced in The Pre-Sequel. He ended the review by saying that "new playable characters are worth exploring and the tweaks to the formula have an impact across the entire breadth of the game." David Roberts from GamesRadar gave the game an 8/10, praising its diverse character classes, hilarious writing and the core combat which he stated, "has maintained the series' weird, satisfying mix of anarchic, tactical gunplay and compulsive RPG overtones.". However, he criticized the weak story, as well as non-drastic changes when compared with Borderlands 2. He described the general experience as "a hilarious, fan-focused continuation of the series' core values, but lacking any true evolution, which made it a fun diversion rather than a meaningful new chapter."
Vince Ingenito from IGN gave the game an 8/10. He praised the gearing options and the low-gravity mechanics, which made the game "a fresh experience". He also praised the entertaining Jack-focused story, but criticized its poor pacing. Jessica Conditt from Joystiq gave the game a 7/10, praising its new gameplay mechanics, well-defined classes, as well as the interesting and comedic bosses encountered and unique environments, but criticizing the confusing level design, frustrating death and predictable missions which lack variety. Evan Lahti from PCGamer gave the game a 77/100, praising its new gameplay features, which he stated had brought novelty and a gracefulness to Borderlands’ combat, but criticizing the mission design, which seldom made use of the gameplay mechanics introduced in Pre-Sequel. He stated that "The Pre-Sequel feels like a super-sized Borderlands 2 DLC. While the new setting, classes, and weapon types reinvigorate the experience, The Pre-Sequel doesn't deviate much from the feel and format of Borderlands 2."
Darren Nakamura from Destructoid gave the game a 6/10, praising its fast yet tactical combat, but criticizing the disappointing ending, number of bugs, as well as boring and uninteresting environmental art direction, but he still summarized the game as a "solid entry to the series." Jim Sterling from The Escapist gave the game a 8/10. He praised the combination of weapons with the use of the Grinder, a new machine introduced in The Pre-Sequel, as well as the new vehicles available, but criticized the map design, frustrating encounter with enemies, as well as being too similar to the previous installments. Adam Beck from Hardcore Gamer gave the game a 2.5/5, criticizing its bugs, loot system, script, campaign, world design and performance of characters. He summarized the game as "an unpolished, uninspired adventure where fun can be had with friends, but that time could be better spent elsewhere."
IGN gave the Claptastic Voyage campaign an 8.4 out of 10, praising it for its "whimsical" setting, new mechanics, making better use of the anti-gravity mechanics that were introduced by The Pre-Sequel, and for not containing the "excessive backtracking and pacing problems" faced by the game's main storyline. Ingenito concluded that it "[still] doesn't quite match the towering success of Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep for Borderlands 2, but it still handily sets a high watermark for The Pre-Sequel. It's lean and focused in a way the main game it belongs to sometimes wasn't, and yet it still feels substantial and complete."
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