'Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel' News: A Quick Peek At Athena The Gladiator's Skill Tree [VIDEO]

By Luke Caulfield , Updated May 28, 2014 09:12 AM EDT

Some extended gameplay footage finally creeped out yesterday for Gearbox's Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. It was a nice demonstration of some new guns and abilities, but hidden amongst everything was peek at Athena the Gladiator's skill tree. It was very, VERY brief, so we managed to gather up everything the video had and show it all to you right here.

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Athena made her debut in The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC from the first Borderlands as a renegade from the Crimson Lance, the Atlas Corporation's private army. At our first look at The Pre-Sequel's characters, Athena was the only one to be seen without a firearm, instead arming herself with a sword and shield. She still uses guns, but her Action Skill focuses on her typical gladiatorial sidearms.

In past Borderlands games, Mordecai had his bloodwing, Gaige had her Deathtrap, and Axton had his turret. In The Pre-Sequel, Athena has her shield, or "Aspis," which can be tossed like a boomerang for her main Action Skill, "Kinetic Aspis," which the game describes thusly: "Raise your Aspis and absorb all damage from frontal attacks. The Aspis is thrown at the end of the active duration, or you can throw it early. When the Aspis hits a target, it will cause an explosion that returns double the absorbed damage, and then return to you."

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If you want to see Athena's Aspis Action Skill in...um...action, the skip ahead to the 7:42 mark. Later on in the footage, Athena is able to upgrade her ability with "Wrath of the Goddess," allowing the shield to ricochet and hit additional targets. Great for groups, but the amount of damage dealt lessens with each enemy hit. This is demonstrated at the 12:35 and 13:50 marks.

During the upgrade process, we also see descriptions of a number of other options on the skill tree:

* Clear! - When thrown, the Aspis' explosion grants Second Wind to friends within range. In addition, the player gains a Damage Bonus while in Fight For Your Life.
* Prismatic Aegis - The Aspis now absorbs elemental damage types. Multiple elemental damage types can be absorbed and all absorbed damage types are dealt by the Aspis when thrown.
* Hold the Line - Lengthens the duration the Aspis can be active before it is automatically thrown.
* Ephodos - Increase Movement Speed and Fire Rate while holding the Aspis.

You can check it all out in the video below.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is set to release this Fall for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows PC. Expect more information at this year's E3.

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