May 16, 2012 11:53 AM EDT | By Luke Caulfield
"87 Bazillion guns just got bazilliondier," when Borderlands 2 hits stores in September. Set 5 years after the events of the last game, tyrant Handsome Jack has taken the reigns, declaring himself dictator of Pandora. The player is tasked with freeing the original vault hunters from the last Borderlands, and killing Handsome Jack. But just who are these fresh faces? Read all about Pandora's newest gunslingers below!
Salvador epitomizes the guns, guns, and more guns feature that made Borderlands famous. Not one for subtlety, Salvador is all about going in guns blazing, shooting first, and asking questions never. Pray ammo is plentiful, because his gunzerker skill allows the muscled up midget to dual wield your choice of weaponry. His skill tree allows for added abilities while in gunzerker mode, and allotting more time to blast away with double the damage. Borderland 2's art director Jeramy Cooke says, "What inspired some of the original ideas behind him was The Punisher. He was happy to dual-wield AKs and M16s and everything under the sun. He just had the whole 'grit his teeth and blast the crap out of everything vibe.'"
Replacing Lilith is the siren Maya, whose "Phaselock" ability traps enemies in a ball of energy, keeping them contained so that the player can dole out the damage. This ability seems to be based on the size of the enemies, smaller enemies being held in stasis longer than larger enemies. In addition, the Thoughtlock ability will affect Phaselock, making the afflicted enemy fight for you for a limited time. Depending on which skill tree the player decides to upgrade, they'll find that Lilith will even be able to revive allies. Gearbox's creative director Paul Hellquist explained that, "she's also kind of a mystical healer and she uses her ability to grant health bonuses to herself as well as the team. If the team or yourself kills the person who has been phaselocked then it grants health to the party."
Wearing the dog tag of his dead wife, Commando class Axton replaces Borderlands 1's Roland as the resident soldier type. As one of the most popular types in the first game, players should feel very much at home with Axton. Like Roland, Axton is also capable of spawning a turret. But what separates him from Roland is his ability to chuck a player partner clear across a great distance, a la a Wolverine-Colossus fastball special. Cooke promises more of an play emphasis on Axton's turret in an interview with IGN, saying it's, "grown and gotten more advanced as time has passed and so they've built a lot of new features into the new turret. We're not going to get into all the fine details of it but it can do a lot of really unique things. If you're familiar with longbow grenades from the first game, you can throw a grenade and it would instantly teleport like a real gunshot all the way to where you're pointing. You can now actually have a longbow turret so instead of just dropping the turret at your feet you can fire it out at long range, use it to pull enemies or to begin combat."
Former Mordecai players should find familiarity with the assassin classed Zer0. Skilled in sniping, his trademark skill is Deception, a stealth mode where Zer0 goes invisible. At the same time, a decoy is created to distract enemies and take fire away from the real Zer0. If the real Zer0 can get in close, he can deal critical damage, slicing and dicing enemies with his digistructed sword. At a high enough level, players will gain the ability to let Zero's decoy explode, dealing shock damage to enemies. The drop in enemy shields allows for Zer0 to take them out that much easier. "The cool thing about Zer0 is you don't really know where he's from or what he's all about just yet. He's definitely a bit of a mystery and that's on purpose," said Cooke.
A new character, the Mechromancer, has also been announced, and will be available as DLC sometime after the game's initial release. Unnamed as of yet, she'll have the ability to summon the Deathtrap, what Gearbox president Randy Pitchford described as claptraps big angry cousin, calling it a, "gigantic evil robot that'll just beat the living s**t out of the enemies." Anyone who pre-orders will get the Mechromancer for free when it's available.
Borderlands 2 and its bazilliondier guns are expected out September 18th. Check out the launch trailer below!
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