E3 2014: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! Hands-On


Michael and I got some hands-on time with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! at the 2K booth and it is gooood.

The game is set on Pandora’s moon and you’ll have a ton of new vehicles, weapons and grenades, with lasers and cryogenic weapons being among the highlights. You’ll also have new classes with brand new Skill Trees but we didn’t have much time to dig into them. The four main heroes however will be familiar to Borderlands enthusiasts as they’re all characters that have been introduced as NPC’s in previous games and DLC. You’ll be getting Athena from The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC and Wilhelm, a Hyperion engineer from one of the Boss Battles in the main Borderlands 2 campaign, along with Lynchwood sheriff Nisha and Claptrap. Yup, you can play the entire campaign as Claptrap.


A big change in the gameplay comes from the low gravity of the moon. Because of this, your double jump will really launch you into the air. When you’re up there, you can aim at and destroy enemies in a kind of a sneak attack from above. Hitting crouch while in the air will slam you down into the ground, knocking lighter enemies into the air. The whole thing changes strategy within the game and really allows battles to play out differently.

The levels are built out with all of this in mind. We had huge chasms to jump over and enemies all over the place. Verticality is a big thing (in the level we played anyway) and it’ll probably carry through the game with the new mechanics. Our second checkpoint was on top of a huge structure and we had to figure out how to get up there using the double jump while fighting off bad guys from all directions. Jump pads positioned all around the structure made things even more interesting by allowing much higher and longer jumps. So what can you do with all of this? Consider jumping up to a high, out of the way area and using it as a sniper nest or maybe just jumping entirely over a group of clueless enemies and leaving them behind, but where’s the fun in that, really? Keep in mind that with the lower gravity, loot can float off as well depending on where and how someone dies.

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Oxygen is another factor since you’ll be wearing a spacesuit and a mask while on the surface. Breaking the helmet of an enemy can send them gasping for air, killing them quickly without the need to expend as much ammo. One cool side effect of this is the audio. When out on the surface of the moon, the sounds are all muffled (I know, let’s not get into the physics of sound in a vacuum, it’s a freakin’ video game), but when you reach an oxygen bubble or enter a building and close the doors, the sound comes back to life and is just as rich and vibrant as every other experience in Borderlands. It’s a nice little audio cue that adds to the atmosphere of the game (no pun intended).

Using the cryogenic weapons to freeze some of the troublemakers then smashing them into bits is exceedingly fun and the laser weapons can be pretty devastating when used correctly. The style of the game hasn’t changed so fans of the series should feel right at home when jumping in. Focusing on Handsome Jack, the story should provide all the wacky Borderlands humor we’ve grown accustomed to over the past few games.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! will be released on October 14, 2014 in North America and October 17 in Europe for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.



Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 26 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation.

Josh is currently the US PR & Marketing Manager for Fountain Digital Labs and has recused himself from any involvement on PS Nation arising from posting or editing any news or reviews stemming from FDL.

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