One of the biggest titles this year is Gearbox's Borderlands 2, and we had a chance to play some of the game at E3.
Not surprisingly, the game feels very much like Borderlands, ensuring familiarity for fans of the first game. That said, Borderlands 2 has that layer of polish that its predecessor did not.
Classes, as you may have already heard, are a big thing in the second game, and during the demo, we tried out the Siren and Gunzerker. They're all a bit reminiscent of characters in Borderlands without being exact clones, equipped with a variety of unique skills, like the Siren's phase bubble attack that puts enemies into temporary stasis. Having the freedom to build characters as more than just straight tank or DPS is nice as well, ensuring that a DPS class like the Siren can still solo the game, and the tanky Gunzerker can still build toward damage.
Loot like money and ammo is automatically picked up now, which is a convenience many Borderlands players will be happy with. Expect a lot more weapons too, not to mention a crazier arsenal. One of the demo favorites was a corrosive rocket launcher that shot out globs of acidic goop, dishing out tons of damage and dissolving enemies upon death.
The bestiary has been expanded to combat the repetition problem many complained about in the first game. During the demo, for instance, we faced a wide variety of robotic enemies sent by Handsome Jack -- the new main baddie in Borderlands 2 -- to thwart our heroes' ridiculous plans. Those plans, by the way, involve destroying statues of Jack in a pristine futuristic city; no real reason was given, but Jack's kind of a prick, so we're not going to argue.
Bottom line? New classes, more weapons, more enemies, mechanical improvements, and explorable places other than the dead wastes. Well, there's Claptraps too, but that's pretty obvious.
Borderlands 2 launches on September 18 on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3.