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Celebrated as one of the games with the most guns of all time and excellent gameplay, “Borderlands 1″ was a role playing shooter the likes of which gamers had rarely seen before. The skill trees were excellently designed, if poorly presented, to enhance the gun fighting co-op experience while hunting for treasure. Many players could customize and re-customize skill trees to their hearts content, therefore creating one of the most addictive and high replay value experiences in gaming history.
The skill tree and action skills for “Borderlands 2″ are no less exciting. If anything, Borderlands 2 seems poised to kick everything into an even higher gear with an ever evolving class of character changes. While some skills have been removed, a ton of content has been added to incite the player into a riotous frenzy of loot hunting gunfire. Cooperative skills and enemy bosses will encourage a wide array of skills spread across the four and likely fifth character classes to achieve money grubbing bullet riddled victory.
For “Borderlands 1,” the Berserker class was a hands-on knock down drag enemies into a dark alley kind of fighter. He has the ability to put aside his guns, see red like a bull and completely Hulk out on the enemy. Unlucky is the player who challenged him to a duel, as he could often become a steel battering ram of fury when he chose. His upper tier action skills, especially when hosting, allowed him to be a fully effective fighter even when downed.
The people at Gearbox and “Borderlands 2″ have decided that instead of Brick giving you “the ol’ One-Two” his successor Salvador would give you the double barrels of the Gunzerker. One of his most interesting skills is the ability to transfer left over damage to a second enemy like a commercial for roll over minutes. Salvador’s character is all about shooting hot lead long and hard into the night at twice the rate of any other “Borderland 2″ character. Also rumored, the trigger sensitivity for one of his shooting skills directly translates player input to real time firing rates. Dual wielding has never looked so dangerous.
Gone is fan favorite the Hunter Mordecai and his companion Bloodwing. In the original “Borderlands,” his class was the pistol, sniper and melee weapon character along with the use of his bird of prey. Bloodwing came with some specific abilities that, at times, granted the user a slim chance of regaining a second wind. Bloodwing was the only character class with an action skill that was autonomous to a degree and thus could serve as reviving Mordecai from a near death state.
He is replaced by Zero of the Assassin class. Zero is also a sniper and melee character, dual-wielding a sword and gun respectively. Early footage reveals that instead of Bloodwing, Zero has a skill called “Deception,” becoming invisible and using a decoy to draw enemy attention away and go in for the kill. A quick look at the possible skill tree’s floating around the internet for Zero supports the idea that he can melee execute an enemy while being in “Deception” mode, have the timer repeatedly reset so that he can chain assassinate the enemy.
Mention of the Siren class will undoubtedly cause groans from players, male and female alike. In the original “Borderlands,” she hides with Phasewalk, does melee damage and casts a ton of powerful spells. Her entrance and exit out of Phasewalk also includes a powerful shockwave and damage inducing explosion called Phase Blast.
For “Borderlands 2″ they have, in essence, removed the Phasewalk skill from the Siren class and given it to the Assassin. What has been introduced instead is a Phaselock skill. Phaselock cages a foe in a suspended bubble, allowing you and your comrades to gleefully fire at will. Just so players don’t spam this skill, repeated Phaselocks are rumored to diminish in duration. Phaselock seems to be a huge upgrade for the Siren class, adding as yet undisclosed mental manipulation abilities. However, this skill likely has a weakness for combating multiple enemy targets at once. You can reportedly Phaselock your friends and heal them as the main “Borderlands 2″ healer.
Speaking of healing skills, the Soldier class with Roland at the helm was indeed the medic for “Borderlands 1.” His skills allowed him to not only resupply players and use a turret, but heals the team by shooting them with the Cauterize skill. Roland was one of the most valuable members on any Borderlands hunt because he could take a beating, give a beating and save his friends afterwards.
Axton of the Commando class replaces Roland for Borderlands 2, removing the healing skills and adding a whole host of defensive skills to beef up his character stats. Axton’s upper tier skills allow not only deploying his turret on a wall but for Axton to be able to deploy two turrets simultaneously. The turret skills in this game alone, with its ability to generate a protective bubble reminiscent of Halo, will be a great boon to players on their last legs. Deploying this turret may or may not also result in the ignition of a thermo nuclear device in the face of your enemies. Cheers to that!
On the short list of announcements recently is a Mechromancer class, to be debuted as a DLC 2 months after the launch of the main game. The Mechromancer features an action skill similar to Mordecai’s summoning of Bloodwing, but instead summons a giant deadly looking robot called Deathtrap. Additionally, for new players, skills like ricochet help with adjusting to playing a First Person Shooter.
With all these changes and more on the way, “Borderlands 2″ has literally outdone itself with the level of player customization and skill tree options available. The launch of this game is set for September 18, with two separate special editions on sale. Fans worried about a terrible sequel need only look at this list of enhanced upgrades to know that their game is in good hands. With more gameplay footage unveiling as time nears, “Borderlands 2″ will take the gaming world by storm just like its predecessor.