Borderlands 2 To Have Huge Maps, Better Interactivity & Revamped Co-Op

August 28, 2011

By Andrew Burnes

Borderlands was a bit of a gamble for 2K Games and Gearbox, having strayed outside of the norm for shooters at a time when the best-selling titles had near-identical themes. But that’s exactly what the public wanted, helping Borderlands rocket past two million sales in less than three months, and at last count over four-point-five million copies had been sold.

The game’s unique cel-shaded visuals and four-player co-op campaign were the main driving forces for Borderlands’ success, and so the sequel, announced earlier this month, doesn’t reinvent the wheel, instead refining, improving, and iterating.

Following a successful showing at GamesCom 2011 last week, Gearbox are out in force at PAX Prime 2011 to show Borderlands 2 to the public and press once more, and our own Kris Rey was on hand to talk to Art Director Jeremy Cook to get the inside line on the sequel. As the game’s newly announced there was a wealth of topics on the table, but for starters Kris and Jeremy spoke about the new variety of locales to visit and explore, addressing one of the minor complaints about the original Borderlands, namely a lack of terrain variety.

“We really only spent a little bit of time in a small bit of Pandora, so we’ve grown that out now and you go to the Northlands, Southlands, all out to East Coast, West Coast… there are volcanoes! There are a ton of new landscapes you can visit. They’re all different color palettes, different environments, different styles of architecture… it’s cool stuff.”

After a bit of chat about background details, interactive elements in the environments and how the enemies intend to kill you, the pair discuss Borderland’s interface, something that Jeremy admits “was not so hot last time around.” Jeremy then states that the new UI will be fantastic, will let you drag and drop inventory items with the mouse, and generally be awesome, as Kris might say.

The show floor interview concludes with a quick segment on tech, but if you want to hear those details you’ll have to click below and watch the video for yourself: Something Jeremy didn’t touch on is the co-op experience, but having attended a press-only demonstration of Borderlands 2 at GamesCom we can reveal that the problems levied at the core co-op experience have been taken to heart by Gearbox, to the extent that an entire team has been dedicated to improving every aspect of multiplayer. And to ensure that these changes work as planned Gearbox intend to implement several of the upgrades into the original Borderlands in the not too distant future. For Borderlands 2, this means that playing with friends at a different point in the story will no longer be a “chore,” as phrased by Gearbox in a post-presentation chat.