E3 2012: Borderlands 2 keeps getting better in a new demo showing off Zero the Assassin and Axton the Commando

e3 2012 borderlands 2 keeps getting better in a new demo showing off zero the assassin and axtov commando part

Borderlands 2 just doesn’t stop giving. Senior producer Sean Reardon described its quality to Digital Trends as obscene the first time I sat down with the game back in March, and I didn’t disagree with his assessment. Some games aspire to inspire, looking to elevate their players with thought provoking insightful moments. Borderlands 2 doesn’t extract revelation when you play, but god damn is it fun.

A brand new mission called “Statuesque” shown off at E3 2012 is everything the game was when I played it before: Smooth feeling, full of loot, challenging, and beautiful. It did however have all four of the game’s characters as playable, making it a markedly different experience. 2K and Gearbox didn’t let us play with a full compliment of four people, pairing players off instead and letting them choose.

Zero the Assassin and Axton the Commando are quite a bit different from Gunzerker Salvador and Siren Maya. Zero for example uses stealth and speed moves to move in close to enemies for strong sword melee attacks, making him the character most noticeably different from his gun-focused peers. Axton meanwhile is all about bullets, but unlike Salvador, he’s a bit weaker and doesn’t make for a good tank. Instead he uses turrets to even out his weaknesses.

e3 2012 borderlands 2 keeps getting better in a new demo showing off zero the assassin and axtov commando part 1

“Statuesque” was also a more contained mission than those demoed in March. The crew is tasked with bringing down statues of villain Handsome Jack in a gleaming Pandora city, an environment that is smaller than the wildlife preserve and junkyard shown previously. The city is also as different from those environments as they were from the deserts of the original game.

In order to bring down the statues, you have to find a maintenance robot out in the environment and escort him around as he saws through the statues. Skirmishes with soldiers and robots break out at each. The set up is deeply familiar, a common protect-the-asset mission seen in so many different games, but Borderlands 2 makes up for that apparent lack of originality with silky play and good humor. Hearing Handsome Jack yell at you as you bring down each statue could be groan inducing but it’s very, very funny.

The depth of the challenge in this outing might have been mitigated had four players been able to take on the enemies. A massive robot boss appears after the fourth statue is taken down and it wiped me and my partner out in seconds flat. We were teamed as Zero and Axton though, vulnerable characters that would have benefitted from Maya’s stasis abilities and Salvador’s hardiness.

Borderlands 2 may not be that novel anymore, but no other game at E3 2012 matched its lightness and beauty. Lots of games have guns, but most take themselves so seriously that they’re hard to play. Borderlands 2 is a breath of fresh air and shaping up to be one of the year’s best games.


Nose cam no more. How Dell avoided a notch and fixed the XPS 13’s biggest flaw

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.

‘The Division 2’ private beta kicks off February 7 on consoles and PC

The private beta for Tom Clancy's The Division 2 starts on February 7 and runs until February 10, Ubisoft announced in a new story trailer. To guarantee access to the beta, you have to pre-order the game on PS4, Xbox One, or PC.

There’s a secret character in ‘New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe’

It appeared New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe had dropped one of the Wii U version's playable characters, but players have discovered a secret way to unlock them with just a few button presses.

It's dangerous to go alone! Have fun with friends in our favorite co-op games

Video games don't always have to be so brutal, dog-eat-dog experiences! Here are some of our all-time favorite co-op games across a range of different platforms, genres, and difficulties.

Dataminers discover SNES games, more emulators for Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online may soon launch SNES games and more emulators, according to data miners. The list of hidden SNES titles include Breath of Fire 2 and Star Fox 2, while the other emulators may be the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube.

‘RollerCoaster Tycoon 2’ ride takes 12 years to complete

A RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 player has constructed a coaster in the game that will take more than 12 years to complete from beginning to end, and is actually a tiny ride taking up a small portion of the landscape.
Product Review

'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe' is 2D platforming wizardry

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the latest Wii U game to come back from the dead on Switch. And wow, it’s much better than we remembered.

‘Battlefield V’ adds Squad Conquest mode in ‘Lightning Strikes’ update

Electronic Arts and DICE have detailed what is included in the Battlefield V update Lightning Strikes. The update includes access to the mode Squad Conquest through the end of January.

Here's everything you need to know to trade in 'Pokémon Go'

After literally years of waiting, Pokémon Go finally gives trainers the option to trade Pokémon with others. It's not easy, though, and the cost is quite high if you try trading with strangers.

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.

‘Rocket League’ is the latest game to get full cross-platform play

Psyonix has announced that Rocket League now supports full cross-platform play across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, joining Fortnite as the only games to do so.

Here's what you need to know about 'World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth'

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the latest expansion for the now 14-year-old MMORPG. It goes back to the roots of the Alliance vs. Horde conflict. Here's what you need to know.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.

Latest ‘Fortnite’ update channels Halo with a scoped revolver

The latest update for Fortnite, update 7.20, is now available, and it brings a new Scoped Revolver weapon to the game alongside the returning Glider item and a limited-time Snipers-only mode.