Gearbox shares narrated gameplay from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

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Read our full Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel review.

With Telltale Games’ Tales from the Borderlands just around the corner, your summer on Pandora is just getting started, as Gearbox has released an extended gameplay video from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Gearbox’s James Lopez and 2K Australia’s Joel Eschler take you up to Pandora’s moon Elpis for 15 minutes of narrated low-gravity shenanigans.

The footage shows off two of the previously revealed characters: Athena, the Gladiator whose ricocheting energy shield can turn any arena into a bloody pinball machine, and Wilhelm, the macho Enforcer who will gradually transform into the giant robot you faced as a boss in Borderlands 2. Claptrap the robot also makes a brief appearance, now playable as a combat-modded Fragtrap.

For the most part the action should look very familiar to anyone that knows the franchise, down to the mostly unchanged HUD. You’ll still be ransacking loot chests for billions of procedurally-generated guns to mow down mobs of charging psychos. Apart from four new characters and skills, the twist comes in the environment. The moon’s lack of atmosphere means that you’ll need to manage your oxygen in addition to your health and shields. This limitation brings a host of new tactical possibilities with it as well. Taking out an enemy’s helmet  with a well-placed headshot causes them to quickly vent out all their air and suffocate. Incendiary weapons will only set people burning when there’s an atmosphere to fuel it.

The low gravity opens up a more vertical dimension to combat than previous entries in the series. Jumps can take you higher, and can be extended even further by venting a bit of your precious oxygen for a jet pack boost. The boost can also be offensive when you crash down on enemies with a boosted butt-slam, which provides a perfect finisher to shatter enemies frozen with the new ice weapons. Lasers have also been introduced as a new weapon type for your arsenal.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel doesn’t rock the boat in any substantial way, but just as Borderlands 2 did for Borderlands, it appears to smartly expand on the well-established fun of the series with some clever twists that should help keep fans sated until we get a full-on sequel.