Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Will Have Low Gravity and Limited Oxygen

By   /   Jun 11, 2014

I’m probably not the only one to mention just how bad a name Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel actually is.

Not only does it have an episodic sound to it, it also makes it seem like the game isn’t actually a stand-alone, independent project from the others. Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you actually thought that it was.

Yes, Borderlands: The Prequel is a new addition, just like Batman Arkham City was a new addition to the Batman Arkham franchise, or how Dragon Age Inquisition is a new addition to the Dragon Age franchise.

Anyway, you get the point.

We’re talking about a new plot that tells everything that happened between the first and second Borderlands, with new characters and a completely new setting.

The internet has talked enough about the characters and the plot, so we’ll move the discussion on to the setting this time around, especially since we got to learn a thing or two from the currently ongoing E3 2014.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is set on a moon.

Yes, you read it correctly. It’s actually a very distinct moon that visitors from Pandora would recall. Now there’s no atmosphere on this moon, which means no air to breathe. Result? You need oxygen tanks.

Players will be suited with this item, but its supply won’t be infinite. In fact, every time you leap into the air and hop around the oxygen tank will drain slowly.

The low-gravity settings won’t be assisting you to get back on your feet quickly enough either.

This might sound like an unnecessary nuisance element in the game, but Gearbox Software producer James Lopez promises you it won’t be a factor that would greatly disrupt your momentum.

Speaking during a try-out of the game’s demo at the E3 by Polygon, Lopez was quick to point out that the feature isn’t there to punish the players, but only to make their decision-making a bit more disciplined.

We don’t want to penalize the player for not having air, but we do want to create a meaningful decision on how you use oxygen,” Lopez said. “We don’t want to screw you over completely for trying out new things.

The depletion itself is never too intense to result in instant negative impacts on your character, but you’ll incrementally notice the effect as you progress and hop around more and more.

We have to show you that the world is dangerous in that you can die, but we also don’t want to punish you for essentially being weak (low leveled).

The entire purpose of the system is to combine it with the setting of the game, and also encourage players to look up instead of just straight, so they could spot vital opportunities to get to higher ground and gain advantage of the enemies.

A similar system was found in Bioshock Infinite as the rails you could utilize to get around in the game. 2K Games Producer Eschler cleared that bit out:

For us, we did a little bit of [building up] in BioShock Infinite with the sky rails. That was a test for us to force players to look up instead of just straight ahead. 

We had a lot of fun with that and wanted to try and find ways to bring that a bit. I don’t think we could have done a moon game without low gravity.

We’re not entirely a fan of this new setup, because a large part of Borderlands gameplay is momentum of your character. It’s fun to traverse large areas with speed sprints and hops without worrying too much about other factors – also helps evade optional enemies higher than your level.

Hopefully it won’t be as much of a nuisance as we’re suspecting, but we do suspect it to break your momentum every now and then to desperately search around for some leaking oxygen vent to replenish your supply and health.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be released on October 14 this year for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.

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