Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is an action role-playing first-person shooter video game developed by 2K Australia, with assistance from Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. It is the third game in the Borderlands series, and is an interquel between 2009’s Borderlands and 2012’s Borderlands 2.
The storyline of The Pre-Sequel focuses on Handsome Jack (who would be the antagonist in Borderlands 2), an employee of the Hyperion corporation; after the company’s Helios space station is captured by a military operation known as the Lost Legion, he leads a group of four playable characters—all of whom were non-playable characters and bosses in previous Borderlands games—on an expedition to re-gain control of Helios and defeat the Lost Legion. The game expands upon the engine and gameplay of Borderlands 2 and introduced new gameplay mechanics, including low-gravity environments, freeze weapons, and oxygen tanks, which are used to navigate and perform ground slamming attacks.
The Pre-Sequel received positive reviews; while praised for its new gameplay features, character classes, and for maintaining the trademark humour and style of previous entries in the franchise with an additional Australian comedy flair, the game was criticized by some for having confusing level designs, and for not providing many significant deviations from the core mechanics and gameplay of Borderlands 2 to make the game more than simply a standalone “expansion pack” for it.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel combines FPS gameplay with mechanics common to role-playing video games (such as quests, character building and randomly generated “loot”), and collaborative multiplayer campaign gameplay. Similarly to previous Borderlands titles, the game will focus on four playable protagonists—all of whom were featured as NPCs in previous Borderlands games, working as henchmen for Handsome Jack, the antagonist of Borderlands 2. The plot will follow Handsome Jack’s descent into villainy, focusing on his escape and capture of the Hyperion company’s moonbase. The game will expand upon the engine and gameplay of Borderlands 2 and introduce new gameplay mechanics, including anti-gravity, freeze weapons, and oxygen tanks which can be used to navigate environments and perform special attacks.
Gameplay in The Pre-Sequel will remain similar to Borderlands 2, but with the addition of new mechanics. Two new varieties of items have been added, including laser guns, and items possessing a cryogenic elemental effect, which can be used to slow down and freeze enemies. Enemies which are frozen can be smashed into pieces by using melee attacks. Gravity will also have an effect on motion while in space, causing players to jump higher but slower, and items such as loot and dead bodies to float away. O2 kits have also been added to supply air when on the lunar surface; oxygen supplies can be replenished using generators and vents, and they can also be used like a jetpack to perform double jumps, hovering, and ground slamming attacks. As with other items, different types of O2 kits can provide stat bonuses and affect how ground slams deal damage.