news\ Dec 9, 2011 at 10:52 am

Borderlands 2 Focus is on Diversity


2K International recently released a video giving us a behind-the-scenes tour of the Gearbox studios in Texas where we hear from Broderlands 2 concept designer Scott Kester.

Kester had much to say about the follow-up sequal to the very popular Borderlands game, but the overall focus this year seems to be on "diversity" in the game.  At least, that's the word Kester and the rest of the development team have chosen to describe the focus of Borderlands 2.

"Diversy is a really strong word that we're using around here.  We had some criticism that maybe it [Borderlands] was a little bit repetitive, and we're really taking that to heart with not only the characters, but the gear, the creatures, and the environments."

Of course, anyone who has played the original Borderlands will probably agree that the game is about two things: the grind and the loot.  Even Kester agrees, and explained the route they are going to ensure diverse game elements, while still maintaining the same Borderlands feel.

"Borderlands is really about the loot and really about the mechanic of leveling up and getting the gear.  Just by focusing a lot more on the actual gun content creation, making those really interesting and fun, and a new thing around every corner.  New loot, enemies."

He continued, "Focusing and doubling down on what our core was, designing the best characters, guns, and environments we could to make the loop as interesting as possible".

It looks like the primary focus of the game's changes will be with the guns - from the look to the actual drops.  The variety of the different drops and loot you will get will keep you entertained, at least that's what Kester described.  One of the many problems and criticisms that Borderlands faced was that it became too much of a grind-fest, and eventually too repetitive.  Towards the end there wasn't enough difference in weapons to make you want to continue.

"The guns this time around are so much better.  They look different, they do different thinks.  I think that part, the loot, there's a lot more gear that's dropped from class mods to shields to grenades, those things that made the first game good, but in the end started to feel a bit more granular."

Repetitive loot wasn't the only thing that players complained about, though.  One of the other gripes was lack of diversity in the environment.  Everything in the original was a desert wasteland.  This time around, Borderlands 2 will have more diverse environments.

"We're really trying to make sure that it's more diverse so it's not that constant desert throughout the whole thing with a tiny little bit of snow.  Each of the zones are very distinct and they each have their own vibe and flare and creatures."

Kester was sure to emphasize while they are focusing on diversity, they aren't messing with the overall feel of the game.

"We're not messing with the formula of the game dramatically.  It's that game that was really fun.  That loop is still there, better than it's ever been, hopefully more addictive, but also more fun with your friends."

He even spoke of the challenges they face when developing a sequel to a game like Borderlands.

"When you're doing a sequel you don't want to make the same thing, but people expect that they want the same game.  I think us with the Borderlands style, trying to make sure that we're transitioning that into new environments, new characters and creatures.  Just making sure it feels like Borderlands, but doesn't remove itself so much that people are questioning what the game is now."

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