During the third and final day of PAX Australia 2014, Gearbox Software hosted a panel wherein they discussed upcoming titles Battleborn, Homeworld Remastered, and Tales from the Borderlands, but they also shed some light on some of the upcoming DLC to the recently released Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
Specifically, they detailed the first DLC pack, set to drop less than a month after the game’s initial release on November 11 and 12 (in NA and Aus/NZ respectively).
This pack brings us an exciting new character, one which has been teased and hinted at in the past, to great enthusiasm: Handsome Jack. Yes, as of next week, fans will be able to embody the antagonist that they love to hate and build his skills to something wonderful.
Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford went over a handful of Jack’s abilities and showcased a few minutes of live gameplay footage to give us a taste of what he is capable of.
First and foremost, as we know that Handsome Jack has no problem making copies of himself, his action skill summons two digital duplicates of himself to fight alongside him, affectionately called “Digi-Jacks.”
One of Jack’s skill trees focuses primarily on upgrading and enhancing the Digi-Jacks, such as giving them copies of the shield you have equipped, up allowing them to gain benefits from kill perks you’ve got active.
They can also help you stay alive when you’re Fighting for your Life. If you’re down for the count and you summon your DIgi-Jacks and one of them gets killed, that kill counts FOR you, and you will be revived. Likewise, if they’re fighting alongside you and they get taken out, their deaths will count toward any kill skill perks you have learned. Pretty neat, eh?
But no, we have not yet discussed Handsome Jack’s most brilliant skill: Inspire.
Inspire does not upgrade your Digi-Jacks. Inspire does not give you and bonuses to accuracy or damage or shield recovery. Inspire has one single purpose: to make Jack monologue.
Unfortunately we were unable to hear an example of some of Jack’s inspirational speeches, but I think we all know him well enough by now that we can expect truly wonderful quotes from our favorite antihero with this excellent new ability.
Oh, and of course they had to point out that in The Pre-Sequel, Jack is the main NPC. So how can it possibly make sense to play as Jack, talking to Jack, following Jack’s orders? As we’ve already touched on, Jack’s quite happy to have multiple body doubles wandering about, so PC-Jack is considered to be just one of those body doubles of NPC-Jack.
Finally, being a 4-player co-op game, if you’ve got a party of all Jacks, each with their Action Skill of two Digi-Jacks active, while following NPC Jack during a quest, that leaves us with… carry the 1… a potential 13 Handsome Jacks on-screen at once. Brilliant.
This is either the very best or very worst thing Gearbox could have ever done. I’m inclined to go with the former.
Remember, the Handsome Jack Doppelganger Pack is available from November 11 in North America, and November 12 in Australia and New Zealand, and is the first of 4 upcoming DLC packs for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
P.S. Randy also hinted that they are working on one more exciting character, to be revealed at a later date. Also, the final DLC pack is having the time and energy spent on it that went into the exemplary Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep for Borderlands 2, so be prepared for that extra bit of awesome in the coming months!
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel was developed by 2K Australia, and is currently available for purchase on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.