Borderlands is probably my favorite franchise — at least as first-person shooters go. Mix adult humor, cartoonish cell-shaded graphics, 87 bazillion guns, and quirky characters, then bake a 325 for a shooter that will keep you entertained for hundreds of hours.
What could possibly improve upon this recipe? Well, Gearbox thinks that it would taste even better with a glaze of virtual reality. Indeed, virtually stepping into the shoes of Axton, Maya, Salvador, or Zer0 does sound like a whole lot of delicious fun.
The VR port won’t support multiplayer co-op, which is unfortunate. However, Gearbox is adding a couple of exciting features to the game to accommodate for the difference in gameplay mechanics.
The most immediately noticeable difference is is something Gearbox is calling BAMF Time (“Bad Ass Mega Fun”). It’s a bit like bullet time from Max Payne where time slows down so you can place precise shots against your foes.
“[BAMF Time will] give you the speed and reflexes of a rabid skag, allowing you to dodge bullets, pull off 360 no-scope headshots, and even use your Action Skill to fight off hordes of bandits, bullymongs, and whatever else Pandora might throw at you,” said Gearbox Producer Brian Burleson.
Another change comes in the way that players will move. The controller joystick can still be used to walk and strafe around, but users may also point with the controller and teleport to a new position. This ability completely changes the strategies used during intense battles.
Vehicles will also be used in first rather than third-person.
“Another new twist you’ll find in Borderlands 2 VR is the fact that for the first time ever, you’ll be driving vehicles and racking up the roadkill count from a first-person perspective,” said Burleson. “While accelerating and steering with the PlayStation Move motion controllers, players will be able to aim the vehicle’s guns with their headset.”
A more subtle but still notable change will be in the skill trees. Gearbox did not go deep into specifics but did say that some of the skills that were intended to be used during co-op play have been removed and replaced with new abilities. Additionally, many skills, both new and familiar, have been "BAMF-modified." For example, Zer0’s “Death Mark,” which allows you to mark targets for extra damage, now has the added bonus of adding two seconds per marked kill to your BAMF Time counter.
Borderlands 2 VR is coming to PSVR on December 14, 2018, for about $50.