Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! is a 2014 entry in the Borderlands series. Taking place in-between the first and the second game, the game tells the story of Handsome Jack and his rise to power with the help of four individuals:
Wilhelm the Enforcer: A cyborg who would go on to become Jack's right-hand man. His Action Skill lets him deploy Wolf and Saint, two drones that attack his enemies and heal him respectively.
Nisha the Lawbringer: A gunslinger who would eventually become the Sheriff of Lynchwood of the second game.
Athena the Gladiator: A former Crimson Lance assassin first introduced in The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC of the first game. She carries a Kinetic Aspis that helps her absorb damage that she can also toss at enemies.
Claptrap the Fragtrap: The series mascot himself, now playable for the first time.
It is mainly being developed by 2K Australia this time around, with series creator Gearbox Software providing collaboration. Borderlands 2 lead writer Anthony Burch has worked with 2K Australia's own writers for this game.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! contains examples of:
Batman Can Breathe in Space: Averted. Players have to watch their oxygen supply in areas that are devoid of atmosphere.note Exactly why Claptrap needs oxygen has yet to be explained. It ticks down at about 1 point per second, and can only be recharged by using Ozkits or running into oxygenated bubbles and areas of the map. Likewise, fire weapons (and possibly some other elementals) only work in oxygenated environments. The bandits need O2 as well, and will go running towards these areas if a fight draws out too long or if you headshot their helmet off.
Comically Missing the Point: A teaser has Handsome Jack reciting his own version of Ozymandias with himself in the place of the title character. He's brought up short in confusion by the line "Nothing beside remains," and changes the rest of the poem to a hymn praising his own awesomeness (and handsomeness) because if he'd taken the time to think about the poem's actual theme he wouldn't be Jack.
Excited Show Title!: Rather than just "Pre-Sequel", the game's title is given an exclamation mark.
Foregone Conclusion: As a prequel, it is already known what happens to three of the four player characters and to their boss. Claptrap becomes the Last of His Kind after Jack destroys his product line. Jack goes on to become the president of Hyperion with Wilhelm and Nisha continuing to be his chief minions, and Nisha and Jack start a relationship. Most importantly, Jack, Wilhelm, and Nisha are all dead by the end of Borderlands 2's campaign.
Gravity Screw: Due to the game taking place on the moon, gravity is lower than usual, allowing for higher jumps than usual.
Ground Pound: One of the abilities introduced. Done by crouching in midair, explained in-universe as a function of your jetpack/oxygen tank.
Healing Shiv: One of Athena's upgrades turns her Aspis into this—throwing it at an ally who is in Fight For Your Life mode will revive them.
An Ice Person: A new element introduced to the series is Cryo, which can freeze enemies solid.
Interquel: As the title indicates, the game takes place between the first and second games.
Jet Pack: The players come equipped with oxygen-powered jet packs that let them perform double jumps as well as a ground pound when in air.
Mission Pack Sequel: Built on the exact same engine as Borderlands 2, with the same core mechanics, equipment, and gun brands. It also may not be full price, a common trait of Mission Pack Sequels. The game has even been described as a sort of "Super-DLC" by the developers.
Promoted to Playable: Wilhelm, Nisha, Claptrap and Athena went from bosses and quest givers to playable characters. In the case of Nisha, she's even given an actual name whereas in Borderlands 2 she was known only as the Sheriff of Lynchwood.
Space Is Noisy: It seems that being in space does not negate sounds from either your gun or your enemies.
Start of Darkness: The game tells the story of how Handsome Jack went from the well-intentioned code monkey "John" to the megalomaniacal Big Bad of the second game. The same goes for both Wilhelm and Nisha.
Underground Monkey: One of the enemy types are moon drifters—they look like regular drifters, except blue and crater-y.
Villain Episode: The game's playable characters include two villains from the second game with Handsome Jack leading all four player-characters.
Villain Protagonist: At the very least, played straight for Jack, Wilhelm and Nisha. Claptrap and Athena are more ambiguous (especially the latter, who is the only character whose fate is not already known).
Visual Innuendo: Miss Moxxi's side purse shows two planets side by side while a rocket ship blasts off between them. "TAKING YOU DEEP... INTO SPACE."
Weird Moon: The game takes place primarily on Elpis, the moon of Pandora. The floating Hyperion Space Base in orbit acts as the moon to the players (except now it's being seen from the back, unlike in the previous game).