The original Borderlands was an absolute joy to play, brimming with its own unique charm and identity. One thing it lacked, and developer Gearbox has readily admitted so, is a little more variation in enemies to shoot and loot.
Borderlands 2 is addressing that (fairly minor) criticism head on, and the following concept art and words from Head of AI Design Jasper Foreman are a little snippet of eye pleasing proof. Enjoy!
“In Borderlands we had only a medium level of enemy variety. The template system we used meant that to create new enemies – for example new varieties of Skags – we were basically just playing around with the stats and appearance.
Fan feedback was very important to us – we listened to what people were saying online about the game, and we knew that people could see the relatively limited number of individual creatures. That’s all changed in Borderlands 2 – there are around 350 unique NPCs and enemies in the game, all with their own behaviours and styling.We started with the existing enemies in the Borderlands universe, focusing on updating their appearance and behaviour.
Once that was done it was relatively simple for us to create new types of enemy. The process of creating them isn’t always the same – for example, Hyperion Battle Droids are a unit that is required by the story, so that came from the writers, then went to design and then to animation and AI. Other enemies, such as the Stalker, are dreamed up by the concept art team and make it in because they’re cool.
One thing that we’ve bought in for Borderlands 2 is unique AI for each enemy. They can now work in packs, supporting each other and employing group tactics against the player. There are also a variety of new individual attacks – for example the Badass Skag can now power up other Skags with special abilities that they will then use against you.
Enemies will still respawn as before, so each area is on a respawn timer. Wait a while, go back to a place and all those enemies will be there for you again – more oppoortunities for XP and more opportunities for loot!”
- Jasper Foreman