“Don’t be fooled by her rather adorable exterior, chums,” drools Gearbox’s colonial Brit narrator of Gaige the Mechromancer. If you didn’t give her a rather adorable exterior, chum, there’d be no cause for confusion, says I.
Beyond that, though, Gaige is undoubtedly a Good Thing. The DLC-only Mechromancer is Gearbox’s attempt to draw in players new to twitch FPS, and that aim – or lack thereof – seems well-reflected in her abilities. More on those after the break.
There are standard damage boosts, of course. Little Big Trouble enhances electrical damage, to explosive effect. When Gaige kills an enemy with a critical hit they emit an AOE electrical storm, causing further damage to nearby foes. What’s more, shock damage has a chance to set bads on fire.
What’s been garnering the press so far though is Gaige’s Close Enough skill, designed to make things easier for players new to precision shooting – near-miss shots have a chance to ricochet off terrain and hit their original targets.
Close Enough becomes nuanced in conjunction with Anarchy: kill an enemy or empty your gun’s clip during battle and you’ll gain a single ‘stack’. As stacks are piled up – often climbing into the hundreds – damage is increased and accuracy decreased, to wild and terrifying effect. Reload before your magazine is empty, however, and stacks will return to zero, allowing you to reset the madness at will.
Further bolstering Gaige’s accessibility schtick is Deathtrap, a summonable AI-controlled robot and “hovering pugilist”. He makes use of Explosive Clap, a high damage AOE attack, as well as a fire-inducing laser beam and shield buff to help out allies.
See all of this in action in Gearbox’s new trailer.
Borderlands 2’s Mechromancer class was released this time last week. Are you sold yet?