Return to Pandora

Borderlands was one of the best games of 2009. It provided an experience that was markedly different from all the other shooters on the market, straddling the line between fast-paced first-person gunplay and gear-hunting on par with Diablo. Gamers ate it up, rendering Gearbox's newest IP an instant classic, as well as a resounding commercial success. It should come to nobody's surprise that a sequel to Borderlands was greenlit. And here we are, about three months shy of Borderlands 2's announced launch date.

It's been five years since Roland, Lilith, Mordecai, and Brick (or whichever ones you played as) battled their way across the garbage-strewn wastelands of Pandora in search of the Eridian Vault. A man styling himself "Handsome Jack" has claimed all the credit and in turn come into a metric butt-ton of power. He is now the face of the Hyperion Corporation and has sinister plans for Pandora. As one of four new Vault Hunters (Salvador the Gunzerker, Maya the Siren, Zer0 the Assassin, and Axton the Commando), you set out to take Jack down and free Pandora from his evil.

You may want to put down for a pre-order of Borderlands 2, as doing so will earn you access into the Premiere Club. Members of this exclusive club earn three special items at the beginning of their adventure: a Golden Key that unlocks a rare item in the Sanctuary Loot Chest, a Vault Hunter's Relic that aids in the pursuit of new gear, and the Gearbox Gun Pack, a collection of golden guns.

Again, there's only three months of rest for the wicked: Borderlands 2 will launch September 18 in North America.