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Borderlands 2 confirmed - first artwork

new characters and areas, better mission system, "ambitious" story

Gearbox has confirmed the existence of Borderlands 2, rumoured to be in development only yesterday. The game's down for release sometime in publisher 2K Games' fiscal year 2013, which begins April 2012, and you can expect the first round of hands-ons at Gamescom this month.

Visiting unexplored areas of bounty-hunter's favourite planet Pandora, the new game will "combine invention and evolution" with all new characters, skills, environments, enemies, weapons and equipment. You can expect "an ambitiously crafted story" and an improved mission system, plus the expected avalanche of randomly generated death-dealing oddities.

Environments will be more diverse, and enemies will be smarter. The original cell-shaded art style has been carried over as is. Here's an image of what appears to be the new cover star. We can't work out which scares us more, the beard or the guns.

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Discussing unannounced Gearbox projects at large, studio president Randy Pitchford promised "wild new things" when we spoke to him earlier this year. Wild enough for you, readers?

Give our glowing Borderlands review a look if you've somehow missed out on the whole "surprise hit of this console generation" thing.

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