Borderlands 2 Gunzerker class detailed

Gearbox Software is bringing some new classes to Borderlands 2, with lessons learned from the previous game's skill trees. Now the studio has detailed the skills for one of those classes, the wild dual-wielding Gunzerker.

The Gunzerker's primary action skill is dual-wielding, but the wrinkles come from building from three skill trees to modify that ability. The Rampage skill tree accents the "berserker" roots of the character type, to make the dual-wielding more destructive. The Yippe Ki Yay skill in the Rampage tree, for example, grants more gunzerking time for each kill, so large groups of enemies get laid to waste.

The Brawn skill tree, meanwhile, seems more attuned to being a tank in multiplayer. The Come At Me, Bro skill taunts enemies to focus their attention on you, reduces damage, and puts you at full health -- providing a helpful distraction for your teammates.

The third tree is Gun Lust, which focuses on unique abilities with guns. The No Kill Like Overkill skill converts any extra damage you do to an enemy to health for you. Swapping to a powerful weapon like a sniper rifle would deal overkill damage to restore their health.

As in the previous game, you can select skills from various trees, and combine them for more powerful effects. Combining Money Shot with No Kill Like Overkill means the last bullet in your chamber is more powerful, which makes getting health back with the Overkill ability easier.

"We won't talk specifically about how you do respec-ing," lead designer Jon Hemingway told IGN. "You know in the first game respec-ing was ridiculously cheap to do and you could do it whenever you wanted. We do everything we can to encourage experimentation so the players can try out the different things."

Using a grenade while gunzerking throws two grenades, but the second doesn't cost ammo. "What we're really seeing people do is they will collect a grenade mod which explodes and then throws out additional grenades when those all explode. When you combine that with this it's like it's a room clearer. Just very quickly 'boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.' Everything dies," said lead writer Anthony Burch.

"The skills and the loot really have interesting kinds of interplay," said Hemingway. "All the skills and all the loot have been sort of designed in such a way that you can combine them in these crazy ways."