So far, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has been graced by doppelgangers, the dangerous Holodome, and an adventure-starved maiden. What does 2K and Gearbox have lined up for the game's final Season Pass offering? Well, it just wouldn't be Borderlands if there wasn't at least one piece of content devoted to everyone's favorite mechanical miscreant, the one and only Claptrap. Prepare to journey into the Claptastic Voyage.
"What we're actually doing is we're going inside Claptrap," explained 2K Australia creative director Jonathan Pelling. "It's a little bit of Tron, a little bit of Fantastic Voyage. The premise is that it sort of bridges a gap between the end of the Pre-Sequel and Borderlands 2. Handsome Jack is just taking over Hyperion from Tassiter, discovers that Tassiter has a secret, a piece of code that will fully allow Jack to take over Hyperion, or so he thinks. Tassiter's hidden it in the one place that he thought Jack would never find and that's inside of Claptrap. He's hidden the code deep within the recesses of Claptrap's mind."
Claptastic Voyage will see Handsome Jack hunting for the powerful H-Source code, one that's located within Claptrap's robotic brain. To retrieve it, Jack will digitize the Vault Hunters (including Claptrap, which should blow some minds) and send them directly into Claptrap's consciousness.
Shacknews had a chance to go hands-on with Claptastic Voyage earlier this week, witnessing the manic nature of Claptrap's mind firsthand. The sites will look familiar to fans of the original Borderlands, with Claptrap reimagining some of the areas and also many of the enemies. Given the glitchy nature of his brain, however, the enemies will be tweaked some. For example, Bandits that would normally kamikaze themselves to try and cause damage will still commit suicide, but the glitches will cause them to piece themselves back together.
And indeed, glitches are the name of the game in Claptastic Voyage. Players will have to deal with buggy landscapes, unintentionally-enhanced foes, and other quirky aspects of Claptrap's brain, like malware and adware. But beyond learning what's wrong with Claptrap, players will also start to learn more about what makes Claptrap the character that he is. Is there more to his vendetta against Handsome Jack at the start of Borderlands 2? How deep-seeded is his loneliness and desire for friends? Why does he love dubstep so much? Those are among the questions that the DLC will look to answer.
"Whenever we work on any kind of Borderlands stuff, we're always looking at the characters," Pelling continued. "It's about finding this code, but really, it's about Claptrap. It's about learning more about the character of Claptrap and giving a new insider perspective on who he is and how he becomes who you find at the start of Borderlands 2.
"Claptrap's a big part of The Pre-Sequel and one of the key stars of the Borderlands franchise. And we felt there was more to tell about Claptrap's journey from Borderlands to the Pre-Sequel to Borderlands 2 that we didn't touch on during the Pre-Sequel. We thought the best way to get to know Claptrap a little bit more was to actually go inside his mind and see what he thinks. To get those perspectives, recover those memories, and dig through his dirty laundry. But the actual inspiration of going inside him and going through this Tron-inspired world was, of course, Tron, Fantastic Voyage, and the Star Trek holodeck. The idea developed as 'What if the Hyperion space station Helios had a holodeck?' And what if we did a Star Trek-style 'Holodeck goes crazy' kind of story. As we tried to wrap this around who this was about and what are we learning about the characters, we thought that the better approach was to do more of a Fantastic Voyage type thing."
As players venture through Claptrap's mind and dig through some of his buried memories, that naturally led this writer to wonder about a certain repressed memory. Will Claptrap come to remember the events of the old Claptrap's Robot Revolution DLC over the course of Claptastic Voyage?
"There is a bit of a nod to that in there," Pelling answered. "We tried to draw from various key points through Borderlands and its DLCs. I don't want to say what it is, but we do have a nod and a payoff to all of those things."
Claptastic Voyage will include the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2, which will raise the Pre-Sequel's level cap to 70, offering each character ten new levels and skill points to pick up.
Claptastic Voyage will be available for $9.99 or as part of the Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Season Pass. It should be noted that this DLC did not make it onto the Borderlands: The Handsome Collection disc, but anyone that picks up the Xbox One/PlayStation 4 compilation will be able to download Claptastic Voyage at no extra charge. Look for the Claptastic Voyage to begin on March 24.