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Latest update by CMBF
on Dec 20th 2012
There are five playable characters in the game:
Salvador the "gunzerker" has abilities that closely resemble those of Brick from the original Borderlands, though in place of a melee focus the gunzerker has an affinity for guns of every type, being able to dual-wield practically any combination of guns. As the gunzerker levels up they gain the ability to throw multiple hand grenades, and gain the special ability to regenerate large amounts of both ammunition and health.
If Borderlands were an MMO the gunzerker would fill the classic role of tank and puller; their special recovery ability allowing them to take a major beating, and their special taunting gesture (they can attract the attention of enemies by making an infuriating double-middle-finger gesture) allowing them to gain the attention of enemy mobs.
Maya is endowed with the Phaselock ability, a special power that allows her to immobilize enemies and suspend them in midair, where they are incredibly vulnerable to attack by the other members of her crew. With powers that more or less resemble Lilith from the original game, Maya's special abilities are focused upon the elemental powers present in the game including electricity, corrosion, explosives, fire, and slag. The Phaselock ability can be upgraded to explode upon expiration or temporarily convert the targeted enemies into temporary allies.
Axton has a set of abilities that closely resemble those of Roland from the original game, though in Borderlands 2 the Commando skill set largely centers around their deployable turret, which when it is upgraded with additional barrels and other capabilities becomes a fairly lethal weapon indeed. Once the character levels to the point that they are able to deploy two simultaneous turrets they offer the team and the character the ability to set up their own base of fire, as well as direct supporting fire.
Depending upon the skill tree choices that the player makes, they can gain the abilities to use the turrets as a bomb, detonating the turret upon placement, and stick it to walls and ceilings for an expanded tactical strategy.
Zer0 is an assassin who has the ability to create a decoy of himself, and has the ability to turn invisible briefly, and as part of that process they can then deliver a critical hit on the enemy with sword or gun. The Assassin enjoys a set of skills that are at opposite ends of the spectrum – on one end are his sniper rifles for long-range killing, and his pistols and swords for short-range killing. These basic abilities are very similar to those of Mordecai from the original game – and depending upon the skill tree that the player chooses to advance, either long range (Sniping) or short range attacks that allow for increasing the damage-dealing from the Deception ability.
In addition to these four classes, there is a fifth class available as DLC:
Gaige is a sultry red-headed girl who is half-cyborg and half human. The Mechromancer has a unique special ability to bounce her shots off of any surface and hit their target, or increase shot damage after consecutive hits at the cost of accuracy. In addition to that they have a mech companion called the Deathtrap (properly known as a D374-TP "Deathtrap") that they can summon to their defense and, to a limited degree, serve as an offensive weapon as well. The floating bot is made up of scrap parts, and though it was originally designed to be defensive weapon it has limited offensive value that helps to improve their survivability.