The playable heroes of Borderlands 1 will return for Borderlands 2, but only as NPC characters. Game Informer reveals that we'll be taking charge of four completely new heroes when the sequel is released next year.
Gearbox have also decided to scrap all of the weapons from Borderlands 1. The randomly generated guns of the first game gave rise to thousands of mad scope/ammo/manufacturer combinations. New manufacturers will bring their own visual twists to each weapon, and players will now be able to add custom decals and enhancements to their favourite pieces.
Of the four new characters, only one has been revealed so far. He's a stumpy "Gunzerker" called Salvador. He can dual wield any weapon and improve his abilities using the familiar three-branch skill tree of the first game. He'll be able to choose from a wider selection of vehicles (ie: more than one), and use the new currency, Eridium, to buy new items or upgrade his armoury.
Gearbox also promise greatly improved enemy AI and more varied environments. Also, for better or worse, Claptrap's back!
Bordlerlands 2 is due sometime after April 1 n 2012, check out the official Borderlands 2 site for more.