Borderlands 2 is one of the most anticipated games this year. The roleplaying shooter is set to be a much better game than the original was. Recently, the digital manual of the game had popped up on Steam for those who had pre-ordered the game on Valve’s digital distribution platform. The manual was deleted within hours, but many managed to get a peek inside. According to Gameranx, the manual hides references to “Gearbox Shift” and “Shift Codes”.

Gearbox Shift is described in the manual as an online service, much like Rockstar’s own Rockstar Social Club, where players can “redeem Shift Codes to unlock exclusive content for Borderlands 2.” There are even hints to the existence of a golden loot chest in Borderlands 2 – the contents of which can only be accessed through something called a “Shift Code”.

He may be a swarf but he will still kick your butt
Gearbox will be debuting Gearbox Shift with Borderlands 2

Gearbox has acknowledged Shift in a forum post by Gearbox Community Manager Chris Faylor on the Gearbox official forums. “Attending a Gearbox event is just one example of the many ways we could possibly distribute such codes. I can't imagine us limiting distribution to physical proximity, especially with such a passionate community located all throughout the world.”

When Gameranx asked 2K Games about Gearbox Shift and Shift Codes, the studio said that the service allows them to distribute in-game items like “golden keys”, publish news updates and allow players to interact with each other. 2K has not revealed any plans to integrate future games with Shift.

Recently, Gearbox had shown off the complete skill trees in Borderlands 2 through a skill tree calculator on the game’s website. The skill tree calculator shows the skill trees for Axton the Commando, Zer0 the Assassin, Salvador the Gunzerker and Maya the Siren. The skill trees show a great variety in the abilities that are available to players, with each character having three skill trees. It is possible to have a character as varied as a Siren who causes explosions when she uses her phaselock ability on enemies, and heals her team mates if she shoots them with her gun.

Earlier this month, Gearbox released a trailer for Borderlands 2 that introduces you to the changes between the first and second games, along with helpful hints help you in becoming more badass. The trailer is narrated by Sir Hammerlock, who gives an introductory tour of Borderlands 2 as only he can. The trailer shows many details about the game, such as the name of the Big Bad of the game, Handsome Jack. The trailer also points out how much of a badass you are. It shows how you can become more badass by levelling up your character, getting new and interesting weapons out of the 87 bazillion the game has, and how you can attain new levels of badassery by getting things such as relics and class mods, which change how certain skills of your character work.

Borderlands 2 will be released for the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and the PC on September 18, 2012. The DLC add-on campaigns for the game will be available on Xbox Live Arcade, Steam and PlayStation Network.

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