Today, there was quite a bit of back and forth surrounding comments made on a Eurogamer interview with quotes from Gearbox employees about Borderlands 2.
All the internet noise was around information regarding a new class called “Mechromancer”, who takes the form of a punkish young woman with a giant robot partner. Lead designer John Hemingway was quoted as calling one of the Mechromancer’s skill trees “Best Friends Forever” or “Girlfriend Mode.”
It was also said later in the interview/article that one of the skills revealed about the mode was the ability to have bullets hit their mark even if the player missed the target.
Here’s the quote from Hemingway that specifies this from the Eurogamer article:
The design team was looking at the concept art and thought, you know what, this is actually the cutest character we’ve ever had. I want to make, for the lack of a better term, the girlfriend skill tree. This is, I love Borderlands and I want to share it with someone, but they suck at first-person shooters. Can we make a skill tree that actually allows them to understand the game and to play the game? That’s what our attempt with the Best Friends Forever skill tree is.
People took to Twitter to voice their displeasure at this apparent sexist comment, which in turn brought Gearbox Software studio head Randy Pitchford into the fold to say that there isn’t a “girlfriend mode” and that the Eurogamer article quoted things out of proportion and the comment by Hemingway was anecdotal.
The author of the Eurogamer article, Wesley Yin-Poole, said that he had not misquoted and that all of what was said was accurate.
Randy Pitchford has also come back to say that the “Best Friends Forever” mode is intended as a mode that will serve to help all inexperienced players regardless of what gender they are.
Randy Pitchford also had something else to say on Hemingway’s comments:
There is no universe where Hemingway is a sexist. All the women at Gearbox would beat his and anyone else’s ass.
As far as other non-controversial information about the Mechromancer from Eurogamer, the class is planned to have a couple other aspects added to it: a skill tree that allows you to perform types of tricks with your weapons and one that focuses on electrical damage and shields. The Mechromancer will also be able to help its robot friend learn skills as well.
The Mechromancer is expected to be released two months after the game’s official release on September 18 as DLC.