The first piece of downloadable expansion content for Borderlands 2 for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and PC is arriving a bit ahead of schedule. Originally slated for next week, Gearbox Software has announced that the new playable character class, the Mechromancer, will be available today instead from the online marketplace of your choice. This piece of DLC is free if you preordered the game, but costs $9.99 if you didn't get around to doing that when you had the chance (note that this DLC isn't part of the $30 Season Pass that bundles a variety of upcoming DLC into one preorder). Here's how Joey Davidson describes the new character class over at TechnoBuffalo:
What is it? It’s a fifth playable character. Gaige the Mechromancer is a young girl who sports a robot companion who she can call in for extra help during battle. It looks and sounds awesome. If you want to take a gander at her skill tree, you can do so here.
If you'd like more information on Gaige, Kotaku has a blowout article focused on her strengths and unique skillset that sets her apart from the other classes. She can't gunzerk and you won't find her Phaselocking opponents, but her new tricks add some extra value to the overall Borderlands 2 package. I'm curious how well this DLC will sell and how often the average vault hunter will see Gaige out in the wild. Being an optional purchase (particularly at $10; I can name several worthwhile full downloadable games that sell for that price), it's unlikely that Gaige will gain the popularity of the built-in characters like Salvador or Maya. I've bought optional DLC characters for plenty of games in the past few years and I hardly ever see any of them appear in online multiplayer modes (I'm especially looking at you, Marvel vs Capcom 3's Jill Valentine and Shuma-Gorath). Borderlands players are a devoted group, however. If Gaige turns out to be a true asset to a vault hunter team, then I expect that anyone who controls her will become a popular player which would in turn lead to additional sales. Perhaps the best way to market Gaige is just to get her out there and let the players sell her chracter class themselves, and I can't think of a better way to get her out there than to give her away to the most ardent fans: those who preordered the game. There's definitely a method to this marketing department's madness.