"Borderlands 2" hit the US on Tuesday with a beefed up storyline to go with a massive arsenal in the eagerly-awaited action videogame sequel.
The title, versions of which are tailored for play on Xbox or PlayStation 3 consoles as well as on personal computers powered by Windows software, will be unleashed internationally on Friday.
"Borderlands 2 is a game made by gamers for gamers," said 2K Games president Christoph Hartmann.
"The unique visual art style, all-new characters, loads of loot, 87 bazillion guns, and role-playing-shooting combine for a truly addictive experience."
The sequel picks up five years after the events in the original game, which has sold six million copies since its release three years ago.
"Handsome Jack who runs the Hyperion Corporation has discovered that the planet of Pandora is valuable and wants it; but he is really the wrong person to have it," producer Matt Charles told AFP during a preview of the game.
"It is 90 percent stop Handsome Jack, and a hint of revenge as well."
While remaining true to the original game, the team at Texas-based studio Gearbox Software made enemies more wily and packed more punch into gunplay.
"The enemies are getting smarter; they have to because we are making the players more powerful," Charles said.
"Story really was one of those areas we wanted to double-down on."
The title developed by Gearbox and published by 2K combines one-on-one challenges, solo play, and multiplayer options with a wasteland planet setting and lots of guns.
The original game's arsenal tops 17 million weapons, and the sequel adds to the armory, according to 2K.
"Once we start in the 18-million-plus gun range I am going to round that up to limitless," Charles said while discussing "Borderlands 2" weaponry with AFP.
Gamer Phillip Fairchild of California was anxious to return to the wild Pandora landscape rife with perils including savage, dog-like "scags" with bony armor plate and maniacal dwarf bandits.
"It seems like they were exponentially ramping it up," Fairchild said after giving "Borderlands 2" a try. "They put it on steroids; battling every foot from the frying pan into the fire."