Making gaming's most obnoxious robot

  • 21 October 2014
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How 'Borderlands'’ Claptrap went from throwaway character to fan favorite

Early on in the first Borderlands, players get off of a bus and are greeted by a robot named Claptrap who serves as a part of the initial tutorial, easing you into the first-person shooter's unique sci-fi world. He wasn't much to look at, just a rusting metal box rolling around on one wheel. "I figured I’d challenge myself and come up with the simplest, most generic robot I could think of," explains concept designer Lorin Wood. But looks can be deceiving: over the course of the series, Claptrap has become perhaps Borderlands' most recognizable character. He's even playable for the very first time in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which launched last week on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
It's been a strange journey, but one that happened primarily because players took to his personality, which jumps between hilarious and downright obnoxious. Many people love him, while others straight-up despise the mouthy robot. "It’s good to hate things," says Borderlands franchise director Matt Armstrong, "so long as there are other things for you to love."

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