IT FROM AMAZON:
PLATFORM: Xbox 360
(reviewed), PS3, PC
DEVELOPER: Gearbox Software
PUBLISHER: 2K Games
Borderlands is not without its issues- the game’s repetitive, doesn’t have a story to speak of, the end boss is disappointing, and the way the world is laid out is confusing as hell… but you’re not likely to find a more addictive shooter out there.
It’s weird how that works out, but the combination of incredible combat combined with the OCD nature of finding those better guns really makes for a great experience. Soon after the game was released Gearbox got to work on DLC, doing something incredible with it, actually taking the time to craft new experiences and listen to fans of the game for what they wanted to see next.
Now they’ve just released the Game of the Year edition, which comes complete with the game and all four downloadable packs, as well as some other goodies.
Borderlands with all of the available DLC, a fold-out map which is useless thanks to the way you traverse the environment, plus early access to the upcoming Duke Nukem Forever demo.
Read my review for how the game plays, but here’s impressions of all of the DLC.
#1: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned
You go to a new area called Jakob’s Cove (home of the weapons manufacturer), where “Dr. Ned” had been investigating how to keep the workers of Jacob’s Corporation alive but accidentally ended up transforming them into zombies. You head off to find out what happened to some previous visitors to the cover and see what ol’ Dr. Ned is up to these days.
What does it have? Zombies! Massive and gloomy new environments! The opportunity to keep leveling your character up to level 60 (the cap was 50)! New enemies, bosses and weapons!
Is it fun? Extremely. The whole style of the DLC is dark and dismal and is unlike anything in the main game. The zombies are a great new foe and headshots reward you with zombie brains for a certain quest.
Highlight: Exploding one of the gigantic Frankenstein’s monster minibosses.
Lowlight: That aforementioned zombie brain quest becomes ridiculous, with you having to hunt down hundreds of the things.
What does it have? Three riot arena locations! Hundreds of enemies! A bank to store your items! Two new skill points! Frustration beyond belief!
Is it fun? Well, it’s certainly a challenge. It’s fun at first, but when you’ve fought dozens upon dozens of waves of enemies for an hour or two and die at the end only to have to restart the whole goddamn thing, you’ll never want to go back. Plus, you don’t gain experience for the enemies killed here, and they don’t drop loot… pretty much negating the two reasons you play the game in the first place.
Highlight: Finally completing one of the arena challenges with friends after hours of hard work.
Lowlight: Stupidly trying to fight through an arena battle by yourself at level 50 and dying within minutes.
#3: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx
Is it fun? It’s easily the best DLC of them all. It’s staggeringly huge and has plenty of fun missions involving some fan favorite returning characters like Scooter. It’s funny, It’s tough but not frustrating, it’s funny as hell, and the end allows you to break into the secret armory and loot weapons in a mad shopping spree.
Highlight: Piling four people into the apc and just decimating every enemy around you (each player gets their own weapon to control!)
Lowlight: You have to take the highway to go anywhere in this content, which is long and full of enemies. It gets old quick.
#4: Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution
Hyperion Corporation, another of the greedy gun manufacturers destroying Borderlands, accidentally activates a Claptrap known as Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap, who manages to start a robot uprising.
What does it have? New missions! New skill points! Six new backpack slots! Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap!
Is it fun? You get to destroy Claptraps as they scream in pain- of course it’s fun! It’s not as good as Dr. Ned or Knoxx, however. It’s over relatively quickly and the gimmick of fighting robotized “trap” versions of every enemy in the game (Skag-Traps, Rakk-Traps, Knoxx-Traps) loses its humor after a while. But the areas are fun (and finally include new fast travel locations!) and the end boss is imaginative and memorable.
Highlight: Shooting a Claptrap in Tartarus Station just to watch it die.
Lowlight: The mission that has you collecting Claptrap parts a la that zombie mission in Dr. Ned. It’s even more frustrating this time around as the little bastards are harder to find.
Along with all of this DLC, there is also a new update in the works that will allow you to level up your character an additional eight levels and re-balance some enemies, hopefully making Moxxi more fun.
One misstep with this package- the DLC comes as codes on a paper insert. It’s a pain to have to enter the codes and have to wait to download the gigs and gigs of content, rather than be able to pop in a disc and install it. They should have taken a clue from Bethesda, who included an extra disc with the GOTY editions for Fallout 3 and Oblivion.
The Duke Nukem Forever demo also makes you enter codes on a website.
Grab a couple of friends and call in sick for a week, because a hundred hours of gameplay await you.
An incredible set, perfect for anyone who’s waited this long to jump into the world of Borderlands. Just find another newcomer to the game or someone who wants to go through it again, because this game blossoms as a co-op experience.