Yay, a review! I played the latest and last Borderlands 2 DLC. Here are my thoughts.
At her best, Tiny Tina single-handedly makes Borderlands 2 enjoyable. To play an entire DLC conceived from her head, over a Dungeons & Dragons style board game, is the perfect sending off for Gearbox’s fastest selling game ever. Unless another season is planned, which has been hinted at by Gearbox president Randy Pitchford and other staff. This post is my take on the most recent DLC.
The end of Borderlands 2 puts many things in perspective for our vault hunting heroes. As Maya and crew beat the living hell out of a Hyperion informant, Tiny Tina and the original gang play Pandora’s version of a board game, Bunkers & Badasses, with Tina serving as Dungeonmaster. It’s the most fun I’ve had playing Borderlands 2, just for the fact that Tiny Tina runs the show.
Fantasy in media has seen a resurgence in recent years, as Lord of the Rings dominated in its time, and both The Hobbit and Game of Thrones respectively dominate film and TV. Assault on Dragons Keep parodies most of this culture en masse, and even goes so far as to offer some insight into the thinking behind the fantasy domain. All with Lilith, Brick, Mordecai and Tina offering running commentary on everything from quests to scenarios where a dice roll is needed. It is glorious to watch.
From seeing a character get smashed by a D20 dice roll, Brick constantly wanting to punch things (with extraordinary results) and Torgue pondering “What the hell is an e-sports?”, if only Tiny Tina had the opportunity to helm more episodes, this DLC is one of my favourites of all-time. One awesome quest to note: the player must slap Prince Jeffrey, a reference to Game of Thrones‘ most hated child-king, all whilst Lilith argues with Brick about whether the books or ECHOcast show is better. Borderlands 2 has never been known for its subtlety.
The main quest involves our heroes hunting down the Sorcerer Handsome (yes, it’s who you think it is) and trying to save the queen (which I will leave to the imagination). Along the way, other notable characters make appearances, including Torgue with a fantastic quest-line, and town protector Ellie asking the player to get armour. What’s new with this episode is the added development time allowed Gearbox to include new enemy models and weapons, of course, which refreshes the experience even after the three-month wait time between DLC episodes.
Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragons Keep is an example of how DLC should be properly executed, and can go as far as surpassing the original game. Eight to ten hours wading through new locations and a dictionary of references (finding and understanding every one is a mini-game in itself) makes this the best Borderlands 2 downloadable episode thus far. If this is Gearbox at its best, a season two can’t arrive quickly enough.
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