In early May I got the chance to sit down with 2K and play their last foray into Borderlands 2 DLC, a couple of months before its release in June.
If you catch the video attached, then you’ll see near enough the exact time we had with the game, but be warned of potential ‘SPOILERS’ should you not want anything to ruin the opening acts.
Picture the scene – you’re in the world of Pandora, running around the solitary landscape, aiming for the nearest Skag that runs your way and shooting it straight between the eyes – it’s done and over with. Now picture this same scene, but instead you have Tiny Tina narrate it in real-time, plus that Skag you were aiming at? It’s now a big badass Dragon, oh and by the way, you’re dead now– this, in essence, is Borderlands 2’s fourth and final DLC expansion pack – Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep.
The premise of this final pack is based around Dungeons and Dragons, with Tiny Tina and the gang getting set to play their own alternate version called, “Bunkers and Badasses.” As they begin to play, Tina promptly sets up the board game and marks out the individual classes available; Siren, Mechromancer, Commando and so on. Once the story begins you then experience the game from the perspective on the board, meaning that any rules Tiny Tina wishes to implement, such as changing enemy types or objectives, get changed in real-time. This in turn creates incredibly comedic situations and makes this newest piece of content the funniest, as well as the most creative.
Rainbows, Lollipops and Butts
Similar to previous expansion packs, you initiate your journey via a quick-travel straight to a place called Flamerock Refuge. As soon as you arrive, Tiny Tina introduces you to your new landscape, exclaiming about its poor quality since the Handsome Sorcerer messed everything up – but in actual fact your surroundings are lovely and bright, there’s even a rainbow bending over the cliffs ahead. Lilith is quick to point out this fact however, which in return makes Tina quickly change your surroundings with a much darker, gloomier sheen. Beyond describing the introduction, I’ll reframe from saying much more as what follows is pure comedy gold.
If you hadn’t noticed by now Tiny Tina is the real star of this expansion, and although our time with it was short, it gave us a strong indication that this last piece of four will be the best. Though she is considered a ‘Marmite’ type character, due to her incessant potty mouth and crazy behavior, she’s definitely the best character in my books. Gearbox have saved the best for last it seems and I think that this expansion is a sign of things to come, should a third game get made. One thing you notice as soon as you enter this new world is the emphasis on the “fantasy” setting, introducing a great sense of adventure with colourful characters and unseen areas ahead. I constantly found myself laughing out loud at many scenarios throughout my preview, finding the whole experience greatly refreshing compared to what had come before – not to say the previous DLC was bad, by any means – I just found the whole ‘narration’ aspect of the add-on to help push this content into new territory.
What would a traditional fantasy setting be without its fantastical enemies? Well, nowhere, hence why I’m going to explain the wondrous approach Gearbox have taken with the creation of the new foes you’ll be facing. Within my specific play through I only saw a handful of different enemy types, they consisted of Skeleton Archers and Treants (plus their Midget version), Treants are trees that are alive, no points for guessing which element they are most vulnerable to – it’s fire by the way. Next to those will be a much longer list of enemies to make up a rather rich roster of characters, with Wizards, Orcs, Knights, Golems and Dragons all making a profound appearance.
With the release still a month away it’ll be interesting to see how the story ends. Although like all fairy tales, will the ending be a happy one? Regardless, being Borderlands, I bet it will end with a ridiculously hard to beat enemy, with multiple tiers of armour and end with a princess in a castle, right?
Look out for Borderlands 2’s final expansion pack, when Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep arrives on June 25th for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.