Game: Borderlands: The Zombie Island Of Dr. Ned
Platorm: XBox 360
Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
For anyone out there that loved Borderlands as much as I did you can now download the first of a series of expansions for 800 Microsoft points off of Xbox Live, which is about £6.80 in real money. The Zombie Island of Dr Ned takes you to an entirely new area of Pandora, Jacob’s Cove, which has recently suffered a zombie outbreak. Jacob’s Cove is a expressionistic nightmare of a town, perpetually doused in moonlight, and full of all sorts of new creatures, including some familiar faces that have been put through a Halloween filter.
Familiar is a very good word to use when describing this expansion as it does not deviate a great deal from the format of the game itself. There are approximately a dozen new missions that, in typical Borderlands fashion, revolve around either travelling across the map to collect certain items, and then going all the way back to where you started, or travelling all the way across the map to kill someone, and then returning to where you started to confirm that your target is dead. If this formula bored you before then this add on is not going to change your opinion of the game at all. The game’s brand of humour also returns, with a prime example being the titular Dr Ned, who is apparently not at all related to our in game friend Dr Zed – despite looking exactly just like Dr Zed, only sporting a comedy moustache.
In summary, the first add on is everything you would expect from a Borderlands add on – amusing dialogue, minimal story elements, fairly repetitive missions that still have the potential to be fun, and a hell of a lot of looting. It is worth noting that the enemies are all of experience level 34 and above, so you will need to be a fairly advanced character in order to play this, which will effectively make this add on unplayable until you reach a similar level. It is also worth noting that there are no new weapon types added to the game, and the level cap is not increased.
GRAPHICS: 5/5 The familiar visual style of Borderlands has been put through a Halloween filter creating an entertainingly spooky looking environment. The character new designs are charismatic, and the new take on some older characters breathe new life in to them.
SOUND: 4/5 The voice acting and sound effects are effectively the same as those found in the original game. There is nothing ground breaking here, but really does it need to be?
GAMEPLAY: 4/5 Much like the original game, the missions can become repetitive, with every other mission being a fetch quest. However, there are more missions that involve collecting audio tapes which have some amusing dialogue in them, which helps make things more interesting. The shooting and looting aspect of the game remains intact, so if that’s your sort of thing then you will enjoy this.
LONGEVITY: 3/5 For less than £7 you will get approximately 5 hours of new content for this game. However, one mission revolves around collecting an obscene number of zombie brains – which are earned by killing enemies with head shots – taking up a lot of time and soon becomes very tiresome.
OVERALL: 4 Zombie Brains out of 5. This first piece of downloadable content for Borderlands is a decent experience at a fair price. While some of the missions can become tedious, the strong character design and dialogue makes up for any short comings. The only issue with this add on is that it will be unplayable for low leveled characters, at least until they reach level 35.