The first in what will be many downloadable add ons for Borderlands 2 was released earlier this week and it’s full of delightful pirates. Pirates who want nothing more than to peel your Lilly livered, landlubbing skin from it’s skull and cross bones. Some of them even practice on themselves, and are nothing more than skeletons, doomed to walk the wastelands forever, thanks to an inconvenient curse. Until that is, you come along and blow them to bone-dust.
This bootylicious DLC delivers yet another (but entirely new) desert wasteland to explore, and boy is it vast, centralised around a lovely little town dubbed Oasis. Once a popular holiday destination, the pleasurable lakes and oceans have turned into painful sand dunes populated entirely by pirates and sand worms. The sole resident of this former haven is Shade, an eccentric creep and very lonely man, that immediately issue you with fetch quests, then the pirate killing can begin. The pirates are a welcome change to everything Borderlands 2 has already served up, especially to those of us who have powered through the campaign already and are still hungry for more.
The badasses look especially cool with anchors tied to each arm, some wielding two cutlasses, and others insanely drunk on explosive grog. They’re pretty much all swashbuckling variations on the common bandits we know, but that isn’t necessarily a problem. The DLC comes with a plentiful supply of new quests (30 to be exact), with most being fetch quests or a “go here and kill everyone” scenario but each yielding some fantastic loot. Along the way you’re bound to pick up thousands of of dollar bills from the treasure chest littering the wastes, which is always a pleasure. The DLC also scales to your current level, so if you want to get the most out of it I’d recommend postponing your vacation to Oasis until your a higher level, just to get a greater challenge out of it.
The desolate wastes of Oasis would be quite boring if it were not for the amazing Sand Skiff vehicle you’ll obtain after completing the first few quests. It hovers, It strafes, it’s nimble, it shoots exploding harpoons and, best of all, it looks like a pirate ship! Well, a pirate ship with nitro boosters, but what more could you possibly want? It’s far better than anything else the Pandorian public transport system has to offer and once obtained you’ll get a great deal of enjoyment from simply exploring this vast new environment, with conveniently placed ramps and ramp-like rock formations all over the place. But the vast open spaces dotted with shipwrecks are only half the content, as you blast through the quests you’ll uncover caves, coves and hideouts amongst some beautiful visuals, improving upon the already vivid colour palette and showcasing the style Borderlands has become known for.
The cherry on top of this fabulous end game dessert are the bosses, which continue to get more ludicrously difficult. Players who once considered themselves gods, now brought to their knees by pirates lords such as Hyperius the Invincible and Master Gee, with health bars surely in the millions. But if you do succeed, you finish the main story, you’ll be rewarded with a brand new currency called Sereph Crystals which allow you to buy “better than legendary weapons” it’s both awesome and ridiculous. That’s a great way to describe the DLC actually.
Gearbox have shown quite clearly what their strategy for Borderlands 2′s further conten; deliver more excellent, fun content.
Graphics: 5/5 - The same great cell-shaded art style that we all know and love.
Sound: 5/5 - Some strong voice acting is matched by a decent score.
Gameplay: 4/5 - While there isn’t much variety in the mission type (it’s pretty much all fetch quests) there’s a tonne of loot to pick up along the way, which incentivised the entire experience.
Longevity: 4/5 - There’s easily a good 8 to 10 hours worth of content in here, depending on how many side quests you decide to tackle.
Overall: 4.5 out of 5
Borderlands 2′s DLC is off to a great start with Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty with its wealth of missions, weapons, a brand new and awesome vehicle plus some interesting new environments that beg to be explored and painted with pirate blood.
- Adam Radcliffe