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I loved Borderlands 1, but was always little cool on its downloadable content. The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned was a tedious addition with boring enemies, and Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot was just an endless barrage of arena battles, better tuned for testing weapons out than actually having fun. So while I also loved Borderlands 2, I was very leery about its additional content available for purchase.
But Nate treated me to the season pass, and a few weekends ago Steve and I took down the first DLC released, Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty (there’s a pun in there somewhere). Turns out this release is a much more traditional release featuring a half dozen new zones, a bunch of new enemies, over 20 new missions, a new vehicle, and at least one raid boss (okay, there’s two, but we couldn’t beat the first one).
There’s honestly a ton of content here for a DLC, it probably took us about five hours to reach the first raid boss and lose to him a couple of times, so you’ll certainly feel like you got your money’s worth. But at the same time, it’s kind of a slog. All the new missions are self contained in the new Oasis zones so there’s a ton of backtracking and retreading ground. The central hub is also kind of out in the middle of nowhere, and if it wasn’t for the new skiff, would be exceedingly obnoxious to get to. This is one of those cases where there just might be too much.
Pirate’s Booty isn’t all drudgery though, there’s one new enemy in particular called Anchorman that is particularly ingenious. He stomps around carrying two big anchors on chains that he flings out at you, trying to draw you in like Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. I also enjoyed some of the new locations, like Oasis, which houses a former resort town until all the water dried up, beaching ships and starving out the local population. Its single resident, Shade, pulls off the typical perfect Borderlands balance of disturbingly insane and disturbingly hilarious.
If you’re into end-game content, Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty might be the perfect pick up. The raid boss we battled was tough, even though we were several levels above him, and the reward is a whole new type of weapon. The rest of Her Pirate’s Booty simply extends the typical Borderlands 2 experience, and if you’re already burned out on that, you may want to pass for now.
As the first official Borderlands 2 DLC content, Pirate's Booty felt a bit hit-or-miss. The new vehicle is a blast to drive, the new boss encounters are a lot of fun, and the character personalities are interesting, but it drags on more than I'd like and parts of it don't really feel very new. For huge Borderlands 2 fans, more of the same is likely a great event, but for others, it may feel a little old. The downsides are mostly redeemed by some fun sequences (and a new "raid boss"), and I understand that they tack on time so people don't feel robbed, but a more compact experience would have made more of an impact.