A Stranger Reviews: Borderlands:Secret Armoury... (Get you one!)

Stranger of Sorts

Individual #472
Aug 23, 2009
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Hello there. For all of 1 of you who have realised I've already reviewed this DLC there is a reason for re-reviewing it. At the time of the first review I had played the DLC for only a few hours so was not able to go over it properly. For anyone who's interested in reading it then I've provided it in the form of a spoiler box.

[spoiler text=First Impressions Review]I mean who doesn't trust strangers?

So Spambots and Gentlemen the new Borderlands DLC is finally here: featuring new weapons, class MODs, vehicles, missions, enemies, back story, hilarity and a raise in the level cap to 61. This will be more of a first impressions review as I do not want to spoil too much for anyone.

So you install the DLC and are greeted with some random-ass cutscene of a ninja women called Athena chopping her way through what seems to be half of the Atlas corporation's army while ranting about revenge and how you both have the same goals. So apparently there is now a story to go along with all the mayhem.

Far more interesting than this is where you find yourself next, in a city (a proper one, not a shanty town like New Haven) situated hundreds of metres above the wasteland that is Pandora, mountains in the distance and a constant flow of sand being cut through by the buildings. Atlas corporation propaganda is blasted out every few seconds saying how great they are and telling people who've been bitten by a wild animal to simply 'walk it off'

Outside this new metropolis is a vast system of highways also hundreds of metres is the air and patrolled by Lance Probes and infantry. To navigate this you use one of the new vehicles, the adaquetly named 'Monster'. The Monster has about twice the health of the normal vehicles, heat seeking missiles and a longer afterburner, so it's pretty sweet.

The new enemies are mostly new types of Lance Infantry, there are Shock, Pyro and Chemical troops which all use their respective elemental weapons. There are also Rocketeer troops which, funnily enough, have jet packs and attack from above. The most notable enemy is a kind of mech suit, very similar to those in the last Matrix movie, they soak up a huge amount of damage and deal enough to rip you to shreds if you get close enough. The first time I encountered this enemy my first reaction was 'HOLY SHIT!' followed by screaming and being killed fairly quickly.


See what I mean?

Killed you say? Borderlands is really easy.. you say. Well it is but this new DLC is hard . I played with a level 50 siren on the 2nd playthrough and was unable to use my 'shock and awe' tactics that had worked so well before. Instead I had to pick them off from a distance with a sniper rifle and even then it was pretty hairy. The people at Gearbox and 2K Games obviously knew I would try to do this so they introduced the Lance Assassins, they flip around you and dive in to attack you with swords. They are very hard to hit and have a fair amount of health to boot, making them very hard to kill.

Thanks to these enemies it was not long until I levelled up and the 'Overlevelled' trophy (yes that's right I played this on the PS3) appeared. As I have already said the level cap has been raised by 11 (the description of the DLC mentions that some games may increase the level cap by 5, or even 10 but Borderlands goes to ELEVEN!). This increase of the level cap was one of the principle reasons why I picked up General Knoxx's Secret Armoury, I absolutely loved the game but as soon as I hit 50 I saw no reason to carry on playing.

Now story wise, this episode of Borderlands is set after the events of the first game. The opening cutscene contains a huge amount of spoilers so maybe finish it first before you start on the DLC. Some loose ends are tied up as well, for example Scooter did actually get round to killing Lucky ('Yeh that's right I killed him'), and you finally get to meet Scooter's mum! WOOOO!...That said, the goings on of DLC are a lot lighter hearted than that of the first, there is no longer that dark edge that was present in the original story (remember TK?). Instead the characters are even more 'wacky' but don't get me wrong this is still the Borderlands experience.

Should you buy this game? Well considering on the Playstation Store this is priced at 5.14 GB Pounds which is cheeper than the other DLC then I would. More importantly anything that makes the guy I was playing with scream 'I FUCKING LOVE THIS GAME' over and over again has to be pretty special.

Seriously, get it![/spoiler]

For anyone who didn't read it, it was very vague and I was still in shock from playing it so my opinions were based accordingly.

Lets get on with it then


Look! It's a picture to keep you entertained.
Download 'General Knoxx's Secret Armoury' and transport to the new location 'T-Bone Junction', this is the main city in the DLC. It is effectively a city suspended hundreds of feet above the desert with a motorway running straight through it. The fact that you are able to stand on the edge of the city and gaze into the distance first gives the feeling of bigness (for lack of a better word) that this DLC gives off everywhere. The missions start of in a pretty mundane manner, go fetch this and click that. You trudge up houses, down streets, round corners then all of a sudden OMG NINJAS . Yes that is right, the people at 2K games have decided to include ninja's for no other reason than to annoy the hell out of us, I mean they serve some minor point in the backstory but the fact they are hard to hit and some of them take more bullets than your common tank is more than annoying.

The principle difference between Borderlands and it's new DLC is that you can no longer fast travel. This is very annoying, there are at least 7 different maps, all of them huge and in a straight line so if you want to go from one end to the other it takes over 5 minutes. That is minus the infamous loading times, enemy encounters and getting lost. This for me is the main thing that I disdain about the DLC.

On the bright side you have a host of new vehicles to play with. Starting off with the Monster (aka MOONNSTAAAAAR) which is relatively slow and fires homing missiles, then there is the Racer and since this is the fastest of all of them you'll use this the most often, it's essentially a normal car with a jet engine for a boost. The last one you obtain is the four man carrying Lancer, sadly you only get to use this after completing some side quests so you can't use this too often. These new vehicles help to spice up the gameplay and travelling and it's regrettable that they do not carry over to the regular maps.


Time for a Road Trip! I shotgun back seat.

As well as the ninjas there are a helluva lot of new enemies. Everything ranging from the new Lance Mercs, such as Rocketeers, Pyro, Shock and Chemical troops to the new variations of Bandits. Additions such as the Badass Midgets are quite a nice touch as they look suspiciously like Hurlock Alphas from DA:O. The Skag Riders are pretty funny, seeing a midget riding a Skag galavanting toward you is always hilarious, until the Badass Skag Riders show up. They are Badass Midgets riding Badass Fire Skags with horns and take along time to be put down. There are new mech like enemies called Devastators (picture in my previous review) which scare the [email protected]*t out of you and Lance Drones which rain death from above. Have I missed something? Probably, since there are just so many new enemies to encounter.


The humour is definatley still here, albeit less subtly. A prime example was when Scooters mum (yes you get to meet Scooters mum, she's hot in a crazy, tear your balls off way) tells you your mission and ending it with a 'that's what she said'. While this is always welcome sometimes it does come off as a bit forced at times. Scooter himself of course, retains his 90's Californi-esq attitude of 'Oh man! This is gonna be sweeeeeet' and General Knoxx attempts to make small talk with you between mumbling about killing you or something.

What this DLC does do very well is carry on the main theme from the original story. Greed. A planet being completely turned to hell over promises of a vault full of treasure, fame and women more than hints at this.

Right at the end of the DLC you find yourself in a room full of gun chests and have 2:30 minutes to get out before the place blows up. Leading to an inevitable fireball down a hallway moment where you dash to the exit, pockets full of loot. I made it... my friend didn't *sniff*. Thank god for phasewalk.

The big thing that drew me to the DLC was the level cap increase of 11 to 61. And by god do you need this. My level 50 Siren was ripped to several small unrecognisable pieces by the first mission on playthrough 2. I was forced to go on playthrough 1 with a friend to hold my hand along the way. Even with enemies ten levels below me there were still some challenges. 2K have also included an 'impossible boss' with the DLC. I tried it at level 55 and was killed in one hit by one of its minions. I'm still too scared to go back...

Overall

Very, very good. Hours of hilarity and challenges for a mere 5 and a half pounds. And that is a lot of value for money. It manages to drag me back to Borderlands and has kept me there, not allowing me to esca-.. I mean get up. If it were not for the minor things like always spawning in at T-Bone Junction when you boot up then I would be on it now, battling my way through playthrough 2.

I accidently posted this half way through writing it so I hope that's been removed by now. Anyway feedback is always welcome and tell me if I have missed out anything important. Thanks
 

Fayathon

Professional Lurker
Nov 18, 2009
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Hell this might be reason enough to figure out how to get an ethernet cable hooked up from across the house. (I am not paying $100 for a damned wireless adapter for my 360.)