Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep (Borderlands 2 DLC)

Tiny Tina is back. And she's brought with her more than any Borderlands player could have expected. This DLC is a game within a game; the vault hunters of Borderlands 1 play a spinoff version of Dungeons and Dragons titled 'Bunkers and Badasses.'  You are their character(s). 
Enter Flame Rock Refuge, where it's eternal night and things have gotten a little out of hand. The queen has gone missing, captured by the Handsome Sorcerer (pleasantly bringing back with him the voice of Handsome Jack). A curse has been placed upon the land, and it's up to you and a few unlikely allies to save the queen and break the curse. 

Featuring Borderlands' classic humor, both obnoxious and witty in its own right, Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep is "the most expansive Borderlands DLC to date." The setting as a whole is given an overhaul, everything has fantasy undertones and nerd references (from Doctor Who to Monty Python) abound. It's a whole different Borderlands, and it's probably the most fun I've had with the game since I first played it (and I've had a lot of fun with the game).

Tina (as the "bunker master") narrates the whole story. What she says goes. She says a dragon appears? A dragon appears. She says a muscly, non-nerdy guy who shouts too much is in the game? He's in the game. She says you break all your fingers? Guess what. You break all your fingers. And because this is Tiny Tina we're talking about (she's crazy) you never know what will happen. Also keep in mind that your characters are miniatures in a game. The Borderlands 1 vault hunters are playing as your characters. For example; Brick slams his dice onto the table and crushes a figurine. What you see is a giant d20 fall from the sky and crush your quest-giver. Like I said, anything is possible.

You'll see the return of characters you love like Ellie, Moxxi, and Jack as well as plenty of fantastic new characters that you are sure to love. Not to mention that your own characters suddenly have more of a voice within the story (albeit still less than I wish). More than once did my Mechromancer's comments catch me off guard; for example, right after Tina's explanation that everything in the area kinda smells like butts and dead people, my character suddenly and hilariously piped off with, "Ummm, I smell butts and dead people." Comments like this, both from the player characters and the vault hunters occur all of the time. It's fantastic.

Though slightly underleveled when I began, I was still thrilled to see enemies like dragons, orcs, treeants, undead, and other fantasy ilk. You constantly hear words like "mayhaps" and phrases like "Ye shall find thee." People are dressed in armor or fantasy-styled clothing. It's just all very well done and blended into the already unique and impressive Borderlands art style. The discovery of all the new areas from haunted forests, to dwarven mines, to the Handsome Sorcerer's tower never leave you in want.

Overall, this is everything I could have wanted from Borderlands 2 DLC and more. The developers did an excellent job here. If you haven't already, watch the (awesome) trailer below, and consider buying the Dragon Keep DLC. It's well worth it.