Borderlands 2 DLC Hands-On
Borderlands 2 DLC Hands-On
If I had to guess, I'd say Captain Scarlett's inspiration comes from Elizabeth Hurley in Bedazzled. The star of the new DLC - Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty - is honest to a fault and she's got a great idea of what she wants and how to get it. Also her accent gives me a bit of a boner.
While you complete the traditional errands for her you she talks about how she'll inevitably betray you, and how you'll probably try to kill each other before the pirate's booty is found. It's a classic Borderlands DLC setup - a cache of loot, an ever-present, overly truthful expository voice and a massive area to explore.
Better still, my time with Pirate's Booty was spent in control of a maxed out Mechromancer - the new character class available to members of Gearbox's "Premiere Club". Personality-wise she's a mix of the wonderful Tiny Tina and Lillith - a little pocket rocket of epic energy - but as a character she reminds me more of Roland.
This is because - in my application of her skill tree - she was heavily reliant on her Action Skill. When I used Roland I geared my game around the upkeep of the turret - with Gaige I had my skills geared towards Deathtrap spending practically no time not up - I had a 30% reduction on my Action Skill downtime and a skill where any kill either of us got earned him an extra 5 seconds in the field. At one point I had 60 stacks of it up - giving me a five extra minutes of Deathtrap.
You can see my full skill tree here. You'll notice I grabbed the "Close Enough" skill in the "BFF" tree - part of it is so I could expend even less effort aiming, but the bigger reason was because with a shotgun half of all the typically wasted "spread" shot would find its way back to the target. And if I shot near an enemy behind cover I'd be able to still chip damage on him until he stopped hiding.
Captain Scarlett isn't even the first "friendly" face to greet you in her DLC - you won't chat with her for quite some time. Instead you begin talking to Shade - a Hunter S. Thompson inspired lunatic who occupies a ghost town (called Oasis) on the outskirts of a Sand-Worm infested desert. He's obsessed with dehydration - but you would be too if you were really thirsty.
His errands primarily involve the sort of comedic tragedy we've come to expect from the Borderlands series, and by the time you're ready to leave his shithole of a town you'll definitely have a few blues, the brand new car and a more depressing outlook at life on Pandora.
There are new enemies in Captain Scarlett's world, including phallic sandworms and piratey versions of the enemies you fight back on Pandora. It's not until you find some robots that things start to heat up again though - like in the core game of Borderlands 2, robots are my favourite enemy to fight. They provide the greatest threat, as they collaborate the most against the threat of any vault hunter nearby.
You'll wind up fighting plenty of them, too - including one massive landlubber rocking both a shield and the typical robotic badassery. Ideally you'd go at him with both an electric and corrosive weapon - fortunately as Gaige I was stacked with electro-shockery skills, and the good folks at Gearbox had seen to it that I had both a full set of Orange weapons (including a particularly tasty corrosive shotgun) and that I outleveled him by quite a bit.
One thing I particularly liked was the attention to expedition in the map design. One thing I've feared from Borderlands 2 DLC ever since General Knoxx was the constant travelling back and forth. There aren't Fast Travel points littered all over Pirate's Booty - instead I saw creative inclusion of chasms and bridges.
These meant that when you first entered the zone you might have to fight your way from A through B, C, D before you finally get to E. Obviously the essence of the game is in the combat - and the combat is still rad - but on your way back you can still choose to unlock a bridge, or carry cart, or something like that to go directly from E to A. This is especially helpful if you happen to get back to A and you realise you forgot something (I do this a lot).
I barely got two hours - out of the eight hours or so the DLC offers - of hands-on time with Captain Scarlett, and I definitely wouldn't have seen anywhere near as much as I did if I hadn't had a cool 15+ levels on my enemies and a set of Orange weapons on hand. The enemies are all appropriately levelled for a player who has just finished the main story, so the search for Scarlett's booty will definitely be a worthwhile way to stave off starting your second playthrough if you want. It's funny, self-aware and it looks like it's full of what people really want from Borderlands 2 - loot.
Gaige, meanwhile, is my new top tier Borderlands class character. If you haven't started the game yet, or you're looking for a second playthrough character - Gaige is definitely my pick for the best of the lot. Her three skill trees offer something dramatically different as you move between them, and I'd love to theorycraft the best combination of them - in particular I think Anarchy from the Ordered Chaos tree and Close Enough might be a particularly mean combo. Oh, and she has Deathtrap, and I've always wanted a robot for a friend. Ever since I was six.
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