The original Borderlands received lots of DLC love after its initial release, and with Borderlands 2 having been out for just over a month Gearbox has already released its second DLC add-on for the critically acclaimed sequel. The first DLC shortly after release unleashed the Mechromancer character class amongst us. The latest DLC is a new story called Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty. Although it has been available for a while now we just now finally had a chance to sit down and dig into the new content. I have to say that although the traditional Borderlands gameplay and humour is ‘alive and kicking’ in this DLC, some may find that it when compared to the core game there are times when the new DLC doesn’t fire on all cylinders, but it is far from bad.
If you purchase and download the new DLC it is open to you once your character hits level 15. Oasis, the fast travel point for the new DLC, will show up on your fast travel map and it is as simple as clicking on Oasis and fast travelling there. Should your character level be higher then 15 the DLC scales the difficulty to reflect where you are at, and this includes whether or not you are on your first or second play through of the game too. While your foes may seem like re-skinned enemies with pirate garb, and some definitely are, they do offer up some new combat techniques (e.g. drawing health from you or literally pulling you into melee range) that will get you thinking on your feet now and then. If you are playing on “True Vault Hunter” difficulty I have to say that the enemies will give you a run for your money now and then.
For those wondering what Captain Scarlett and her Pirate Booty is about, well, as the title references it is about loot, plain and simple. Captain Scarlett is in search of some long lost treasure and you are dragged into the fray to help her. Of course there is more to it, and there are many references from the good captain on how she will invariably dispose of you after you find it, but you get the gist. Of course like the core game, there are also side stories and side quests for you to challenge.
During my time with the DLC I do have to admit that as I played I felt that there were times that I was just plugging through some of the quests just to get through them. The main story is fairly good, but it just didn’t grab me the way the main game’s narrative did. As for the majority of quests, although some of them are worthy for sure, there are others that just lack the quality or style of those found in the full game, and there are quite a few fetch quests, something that may or may not be your cup of tea. This varying quality won’t make you hate the DLC, it is just that it doesn’t make you overly love it either.
With most people who play Borderlands, next to the story the desire to for hunt for loot is what keeps people coming back, and in Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty there is loot for you to search for. You’ll find new weapons and you’ll also collect new currency in the game called Seraph Crystals that are found by defeating raid bosses. The addictiveness is there, and the first time through the DLC you will want to see what you can get, but overall there is nothing too mind blowing, but collecting is what the game is about, and you can do it here. That being said, if you are already maxed out, and already have some uber-weapons, then you won’t find too much more here to really satisfy your needs.
What is definitely interesting the DLC’s story takes place in a whole new setting with a whole new set of things to see. There are new areas, new enemies, and of course a new vehicle for you to use. The DLC keeps to the Borderland’s style with some very creative levels and some neat looking environments to explore. Trust me, the first time you walk down towards Oasis and you see the large tanker sitting on top of a small mountain on the outskirts of the town, you’ll know what I am talking about. I found some nice variety in the areas I traversed and you will too. The DLC playtime will come in at around 6 to 9 hours during your journey. Like the main game the length of play is dependent on if you do everything available to you, or if you just go through the main story quests only. Something that I noted is that you do a bit more backtracking or exploring through the same environment more often then you did during the main game. Although it does not negatively affect the DLC as a whole it is noticeable.
Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty is DLC that many Borderlands fan will want to play; however, there are some caveats to this recommendation. First and foremost is that if your character is already maxed out you won’t get a lot of cool booty and those who are far from being at the max level will gain more from it. There are also more fetch quests then you may desire here. At the end of the day though there are some enjoyable moments and I don’t doubt that the Borderlands faithful will enjoy what is offered as the visuals, continued humour, main story, and proven gameplay is evident here, it just seems to be a little less then what was established in the main game. Don’t be shy though; buy this DLC as you will have fun with it.