Borderlands 2 DLC: Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty Review Verdict
Platform: PS3/Xbox 360
Price: $9.99/MS 800
Ask any gamer what they want out of DLC and they’ll tell you three things – more, more, and more. But there’s a delicate dance that any developer needs to be aware of while making new content. Move too far away from the original formula, and fans will quickly turn on you for not giving them what they want. Make more of the same and the gamers get bored quickly. Gearbox Studios played this game with the first installment of the Borderlands series. The results ranged from the divine (The Secret Armory of General Knoxx) to some better left on the virtual cutting room floor (Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot).
With the release of Borderlands 2 only a couple of weeks in the past, Gearbox Studios sets sails with their new content update in the form of Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty. While not the game changer of Knoxx, the first DLC hits the gates running with plenty of new content and surprises for anyone still hungry for more Borderlands 2 action. If anything, Pirate’s Booty is culmination of many of the lessons learned through the first batch of DLC.
Still Waiting For A “Captain Scarlet Chest” Joke
Welcome to the land of Oasis, a former tropical resort in the middle of a desert. It’s the kind of place where no one is dying of thirst – because they’ve already died of dehydration a long time ago. Captain Scarlett needs your help to find the missing pieces to old Captain Blade’s compass. Once you put it all together, a treasure buried in the desert will reveal itself to you and the young redheaded captain. You’ll need to fight through pirates, sandworms, and junk robots if you want to combine the pieces and reveal the ultimate treasure. You know, that is if a certain ginger doesn’t stab you in the back first. She is a pirate after all. It’s a part of the job description.
Oddly enough, Scarlet isn’t the biggest character in the DLC. You’ll meet others along the way as well as friends from outside of storyline to give you sidequests and generally keep you busy. Of any of the characters, I needed more Aubrey Callahan III whose grandmother was a notorious pirate known for something that rhymes with” child smaffiking.” You’ll run into Herbert, the Scarlet-obsessed fan who’s crossed the line of stalking a few too many times. And then there, Shade, a guy who looks like the illegitimate child of Hunter S. Thompson and is by far the most disturbing thing to ever hit the world of Pandora.
Drifting through the desert landscape between ship long since forgotten the smell of the sea and the bony remains of some underwater monstrosity, you really get a sense of the theme permeating through most of the maps. Oasis and the outcropping villages around it look at those they once were some sort of swinging 60’s resort which now house more enemies than mai tais. There does come a point where you start to get tired of the muted brown tones, but you’ll often be only be a mission or two away from being whisked off to some other new location where you’ll find an underground sanctuary or the last remnants of a robot factory.
And yes, you can quick travel from area to area, unlike the first Borderlands DLC.
Mr. Bubbles…. Nooooo!
The good gents over at Gearbox could have simply stuck a bunch of pirate hats on existing character models and called it a day. Amazingly enough, the DLC comes packed with a new breed of baddies for you to blast apart. Though you’ll still come across your vanilla-variety miscreants, the team throws in a couple of new types of enemies to make you think for once before pulling the trigger.
Pirate’s Booty covers practically everything you could ask for in enemies through the five different areas given to you in the DLC. You’ll encounter everything from beast to pirate robots (ARR Loader). If you keep your eyes open and manage not to pull the trigger for five seconds, you might even find a few surprise guests hidden throughout the world. (Hint: Check the title of this section.) The only down note in this whole symphony of screaming warriors comes from the off-tuned bosses that you first meet in the game. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination, the first couple of boss characters are just not remarkable. All of this becomes a fleeting memory once the third act kicks in and you meet [name redacted].
And that’s not all. Once you finish the main quest, you get one more shot at the treasure (a la General Knoxx) as well as get a shot at the newest raid boss, Master Gee the Invincible. This level 50+ engineer comes with multiple units to power him up and the dire warning that you need a full team to take him on. Being at level 31 at the time, I managed to last a second before hitting the ground. You can find out what Master Gee drops with your friends. I still have some leveling to do.
The Section That You Actually Care About – Weapons And Missions
As it turns out, Captain Blade buried some of his prized weapons throughout the DLC. Each quest starts by finding a message in the bottle that gives you a vague area idea of the area you should be looking in. At this point, I would advise that you play this part by yourself or with someone who knows where to look as these missions often bring the action to a screeching halt. I’ve managed to get myself stuck in the map a couple of times just from trying to find that little “X” that marks the spot.
Did I happen to mention that all of these weapons are cursed? I’m not talking about not going to World Series or having the last name “Lohan” kind of curse. For instance, the Orphan Maker Shotgun blasts out at %850 of its strength, but with each pull of the trigger, you also get a taste of the pain thanks to the Curse of the Nefarious Backlash. At higher levels, these might be nifty guns, but I quickly found myself toting a new sidearm soon enough.
But you want something shiny, new, and erupt in a bullet storm of death. The new seraph-level weapons give you all of the perks without any of the punishment. All you need are seraph crystals, which come from defeating the raid bosses. There’s no way that you’re going to squeak by with anything less than a level 50 character or trying to go solo. Find some good friends and a spare hour or two in the day. This is going to take awhile.
Some People Just Want To Watch The World Drown
Gearbox sets the bar high with their first DLC for Borderlands 2 by introducing new enemies to fight, weapons you want to get your hands on, and some of the creepiest characters this side of a David Lynch movie. Hitting the 8-hour mark of the DLC, I still hadn’t covered all the areas, found the last bit of buried treasure, or even had the nerve to bring together a party to take on the raid boss. Vault Hunters looking to jump into the new content might want to wait until after betting the game or reaching that coveted level 50 stop. Pirate’s Booty won’t be a game changer, but it gives players more than enough to chew on until the next DLC comes out.