Into The Swamp
It’s hard to believe that we’re already on the third substantial piece of downloadable content for Borderlands 2. The game is a definite winner in the Value For Money category, and this new piece of content just adds to the value. This time out, the game brings back Sir Hammerlock and throws players into big, wild, untamed swamps and jungles to do a little hunting, a little shooting of natives and even a little bit of killing of evil mad scientists. Just another day in Pandora, then.
Sir Hammerlock has invited the Vault Hunters out to a region known as Aegrus in order to get some rest and relaxation Hemingway style; finding magnificent specimens of nature, admiring the handiwork of the universe, and then pumping them full of bullets. The hunt takes a bit of a detour when the evil Dr. Nakayama makes his presence known, disrupting the tranquility of the jungle with threats relating to Handsome Jack. Things need shootin’, and so the Vault Hunters go to work.
Of the pieces of DLC released thus far, this is probably the smallest in terms duration and content. While there are large, spacious regions of Aegrus to explore, there are comparatively fewer side-missions here than in previous content, like Captain Scarlett, and even the main quest line can be finished in short order if that’s all you’re trying to do. As is standard now for Borderlands 2 DLC, there is a new raid boss included that drops the precious Seraph Crystals required to purchase high end loot, and plenty of new enemies appear here. Of particular note are the angry natives, particularly the Witch Doctors who have elemental properties, are pretty tough to bring down, and can buff up attacking enemies, presenting a surprising challenge for a basic mob. This is not an easy piece of content to get through, even for level 50 characters, although if you’re already loaded up with legendary weapons from previous content, that should make things a bit more manageable. Big Game Hunt does scale to a limited degree, but the minimum level is 30. Anything below that, and you can forget about hopping in and checking this out if you’ve only just started playing Borderlands 2 recently.
As to be expected, there’s a lot of fun and humor to be had in this new content, and more opportunities for rare loot. But the shorter length means that some may not find the same amount of value in this as previous pieces of DLC. That’s obviously not an issue for those that bought a season pass and can automatically download it, but if you’ve been buying this content one piece at a time, so as to avoid the weaker additions, then comparatively speaking, this may be the weakest piece to appear thus far.
This is not helped by the fact that Gearbox is long, long overdue on raising the level cap for the game. Hardcore gamers/fans of the series are likely to have one or two maxed out characters at this point, meaning that continuing to give out XP for missions seems almost like a joke itself at this point, since most players can no longer use it. This in no way impacts the actual fun and design of Big Game Hunt, which shows a lot of effort in its creation of new environments, enemies and vehicles to engage with, but it may kill the motivation for some gamers to come back for more. XP from quests is always pretty substantial, so jumping in and playing this before the level cap is raised can seem wasteful. That concern, and the relative brevity of the content aside, this is still a fun, rousing distraction with a lot of humor and one of the funniest conclusions seen in a game in years.