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Borderlands GOTY Enhanced Review

8 min read

The Original Shooter-Looter returns, with all new trimmings!

What They Say:

Discover the co-op shooter-looter that started it all, crammed with content and enhancements! Equip bazillions of guns as one of 4 trigger-happy mercenaries, each with unique RPG skills. Take on the lawless desolate planet Pandora in pursuit of powerful alien technology: The Vault. With new weapons, visual upgrades, all 4 add-on packs and more, play solo or in 4-player split screen co-op!

Content:

After the launch of the Handsome Collection (featuring updated complete versions of Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!), fans clamored for developer Gearbox Studios to remake the original game in the same way.  Gearbox told fans that if the Handsome Collection did well enough, They would take fans’ requests into real consideration.  Here we are years later, and Gearbox has graced us with Borderlands: Game of the Year Enhanced.  Not only has the original game been updated with Ultra HD graphics, but all new cosmetics, guns and features have been added. Taken straight from the second game, The game now has the mini map to help guide players who find the original HUD a bit hard to follow.  Waypoints can help further in this.  Players take on the role of one of four Vault Hunters with their own special abilities and skill trees (3 trees each.):

Roland: Soldier Class.  Special Ability: Sabre Turret (summons a turrent for extra firepower)

Lilith: Siren Class.  Special Ability: Phasewalk (turns herself invisible and invincible for a short time

Mordecai: Hunter Class.  Special Ability: Bloodwing

Brick: Berserker Class.  Special Ability: Berserk.

Players take up a search for The Vault, an alien relic said to contain vast riches, weapons, and power.  Two things stand in your way: The bandit clans of the planet Pandora and a military force known as the Crimson Lance.  Combat works just the same as it always has: Players get equipped with all kinds of different guns, from shotguns to pistols to SMGs and more.  Each character has one melee attack as well.  This new version of the game also comes with all 4 of the DLC campaigns for the game, and this review will go over these too.  The main game remains the largest part of the game, with 46 main missions, and 80 side missions to complete during the course of going through it.  Even though the side missions aren’t required to do, I recommend doing them anyway.  These missions not only give you vital experience to level up, and also provide players with more lore about the world inside the game.  Missions, when accepted have a difficulty rating when viewed in the log, ranging from trivial (meaning below your level) to impossible (meaning you should level up a bit before trying to take it on).  Enemies level up as you move from area to area, meaning the pushover bandits and creatures fought early on only give way to more and more tough enemies.

Each character excels at different types of combat (though can be played whatever way the player chooses).  Mordecai is a long range sniper type, while Brick is a shotgun wielder who loves to be up close for his action skill.  The players’ journey starts at the small, deserted town of Fyrestone.  It is here that we meet recurring character and “medic” Dr. Zed.  from there, a mysterious woman the game calls “The Guardian Angel” appears to guide the Vault Hunters to their target.  There are over 100 missions to the main story of the game, and that’s not even touching upon all the side quests, which both grant valuable experience and flesh out the world of Pandora a little more.  The fights get harder as you go on, so it’s wise to at least partake in a few of the side quests offered to build experience up.   The story itself culminates after taking the final piece of a “Vault Key” from an important seeming bandit lord, only to have the rug pulled out when a military force called the Crimson Lance appears and attempts to beat you to the prize.  When all is said and done, the prize itself is best left for players to see themselves!

Story isn’t the only thing you’ll find yourself looking out for here though.  There’s LOOT to consider!  Borderlands is literally awash with all kinds of loot, be they common or legendary.  This loot is color-coded for the player’s convenience, so make sure you’ve got at least one slot open for that rare piece of loot!  Tons of this will be found in Bandit camps or in containers found lying around, but Bosses often also drop special loot (like a specific gun only found by killing them), so don’t miss those opportunities.  After you’ve beaten the game, you’ll be informed of accessing “Playthrough 2”.  This essentially starts the story over, but you keep all levels and gear earned previously.  Now, enemies will start higher leveled as well and scale up from there, making for a whole new experience to challenge yourself with!  The game doesn’t stop there though.  With GOTY Enhanced, you get all the dlc that was released for the game, including all the DLC campaigns offered, so I’ll dive right in!

DLC1: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned

This DLC brings us to the brand new area of Jakobs Cove.  The Cove is a small town owned by gun manufacturer Jakobs Corporation.  They brought workers in for something, but now no one’s in sight.  Turns out the hired medic, Dr. Ned, wasn’t so great at the whole mending wounds thing.  When players arrive in the area,  We find that there are masses of zombies roaming the place.  This serves to introduce us to the new enemies in the DLC, which are mostly zombie-based.  Reaching the hub area of Jakobs Cove, (which can be accessed as soon as you beat the early mission Skags At the Gate in the main game) The Jakobs Claptrap there will help you set up the defenses and get ready to discover just what’s gone on here (hint: Dr. Ned may have had a hand in things).  The level cap of 58 isn’t increased at all, but the new enemies will sure give you a run for your money anyway!  This DLC is rather on the shorter side,  being only 10 missions long if you ignore the side missions.  This DLC doesn’t bring too much that’s new to the table, but the things it does bring are immensely fun and will definitely give players a good time.  This is a short but still good romp that extends the playtime of the game for sure.

DLC2: Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot:

What to say about this one?  Well, I’ll just dive in on it: It’s not very good.  The set up is that Moxxi (a character seen frequently in game) is looking to find herself a new husband, and has set up a carnage-filled tournament to do so.  This DLC is basically just a series of wave-based horde fights where the rules can change intermittently.  This is, based on experience, not a mode you want to be playing alone.  This is absolutely an experience you want to attempt if you’ve got some friends to go in with, because doing this alone is not only tedious but almost nigh impossible.  Soloing this DLC is simply an exercise in frustration, and I honestly did not finish it.  On top of everything, You don’t increase the level cap or have plot progression:  This DLC exists simply to earn more loot.  The Fast Travel access point is simply titled The Underdome, and I’d recommend going in relatively high leveled if you hope to stand a chance.  Being honest, This DLC was not very good.  Alone, I would say experience once, but you really don’t have to.  With friends, I can see where the appeal and fun would lie, so get you some before attempting this one!

DLC3:  The Secret Armory of General Knoxx:

Accessed by using the fast travel to T-Bone Junction, This DLC is best played after the main game for full effect.  The plot has us meet up with Athena, a woman who used to work with Knoxx and the Atlas Corporation, but now wishes your aid in taking them down.  This is honestly a bigger DLC that either of the previous two, boasting 44 missions total and increasing the game’s level cap from 58 by 11 levels to 69.  The plot takes place after the events of the original base game, with Atlas having sent General Knoxx and a detachment of Crimson Lance to secure a foothold on the planet Pandora.  What the Lance and Atlas didn’t count on were the skill of the Vault Hunters and the full unwillingness of General Knoxx (who would rather be somewhere else).  This DLC gives out new weapons, new Vehicles, and even optional bosses!  This one is by far one of the more expansive DLCs and is absolutely worth getting if you want more Borderlands content.  All enemies in this content are Crimson Lance soldiers, though a few Bandits do appear to cause trouble.  This DLC was super fun and will actually last you quite some time as the challenge is certainly there.

DLC4: Clap-Trap’s New Robot Revolution:

The final DLC of the bunch also turns out to be one of the best.  Accessed by traveling to Tartarus Station (again, best done after the main game), Weapons dealer Marcus tells a story about how the Clap-Trap from Fyrestone (first one in the game) grew tired of all the abuse his brethren received and decided it was time for a “Robo-lution”.  He reprogrammed the other units and began a campaign to fight back.  This DLC features new Clap-Trapized enemies, more levels, and 21 new missions.  While not as expansive as Secret Armory or as thematic as Zombie Island, New Robot Revolution stands out as yet another great DLC well worth the money it asks.  This is an entertaining ride from start to finish to put Clap-Trap back to who he was.  It’s yet more content to add playtime to a playthrough, and wow is it a good time.  It’s humorous, well made, and expands on the story!

Grade: A-

Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
Age Rating: Mature
Release Date: April 3, 2019
Released On: Xbox One, PS4, Windows (Reviewed on Windows)


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