Dear reader you can still turn around and ignore the terrible list of things that follows which will inevitable drag you down and remind you of all the horrific things this DLC did and all the stuff it was lacking. Go away from your computer, handy or tablet now and do something nice, like having fun with P.A.T. because you surely don’t want to lose your last bit of sanity that is still in you…
Seriously now, this DLC brings my blood to boil so much with how it destroys the ground for the Borderlands lore with just off-hand remarks, that halfway through I was just about to just not write this up at all and just quit.
I have such a long list of negative thoughts about this DLC that I don’t even know where I should start. So sorry that this will not be put together as good as my other entries, where I talked about the previous DLCs.
So here’s the short version: This DLC is just a stretch of boring mediocrity.
Last warning: You can still turn around and give P.A.T. a hug or something similiar exciting and fun inducing instead of keeping on reading.
It starts right of the bat instead of reintroducing Dr. Zed or even Athena, because she knows of the necessary Atlas or Hyperion tech to enter ones mind we again have to put up with a reused character that already had way to much time in the main game: Patricia Tannis.
She is so annoying and dumb in this DLC, rivaling Scooters stupidity at some points, that I got the feeling they were just reusing left over lines that were meant for him. (I don’t mean this in a negative way towards Scooter, that was just his character in BL2)
They could have atleast build upon her new Siren powers but nada, this game just doesn’t want to work with what is has.
We are then subjected to some lazy and questionable writing to explain why Krieg’s brain/or mind floats in space just as an excuse for not having him making a physical appearance, fixated to a machine or something.
We land in the beautiful area from the trailer, which I’m sure the overwhelming majority of us thought to finally be more of Athenas to of course be nothing more than this single small arena…
So that it doesn’t look too awkward for being the smallest map in the entire franchise it is part of a super boring and dull (and also small) hub area.
The first area, Castle Crimson feels like something straight outta Doom (2016/Eternal). Sadly, just like them the areas are composed only of several arenas, were enemies keep on coming sheer endlessly, connected by corridors inbetween. All locations of this DLC, breathtaking 3! offer nothing to explore, aside from the occasional floating island with the terrible orb shooting mini game. It was instantly odd that the statistic for this DLC says there are ONLY 2 red chests, and this is exactly why.
Because of such things, or the super lazy splash screens when you enter a new area you can already deduce the terrible quality of this DLC right from the start.
While Saphires Run is a small step upwards and offers some small nostalgic trips by fighting Borderlands 2 Nomads and Marauders, instead of the regurgitated CoV for the upteenth time, it just shows the lacking quality, that they merged the Pandora and Athenas portion into one single map.
And I’m totally fine with Tinks but having Nomads without Midgets and just renaming them to little Marauder/Psychos was really lazy. If you do this atleast commit to it and give us a side quests that explains that all Midgets revolted and left Pandora for another Planet or something. God knows, this DLC could use some side quests.
At this point the DLC clearly shapes up to something that could have just as good only been 3 Head Hunter packs with a bunch of thrown together, not connected ideas about Krieg that they still had floating around.
Atleast I was happy to see the giant Cacti again, yes they don’t stand a chance compared to there monstrous brethren on the Trash Coast but it’s a start. Hey gotta love the small things, and I always found Pandoras alien flora fascinating
I instantly liked the Benediction of Pain because it felt like an area right out of The Pre-Sequal. This game could really use some more low grav maps.
I also love the creepy projections/atmosphere and all the little details this map has like the hidden levers to open loot containers or the metal detector.
Because of things like this I would bet this is the part which was made by Gearbox Quebec.
Also thanks to this BL3 has now a whooping 2 slam trap doors, yay
On part of the Hyperion reskinned CoV, this is another rightfully concern but I have to say that I actually found this really fitting and quite real because lets look at it for a moment. In real life alot of institutions that are meant to help people, like the Police, hospitals, mental wards or retirement homes are sadly often filled with crooked ■■■■■■■■ that doesn’t give a ■■■■ about the people they are supposed to help. So having the staff look like they could have been inmates themselves instead of being composed of “shiny” Hyperion employees, is only fitting to me. That or it might be a projection of Kriegs mind about the mishandling the prisoners had to endure.
Nevertheless I would have welcomed it if they had used the awesome models of the Hyperion Riot Squad from Claptraps Robolution.
The last “area” isn’t much of special note, although I admire what is probably the closest thing to a Borderlands themed ancient egypt add-on.
On behalf of the (lacking) content:
There are NO side quests. Seriously you can’t call them that, even fetch quest are more entertaining and offer more than this. Yes the 3 “real” ones it had were quite exciting but a single P.A.T quest, no matter how cute doesn’t make up for everything else this DLC is missing.
Also yet another obvious way of padding out the playtime (not that it would make this DLC much longer) by locking them for later so you have to rerun the whole area right to before the boss.
Again the not existing Crew challenges The only thing they offer is pointless babling and even more pointless babling from Tannis on top. And yes I am aware of the nursery rhyme that again commits to nothing by telling us… nothing. We already saw that Krieg had a child at the end of the Benedict boss fight.
We are still waiting for a buttload of characters to return and this DLC almost exclusively has only Krieg. Not even a single new NPC or something.
Actually I’m still trying to wrap my head around why this one quest with the valve turning had 2 characters that weren’t Krieg
It’s cool that they note Max sky although in a way that I find barely satisfying and that makes as much sense as the rest of the enter mind part.
We get a single lazy new enemy and for the 5th time CoV again.
No new side bosses aside from the questionable Spongeboss Bulletpants which even on Mayhem 0 feels like straight outta M10. I mean why? This surely can’t just be another of Gearbox horrible meta jokes, can it?
The bosses have so much health that I had to go from M10 to M0, even though I had no problems with any other thing I fought on M10 before.
They also are weirdly strong, I got oneshotted by Brick&Mordy even after lowering the difficulty.
And while I didn’t have a problem figuring out the weak spot of the Locomöbius, the boss fight is one of the visually most stunning and yet also one of the most boring ones in the series at the same time.
I would really like to put the new gear as something positive because, instead of the legendaries from the main game which were often just guns with the property of another manufacturer, these were exciting to test out and find out their hidden properties. I especially like the Maliwan Pistol which you have to charge for a single shot and can then rapid fire by quickly pulling the trigger and yes! finally a legendary Shockwave shotgun
Having just so little of them and then on top having them be just “reskins” of their unique counterpart or vice versa is insulting. Not to mention that after the power creep from the last DLCs they are just not cutting it in the slightest because nothing can compete with a M10 gun from BoB right now.
Also why do side quest again just give us money and no reward, which was already the case in G,L & T.
Atleast quest items have misc. text again.
The music is again good but also sometimes all over the place. I couldn’t tell if this was intended or bugged triggers because sometimes the music would change just by moving 5m into another part of the map and back.
The head, skins and trinkets have to be the laziest ever (hey, this seems to be a reccuring theme in this DLC) but altleast now everybody looks just as bad as Moze. Well atlest as long as Moze isn’t wearing her DLC4 head…
Now would be a good time to step away from your screen to grab something to drink or go get some fresh air.
Now to the dialoge in this DLC which while having some genuinely nice ones like the dancing echo or the one that’s about A Meatbicycle for 2 and the Intro of BL2, is just mind blowingly absurd with how it single handely crumbles established lore even more than the main game itself.
The whole Benediction of Pain area kinda completely rewrites Borderlands lore and gets rid of or makes them questionable like:
- The colonization of Pandora
- Dahl labor mining
- Hyperion before the rise of Handsome Jack
- The effects of the first Vault key on the miners, thus spawning the first Psychos and to a smaller degree the beginnings of Atlas and the finding of the first Vault.
Or in other words it completely destroys the Vault mythology and everything around it, although the main game revolves around this to a big extent itself.
This is made even only more awkard considering it was none other than Tannis herself who discovered most of these things and was around when Dahl pulled out.
Not that she made any sense in this DLC anyway, with how she is a total hypocrite, disapproving of Hyperions experiments even though whenever we found a Slag sample or something similiar sinister in the past, she’s all over it and pleads us to “secretly” preserve a sample of it for her own experiments
And as if it needed to be even more silly none of this should be possible in the first place because Krieg is not a natural Psycho but rather was experimented on, a long time after the first Psychos came to be. For this to even make remotely sense BL2 would have to be a prequal to Borderlands 1…
But the biggest offender of them all is Maya herself:
Her tip toeing around saying that she loves Krieg while at the same time seeming oblivious to his feelings towards her, making her look really stupid.
Her comments about how the 6 Sirens can/will be different. Basically already retconning the retcon from the main campaign that Sirens now choose to pass their powers to the next one.
How Guardians protect her memories, again hinting at a deeper connection between Sirens and Eridians yet still we are not one bit smarter and at this point with the supposed antagonistic “new” Guardians (BL4 cough cough) doesn’t makes much sense anymore/just complicates it even more.
Her comment about how she can feel all the dozen Sirens before her, over thousands of years is very odd to me. The Borderlands Universe as we know it (space traveling/ finding Eridian tech) is very new and only at most 1 or maybe 2 hundred years old. While it is of course possible that Eridians predate mankind for milleniums, I have a hard time believing this considering that Nyriad is the last and something of a “leader” Siren yet confirms that she and her sisters have only very little to almost no knowledge about the Eridians so it’s hard to imagine that they lived several thousand years side by side. Not to mention that being a Siren is a big thing in this universe that spawns instant interest and there (at the time of Borderlands 1) have ever been only 13 known Sirens*
This was already brought up enough times so I won’t go into more detail how her “Last words” echo, that predates Promethea make it seem like she just decided to let herself be murdered…
Her off-hand remarks about visiting, or rather get visited by the Lodge
Her mentioning how she visited a Noodle shop on Minos Prime, which shouldn’t be possible considering she was kept secluded on Athenas as a child and went back there right after BL 2 and I find it highly unlikely that she would just take a holiday on some far away Planet. Althought it would be possible, the main campaign make it seem like she just spend her time on Athenas.
She says something about Axton modeling career which just like the slide show at the end is a lazy way of incorporating Axton, Salvador and Krieg into the game(in a physical form).
And for me the worst offender, you might call me crazy, how she jokingly mentions that being a ghost has benefits in the form of not needing to buy hair dye anymore. Sure just take away a big part of the magic aura and identity surrounding Sirens…
Because she is just a projection from Kriegs mind we still don’t have a real conclusion for Maya, which was half the part what this DLC was supposed to be.
We also still don’t get an answer why the B team split from Lilith and such.
And while it was nice talking to them inside Kriegs mind the inclusion of the Evil Raiders just reminded me of all the Ava centered dialogue from the main game that make it even more seem like the writers of BL3 have a massive hate for our main characters…
Also why are Liltih and Maya more like ghosts instead of just projections inside of Kriegs mind? The answer is probably just so that Gearbox can again tell us in the most awkward way “please note that we are aware of y’all waiting for a conclusion to this and that so here have… again none”
Oh and I surely don’t need to point out the epic heartfelt moment we were all waiting for: “I know she’s gone” Thanks for a proper send off for Maya
The ending is bittersweet but does this mean Krieg has now secluded himself and is inside his mind, catatonic on the outside just so he can be with his “perception” of Maya?
The dialogue after the ending is the cherry on top with Tannis proclaiming that with “whatever info?” we got her, she is now someday able to find out what makes a Psycho a Psycho, you know the thing that was already answered in Borderlands 1, has nothing to do with Krieg himself, gets awkwardly rewritten by this DLC which also declares the very same thing as one of its selling points… yet we are once again just as wise as we were before starting BL3 for the first time…
Also Tannis and (Sane-)Krieg’s dialogue, about freeing him doesn’t make one lick of sense because it would create a physical form of him, thus making 2 Kriegs (one personality each) exist in the physical realm at the same time.
All in all the DLC moves the story of Borderlands not one bit forward and yet succeeds at destroying it completly just by throwing in the occasional off-hand joke.
This DLC could atleast have been “good”, if it would just have 2-3 more areas and not shitting on all the lore for the sake of the one or two cheap offhand jokes, but alas…
So all in all I give this DLC: 3,5/10 Meatbicycles, 1/10 Cult of the Vault Symbols and 9/10 Ava’s!!!. Make of that what you want : P
Phew, if you read my other entries you know the drill. Thank you very much for reading this heap of text, Now go get a cookie
*Before anyone ask me where I take this information from: This is part of just one of many developer commentaries about the Manufacturers/world/characters that is written in the Borderlands 1 Goty Strategy Guide.