As you may be aware, I loved Borderlands. Giving it my game of the year vote last year, it has enjoyed the coveted position as the title I have played most since buying it, made even more enjoyable with the Zombie Island DLC released before christmas.
General Knoxx is the 3rd piece of DLC for Borderlands and comes with some very appealing features: Firstly there is an increased level cap to 61, allowing for further customisation and skill slots; but the main part of the DLC comes in the form of new areas to explore - which are far more open and vehicle friendly. Unlike the latter sections of the original - where most travel was limited to teleporters - this add-on requires that you drive almost everywhere.
The good news is that there are 2 new vehicles, the Monster and Lancer. Both are fun to use, with the lancer being particularly devastating in 4 player co-op, as one person drives and the other three man the mine launcher, turret gun, and blast feature. Although these extra vehicles do provide some variety, issues from the first game (the vehicles being extremely weak for one) are still present. Coupled with the insane regen rate of the new enemy ‘Drifters’, getting around cam become extremely frustrating unless you’re on an open road away from the dunes. This is a small gripe however, as the 44 new missions are an absolute hoot.
The premise is as such: Atlas are moving back to Pandora, and anyone who played through Old Haven in the original will know that these troops were among the toughest in the game. Most of the combat revolves around fighting these guys. Except now they have rocket packs, ‘devastators’ (picture the dreadnoughts from Avatar) and ‘Bad-ass’ versions to contend with. The new variety of enemies is excellent, the skag riding bandits are very tough and a bit more thought needs to go into planning how you will approach a fight. True enough, some are the old ones with a lick of paint; but it is very pretty paint. Ninjas, walkers and loot midgets will surprise you and annihilate you at every turn, so the sense that you really are fighting through this content never lets up.
The only gripe I had with the game was that although 50 was the level at which you would enter, it was almost impossible to get past the first area as everything was at least 2 levels above. Head back into your playthrough, get to 52 then go back and watch your enemies dissolve/burn/explode/electrocute their way to oblivion.
The increased level cap is a bonus, the writing is still absolutely hilarious, and the ending is far more in keeping with what we were expecting at the end of the first game. Looting is still very addictive, and I’m still trying to find one of the ‘ultra rare’ weapons that is apparently hidden somewhere. Out of all the DLC, and as enjoyable as Zombie Island was, I’d recommend this to anyone that wants a bit more mileage from an excellent shooter.