Review: ‘Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty’ DLC for ‘Borderlands 2’on October 23, 2012 at 8:00 am
Ahhh, the first true downloadable expansion for “Borderlands 2”. It seems that just yesterday I was picking up “Borderlands 2″ from the store and here we are, a month later, with DLC. They grow up so fast. *sniff*
I know we didn’t give you a proper review for the main game; but then, we didn’t really have to. If you couldn’t figure out how great the game was from the barrage of “Borderlands” themed comics we flooded this place with, then you’re pretty dense. Plus, it wouldn’t have been a very exciting read anyways, as I would only need two words for it.
That is, of course, if you were one of the four people who didn’t already. If you are, then you’re probably in a coma and I apologize that you’re not able to play the game… yet.
However, we do want to give you a proper review for the inaugural expansion. In relation to DLC, the most important question is always “Is it worth it?” If you’re the type of person who hates reading, then the answer is, “For the most part, yes.” If you like specifics, then keep going and drown yourself in the details.
The first thing you’ll notice about “Booty” is that it’s pirate themed. Don’t get too excited about setting sail on the high seas, though, because Pandora is a wasteland and this sea is now a desert. It’s cool though, because you still get a sweet new vehicle to cruise around in: the awesome Sand Skiff (“Star Wars” reference ahoy!).
The Sand Skiff is easily the most fun vehicle in “Borderlands 2”. Drifting around the sands and getting sideways while mowing over sand worms never gets tiring. The skiff also comes with a new weapon, the explosive harpoon. While that may sound like a spectacular weapon, it actually kinda sucks. It fires too slow and takes too long to detonate. Luckily, the vehicle still lets you select rockets or sawblades, so you’re not going to be struggling when you’re trying to make pirates explode.
Speaking of taking down pirates, you’re going to be killing lots of them as the DLC; not only re-skins all of the enemies you’re already familiar with, but a few new ones as well. I found an extremely annoying new friend to play with called the “Pirate Ninja”. He throws smoke bombs down and often appears right behind you, decimating your shield while you scream out a series of expletives, ‘What the fuck is hurting me?!” There is also an enemy called the “Dreadnought” which throws giant sea mines at you. If you explore enough, you’ll also run into an interesting cameo enemy, which I won’t spoil for you. I will just tell you that it comes from a game whose name rhymes with “Shiobock.” They’ll never guess, hehe.
None of that would be worth the price if there wasn’t a wealth of new content to dive into but there is no need to worry about that, because “Captain Scarlett” definitely delivers the goods. Including sidequests, there is a good eight hours worth of new “Borderlands” goodness that is on par with the stuff you have in the main game.
The writing is still excellent and that’s what I want to see because I think it’s one of “Borderlands 2’s” strongest traits. Anthony Burch still managed to keep things as clever and amusing as the main campaign. You’ll meet a new ally named Shade (Your New BFF) who has been driven insane by the death of everyone in his town, Oasis. He acts out, poorly, the parts of all the inhabitants of Oasis, which ends up being both amusing and kinda sad… mostly amusing, though.
The new villain, Captain Scarlett, is charming and evil, though not nearly as much as Handsome Jack. It’s hard to top Handsome Jack, as he has quickly become one of my favorite villains of all time, but Scarlett is uniquely loathesome in her own respect. When you first meet her, you are told, very matter-of-factly, that she will stab you in the back. She doesn’t hide it from anybody, yet she still has a near endless supply of minions. I suppose it’s the British accent that charms many a henchman.
You’re tasked with helping her find the Lost Treasure of Captain Blade. To do this, you need to collect four pieces of a compass that will direct you to the treasure. Why has Scarlett not already done this? Well, though she is ambitious, she seems pretty lazy. Always the kind of person to get other people to do stuff for her… then shoot them in the face when they’ve finished. Which she reminds you is going to happen once you complete your task. She’s a real peach.
If you win the day, then you win the treasure, which comes in the form of a room filled to the brim with loot chests. This makes the “purpose” of this DLC very similar to the “General Knoxx” DLC released for the original “Borderlands”. You get lots and lots of loot.
This is the polarizing aspect of this DLC release, however. Personally, going into this at level 50 and already having a modest selection of legendary weapons I’ve farmed, the loot you acquire throughout this quest is going to seem pretty lackluster. There are some interesting unique quest rewards, especially a very powerful shotgun. But, for anyone who is deep into the post game of Borderlands 2, nothing here is going to excite your craving for that next powerful piece of equipment.
“But,” you may be asking, “didn’t I hear there was going to be a new currency to purchase a new rarity of weapon?” Well, you heard correctly. There is a new rarity color. The weapons are pink and they’re called “Seraph”. If you want these special new weapons then you need to collect Seraph Crystals, which are dropped by this DLC’s two new “Invincible” bosses.
While the bosses do provide a pretty decent challenge and are fun to take down, Gearbox did these bosses “Raid” style. This means that you can only fight them once a day. Not a day in game time but a day in REAL time. This wouldn’t be so bad but the bosses aren’t even guaranteed to drop crystals upon defeat and the amount they drop is random. I’ve seen anywhere from 8-17 crystals pop out. Also, the Seraph items are expensive, most costing over 100 crystals. This means it could take you days to save up for just ONE Seraph item.
“Ah, so this loot must be pretty awesome if it takes so long to get, right?”
Eh, not so much. It’s not that the stuff is bad, it’s just so lackluster compared to the legendaries you can already farm in the main game. This is especially true once you consider how long it can take to collect the crystals to buy the stuff. Even disregarding the infamous “Bee+Conference Call” combo, I have plenty of legendary drops that far outclass these Seraph items.
If you’re NOT at level 50 though, then you’re probably going to walk away pretty impressed with some of the gear found here. It’s only when you compare it to level 50 gear that already exists, that you realize it’s not worth the effort to obtain the Seraph stuff.
That’s not to say the DLC isn’t worth playing. If you’re a fan of just doing some questing and indulging in the game’s unique and quirky characters and sense of humor, then “Captain Scarlett” is totally worth purchasing. It has enough new content and things to do that it feels like a solid and genuine addition to the main game.
Even though I have no need of the Seraph items, I fully enjoyed my time with “Captain Scarlett”. It’s only those people who are purely seeking an increase in the level cap or that next set of uber-loot that are going to walk away disappointed with this release. As for everyone else, game on!