And what a booty it is.
Borderlands 2 blew me away last year as one of the best sequels and games I’ve ever played. So the happy task of playing through and reviewing all the DLC released has fallen to me. Bloody fantastic.
Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty, the first of many butt jokes, is the first campaign in five released in the Borderlands 2 season pass. It picks the player up at either level 30 or 50 and throws them into a world of ships, rum and questionable dress sense. The storyline focuses around the mysterious treasure of the sands being hunted by the eponymous Captain Scarlett and several other short-lived opponents. Anyone who has played Borderlands will recognise the formula. Quest + Odd Characters + Guns + Guns + Guns = Fun. So we’ll handle it like this.
Quest. The pacing of the game remains high throughout, launching from gun battles to skiff chases moment to moment. I had to backtrack a couple of times to complete a few quests and repeating the stages didn’t feel too arduous. There are enough new enemy types to deal with to keep it interesting including the incredibly frustrating and amusingly named Anchormen. The story trundles along never really stepping foot out of the bizarre but plausible territory, providing some excellent set-pieces and highly enjoyable fights.
Odd Characters. Gearbox seem to have made a habit out of making lovable irritating characters. Claptrap is so incredibly annoying he appears to surpass all notion of awful and come out as a positive. Captain Scarlett and her delightful Essex accent fall into this category. Her quips and general demeanour hardly fall into deep character development territory but the character is colourful which makes up for the lack of surprise. The supporting cast fit the expected Borderlands 2 perverts and lunatics, which provides the required level of humour. I’d like to hit one particular sun-stroked Hunter S. Thompson lookalike over the head with every line of dialogue he has but thankfully he is the exception to the rule. The game lacks any integration with any of the characters from the main campaign which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it would be nice to see more from the characters we know and love.
Guns, guns, guns. If anything this is the only area that really let me down in Captain Scarlett. I replaced two of my weapons carried over from the main campaign, everything else was sold. Borderlands drop mechanics have always been interesting to say the least, and after a short amount of research, I am aware that there are new legendary weapons and some named epics lying around but through the 8 hours I spent the game I received two drops worth having as minor upgrades. To avoid spoilers, the end loot shall remain undefined but it’s fairly underwhelming. On the plus side, all the vendor trash did allow me to hit some of the higher savings challenges.
Captain Scarlett, as the first DLC, had a few flaws but I enjoyed playing it. I honestly went into this game expecting a bit of a grind but came out enjoying the new unit types, areas and vehicles. Gearbox have managed to continue the feel and fun of Borderlands 2 into this new content and didn’t drop any elements of their formula. Spending 8 hours of my life, embroiled in a big mish-mash of pirate tropes, cheesy lines and loud explosions is something, at face value I’d probably turn down but give me the opportunity to shoot a barrel of gunpowder off the back of a psycho and I’d be pulling the trigger before you knew it.