Borderlands is the epitome of insane fun, insane action, and just plain insanity. And nothing shows that more than the latest DLC release of Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep. The craziest character in any video game ever, now has you at the mercy of her twisted, freaky mind. Roll for initiative suckas!
First off if you haven’t finished the main story quest, do so before starting Tiny Tina’s DLC, otherwise the main story will be spoiled for you.
It’s time for the first ever game of Bunkers and Badasses! The original Vault hunters are taking a well deserved break (I’m being generous here, I mean what did they actually do during the game?) while the new ones are busy beating some info out of a Hyperion thug. Tiny Tina has decided to liven up the party with a new game she’s designed. Reminiscent of D&D (okay, EXACTLY like D&D but with guns), the Vault hunters take on the roles of the current Vault hunters who are shrunk down in size, except they are actually toys because the real ones are busy beating up that thug, but you still are playing as them except you aren’t them… It’s all very technical. Let’s just say the entire thing takes place inside Tina’s head.
You travel to the Unassuming Docks (best name for a place, ever) where the sun is shining and there are rainbows in the air. Until Lilith points out that Tina said the land has been taken over by an evil sorcerer who has made it dark and evil. Like a flash the setting changes and Tina now announces the world is dark and “smells like butts and dead people”. I almost fell out of my chair when Salvador in-game says “Hey, this place smells like butts and dead people!” A better intro to a DLC, there is none. It’s not even 5 minutes in and we’re dying of laughter. The mood doesn’t dampen directly after when Tina sends an invincible dragon at us which downs us all at the same time. Again, Lilith points out that you can’t put an unbeatable boss in the game at the beginning, so Tina admits that’s a good point and suddenly we’re all back on our feet.
The amount of hilarity in this DLC never ends. Mr. Torgue shows up leading to some of the funniest dialogue in anything ever of all time along with other things (hint: EXPLOSIONS!!!). The references in the game to pop-culture and sci-fi/fantasy elements litter everything. I mean everything. Red shirts from Star Trek, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, even Ellie (fat Ellie, not Last of Us Ellie) is decked out in a slave Princess Leia outfit (shudder).
Now, even though the DLC is chock full of humor, it also has a very delicate side. The world is invented by a psychotic thirteen year old girl, but she is also just a thirteen year old girl. Tina continuously tries to deny that anything in the world is wrong, while the setting of the DLC betrays her as a manifestation of the pain and torment of loss, which shows incredible growth in Tina’s character. It really impacts how the writers felt about the story, connecting with the characters in more ways than just sex jokes and foul language. The emotional aspect may linger underneath the funny moments, but it occasionally shines through.
Enemies in this DLC have changed a lot. You aren’t just fighting re-skinned skags or raiders. You face creatures like undead skeletons, necromancers, orcs, knights who use swords and longbows, mages who shoot lighting and cast fireballs. There are sprites that can help you if you capture them, or hurt you if you piss them off. Even the trees attack you (literally, the trees try to eat you). There are multiple missions that are beyond incredible and so many more that will just make you tear up from laughing.
The DLC really excels in the story, which is great because, outside of a few select pieces, the loot really doesn’t exist. You’ll find eridium like mad, which serves a large purpose in this DLC since the slot machines use it this time around, and there are certain weapon chests where you can roll a 20-sided die to get guns, or spend 5 eridium and roll two dice. A couple of new grenade mods really add to the “magic” feel. You can toss fireballs or bolts of lightning, and these mods regenerate your nades over time. The biggest weapon is probably the best one in the entire game. Imagine a shotgun. Now imagine a sword. Now imagine a sword being propelled from the shotgun. Now imagine Mr. Torgue telling Tina to make it “EXPLODE!” Now imagine a sword being propelled from the shotgun, hitting an enemy, exploding into several new swords, all of it culminating in a gigantic explosion of awesomeness! Ladies and gentleman, I give you, the gun that shall never, ever leave my right weapon slot. Ever.
This DLC is wacky beyond belief. The laughs never end, and while the loot could be better, the stuff we do get is definitely memorable. Gearbox really stepped it up with this DLC, and their dedication shows. Probably the best DLC I’ve played since Shivering Isles for Oblivion. If you haven’t bought this DLC yet, you really are missing out on a great time. Oh, and if you see a certain familiar yellow contraption, follow him. You’ll appreciate it oh so much.