In Borderlands 2’s newest DLC pack, entitled Mister Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage, there is a side quest where you have to murder a bunch of video game reviewers who gave a particular game a low score. For those of us who have to review this new content, the message is clear: Giving a Borderlands game a bad score can be bad for your health. Well played, Gearbox. Well played indeed.
Thankfully, Mister Torgue’s delivers the goods for the most part, and I don’t need to choose between lying and being murdered by a bunch of psychopaths. Whew.
Now, when we first saw the trailer for the new content, many of us were worried that we’d be getting a reskinned version of Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot, which was the worst Borderlands DLC ever. All Moxxi’s really gave us—besides an additional excuse to ogle Pandora’s most promiscuous female—was a basic Survival Mode and some new achievements/trophies. Judging by the trailer for Torgue’s, it looks to be the exact same thing.
Instead, though, Torgue’s focuses its story around a Slaughter Dome very similar to Moxxi’s Underdome where battles to the death are held. There is a rankings list, and the only way to move up the list is to murder whoever is above you. (Actually, that sounds eerily like the plot of No More Heroes, doesn’t it?) But instead of just taking out wave after wave of enemies in a round-based survival gameplay mode, you must follow a series of bizarre quests that have you find a sponsor (well, a couple sponsors), train by eating cookies, and even break into the dome at one point when you get locked out of it. All the while, you’ll be shooting psycho midgets the face and making things explode. It’s as crazy, bizarre, and sadistic as anything we’d expect from Borderlands.
Over the course of the story, we are introduced to some quirky new characters. The central figure, of course, is Mister Torgue himself, who oversees the whole tournament. He’s your stereotypical pro wrestling persona, and he loves to swear. Seriously, this guy doesn’t miss an opportunity to drop almost incoherent strings of four-letter words. Sure, they’re bleeped out, but trust me when I say that very little is left to the imagination. So all you terrible parents who are thinking about letting your eight-year-old play some Borderlands, just know that your kid is probably going to learn some new words to repeat at family gatherings. Enjoy your holidays.
And there are some cameos from recurring characters here as well. Personally, I’m thrilled to see Tiny Tina return, voiced again by the very talented and somewhat insane Ashly Burch. And for those of you who like Moxxi, she’s back too. In fact, some of the stuff she says this time around actually manages to be even more over-the-top than anything she’s said before, if you can believe that. Let’s just say she’s got an overabundance of fresh innuendos for us to ponder over (she claims they are a defense mechanism). You just have to love Moxxi, right?
All things considered, the story will make you laugh out loud while you’re making bandits’ heads explode with insane weaponry, which is pretty much exactly what we all want from Borderlands content. However, it won’t take you as long to complete as the previous DLC, Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty. Actually, as long as we’ve begun comparing the two sets of Borderlands 2 DLC, let me say this: Torgue’s simply does a whole lot less than Scarlett.
You see, the story isn’t quite as good (though it’s still sufficiently hilarious and entertaining), and there’s a whole lot less new land to explore. This smaller landmass also has less new enemy types to interact with. There are even a sadly reduced number of side quests, and several of them have you redoing missions you’ve already done, only with the difficulty cranked higher. Oh, and there still isn’t a level cap increase.
The most disappointing thing, though, is that there’s a bug that prevents some players from getting any loot at the end of the campaign. See, once you finish the final quest, there is a “Lootsplosion,” which rains epic amounts of loot for players to collect. In my playthrough, however, absolutely nothing fell from the sky. After doing a bit of research, it looks like this bug only affects PS3 users, and it doesn’t even affect all of them. Still, it’s pretty annoying to get your hopes up at the word “lootsplosion,” only to be let down by a complete lack of goodies to collect. Especially when you can go on YouTube and watch videos that will show you just how much loot you missed out on.
Also, the final boss is a pushover. While his first form is legitimately difficult, there is an exploit that clever players will discover, allowing them to bring it down without even taking any damage. And as long as you keep circle-strafing and jumping, the second form has few attacks that will ever hit you. It’s an unfortunately lackluster ending to an otherwise excellent campaign (which, by the way, has some pretty great surprises throughout).
So if you’re stuck choosing between Scarlett and Torgue’s, I would strongly recommend the former. But if you’re just looking to murder some more things and collect some more loot on Pandora, and if you’ve already completed Scarlett, Torgue’s provides several additional hours of Borderlands goodness.
Still, in an age of overpriced character skins and pay-to-win microtransactions, it’s nice to see that Gearbox is willing to put out substantial content that is well worth the asking price. And Mister Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage is certainly worth the asking price. As long as you don’t expect this one to live up to the insanely high standards set by the previous DLC, you shouldn’t be disappointed. I mean, I can think of far worse things to spend ten bucks on than an extra day or two in the insane loot-box that is Pandora.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 4.7 Graphics
The same great Borderlands visual style. 4.5 Control
Nothing’s changed here. 4.8 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The voice acting is great. Torgue is fun to listen to for anyone who doesn’t mind swearing, and the returning characters are as hilarious as ever. 3.4 Play Value
The campaign is noticeably shorter than the previous DLC, and the final fight oddly lacks the punch the rest of the campaign has. Still, it’s not a bad value for ten bucks. 4.0 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
|Review Rating Legend
|0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid
|2.5 – 2.9 = Average
|3.5 – 3.9 = Good
|4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
|2.0 – 2.4 = Poor
|3.0 – 3.4 = Fair
|4.0 – 4.4 = Great
|5.0 = The Best