The lights are on
Gearbox Software has been in rapid-fire DLC mode ever since Borderlands 2 released on September 18th. It’s barely been out two months, and we’ve already received a new class, the pirate-themed Captain Scarlett missions, and now the second mission pack, Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage. Does it live up to the high standards Gearbox has set with its previous downloadable offerings?
Out of all of the DLC across both Borderlands titles, Max Moxxi’s Underdome Riot (from the first game) is typically regarded as the weakest by far. It featured several horde-like arena modes that required multi-hour commitments to finish, and added virtually nothing in terms of narrative. Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage is a solid second offering for the sequel, but it also tends to fall into arena-like battles more often than not.
This isn’t a horde mode of any sorts, as there is a loose narrative tying the battles together. Similar to No More Heroes, these missions task the vault hunter with taking out a series of opponents in an effort to be ranked the number one badass of Pandora. Along the way, you’ll have the hilarious Mr. Torgue barking in your ear. All of his sentences sound like they’d be right at home in a 1980s pro wrestling promo, and he’s prone to attempt guitar solos using his voice when he gets especially excited. Plenty of humorous characters have inhabited Pandora across these two games, and I found myself laughing at Torgue just as frequently as mainstays like Scooter and Marcus.
A new currency is introduced in this DLC, and it’s rewarded after successful missions or when you kill certain badass enemies. These Torgue Tokens can be redeemed at new Torgue vending machines, which are stocked with ludicrously powerful weaponry. It’s nice to have a new, rare form of currency that’s more valuable than the gold that’s littered throughout Pandora.
I had a lot of fun going through this Campaign of Carnage, but the overall experience felt more shallow to me than Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty. Whereas that DLC took me to what felt like brand new areas and had me completing unique missions, these quests seem more standard by comparison. It’s a lot of running from point A to point B in generic environments, then fighting a ton of dudes in a big room. Given that it’s Borderlands, it was still fun to blast away at baddies with my high-powered gunzerker. I’m not disappointed with this offering, but I’d like to see future DLC packs experiment with wackier and more unique quests and environments.