Borderlands: Claptrap's New Robot Revolution
In a genre that's rife with by-the-numbers sequels and blatant copycats, Borderlands created a name for itself last year as a first-person shooter like no other. Thanks to some exceptional DLC support, the new franchise has continued to entertain gun-happy gamers for months. Claptrap's New Robot Revolution is the fourth DLC pack released by Gearbox, and after defeating the spunky robot's cybernetic army, we can't wait to see what the next Borderlands adventure will bring.
Like previous Borderlands DLC, Robot Revolution introduces the expansion's premise via an animated cutscene as soon as you fast travel to the new location. Your wholesale slaughter of Pandora's ample goons has made it easy to find free guns lying around the planet, which doesn't make weapon manufacturing corporation Hyperion happy. In order to return demand to the market, Hyperion creates an Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap, whose job it is to kill you. However, after seeing his fellow robots being abused at the hands of their cruel masters, INAC blows a circuit and begins his titular revolution. As a result, Hyperion now wants you to kill the robot that it programmed to kill you. Suffice it to say, the storyline isn't exactly Citizen Kane (a familiar complaint for Borderlands), but the DLC maintains a gonzo sense of humor.
Claptrap has always been the face of Borderlands, so it's nice to see the demented little robot get his moment in the spotlight. From a gameplay perspective, his fellow robots aren't very hard to kill; they will often stand completely motionless while they shoot at you, and their rectangular shape makes them easy targets. They can be overwhelming in numbers, however, and the exploding Kamikaze Claptraps killed me more than once. Even when they were trying to kill me, Claptrap's brethren were so cute that I felt a little guilty shooting them. Luckily, there's no shortage of other new enemies to kill, as all of Pandora's previous inhabitants have been upgraded with cybernetic components, including bosses from the other DLC packs.
The new locations are also impressive, showing off Gearbox's knack for making gigantic and detailed environments. I would have liked a little more variety in the scenery (it's mostly desert expanses and junk heaps again), but the levels are sprinkled with plenty of treasure chests that invite exploration. If you're looking for a reason to take your time, these hidden goodies (plus collection missions and bonuses for multiple playthroughs) will ensure you get your money's worth.
It took me about 4 to 5 hours to play through the main story missions with a co-op partner, though the secondary missions can double that, depending on how thorough you are. The DLC's final scene is pretty underwhelming, but the payoff for quashing a robot revolution is well worth it; after the credits, your employer at Hyperion gives you a key to the company's "gift shop" - a basement containing 18 treasure chests. After picking up the select few guns that were worthy of my arsenal, the leftovers were still worth millions of dollars.
A room full of treasure is a great reward, but the most intriguing moment of Robot Revolution came right before the final boss fight. In an all-too-brief cutscene, Pandora's weapons peddler Marcus teases that the treasure hunters are about to travel to a new planet named Eden 6. He doesn't give any details about the planet (and alas the trip is unceremoniously cancelled when INAP shows up), but he says that he has had a lot of crazy adventures there. Could this be a hint of the location for a potential Borderlands 2? Will it be more DLC? After all of the great content Borderlands has provided so far, I can't wait to find out.
Gearbox's fourth DLC expansion gives Borderlands fans another great reason to return to Pandora.