Borderlands 2 was released only a short time ago, September 18 to be exact. But Gearbox has already shipped its first class addition in the form of The Mechromancer and now it’s first of four fully substantial expansions. Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty takes place in the new unlocked area known as Oasis, the once beautiful exotic land has become a baron wasteland as all the water has mysteriously disappeared. But you could care less right? You are here for loot. The plot of the Captain Scarlett expansion revolves around Scarlett herself helping you find the great lost treasure of Captain Blade, the treasure is hidden and guarded by the monstrous Leviathan. Looks like it is time to once again grab your backpack, it’s time…Looting time.
As soon as you arrive in Oasis you will notice everything is pirate themed, from the small changes to the music to give it that Caribbean vibe, to the new names of the varieties of enemies. Now the enemies in the expansion are basically re-skinned versions of the original games enemies, midgets will now have a pirate hat, marauders will now be covered with a blue scarf around their head, but you can definitely tell these are basic re-skins and not a mixture of new enemies. The way they act, the way they move, the AI replicates the originals perfectly. This isn’t that big of an issue, since you will completely forget once you start playing through the side missions and the main story arc available. But personally some more variety in adversaries would have been appreciated since this was paid content, paid new content might I add.
Captain Scarlett is overloaded (no she isn’t fat) with content. The expansion adds on 8 chapters of main story, which alone will take about 5-6 hours to complete. But also boasts 20+ side missions, including new missions from some of Sanctuary’s finest, a tonne more loot and for those that complete it, be prepared for another massive boss raid for your enjoyment. This alone makes Captain Scarlett well worth the price of admission, you receive about 12+ hours of content and for those of you who cannot get enough Borderlands action (Like me), then this is more of that crazy, zany humour along with more missions to extend your loot driven experience.
The expansion adds another vehicle called the Sand Skiff, this is a mixture between the Hammerhead from Mass Effect 3 and a sail boat. The Skiff hovers above and unlike all the vehicles in Borderlands 2 prior to the expansion, actually controls well. There is nothing more annoying than using vehicles in Borderlands 2, but the Skiff provides a great experience that handles like a dream boat (pun sort-of-intended).
Now the main negative component of this expansion pack is with the content itself, the main story is fairly lengthy but the story is not very intriguing and mainly consists of fetch quests that require you to fetch 3-4 things from 3-4 different locations, extending the amount of time you spend within each mission. Not only this but the side missions make you visit multiple locations multiple times and the fact is, each location feels sort of bland in comparison to the main game. I know the game is themed around sand pirates, but apart from one underground cave location (Which looked gorgeous) it all seems to be far too much like the original Borderlands.
The original got complaints for lack of environment diversity; it was all baron desert, wasteland or junkyard. The DLC has you spend a majority of your time driving the Sand Skiff to travel around the large locations; it all becomes apparent that the land is very bare and uninteresting. Were they made unnecessarily large? I personally think so, it made getting through the end of the DLC a real grind, which was one of my major issues of the original.
Now I don’t hate the content that was delivered here, far from it. This content pack delivers some very memorable characters and as usual some generally laugh out loud moments, including more references to pop culture, which makes Borderlands such a special world to visit. It also adds plenty more content along with three additional trophies, and some of the side quests actually require some real thought.
There are now bottles that you can find in certain areas of the map, these bottles have a note placed inside which gives you the general location of some hidden treasure. These missions were very interesting as they were different, not your typical fetch quest or kill a certain amount enemies, searching for these hidden chests required some great investigative work and some were literally extremely hard to find. The chests within Captain Scarlett also received a makeover to look like pirate chests; these looked very cool and gave that added extra detail that Gearbox left us marveled in from the main game.
Captain Scarlett and her Pirate Booty gives players what they were after, more Borderlands. This pack will extend players games considerably and actually gives more content then some full retail games this generation, offering an array of new loot and extra level 50 content, this is a must buy for Borderlands addicts. However the lack of variety and the repetitive environments feel like this is two steps forward and three steps back, almost every point Borderlands 2 improved from the original seems to be forgotten. This really does feel like DLC for the original game in that respect, though it will provide some great characters and the usual comedic genius you would expect from the world of Pandora.
Here is hoping the next content pack provides some of the great things we loved about the main game, instead of feeling like the one that got away.
Jamie Briggs is on a mission from god…To platinum Borderlands 2. He also runs Analog Addiction where you can find all his latest reviews, interviews and features and also like them on Facebook. Also follow his daily life on Twitter @AnalogAddiction and his videos on YouTube.