Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty gets Borderlands 2's four planned DLC expansions off to a very good start, and it's well worth the asking price. I just hope there's another Handsome Jack on Pandora somewhere, twisting his mustache while plotting his grand DLC entrance.
Forbes has the first part of a two-part scoreless review. Snippet:
With 30 new missions, 8 new Badass challenges, two new raid bosses, all on top of the main story – a hunt for treasure, of course – plus a whole new system of Seraph Crystals that can be used to purchase a new category of better-than-legendary pink weapons…well, you get the picture. The DLC is the very definition of expansive.
If you see anyone complaining about the length, they’ve almost certainly raced through the content. More’s the pity for them. That’s not how games like this are designed to be played if you want to get your hard-earned dollar’s worth.
For fans of the game, the $29.99 season pass is probably your best bet, bringing the cost of each expansion down to $7.50, and certainly worth the cost if the next three DLC installments are as high quality as Captain Scarlett. I’ve played entire single-player campaigns for AAA titles that come pretty close to this in terms of content but cost five or six times more money.
Gearbox sets the bar high with their first DLC for Borderlands 2 by introducing new enemies to fight, weapons you want to get your hands on, and some of the creepiest characters this side of a David Lynch movie. Hitting the 8-hour mark of the DLC, I still hadn’t covered all the areas, found the last bit of buried treasure, or even had the nerve to bring together a party to take on the raid boss. Vault Hunters looking to jump into the new content might want to wait until after betting the game or reaching that coveted level 50 stop. Pirate’s Booty won’t be a game changer, but it gives players more than enough to chew on until the next DLC comes out.
I loved every DLC that came out for Borderlands 1. Yes, even the Mad Moxxi one that was just wave after wave of enemies (and not just because it finally introduced a bank system). Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty feels like a continuation of that legacy that Gearbox has built for themselves. When you pop in a Borderlands game, you expect to have dialogue with quirky characters and to exchange your reliable elemental weapons for a shiny new purple one. And that's exactly what you get with this new add-on. The first DLC is well worth your time, even if it's just for that amazing sand skiff and some really impressive new weapons.
My only complaint regarding the new Borderlands 2 DLC are the maps. The maps are your typical dusty Borderlands design. I get the whole desert theme, but seriously Gearbox, would it kill you to throw a little grass or some forests at us? I loved the Wildlife Preserve map in Borderlands 2 and I was hoping the maps for Borderlands 2 newest DLC would be radically different. They're not bad, by any means, and capture the abandoned industrial ruin vibe quite nicely. But if you're expecting new, richly detailed environments you're going to be disappointed.
You know what you should do with all that disappointment? Go kill something. Lots of somethings.
And in case you were wondering whether the other DLC released, Gaige the Mechromancer, is worth its price, GameSpy has a brief piece on that too:
Back to the question at hand: is the Mechromancer Pack worth $10? Right now I would say no -- at least not unless you're already sick of playing as the four existing classes. And seriously, if you've played 160 hours in the past three weeks (which would be roughly seven hours per day since release), turn the PC off for a little while and go hug a human. Maybe in another few weeks, if your love of Borderlands 2 extends that far and long, then I would say yes, go ahead and relive the adventure again with a new character. Who knows? It might even go for cheap during the Steam Holiday Sale.
Until then, though, Gaige the Mechromancer is really a nice gift for pre-order customers, and I think you'd be better off saving the $10 for the rumored Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty DLC, or whatever the first content update is that actually provides new stuff to do with your existing characters in Borderlands 2. Either that or put it towards the $30 Season Pass that will give you all four of the planned add-on packs.