Last week we've looked at the two downloadable characters, Gaige & Krieg. This week we'll be looking at the first two story-based DLCs. For starters, let's take a look at the first story DLC, Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty. Shiver me timbers, mates!
Taken from the DLC intro/Borderlands wiki:
"Legends speak of Captain Blade's Lost Treasure of the Sands, of a prize so great that men would turn the sands red in pursuit of it, of a pirate queen, courageous and deadly, who would stop at nothing to find it, of a monstrous Leviathan, of the Vault Hunters who journeyed to the desert town of Oasis, not knowing the horrors that would befall them."
Goofy, odd, and silly. That's the way a story in Borderlands 2 should be!
Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty takes place in a particularly arid section of Pandora. In ages past, the town of Oasis and the surrounding area once had water. Due to some unfortunate circumstance, however, the area has dried up, and a lot of the surrounding wildlife & civilization died off. All that now exists are burrowing Sand Worms, particularly vicious Stalker, and of course, Pirates. Everybody, and everything, are in a desperate fight for survival & loot.
Right away, you first arrive in Oasis. Thanks to the efforts of the lone demented occupant, Shade, a warped semi-balance of life still exists within the town, as he setup numerous bodies in an attempt to make things seem normal. From there, the player heads to Wurmwater, where signs of the sea are still present, mainly in the form of the numerous pirate settlements & ruins. After that, you travel to Hayter's Folly, which is my favorite location in the DLC. Think of the calm waters & beaches of the Caribbean with a serene grotto, and you have Hayter's Folly. After mowing down the various scallywags, you make it to the Rustyards, a dump filled to the brim with scrap metal & brigands. Once you hook up with the hermit Herbert, he orders you to journey to Washburne Refinery, an abandoned Hyperion facility filled with robots. Once they're cleared out, and you recover the items needed to create the compass needed to find the treasure, your next to last spot to travel to is the Magnys Lighthouse. A small group of pirate villages surround a massive outcropping, on top of which rests the aforementioned lighthouse. Once the light is turned on, it's a quick trip to The Leviathan's Lair, where you fight a monstrous beast, and discover the lost treasure of Captain Blade.
Each section of the DLC have their own individual look & feel, and you can tell that the developers put time and energy to creating a colorful setting, full of character & charm. It's a place full of swashbucking adventure, and some of the weirdest character's you'll ever come across.
This DLC introduces a new, but small, cast of characters. The first one you meet is Shade, and he's a bit of a oddball. He's dressed up like Hunter S. Thompson from Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, and due to suffering from extreme dehydration & madness, he's posed the corpses of the former townsfolk & tied loudspeaker to them in an effort to retain something of a lifestyle. There's also Aubrey Callahan III, a very apathetic young women trying to hide her past. Mercer acts as the cook of Captain Scarlett's crew, and is a bit of a cynical grump. You also get to meet (Unfortunately) Herbert, a massively creepy pervert that's obsessed with everything about Captain Scarlett. Speaking of the captain.......
Captain Scarlett is definitely the star of the show, with Shade & Herbert trailing right behind. She's downright hilarious, and right away she says she'll stab you in the back when you find the treasure chamber of Captain Blade. Scarlett is also very quirky, goofy, and is full of odd one-liners (Example: Part of me feels bad about not being able to kill Sandman, but the other part of me is glad that I got to stay back here and read the latest issue of Crimefighter Frog. It's about a frog...that fights crime).
Scooter & Sir Hammerlock from the main game make small guest appearances, with Scooter having you pick up scrap parts to keep Sanctuary flying in the air, and Sir Hammerlock tasking you to slay a monster. The time these two characters have is short, sweet, and to the point.
Gameplay is basically the same thing, but the quests in this DLC are very quirky. Some of them include gathering fruit to prevent scurvy, killing pirates for their wooden legs & gold teeth, and finding a bottle of whiskey for one of Shade's bodies/people in Oasis. It's these kinds of quests that really bring out the personality of the DLC.
However, those quests aren't my favorite. The ones that enjoyed the most are the "Message In A Bottle" side-quests: you locate them by finding a bottle hidden in one of five areas, and they tell you go find a "X Marks the Spot" somewhere in the map. Once you locate them, you've given a reward in the form of a special cursed Pirate item (2 Weapons, 1 Class Mod, 1 Shield, 1 Grenade Mod. The items give you a benefit, but they also apply a negative effect as long as they're in use), as well as a Echo journal with a small story about Captain Blade, and how he came to hide the treasure. The reason why he did is actually kind of tragic, but I won't spoil the story for you.
The combat is as intense as the original game was, with an even mix between melee & ranged opponents. You have returning enemies like Stalkers (a special kind known as Tri-Tail Stalkers, which can only be found in this DLC), Spiderants, and Loaders (A new kind of Loader, known as the ARR Loader, can be found in this DLC only), but it's the Pirates that take the center stage. Using partially re-skinned bandits for some of the pirates, these blue and/or red dressed foe have accents that sound like goofy British pirates, and sometimes can be seen wearing traditional (?) high seas hats. There are also completely new pirates for you to fight, from anchor wielding Anchormen, to dual sabered Buccaneer, and to spear throwing Deep Sea Wailers. Their individual tactics really do challenge you, and you'll often find yourself adapting on the fly.
This DLC also introduces a brand new vehicle for use in the game (The DLC only), and that's the Sandskiff. Looking like a cross between a wooden boat & skiff vehicle from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, the Sandskiff can be armed with 1 of 3 weapons: a rocket, a sawblade, and a harpoon (Sticks onto a target, and explodes a short time later). The Sandskiff seems to be a little tighter in terms of control, and isn't quite as prone to accidents or getting stuck as the other vehicles before it did.
A new addition in Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty (Also introduced in the rest of the story DLCs) is the introduction of the Seraph Guardians. You have two available to fight, Hyperius the Invincible, and Master Gee the Invincible. These raid bosses are incredibly tough, and are best fought with a full group of people (Although there have been plenty of people that defeated them on their own). These bosses drop a variety of loot, including Seraph crystals & weapons. Speaking of Seraph...
Seraph is a new item type introduced in this DLC (As well as the rest of the story DLCs). Using a pink color to separate themselves from the other rarities, Seraph Weapons & items can only be bought from the Seraph Vendor in town (In case of this DLC, Seraph items are bought from the vendor in Oasis), and Seraph Crystals are the only currency that you can use (Each guardian drops 10 crystals on average. Seraph Weapons cost 120 crystals on average, while other Seraph items tend to cost just 50 crystals) to obtain these items. Seraph Weapons & Items definitely have qualities that place them above the rest, but at the same time have some kind of drawback to balance things out. To see what one of the Seraph Weapon from this DLC, take a look at the picture below.
Finally, there are also many new weapons introduced in Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty, all of which have a pirate theme to them. From a shotgun who's pellets fly out in a skull & bones pattern, to a rocket launcher that fires cannonballs, nothing is safe from being imbued with the essence of piracy.
GRAPHICS & SOUND
The graphic have remained the same here like in the main game, albeit with new textures for the areas, enemies, and weapons. The sound has also remained the same, but there are the goofy voices for some of the pirates. Once thing that is different is the music, as there are new pieces created for many of the levels. The new pieces all contribute to the pirate theme of the DLC, with some being goofy & silly, and others having a more serious tone. Here's a sample song below:
OVERALL & RATING
Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty is a load of fun! From the characters to the treasure, there's never a dull moment to be had.The loot is nice to find, and it's great to mow down fresh scores of new enemies. All I can say is grab a friend or two, put on an eye patch, and take a trip to the sandy seas of Oasis.
Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty gets a 9 out of 10.
See you all later this week, when we'll EXPLODE!!! Until then, stay Otaku!