Thursday, February 21, 2013

Borderlands 2 Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt Review

I always wanted to know about Sir Hammerlock. He seemed quite eccentric, even from the start of Borderlands 2. With the addition of the Big Game Hunt DLC, you get plenty of opportunity to learn more about him. Unfortunately he becomes rather dull very fast. Where he was interesting in the full game, his dialogue in the DLC lacks the enjoyable aspect you get from the usual missions. His posh gentleman act gets on your nerves since it really serves no point except to antagonize the main villain.

When you first enter Aegrus (Sir Hammerlocks hunting getaway), you are immediately overwhelmed with the enormity of the area. The place is ridiculously huge. You spawn in the middle of a mountain and exit into a dark and dank swampland inhabited by monstrous creatures. Gigantic daddy long leg spiders and flying spores abound, and while they don't look especially difficult (the spiders are creepy though), they pack a huge wallop. They don't have any real critical hit points and they have a very large amount of health, so either you need a full team concentrating fire, or you need to run.

These enemies aren't nearly as bad as the tribal ones. Normal tribal warriors aren't much of a threat, and they will charge you in droves allowing for easy enemy attrition. However, their leader is a ridiculous concept; Witch Doctors. These guys are a pain in the tookus. They have a massive amount of hit points and their voodoo masks block all criticals. Not only do they wield magic such as lightning, fire, and twisters that all can kill in one shots without high health and shields, but they also have the ability to upgrade all of their compatriots. Regular warriors become Badass versions, Badass becomes Super Badass, then Ultimate Badass, etc. And don't even get me started on their ability to heal every single enemy in 5 square miles.

What is surprising though is how simplistic the large scale hunts are. You track an enemy who is supposed to be a a brutal beast capable of slaughtering an entire region, and yet they die within 5-10 shots. With a team of four, they last less than a minute, if that. These leave the Big Game Hunt" out of Big Game Hunt.

The main mission is also a bit of a drag. It's very short and ultimately fails to deliver a satisfying experience. There are a few really funny lines from the villain, Professor Nakayama, whose obsession with handsome Jack is amusing, although a tad bit creepy. His henchman (more tribal enemies) block your approach pretty much everywhere, but if you really want to bypass them, it's quite easy to run straight through.

The end is pretty boring, but kind of humorous. And it finishes the same way as the Captain Scarlett  DLC did. Get to the loot and the credits roll. One serious disappointment with the DLC is that while the enemies are hard hitting and very tough to damage, the loot is rather abysmal. The gear is scaled to your level, as is the norm, but the damage is laughable. You can get better white guns from the slots.

Hat is BEAST!

Final verdict is a mixed bag. The loot system and core gameplay are still present, so it is enjoyable in that regard. The environment does its job of making the area seem depressing and the ominous feeling of a creature around every corner. If you can overlook the ridiculous enemies and a lackluster story, it's definitely a buy. I know I had fun with it, but so far it is the least impressive of the Borderlands 2 DLC.

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