Home » Borderlands 2 Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep DLC Review

Borderlands 2 Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep DLC Review

Website Disclaimer: In this article I intend to address parts of the DLC which make reference to Borderlands 2’s story. If you have not yet completed the main story, I advise you not to read about, or purchase the DLC until you have done so, unless of course, story spoilers don’t faze you.

 

Tina rolling for initiative with a D8 on the left, a D20, and a D10 on the right.

Borderlands 2 is a game developed by Gearbox Software. Today, I cover the latest Downloadable Content expansion in which Tina plays a tabletop game with the three remaining original vault hunters while the new vault hunters beat up a Hyperion informant in the room under them. In this scenario, the players take control of the board game pieces in a hypothetical world to which Tina can make changes on the fly.

 

 

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It’s all Unicorns and Rainbows until someone gets hurt.

The story begins with the player arriving at the “Unassuming Docks of Potentially Little Importance”. Tina, Lillith, Brick, and Mordecai are responsible for assigning the player fixed objectives by either making free decisions or dice rolls with D20’s (twenty-sided dice). Lillith suggests that the player should head towards the town of Flamerock Refuge (which is a synonym of Fyrestone and Sanctuary), and then talk to some townsfolk upon arriving there.

 

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The Town of Flamerock Refuge. The Handsome Sorcerer’s tower can be seen in the background.

Talking to the townsfolk will reveal that the Handsome Sorcerer (Tina’s fantastical archetype of the original villain Handsome Jack) has wreaked havoc on the land and kidnapped the kingdom’s queen. The players then set off on what is initially an original adventure, but soon starts to draw close parallels with the main story. In other words, this is the way Tina copes with the different themes in the story and the events which make an impact on her life.

 

Roland, Tina’s Knight in Shining Armour.

Roland makes an appearance in this DLC, aiding the player (his turret included), and playing an integral role in the story as Tina’s way of coping with the character’s death. The original vault hunters express their distaste at Tina ignoring his idiosyncrasies and his reoccurring inclusion as “The Invincible Knight” in light of their recent grief coping with his loss. Other re-occuring characters who make an appearance are Ellie, Miss Moxxi, and Mr Torgue from the game’s second DLC.

 

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A typical scenario in Tabletop Board Games

One of the innovative and unprecedented things about this DLC is how’s Tina’s narration of the game and description of the game’s environments directly affects the player’s perception of the world. For example, Skeletons will appear out of an inter-dimensional cloud with almost no warning, and start to attack the player wielding archaic medieval weapons. The enemies in this DLC are all overhauled to have different behaviors to the standard enemies of the game, for example, a Paladin can shield himself and buff his allies and a Mage can cast a hailstorm spell to damage players in a wide area. A new enemy dubbed a “frenemy” is a pixie that will boost a random skill at a time if you manage to make physical contact with one.

 

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The new D20 chests in the DLC…

 

…and the new standard loot chests in the DLC. Watch out when opening them.

The DLC features new equipment, including new purple rarities of items denoted by different textures and names inspired by precious stones (emerald, diamond, etc), new Seraph equipment which provide players with a greater variety of class-builds, and unique items like magic spells and the “Swordsplosion”, a weapon that conceptually is just meant to fire swords but is tweaked after Mr Torgue’s ridiculous suggestions to improve the weapon are accepted by Tina.

 

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The new vending machines in the DLC.

Almost everything in this DLC has been completely re-worked, like the vending machines, which have been replaced with “Marcus’s Cannons”, “Dr Zed’s Apothecary”, and “Marcus’s Missiles”, to match the fantasy theme in the expansion. The areas all have their own unique feel and gimmicks, with a good fantasy themed soundtrack providing some enchanting ambiance in constrast to the dubstep/techno that is atypical of the main game’s soundtrack.

 

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One of the shrines in the new DLC

The new DLC brings new ways to spend the rare resource Eridium, including Eridium slot machines which cost two bars to use, Relic Shrines which provide temporary boosts to certain attributes for two bars, D20 chests which cost 5 bars to spin two D20s instead of one, a new method similar to slot machines where you can get a random piece of equipment for five Eridium, and a new raid boss that costs twenty Eridium to fight.

 

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Kill-stealing and Griefing ensues…

Overall, I thought the DLC was great, it is one of the best expansions I have seen in a long time, I personally feel that it is comparable to Bioshock Infinite; in the respect that it’s short but very awesome. The execution of humor is perfect, and the references to role playing games and the ridiculous scenarios that occur within them and conventions of these types of games were very funny and gratifyingly rewarding to anyone who had played RPGs.

 

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Lillith receiving a critical fail after rolling to pick up the gun

Because the main characters were very involved, and because a lot of content was revamped, and because it was actually relevant to the main story, I felt that this was the best Borderlands 2 expansion yet. Don’t get me wrong, all the other expansions were just as unique and interesting, but the relationship wasn’t a continuation of events and established personalities, it was more of an attempt to force-feed you additional content with unfamiliar characters that had no relevance to the story whatsoever. In the case of Borderlands, that’s somewhat acceptable, but I’m glad at least that the last few DLCs were inspired by feedback from the community, so that Gearbox could deliver something like this. I give Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep:

 

Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep DLC: 10/10

 

 

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