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Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep Review

Ma'idah Lashani | 25 Jun 2013 07:00
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Borderlands' sense of humor has always been a celebration of geek culture. It's a world full of allusions that are somehow equal parts reverence and satire, and is perhaps as well known for that as it is for its gun variety, psycho goons, and over the top freeze frame character introductions. The latest DLC, Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, is no exception to that rule. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll do morally questionable things like forcefully intoxicate dwarves in order to crush them and steal the beard-hair from their cold, dead bodies. You're going to have a wicked good time playing this, and for a good 10 to 20 hours at that.

As a vault hunter you've saved the world twice over now, and yet, as impossible as it seems, life somehow still goes on in the Borderlands. The villains have been vanquished, but so have many friends - including some that were very dear to our favorite preteen psychopath, Tina. In true geek fashion, Tina is dealing with her grief by turning to the one place she knows she can hide from a truth that she's not yet ready to face: Her imagination. Who hasn't been there? And so our plucky survivors trade guns for dice and set off to start their first campaign of Bunkers & Badasses. This of course makes Tina the Bunker Master, or B.M, a title only to be invoked in the most dire of circumstances.

Your journey starts by drifting into the Flamerock Refuge Docks, a land blighted by an evil and suspiciously handsome sorcerer. The sorcerer's tower looms menacingly over the small local village, and it's your quest to defeat him and restore peace to the land. Your adventure will be a veritable theme park of fantasy references ranging from Lord of the Rings to World of Warcraft as you set out to rescue the ubiquitous kidnapped princess. Ordinarily such a derivative plotline might feel cliché, but the game is self aware enough to make it feel like an inside joke, turning what could have been boring into something quite funny instead.

You'll encounter a host of new warriors and weapons to mow them down with, though the new mix of weapons isn't anything to write home about. Orcs, dragons and all manner of classic undead minions will slink out from the shadows to ambush you in force. Some of them will spring from unexpected places, like the Mimic that resembles a chest until you try to loot it: The worst nightmare of someone hooked on that box opening kick. It's similar to the main game's loot midgets, but slightly more terrifying as the container itself morphs into a creature resembling the classic 80's version of The Thing.

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