Game Review: Borderlands “Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution” DLC
Release: September 28, 2010
Genre: Role Playing Shooter
Developer: Gearbox Software
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC
MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00)
ESRB Rating: Mature
Website: Borderlands Official Site
I love Borderlands. Yeah it may have been traded in along the line somewhere between DLC of Mad Moxxie’s Underdome Riot and The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, but I eventually bought it back due to fond memories of shooting flaming midgets in the face with a rocket-shooting shotgun. After I caught up on the sad letdown of Mad Moxxie and the really enjoyable General Knoxx, I eagerly awaited another installment. And here we are today, with Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution. This time your friendly neighborhood Claptrap, after being turned into the Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap at the end of Borderlands, has become fed up with the way he’s been treated and plans a “robolution.” He and his army of maniac robots plan a complete takeover of Pandora. Hyperion Corp hires you to take them, and the hundreds of enemies they have essentially “claptrap-ified,” all down.
If you’ve played Borderlands, you know what to expect. Get missions from crazy characters, go find something to shoot in the face, drudge through the piles of shiny weapons littered at your feet, find some important trinket left in the middle of nowhere, and turn it in. Rinse and repeat. There are bounty boards, tons of chests, and even more loot for you to fight with your friends over. It’s all still here. Extras added this time include: 21 new missions, 10 new skill points, and 3 more backpack upgrades.
The map here is very theme park styled: you have a hub world, and about five branching paths that lead to the new maps. You won’t find any long stretches of road and highway the General Knoxx expansion was notorious for (never did understand why). And while I wouldn’t call the new areas particularly small, there is a noticeable difference in size compared to those giant open stretches of land found in General Knoxx. Due to these more contained maps, much of your time will be spent walking from checkpoint to checkpoint (Sirens of the world, rejoice; you’re Phase Walk skill will be a life saver here). The 21 new missions include 12 story quests and 9 side quests, and as usual, story quests are generally better and more varied than the otherwise forgettable side quests.
This slight shrinking of the world never bothered me enough to get in the way of the sheer fun it is to kill everything that moves in this game. While there aren’t many new guns (that I found anyway, considering this game and it’s random gun generation, you may find way more) it’s still a thrill to fiddle around with different upgrades and class mods. The well-known humor is also back, though not as much present as I found it to be in General Knoxx (you really can’t beat Scooter making quips about Jesus’ erogenous zones), but still enjoyable. Especially some of the statues you come across that parody famous historical peoples and their speeches, my favorite being “Give us open ports for remote access or give us death!” Between that and the darkly humorous propaganda announcements the Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap makes on broadcast speakers around Pandora, I found myself constantly chuckling at the great writing.
On the not-so-positive side: the quests. I found in this new expansion the resurgence of one of my most-hated quests in all of the original Borderlands, including DLC: The Zombie Island of Dr Ned’s Braaaains mission. Here you’re tasked to collect 6, then 42, then another 75, then another 100, and finally another 150 claptrap parts. Admittedly, it’s slightly less to forage than the Braaaains mission, but here what makes it worse is that I felt no satisfaction in the rewards I was getting. Some may argue that here it’s slightly more bearable due to the fact that all you must do is kill the claptraps, and for the zombies you had to shoot them in the head. I disagree. There I found satisfaction in seeing the zombies’ heads exploding and finding a scatter of 30 brains on the ground, knowing I really earned them. Here it’s a bit less satisfactory (i mean they are robots, no blood and guts) and way more noticeably repetitive. If it didn’t have an achievement attached to it, I would have turned the cold shoulder to the entire mission.
Oh and don’t think I didn’t catch you making almost all the achievements this time out tied into these fetch quests, Gearbox. I seriously have to “Collect 15 Claptrap Bobbleheads”? You get these from random drops after killing claptraps. I’ve found one in my entire playthrough of the expansion, and have a friend who never even saw one (despite playing through it already) before then. It’s random chance, no skill required, and those are my least favorite types of achievements.
Mitchel’s Final Say:
Just so you guys are sure to understand my opinion, my favorite expansion was The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, and least favorite (I mean who really has time for all those coliseum rounds) was Mad Moxxie’s Underdome Riot. Claptrap’s Revolution fits right between those two. Despite the dark cloud of some repetitive grind-fests, it’s fun, classic Borderlands. It’s also practically worth the price of admission just to see your favorite spider-ants, maniacs and thought-to-be-dead foes with their brains in a jar over their head and spouting confusion as to how and why they’re alive now. If you’re new to Borderlands, I’d say start with the earlier DLC and get to this later (you would get decimated anyway). However, if you’re a die-hard Borderlands fan, and no pun intended, but it’s really a no-brainer.