The latest (fourth) DLC for Borderlands 2 released on June 25th (yesterday). TTAODK, here-within further abbreviated as TT (isn’t it strange how abbreviated is a rather long word?), puts the vault hunters back into the world of Pandora, but shifts gears in several ways.
For those of you that haven’t played Borderlands 2 (or BL1 for that matter) I urge you to give it a try. It isn’t for everyone, but it is a fun time-waster that only gets better with friends co-op’ing along side you!
It should go without saying, there are SPOILERS in this post, as I assume you’ve played through at least the primary BL2 campaign and don’t mind knowing the end-game of the DLC.
SPOILERS FROM HERE DOWN!!!
So, Pandora is safe (safer?) now that Handsome Jack is gone. The original (remaining) vault hunters have gathered to take part in a D&D style game, with Tiny Tina acting as GM (DM). The fantasy themed expansion was way more than I expected when I read the notes about it months ago. It was both a fantastic continuation in true BL style, and a somber conclusion to a few character’s lingering emotions resulting from the ending of BL2 (more on this in a moment).
At ~1.3 GB, TT marks the largest and (IMO) the most in-depth DLC released to date. Nearly every game asset is altered to match the fantasy theme. New and unique dialogue from several named NPCs helps tie the entire experience together. Mad Moxxi and Mr. Torgue make all too brief appearances in the main quest chain, but are available for side-quests.
In true tabletop style, players are able to roll for better loot at special chests, and can even increase their chances by trading Eridium for an extra ‘die’. Also, Eridium is used as currency at several performance shrines, to increase player’s offense/defense or ammo regeneration.
Storyline (In a nutshell):
While the BL2 hunters are interrogating someone from Hyperion, the BL1 hunters (sans Roland) play a game of “Bunkers & Badasses”. The storyline that Tiny Tina creates is a child-like version of BL2 campaign, simplified to: The queen is captured by the “Handsome” sorcerer. Rescue the queen and kill the sorcerer, or darkness will rule forever!!! Its apparent that things are a little awkward from the first few moments of TT, partly because none of the BL1 hunters seem to understand the D&D concept, and partially because Tina seems to want to wait until Roland shows up before starting. The hunters delicately say that Roland won’t be showing up… (Pour one out for the fallen homie)
The game plays out with Tina making terrible DM/GM decisions and getting the player killed several times, before ‘balancing’ the story. Jack is obviously the sorcerer, and it’s made clear that he will kill the queen if you don’t get to Dragon Keep and stop him. As part of the plot, the player must seek out the ‘White Knight’ to succeed in defeating the sorcerer. As you’ve guessed, Roland is the White Knight (as played by Tina). The hunters begin to voice their concern at Roland’s presence in the game, but are loud-capped by Tina. This happens several times throughout the rest of the game.
Troves of orcs, skeletons, treants, and dwarves later, we fight a dragon, then Angel (Jack’s daughter… who is also a spider-sorceress), then finally multiple versions of Jack. Its at this point, after many moments of foreshadowing and awkward progress regarding the Roland issue, that Tina ‘teleports’ Roland into the last battle. The hunters forcibly tell Tina that Roland is dead, he can’t fight, and is gone forever. Tina begins to cry, and explains that she knows that Roland is dead, but in her story she doesn’t want him to be. —Hold a moment—
This is an interesting part of the story. I would describe the BL series as sarcastic, sadistic, gory, funny, lude, crude, rude, ridiculous, and spontaneous .. Never before have I ever really thought of the plot or the characters as being serious or emotional. —Back to the story—
One by one the hunters comfort Tina, telling her that Roland doesn’t have to be dead in this story. She continues the final battle story, having Bloodwing return and save the day. The queen is released, and revealed to be::drum roll:: Butt Stallion! She prances around pooping loot, and then the final cutscene rolls. In it ‘Maya’ comes in saying that they got the code to the moon base. Marcus narrates over a scene of Tina hugging a giant statue of Roland. fin…
Personally, I really enjoyed this DLC. Tina’s journey from denial to acceptance of the loss of both Roland and Bloodwing was unexpected, but gladly accepted. It made the story and content mean more to the BL universe, and expanded the stories of Tina and the BL1 hunters. I definitely recommend it!