After a less-than-lackluster DLC outing last time around, Borderlands 2 comes back into proper form with its latest downloadable content, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep. This heavily fantasy-themed expansion is loaded with new enemies, areas, weapons, and tons of the trademark irreverent humor and pop culture references the Borderlands series has always been known for.
While the Vault Hunter team from Borderlands 2 is interrogating a Hyperion spy on the floating citadel known as Sanctuary, the protagonists from the first title in the franchise engage in a fantastic pen-and-paper tabletop roleplaying game – Bunkers and Badasses- to pass the time. Their guide throughout their Dungeons and Dragons-inspired exploits is the titular Tiny Tina, an orphaned refugee of Pandora with a penchant for explosives, hip-hop slang, and crumpets. Her spectacularly short-sighted attention span and violent tendencies serve as the perfect personality traits to narrate players through her imaginary world of wonders.
Unlike Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt, which only added a handful of new enemies into the mix and had a rather subdued (see: flat) color palette, Assault on Dragon Keep revives players’ sense of exploration as they navigate through enchanted forests, ye olde towns, and giant towering castles complete with spiraling maelstroms overhead. Some of these environments change on-the-fly to correspond with Tina’s narration, turning beautiful clearings into gruesome pathways that unleash the unholy denizens of her mind on players at a whim.
Speaking of which, the new enemy roster that has been added in Tiny Tina’s assault on Dragon Keep are some of the most fun and varied to fight against since the Crimson Lance that were eliminated back in Borderlands 1’s The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC. Vault Hunters will have the pleasure of fighting different classes (i.e. new character models, not just reskinnings) of orcs, knights, spiders, living trees, and more fantasy-themed enemies. Battling groups of these baddies can become endurance matches, especially if you’re trying to fight your way down a dungeon hallway and enemies are teleporting about, dropping your team’s shields, and casting fireball spells seemingly all at once. Things can, and will, get crazy; even the best players will have to stay on their toes to overcome the challenges thrown in their path. Sure it may feel like a sadistic battle of attrition at times, but I thoroughly enjoy games that force me to rise to an occasion.
Players should also be on the lookout for a few familiar faces from the Borderlands franchise making their return in new appropriately themed NPC roles that are a real treat to interact with. I won’t spoil anything, but there are quite a few rainbows and sparkles involved.
As a veteran Vault Hunter who has enjoyed (and sometimes endured) every Borderlands offering that Gearbox Software has released, I am happy to see the franchise go back to its core values of action and humor while adding enough new content to make this DLC a worthwhile purchase. Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep is an incredibly fun few hours of content that Borderlands fans or any fantasy aficionados will absolutely love to experience.
Borderlands 2 Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep is available to download now on PSN, Xbox Live, and Steam.
Borderlands 2 Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep Official Trailer
Borderlands 2 Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep Official Gameplay