Borderlands 3 does a good job of not punishing you for not having played Borderlands 2. There is a mandatory training tutorial with Claptrap, but it’s not too annoying because it allows you to do the thing you came to do, shoot things and get loot. There’s even a tutorial boss to get you acclimated to the mechanics of the fight. All the while Lilith is warping in and out of your mind saying that she’s coming, but she’s definitely taking her sweet time.
In case you were not aware, Borderlands 2: The Handsome Collection is free if you have a PlayStation Plus subscription or the Xbox Game Pass. It’s also free on Steam. During E3 last week, Gearbox announced a free DLC to get players pumped for the next installment in the Borderlands franchise.
It’s called Borderlands 2: Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary. Seeing how all of this content is free right now, I decided to jump in and check it out.
First, I do have one confession. I needed to use the newcomer boost to get to level 30. I wanted to play the new content, and even though grinding power levels is a wonderful pass time, I chose the most effective route to get to the new stuff. So thank you Gearbox for the option.
Don’t judge me.
Once I got into the game, I was very impressed. The gun-play feels so good and your character feels very powerful. Plus, some of the commentaries by the NPC’s made me absolutely belly laugh at times. Whoever wrote the script much be hilarious in real life.
In the campaign, Lilith and the rest of the Crimson Raiders are discussing what their next steps are going to be. They currently have no commander and their ship, Sanctuary, is falling apart.
In the midst of their confusion, Colonel Hector attacks Sanctuary with his Pandora soldiers. He commandeers the ship and steals the vault key.
During the attack, Colonel Hector floods Sanctuary with gas causing people to turn into “Vine Freaks”. Lilith can’t even teleport into the area because it’s so overcome with gas. This prompts her to lean on you, a Vault Hunter, to help get back control of Sanctuary.
You go through your mission complete a set of tasks to help Lilith get back onboard the Sanctuary.
Here’s a broad overview of what you are tasked to do:
Find a new temporary base of operations
Gather samples for Tannis from specimens infected by the gas
Reach Cassius to retrieve a cure
Distribute that cure to Mordecai
Defeat Hector in his infected plant state
Thoughts (some spoilers):
Overall I had a good experience. With this being my first real experience in the Borderlands world, I liked it. I’m familiar with the post-apocalyptic vibes so getting into the gameplay wasn’t too jarring.
Again, the writing was great to me. I thought most of the lines from Vaughn, Cassius, and some from Hector were hilarious. Tannis made me laugh the most during my play session.
While explaining how the gas is causing humans to mutate, Tannis compares the human mutation to plant mutation. Basically calling us dumb, she says, “Gas makes plant go Big Big and do the ouch”.
Did you laugh? Maybe I’m simply pleased. Maybe you had to be there.
At the end of the story, your player character does face off with Hector. It’s an interesting encounter. He infects himself and grows vines. You have to shoot some pus bulbs off those vines to make him vulnerable.
My only hesitation to be fully satisfied with the end of the story is the very end.
Instead of your player character being the one to give the final blow to Colonel Hector, a cut-scene starts and Lilith takes over.
I get it because the story is about her becoming commander so it makes sense. However, I’m used to getting rid of the big bad so a cut-scene didn’t do it for me.
That being said, it was a good cut-scene.
Lilith destroys the Sanctuary to kill Infected Hector because his vines grew deep down into the ship. Everything explodes. Tannis reveals that the ship was probably going to blow up anyway. And no one is really bothered by the demise of the ship. The Crimson Raiders are just glad Lilith is cool.
Lilith sends the remaining Crimson Raiders out into the world to find vaults, while she stays because to rebuild, recruit new members, and look for the vault map that she believes is still intact in the area despite the explosion.
And that’s how we enter Borderlands 3. I’m actually excited for a fresh start going into the next saga of Borderlands. It comes out on September 13, 2019.