Much to everyone’s surprise, Gearbox revealed that Borderlands 2, a seven year old game, was getting a new piece of story DLC during the Microsoft E3 Press Conference. Much to their own displeasure, it got leaked before event itself.
Gearbox Software haven’t had the greatest luck in making successful franchises, outside of of the Borderlands series. So it makes sense for them to really crack down on September’s release of Borderlands 3 by creating one of the best pieces of marketing they can; video game content.
Released at the end of the Microsoft’s show on Sunday, Commander Lilith and the Battle for Sanctuary is a piece of free story content for Borderlands 2, only available for the game via the Handsome Collection, which itself has been made free to PS+ members and Game Pass owners in the past month.
It takes place after the events of both Borderlands 2 and the Tales from the Borderlands Telltale game and works to bridge the gap between those games and the upcoming sequel. It reminds me of when Valve released the “The Sacrifice” DLC for the first Left 4 Dead well after the sequel was out to connect the two games.
It’s a really great movie that brings people back into the fold, or in cases like myself where Borderlands 2 was a game I am still playing on a semi-frequent basis, it makes players feel even more excited to pick up their new game on day one.
The content itself is pretty packed, and doesn’t feel like something they did on their cheap. The story concerns a disgruntled Dahl commander showing up to steal the vault key that acted as the central focus of the later part of Borderlands 2 and use it to wipe out all life on Pandora, then remaking it in his image of paradise.
From there, the game takes place in a handful of new areas surrounding the wreckage of the crashed Helios space station that was a constant presence in the skies of Pandora during Borderlands 2, and then was destroyed during the events of Tales.
I actually really appreciate how much the events of Tales factors into this piece of content. There were several pretty major events during that game that would affect the future of the series in a major way, and this really deals with the aftermath. Even featuring several major characters from the Telltale games as NPCs in this game.
What I’m trying to say is that everyone should make the effort to play Tales from the Borderlands, because it’s fantastic.
Back to this game though. Aside from a few recast parts, this content does seem like a greatest hits of all the major characters from the previous game, allowing them all a moment to shine at least once and further delving into their characters and relationships.
Funnily enough, for as flippant and irrelevant as the game’s “memey” style of humour can be, it does have a lot of heart. The Borderlands games have always been stories about how family is where you find it. Taking rag-tag groups of murderers and psychopaths and giving them a whole lot of likeability, because they all care for one another.
This piece of content doubles down on this message throughout its story, while also dealing with Lilith’s reluctance to take on the mantel of leader now that Roland is gone. I like these characters, as hit or miss as the humour can be, I have really grown to care for these people, and this story does a great job of building on that.
Touchy, feely story aside, there are some new game mechanics at play here too. The story revolves around an airborne toxin that causes people to mutate into horrible plant monsters. And so, if the player hangs around in his toxin, a bar will slowly fill up.
The give and take of this is, while infected, you deal increased damage. If the bar fills though, you die. It’s cool they added something new to the expansion like this. For good measure, it seems like they increased the drop rates for really rare weapons, as I was getting oranges and rainbow coloured weapons dropped all over.
Was rainbow a thing before? I don’t remember ever having one drop before.
It’s a great little addition to the game though, for me especially as I was already playing the game on and off anyway. They even add the option to create a level 30 character from scratch in the menu for those of us who pick up the game purely to play the expansion.
It’s worth a look either way, and makes me all the more excited to play Borderlands 3. So yeah, Borderlands fanboy recommends the DLC, total shock.