Torgue Time

Borderlands 2, was previously employed at As always, no relationships, personal or experienced, were factored right into the review.>

The best downloadable content, in my experience, serves as a low-hazard workshop to spitround and protoform brand-new concepts. Sometimes those ideas pop up later in, say, sequels: it’s impossible to obtain from Dragon Age: Origins to Dragon Age II, for example,without incorporating some of the mechanics first presented in Dragon Age: Awakenings.

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Or sometimes, DLC is a means to fulfill fan needs, to raise a level cap or introduce a weapons storage mechanism into a loot-driven RPG. It’s a means to discover new areas of a game’s story or universe, or to fill in the gaps of some expository history.

It’s additionally, I guess, a means to offer horse armor, different outfits, and snake oil to unsuspecting consumers.

But the long check out of the 2 Borderlands 2 DLC projects to day will certainly display that Captain Scarlett and also her Piprice Booty and also the more recent Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage are addressing the basic question of what kind of franchise Borderlands desires to be.


Borderlands 2: Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage: (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 )Developer: Gearbox Software, Triptych GamesPublisher: 2K GamesRelease: November 20, 2012MSRP: $9.99 / 800 Microsoft Points

Borderlands is, by and also big, around math, about procedurally generating things by filling in specific categories through particular worths — fire prices, monetary worth, drop percenteras. This happens mostly in conjunction via various other designs inherited initially from PC role-playing games and then from MMORPGs.

Loot drops — in addition to boss farming — have been a huge component Borderlands’ ongoing success, the games’ interior random number generator driving players ever before onward trying to find the perfect gun or grenade mod. Torgue tokens, a brand-new currency presented by the Campaign of Carnage, changes that: you deserve to currently buy legendary, orange-level weapons ideal out of a vending machine.

Torgue tokens are randomly dropped by effective enemies, however they’re likewise rewarded to industrious Vault Hunters for completing missions. It takes 613 to buy a legendary, Torgue-brand weapon.

The crucial right here, though, is that these missions are brief and repeatable. Under the right scenarios, you can grind out sufficient tokens for a legendary weapon in under an hour, which negates the need to farm these weapons from bosses somewhere else. With a small little bit of dedication, anyone can have actually access to some of the ideal tools in the game. The thrill of having actually the procedural stars align is gone, in favor of a flatter, even more predictable mechanism.

This shift actually started in Captain Scarlett, with the arrival of Seraph Crystals and instanced rhelp bosses, yet the concept is the very same. Scarlett featured 2 optional, end-game bosses that a. dropped one-of-a-kind crystals that could be traded for Seraph-level firearms and b. might just be fought when per day. It takes between a week and ten days to farm for one Seraph gun. (Incidentally, the Campaign of Carnage introduces a new rhelp boss, Pyro Pete the Invincible, who likewise drops Seraph Crystals.)

Carnage’s new money stands out also more because it’s so a lot easier to usage — the grindable missions are brief and also don’t have that awful one-boss-per-day instance limitation that Gearbox mind-blowingly placed on Captain Scarlett’s ideal tools.The democratization of Borderlands’ loot drops reimagines some of its guiding principles and introduces the possibility for grinding that was never before achievable prior to. It trades luck for patience.

There’s a whole meta-economic situation of farmers, hoarders, looters, dupers, and modders that ply in the trade of Pandoran weapons, and also they’ve had actually a tiny item of rug pulled out from under them. The Torgue tokens don’t really affect just how fun the Campaign of Carnage goals are or how funny the composing is, but it’s an essential transition in the dynamics of the series.

As Brendan Keogh points out, the firearms in Borderlands have actually as a lot — if not more — character and also variation as the humanoids execute. Each one has a particular feel, independent of the complex calculus that spawned it. If you’re a Torgue loyalist, the simple accessibility to explosive legendaries makes the Campaign of Carnage an easy option. The very same deserve to be sassist for anyone specced to maximize explosive damage choose, say, a Gunpowder-tree Axton player.


The primary Borderlands 2 story was mainly well-balanced, mixing stupid violence with somewhat characterized, intentional activity, however Campaign of Carnage shifts to pure bloodsport: the eponymous Torgue has arranged a deathcomplement to uncover Pandora’s “number one badass,” for whom a brand-new Vault will open up.Without personalities prefer Roland and Lillith to balance things, Torgue becomes the tonal center of the story, and Campaign of Carnage wallows in his meatheaded machismo.

It’s not that manuscript or delivery aren’t funny (they are), it’s that Torgue tells the exact same joke over and over, a joke that was currently a big component of Borderlands’ goofy aesthetic. Where Captain Scarlett felt prefer Borderlands wrapped in a fresh design template, guided by Scarlett’s coquettishness, the Campaign of Carnage feels choose re-treaded ground.

The arid desert landscape that surrounds Torgue’s Badass Crater of Badassitude doesn’t help that perception — we get it, Pandora is a blighted wasteland also — nor does the reappearance of Moxxi, Tiny Tina, Scooter, and Sir Hammerlock. The dearth of brand-new foe kinds — and one of the tournament’s bosses is just an Ellie re-skin — drives it house.

Again, Captain Scarlett operated bereason it introduced new characters and also new types of areas to discover, even while it remained mechanically the same to the primary game; the Campaign of Carnage struggles in the same locations.

This is surpincreasing for a campaign that goes out of its way to be self mindful — the tournament is structured as a “leaderboard,” and Torgue admits to spoiling plot twists and also massaging the outcomes to “maintain dramatic tension” for the televised event. One at an early stage sidesearch work you via hunting dvery own and mudering ECHOnet game reviewers that panned some of Torgue’s favorites.

The tournament structure only reinpressures the weaknesses of Borderlands’ MMO-acquired, nested fetch-quests: it’s simple to justify all sorts of things when you’re conserving the world, but being Torgue’s errand also boy is harder to swpermit. In other words, petty sidesearches feel normal as part of Borderlands‘ colorful, sprawling human being, yet they feel out of location in what’s intended to be a concentrated, structured event choose Torgue’s badass tournament.


Still, fans of the series that have come this far won’t be surprised that the search framework has stayed mostly unchanged. Undoubtedly, repetition is component of Borderlands’ and also its DLC’s appeal, prefer slipping right into a worn t-shirt. There is a details rhythm to life in the borderlands, and the Campaign of Carnage drops in action right ameans.

Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage attributes some strong boss setpieces, however the actual highlights are its arena fights and a new, dingy urba room north of the Crater dubbed the Beatdvery own. The arena sections pit different factions against one another, and also these various teams will fight among themselves if left alone. These fights are timed, though, forcing players to act more aggressively than they’re possibly used to. It’s a tiny, subtle shift, yet the added press of the moment limit pays dividends.

The Beatdvery own is a densely packed favela, all twisty alleys, rooftop-sniping and dead-end cul-de-sacs — it reminds me a lot of of Old Haven from the original Borderlands. Given that so a lot of Pandora is open up and also flat, the skirmishes, choke points, and also ambushes of the game’s metropolitan zones are always a treat.

In both the Beatdvery own and the various arenas, each enrespond to and also firefight is smoothly paced and takes advantage of the game’s level style. It’s a shame tbelow aren’t even more of both in the Campaign in its entirety.

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For anyone deeply invested in Borderlands’ loot design, Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage is the a lot of recent (and comparatively large) step towards changing ameans from random number generation as a guiding tool. For everyone else, it’s a competent addition through a couple of bright spots that won’t make as a lot of an impact as Mr. Torgue’s very own speedfreak sensibilities. And that’s the grand also irony of this DLC — Torgue is simply funny enough to emerge as among Borderland 2’s standout personalities among a pantheon of eccentrics, but not dynamic sufficient to assistance an entire story arc, his thirteenager pecs enthusiasm notwithstanding.