Borderlands: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx

Review

posted 3/19/2010 by Tina Amini
other articles by Tina Amini
Platforms: 360
Borderlands, the FPS/RPG hybrid from Gearbox, has provided a boat load of fun mixed into an artistic and enticing environment. After just four months of being out on the shelves, Gearbox has issued 3 separate DLCs for us to continue tinkering with the seemingly endless amount of weaponry with which to defend ourselves from crazy midgets and flying Guardians. This third DLC, The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, continues just that sort of fun with its own unique additions.

In the The Secret Armory of General Knox, the Atlas Corporation continues to be the over-bearing and evidently ever-present thorn in your side, and now it’s got a gun toting and more-muscular-than-naturally-possible General on its side. You have your own Atlas baddie, though, as ex-assassin named Athena who  guides you on your newest missions.


On a whole, the most recent DLC feels very reminiscent of the shooter/RPG many have come to love. The content extends from the main storyline in Borderlands, pitting you back in Pandora to thwart yet another Atlas Corp. venture. You’ll find the gameplay and quests in the downloadable content are very similar in nature to its parent game. You’ll be back to racking up loot and shooting faces of all shapes and sizes for up to 11 extra character levels.

The actual storyline bit of The Secret Armory of General Knoxx is quite miniscule compared to the amount of side quests you’ll be embarking on. It was surprisingly short, actually. Obviously all the quests amount to some role in the storyline, but your actual journey towards the secret armory of goodies will be a quick one. Fortunately, the optional missions post-credit roll still have the same gratifying feeling as if they were the main component to the game. The loot, challenge, and experience remain in tact even after the end-boss. Some of the extra content will even introduce you to a similar round-based fight a la Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot, as well as a secret final boss. All of which works to keep your leveling to 61 experience interesting.

Both new and old enemies await you in the downloadable content. Amongst the new ones are giant spider-like beasts that can easily blow you out of your car in a mine-infested desert with nothing to look forward to but a long and dangerous walk to the next vehicle station. Heavily armored tank-suits known as Devastators accompany hordes of Atlas soldiers with their own unique abilities. They're packed with everything from really effective medics to jet-pack wielding soldiers to elemental-damaging ones. And of course who can forget the feisty ninja-like assassins that will get you jumping away from them in your desperate fight with freakishly agile females. You’ll have to switch up weapons or shooting tactics to deal with each enemy, particularly if you’re playing on Playthrough 2 as the difficulty amps up ten fold.



In addition to a very large new map in Pandora with the same desolate and yet dangerous feel are new cars suited perfectly to the sorts of missions and terrain given to you in the DLC. Traveling is a large part of getting your quests done, which can be a hindrance to gameplay in terms of getting to their locations as you’ll be spending loads of time boosting your way across highways. Although the cars are fun to drive around in and to test out their new abilities from 4-passenger seating to heat-seeking missiles, I wish fast-travel were still in function.

The good news is that it’s all worth the trip. The massive amount of loot you’re teased to at the opening of the DLC is definitely grounds for making the trip over and over. The characters that accompany you and the enemies that you encounter are just as vaguely comical and intriguing as what the original Borderlands offered. Enemies with bad attitudes, and friends with raunchy demeanors are always a pleasure in Borderlands.

You’ll get into more of the back-stories on characters like Scooter and even Mad Moxxi (who you may remember from the second DLC) offered to those who own the game. The character building never gets as in-depth as Borderlands’ main game, but there are a few additional secrets to be uncovered and conversations to be had.

The Secret Armory of General Knoxx feels like what Borderlands should feel like. Perhaps a bit skimpy on the storyline, but definitely rife with the gameplay you remember from the original game and the same charm in its artistic direction.


A-
If you enjoyed Borderlands in its fullest and were hoping there was a way to extend the game-time without necessarily plunging into a second playthrough or a new character, The Secret Armory of General Knoxx is just that continuation you were looking for. The newest DLC is Borderlands at its (almost) finest: loads of loot, loads of experience, and loads of things to shoot with new things to shoot it with.



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