E3 2013: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep (Hands On)

by: Chuck -
I wrapped up the main campaign for Borderlands II a few months after the game was released and haven't been back since.  Some of the DLC has looked interesting but nothing has really screamed "Play Me"  That is about to change as playing the first 25 minutes of Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep has convinced me to return to Pandora.
 
The upcoming DLC has the vault hunter sitting around with Lilith, Brick, and Mordecai  back at Sanctuary playing "Bunkers and Badasses", a Dungeons and Dragons like game.  Tiny Tina is the "Bunker Master" of the game and leading the crew through their first game. 
 
What hit me immediately was how good the writing was as the dialogue was spot on with a perfect mix of humor and sweetness.   I can't say more without ruining one of the major plot points of Borderlands 2 but there's a wonderful exchange between Lilith and Tina that I hope pays off later in the game.
 
The actual game action is you fighting your through the game that Tina is running.  This isn't just a linear quest though, the world changes as she changes her mind about what the question contains.  She starts out with a happy village (complete with a rainbow over it) before changing it to a dark and dreary world.  All of this happens in real time which adds a almost Looney Tunes feel to the game (this is a very good thing). 
 
The game does take a few shots at the traditional tropes of D&D like having to roll for initiative but it's done in a loving way.  Even the first set of enemies are typical D&D fare as you face hordes of skeleton archers and swords men.  You also run across Skeleton Minotaurs or "Skeletaurs" which brought a quick smile to my face.
 
I will admit that I was a bit disappointed when my time with Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep expired as I was having a lot of fun.  I'm looking forward to seeing where the rest of the plot goes  as I have a feeling that the DLC is setting up a pretty emotional moment but I won't know until I get a bit further into the game.  Even if it doesn't this looks like a must have pick up for Borderlands 2 fans.

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