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Playtime impressions of Captain Scarlet and Her Pirate's Booty

by: Nathaniel -
More On: Borderlands 2 Borderlands 2: Captain Scarlett
Okay, so I know I said I'd post my impressions of Captain Scarlet and Her Pirate's Booty yesterday, but it was contingent on your behavior and your behavior was awful.  Seriously, did you think I wouldn't find out?  That's no way to treat a can of biscuit dough, and you'll never get those stains out of the carpet.  Just wait until your father gets home.

Anyway, I've spent several hours exploring the world of Captain Scarlet's booty and let me tell you that HER BOOTY IS FINE!  AWWWW YEAH!  

Um...sorry about that.  

But seriously, once you download Captain Scarlet and Her Pirate's Booty you'll see that a new location has been added to the fast-travel network called Oasis.  Oasis was some sort of trashy coastal resort town once before its ocean dried up.  Now it's just another wasteland, albeit it a much more nautically suggestive wasteland that is reflected in the level design.  It's all giant fish skeletons, coral reef-like formations, and underground grottos.  Oasis also acts as the new content's hub world.  From there, you can access a handful of band new locations, including Captain Scarlet's pirate hover-ship.  You see, she's looking for treasure and could use the talents of a well known vault hunter such as yourself.  Besides her main quest line, you'll also come across many optional mission that all follow a fairly familiar format.  (There is one such line of optional missions that offers several high-quality weapons and gear as rewards; however, you'll really need to pay attention to their associated text or you'll be in for a nasty surprise when you use them.)

As you undertake these new quests and new Badass Challenges, the only available vehicles from the Catch-A-Ride stations are Return of the Jedi-style hover-skiffs.  Each can hold two players, and is armed with a machine gun and your choice of either the sawblade launcher, a rocket launcher, and, my favorite, the explosive harpoon launcher.  And, of course, you'll collect skins for it - lots of skins.  It seems like after every battle, at least one new skin drops.  

I really enjoyed the hover-skiff.  It handles very nicely (It's a little slow, however.), and the sand worms that pop up to attack you are no match for its reinforced hull.  Despite the fact that these sand worms were within a level or two of my character, they all insta-die from the slightest contact with the skiff.  In the rest of the game, you need to greatly out-level an enemy before you can run it down so easily.  

The skiff isn't the only new addition.  Besides Captain Scarlet, you'll meet a slew of motley characters from the desperate-for-companionship-and-lips Shade, and a new black market merchant that trades in seraph crystals rather than eridium, to bosses of all shapes and sizes and brand new cannon fodder to chew up with your guns.  The new enemies stand out because they bring new attacks and maybe even a higher difficulty than you're used to.  You'll see skeletal Cursed Pirates that feed on your health with every attack, Grogmasters that hurl flaming bottles of rum at you, and Corsairs whose dual swords can reflect your bullets right back at you.  You'll also see a higher incidence of elemental weapon-wielding enemies.

Despite these brand new enemies and their attacks, combat ultimately plays out the same way as in the main game, and it's still too easy to get trapped in a corner by lightning fast melee enemies.  There's nothing worse than swarming melee enemies in an FPS - seriously, whoever is responsible for that particular gaming abomination deserves there own special room in hell.  At least you'll fight them with some brand new weapon and grenade abilities.  I can't say if the overall quality of guns is higher in the new content, but I did find a shotgun that far outstrips the damage and accuracy of every other shotgun - and many non-shotguns -  that I've seen before.

There's one last thing you should know before you head off to Oasis: it would appear that it scales to the level of the particular character you're using.  I used my level 29 Zero, and so far haven't found a weapon or fought an enemy lower than level 30 or higher than level 31.  It's certainly possible that it's just a coincidence and Captain Scarlet and Her Pirate's Booty is intended for level 30 characters, but I doubt it.  I'll test it out so I can be sure and if it does turn out to be fixed at level 30 and 31, you'll see the update here.  

Either way, whether you're a newbie or a grizzled veteran of playthrough 2.5, Captain Scarlet and Her Pirate's Booty is every bit the Borderlands2 campaign add-on you'd expect both in size and quality.