November 10, 2012
Much like downloadable content for the original Borderlands, the story in Captain Scarlett is not part of the main story, but tells a great short story. The Vault Hunters start by going to the desert town of Oasis and are searching for Captain Blade's Lost Treasure of the Sands. On your trip to find the treasure you must team up with the pirate queen Captain Scarlett and defeat the mysterious Leviathan.
The story is simple and motivates you enough to want to explore the many mysteries and side quests in Oasis. Things start off strong after you fast travel to Oasis and end up fighting off re-skinned bandits who are now named after different pirate themes. It introduces you to more memorable characters with Shade and Captain Scarlett herself standing out the most. The pace of the story is perfect to sit down with on a weekend, allowing you to enjoy playing through all the story missions for a couple of hours.
Playing the game feels just about the same as playing any other series of mission in the main game and that is a great thing. It feels like an expansion of everything fans loved in Borderlands 2, while introducing some new elements to keep things fresh. The quests follow a similar guideline as the main game, but the writing keeps you wanting to keep shooting until you get to your end goal.
Oasis is not the only new area in the game and most of the new areas are larger than you might expect. To get around these large areas you will have to use the brand new vehicle called the Sandskiff. The Sandskiff is a fast moving hovercraft that makes traveling over the large deserts much easier. However, while traversing he desert you may also come across the new sand worm enemy that comes in different shapes and sizes. Enemies aren't all just re-skinned bandits and worms though. There are many different variations on new pirate enemies that make playing the game feel really different.
Playing through this expansion alone or in co-op is great as Gearbox was nice enough to make it so that all of the missions feel entirely possible at all times. However, that's not to dismiss the fact that the feeling of having three of your friends blast through mission after mission with you is still an extremely satisfying one. The hunt for loot is even more important this time with the inclusion on new Seraph weapons and crystals for you to collect/sell.
The vibrant feel of Oasis and its many different locals give this a more varied look as you move from place to place. Music continues to shine as well as it stays quietly in the background when it needs to and comes blaring through in the midst of a large fire fight. The feeling of mixing the world of Pandora with a pirate theme also collides into something you want to see more of when it's all over.
Thankfully this downloadable content is more than you might expect and that's definitely an appealing factor. You will easily spend more than 10 hours working through the main story missions and bountiful offering of side quests. Also, if you had already made it to level 50 and beat the main games raid boss, Captain Scarlett will not disappoint by adding two more to take down or die trying.
If you were looking for more Borderlands 2, the Captain Scarlett DLC delivers the perfect amount of content. It introduces just the right amount of new and familiar things to keep you playing until the next piece of DLC comes out. Captain Scarlett and her pirate's booty is one of the best examples of how to do DLC this generation and hopefully Gearbox can keep this up for future expansions.
Borderlands 2: Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty was reviewed on the Xbox 360. You can read more about GamingUnion.net's scoring policy here.