Reviews by Casm
Looks like I'm the first to write a less than raving review.Casm | Feb. 3, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2: Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt
I'll preempt this by stating, it's not completely terrible. I do believe that of the currently available DLCs however, this one falls short.
So, I'll do this with a PROS and CONS list.
Beautiful new areas to explore.
Lots of brand new monsters to fight.
2 new raid bosses
Plenty of quests to keep you busy for hours.
Many quests are nothing but busywork.
Some quests are buggy, confusing and just plain irritating, such as a quest that could only be done at nighttime.
In spite of the new vehicle, many of the zones are extremely large and much of it you are forced to traverse on foot, making excursions long and tedious.
The writing IMO falls short of the quality you'd expect from Borderlands. The dialog was bland and the humor was dry. It had it's moments, but compared to what we've come to expect, it didn't measure up to anything we've already seen.
Overall: It's a solid DLC. It's not overly terrible by any stretch. Many of my personal issues with it were with the bad quest design. When you have a quest that bugs out and fails, forcing you to travel all the way to the other side of a massive zone mostly on foot to pick it back up only to have you travel all the way back to the other side of the zone mostly on foot in an attempt to complete it; fail 3 times in a row, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. When you have quests that put waypoints on your map and you go to where the quest leads you only to find out after 10 minutes of searching that you're actually supposed to go around a huge area that leads you to below where you were searching, all of which could easily have been avoided with the addition of a tiny down facing arrow on the waypoint, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
On top of that, coming from a phenomenal DLC such as Mr. Torgue's, where every line of dialogue has you rolling on the floor laughing, then walking into this DLC where the dialogue has you wondering when things are about to get funny, it ultimately just leaves this DLC wanting. It's one of the things that makes side missions so enjoyable to do and it just wasn't there.
The DLC does have it's finer points, as I pointed out in the PROS section, but in the long run it does little to offset the many problems plaguing the entirety of the DLC. When it comes to making the DLC fun and enjoyable to play, as opposed to tedious, irritating, bland and annoying, Gearbox really dropped the ball with this one.
A solid DLC.Casm | Oct. 20, 2012 | Review of Borderlands 2: Captain Scarlett & her Pirate's Booty
Nothing paradigm shifting about this DLC, but it is really fun and entertaining. The new characters introduced are great, full of personality. The new enemies are rather interesting and most are pirate themed. The zones are gorgeous, especially the oasis looking zone under the town, which is IMO the absolute best looking area to ever grace the Borderlands franchise.
We get an introduction to our first new vehicle this expansion, the hovercraft. It is quite easily my favorite vehicle hands down.
The 2 new raid style bosses or 'the Invincible' bosses are extremely difficult to defeat (without somehow cheesing the fight). They can only be fought once a day and drop a currency that can be used to purchase a brand new quality of gear, "Seraph" gear. It's pretty interesting and fun.
I do have some issues with the DLC though.
The primary issue is that for whatever reason, there's framerate problems through many portions of the DLC (at least on the PC). After some digging, this isn't an isolated issue as many players are experiencing it with computers more than capable of playing the game smoothly. This is something I'm hoping they'll patch up at a later date or will be addressed with upcoming video card drivers, but as of this review, it's a glaring problem that seems to crop up when you fight a lot of pirates shooting at the same time, making playthrough 2.5 very very difficult and annoying to play.
Other issues I have are pretty minor but somewhat worth mentioning. For instance, the new hovercraft, while entirely awesome, is restricted to the expansion content only. Another is that many of the side-quests you receive feel less awesome and more like busywork. For instance, forcing you to travel across the majority of the expansion in order to hunt down and kill specific pirates in various zones. Zones that you've pretty much completed but are forced to return too, complete with new spawns to fight through. It seems like many of these quests were designed with mindset of dragging out the content as much as possible.
Though I may rant on about the issues, they are mostly very minor. Aside from the framerate being a problem in certain areas, the DLC is mostly solid and a great addition to the game. Once the framerate issues get fixed, either from their end or from an updated graphics driver, the DLC will be deserving of a higher rating. Even with the issues though, it's a solid buy and worth having! I completely recommend it.
Fantastic game, Improving on the original in most waysCasm | Oct. 4, 2012 | Review of Borderlands 2 (NA) DNS
For those of you that played the original BL, there's a very important question you must ask yourself before considering BL2. "Did I derive any amount of enjoyment from the first game?" If the answer is yes, then you should really consider picking up BL2, especially from GMG with the already discounted price and a % off voucher when available. It's a really great game that you'll definitely get your 35-40 bucks worth out of. If the answer is no, then regardless of how much the sequel improves over the first one, the style is similar enough that you probably will still not enjoy it.
Borderlands 2 offers a great story with plenty of side-missions to keep you busy for hours at a time. It retains the same offensive style sense of humor that was present in the first game, filled with plenty of scenarios and situations that will have you laughing. It also brings a sense of true drama that the original game failed to deliver and the gameplay, while very similar to the original, has been polished and improved upon to make the gameplay experience quite enjoyable.
The multiplayer aspect is really where this game is at though. In my opinion, the entertainment value of the game increases exponentially when you can play with friends.
The class system provides an excellent way to bring a unique feel to the game, depending on the class you play and the way you spend your skill points. Every class feels different from one another and each spec can dramatically change how a class is played.
It's not a game without flaws however, at least on the PC. The ongoing connection issues with Steam can lead to some very frustrating multiplayer issues. While this has somewhat improved since release, it is still a problem.
Finishing missions with multiple completion choices is poorly handled in multiplayer games, where once someone makes a choice, that choice is automatically locked in for everyone else in the current game.
The option of being able to re-listen to audio that was present in the first game is disappointingly missing here in BL2. Having an important piece of the storyline be interrupted and ultimately lost because Claptrap wants to tell you something completely pointless and irrelevant can be very irritating. This problem is compounded in multiplayer when your teammates force story progression by proceeding in the game or otherwise interrupt the story by any number of other means without allowing the current bit of story to finish it's telling. A problem which would not have had any lasting impact on the game had Gearbox simply retained the ability to re-listen to unlocked audio the player discovered at their own convenience. An option I very much hope is brought back with one of the upcoming DLCs planned for the game.
However, the issues this game has are far outweighed by the entertainment value you receive in return. The game is challenging, entertaining, exciting, hilarious and simply put, fun to play. Borderlands 2 is a perfect example of what every video game sequel should strive to be. Add friends into the mix and you have yourself a phenomenal game that's hard to beat.