A few weeks have passed since I finished the main story of Borderlands 2 and I haven’t picked the game up since. With a plethora of new games to play and old games to complete, I just haven’t been drawn back in. When the opportunity arose to play the new DLC for review, I happily plugged my battery pack into the controller and returned to Pandora. As to be expected, I was welcomed back in with open arms.
Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage is an arena focused DLC pack that adds 8-10 hours of gameplay to your experience. It is similar to the second DLC from the original Borderlands, Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot; however, in this content there is more story than just arena combat. Included are some of the fantastic side characters including Mad Moxxi and Tiny Tina. Not surprisingly, the star of the show is Mr. Torgue himself and a new character, Piston. Through arena combat interlaced with various tangential search and destroy quests, you’ll battle your way through a selection of new warriors who outrank you on the arena circuit. For the most part, traversing the rankings isn’t the least bit tedious, but I have one gripe with it.
You see, I find the difficulty level in this DLC to be wildly uneven. Through the majority of the first few ranked battles, I breezed past my enemies. In fact, for one of them I just used my special skill and the enemy was dead in a matter of seconds. This was not exactly the challenge that I’d come to expect from Borderlands. Then, out of nowhere, I was stonewalled when it came time to fight Piston for the top ranking. My level 33 Gunzerker was flattened consistently when all other battles he had no problems with. I was put off by the game’s lack of scaling difficulty and wish they spent more time making the earlier bosses a bit harder to tackle.
On a positive note, I deeply enjoyed the story of this DLC. Mr. Torgue is like an insane WWE announcer who loves to spout expletives and speak in all CAPS. He’s endlessly entertaining and makes for a fun emcee for the content. Mad Moxxi makes an entertaining return and is brilliantly supported by my favorite character from the Borderlands 2 proper, Tiny Tina. Borderlands and Borderlands 2 really excel when it comes to comedic video game writing and this DLC is no different.
Beyond the uneven difficulty and the great storytelling, Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage has plenty of side quests to explore and even a new weapons vending machine to tool around with. At first you won’t be able to afford many of the new weapons (even if you have $1 million already), but as you progress through missions you’ll have opportunities to try out new and rare weapons. It’s pretty clever how they implemented the new machine without allowing top level millionaires to skip the actual mission content.
Overall, I enjoyed this DLC but have some concerns about the uneven difficulty. For a game that normally does such a great job giving players a heads-up when tackling an enemy beyond their skillset, it's disappointing to run into this brick wall. Fortunately, the storytelling and several hours of new gameplay make this a must buy for anyone who’s finished the main storyline of Borderlands 2. For the rest of you, what the hell is taking you so long – finish the game, dammit!
We were provided a review code for Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage by 2K Games, and held to the embargo date of Tuesday, November 20, 2012, at 8am EST. Before writing this review, we completed all the DLC's content.
Alex Keen is a contributor writer to Crave Gaming. You can follow him on Twitter @dbldn.