Video Game Review: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep
ROLL FOR INITIATIVE!!!!!
In a world where downloadable content is often viewed as a four-letter word by the gaming populous, Gearbox and 2k Games continue to prove that high-quality DLC absolutely has a place at the table. Sitting at the head of said table is Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, the fourth and final piece of DLC for Borderlands 2. Priced as a standalone at 800 MS Points (US$9.99) or included in the Season Pass, Tiny Tina brings things to a close with a bang.
Unlike the previous three downloadable installments, Assault on Dragon’s Keep is wholly unique with tons of new enemies and locations that effectively hit the refresh button on a game that dedicated players have invested countless hours into already. What hasn’t changed is the series’ sharp wit and referential humour, and even if you weren’t a fan of Tina from her appearance in the main game, it’s hard not to find her endearing in her role as dungeon master.
Pandora’s version of Dungeons and Dragons is known as “Bunkers and Badasses,” and the story in Tiny Tina is that the first game’s vault hunters have gathered to play a game with Tina spinning the tale of intrigue. This setup allows for a lot of funny shenanigans and interplay, along with plenty of appearances from assorted secondary characters. Beneath the humour, however, there’s a surprisingly tender story that gives players a chance to spend time with some of their favourites — in that way it’s a bit reminiscent of Mass Effect 3’s The Citadel.
Beyond the story and Tina’s fantastic work as DM, the add-on is packed to the gills with content thanks to a lengthy main quest suitable to higher levels, loads of side missions and a nasty new raid boss. You should easily spend north of 10 hours digesting all the available content, though clearly that number will vary based on your level, equipment and whether or not you’re tackling it solo or co-operatively.
All that being said, my experience with Assault on Dragon’s Keep wasn’t without issues. Several times I encountered enemies that got stuck in mid animation, allowing me to walk up and kill them at my leisure. Loot drops were also disappointing, with only the final boss offering up an orange goodie (and even that was a ‘meh’ shield). That’s a lot of hours to invest without finding much useable high-level gear.
Of course, as loot drops are a random thing it could just have been bad luck on my part. Still, when I rolled a 20 — some treasure chests allow you to roll two dice at the cost of some iridium with the premise that a higher roll equates to better loot (two is lowest, 20 highest) — and saw a pair of purple guns as my reward it’s hard not to feel a little disappointed. Still, those are minor blemishes on an otherwise excellent showing.
Easily the best add-on available for Borderlands 2, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep takes its place alongside efforts like The Missing Link (Deus Ex: Human Revolution), Minerva’s Den (BioShock 2) and Lair of the Shadow Broker (Mass Effect 2) as my all-time favourite DLCs. It offers a ton of high-quality, largely unique content at a bargain price. Any fan of the game should download this immediately.
Courtesy of the good people over at 2k Games, we’re giving away a pair of codes (one Xbox 360, one PlayStation 3) to download the final DLC pack, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep! To enter, post a comment below telling us which is your favorite Vault Hunter class (Commando, Siren, Assassin, Gunzerker, Mechromancer or Psycho) to play as. Also, include your console preference and @Twitter handle if you have one. If not, just make sure the email you use when posting is valid so we can contact the winners.
Winners will be selected on Thursday, July 18. All entries must be submitted by 5 p.m. EST/2 p.m. PST on Thursday. Please note that although anyone can enter you must either be following me on Twitter or submit a working email address to win.