If you’re hankering for some new things to shoot and money to make in Borderlands, then you might want to hop online and download the two latest expansion packs.
The Zombie Island of Dr Ned
Developer: Gearbox Software
For those of you who have cleared every mission in Borderlands and still found yourself wanting more, this if for you. The Zombie Island of Dr Ned is the first downloadable expansion for Gearbox’s excellent role-playing shooter, and it’s packed full of new missions and enemies for players to enjoy.
The story is fairly basic. After finishing the vault adventure the heroes of the story – your character/s head to another part of Pandora to lend a hand with a new problem: A zombie outbreak. It turns out that a certain Dr Ned (who is totally not at all Dr Zed from the last story) accidentally created a wave of brain-eating, undead mutants in his attempt to formulate a cure for a local malady. It’s up to you to reach Dr Ned’s clinic and find out exactly what he needs to reverse this awful situation.
Most players should be able to get through this new adventure in about four or five hours if they stick to the main quests, but there are plenty of side-missions available for profiteering ex-vault hunters. The side missions could add any number of extra hours onto the main quest, depending on how much faffing about you do in-between. The quest rewards and experience are worthwhile, and the chance of finding really rare items seems to have been increased a little.
When you hear that the zombies you’ll face have neither shields nor guns, you might wonder how they could possibly pose a threat. Well, set foot on the island and you’ll find out. Sheer relentlessness is their main weapon, as wave after wave of zombies keep coming. Some of them can shoot projectile vomit which causes the player to stick in place if it hits, and of course, there are a few unique, strong zombies who have other powers.
This is a great addition the Borderlands experience, and the change of scenery from post-apocalyptic wasteland to cheesy ’50s zombie movie homage is very welcome indeed.
Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot
Developer: Take-Two Interactive
The second downloadable mission pack for Borderlands is a bit of an odd one. In this instance, players are transported to the combat arena of the sadistic Moxxi, an underworld queen who hosts bloody deathmatch tournaments for her own perverse pleasure – and that of her thousands of cheering fans.
The player (and their friends, if it’s a multiplayer session) must fight their way through a string of tournaments for monetary rewards and awesome equipment. Each tournament has its own objective, but players generally need to kill hundreds of bad guys along the way. It starts out pretty straightforward, but eventually Moxxi will start to up the challenge by giving the players certain handicaps and the foes certain benefits. Things like increased movement speeds, stronger shields, more health and better weapons are common benefits for the enemies to receive; and decreased accuracy, no shields, constantly draining health and nullified headshots are just some of the handicaps that players can expect to receive.
The interesting thing about the Mad Moxxi expansion is that players don’t earn experience points for each kill, or even for finishing tournaments. This was probably done to prevent Moxxi’s arena from becoming a level-grinding haven, since players can go there whenever they want, even right in the beginning of the game. The rewards are strictly monetary, but there is a high chance of finding really good equipment too, as weapons and other random goodies are dropped into the arena at the end of each round.
There are two other welcome additions: the first is the player’s increased wallet size, which means that they can now hold a lot more cash; and the second is one that players have been crying out for since the game’s release – a storage locker. Now you can put your favourite weapons in safe storage and experiment with others without cluttering up your inventory. However, since this service is provided by Pandora’s favourite entrepreneur, Marcus, it comes at a price. If you want to store more than 12 items, you’ll need to purchase additional storage space, and it’s very, very, very expensive.