Back to Pandora, Chum – Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt
I’ll admit that I hadn’t picked up Borderlands 2 for a while and I certainly never got my commando to max level. However, when I saw that one of my favorite characters, Sir Hammerlock, had gotten his own DLC I had to get back into the game. It was time to go on a jolly good safari in the back woods of Pandora and see what terrors awaited. Like most DLC, Big Game Hunt serves to add a few more hours of fun to an already enjoyable game. It also claims to feature new guns, but outside of the specific named ones from quest rewards, I’m not sure if anyone would notice. Since this doesn’t add a level cap increase or a new class, this might be a pass for people that want more than new scenery and some questing.
It is presumed that the player has already completed the main story of Borderlands 2 before joining the hunt. Now that (spoiler) Handsome Jack is dead and things have calmed down a bit on Pandora, it’s time to go for a little manly retreat weekend with Sir Hammerlock. That’s pretty much the long and short of the plot. Sure, there’s a bad guy scientist (one Professor Nakayama) to track down, but that’s just because he’s annoying and won’t stop pestering you until you do so. There’s also the appearance of another of everyone’s favorite characters, but I won’t ruin the surprise and say which one. Come on though, there’s more dialogue with Hammerlock, new areas to explore, and a bunch of psychopaths in wooden masks trying to kill you – what more do you need?
There were a lot of things that I really enjoyed in Big Game Hunt. A fun little aspect of this new DLC is the new vehicle: a fan boat. While you only get to pilot the fan boat in the DLC areas, it still really helps lend a feel of uniqueness (and swampiness) to this expansion. There are, of course, new challenges to take on for badass points as well. For the most part, I was happy to be in an area with an entirely new aesthetic feel to it. Most of the critters you get to kill are also new with a few small exceptions like skaggs. There’s also a quest early on called “Egg on Your Face” that has you hunting down eggs that don’t have map markers to tell you exactly where they all are, and I’m a fan of that. I like to see some exploration being promoted in game. Then there’s the quest for rare creatures that, while awesome, I just never managed to complete since those creatures are supposed to be random and I do have other games to play and write about.
For as much fun as this DLC is, there are some areas where it could have stood some improvement. The “Follow the Glow” quest was a bit of a pain because the tracks you need to find appear from the quest marker to be in one place while they are in quite another. If you, like me needed help with this mission, stop looking at the entrance to Hunter’s Grotto and instead make your way around and down to the entrance to Ardorton Station. It’s directly underneath, but the quest marker doesn’t indicate that. Then there’s my complaint about the savages and the inability to critically hit these guys while playing solo unless you have some way to distract them. Thankfully I play a commando and the auto turret gets their attention. What really bugged me was that the vampire witch doctors can change into an invincible swarm of bats and stay that way. I had a swarm stick around for several minutes until I finally had to run my butt out of the area and wait for it to reset. I can only hope that’s a bug they intend to fix in the future.
If what you want is an excuse to go back to Borderlands 2 and kill new and exotic things, Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt is for you. More humor, more guns, more challenges, and a giant room full of loot waiting for you. There’s also a DLC specific head awarded for the final mission, so that’s reason enough for me. It’s also worth noting that Gear Box also recently released head and skin packs for individual characters as well. A couple of those look pretty cool, but then I don’t get to spend time looking at my character while I play, so that’s a pass for me. I’ll most likely stick with the game play content stuff, like this one, in the future.