Regardless of having remasters, spin-offs, and even a pre-sequel to sate their urge for food, Borderlands followers have been ravenous for the subsequent mainline entry in Gearbox’s open-world looter-shooter sequence. Just some months earlier than Borderlands 3’s launch, Gearbox has served up a stunning hors d’oeuvre. Commander Lilith & The Struggle for Sanctuary is a brand new Borderlands 2 enlargement that drops gamers again onto the lethal planet of Pandora, priming them for the journey to come back. Whereas the brand new DLC faithfully builds on the Borderlands 2 expertise, some facets of the sequence have aged higher than others.
Commander Lilith takes place instantly after the occasions of Borderlands 2, and chronicles the titular siren’s try to defend Sanctuary from Colonel Hector, a brand new villain hell-bent on remodeling Pandora’s dusty panorama with a lethal toxin. Like all good chief, Lilith delegates a lot of the heavy lifting to you and your vault-hunting buddies, who should struggle plant-infected mutations of acquainted enemies and discover a number of new areas of the planet. Quite a few different returning characters pop up for enjoyable cameos (together with a number of faces from Tales of the Borderlands), rounding out cutscenes and shelling out quests. Commander Lilith mirrors the size of Borderlands 2’s earlier DLC expansions, providing a pair hours’ value of content material for the principle questline, and some extra hours of facet content material. A brand new degree cap, raid, “Effervescent” tier of procedurally generated loot, and some replayable boss fights provide extra thrills for longtime grinders.
Having not performed Borderlands 2 because it first launched on Xbox 360, getting again into the swing of issues wasn’t straightforward. Commander Lilith permits gamers to create a degree 30 character and bounce straight to the brand new journey, however you must relearn the assorted programs, purchase higher loot, and puzzle collectively a good skill-tree construct by yourself. Even with the upgraded visuals offered by the Good-looking Jack Assortment, I used to be struck by how easy and mechanical the world feels. The manic fight has additionally misplaced a little bit of its punch through the years, overshadowed by smoother, flashier, and extra ability-driven shooters.
Commander Lilith’s mission design feels notably dated, with most of your aims boiling right down to banal fetch quests – get 10 of those, kill 10 of these, and so on. The goofy dialogue from fan-favorite characters helps blunt a number of the repetition, however it could actually’t cover how a lot time you spend operating forwards and backwards via the identical areas to advance missions. Managing stock area, sifting via piles of nugatory white and inexperienced weapons, and the sluggish tempo of opening and looting containers additionally hamstring the leisure. After buying some overpowered legendaries and readjusting to the tempo of Borderlands’ addictive gameplay loop, I remembered why I fell in love with the sequence, however a number of the ardour is gone.
A few of Borderlands’ humor additionally feels drained seven years on, from the countless bedonk and bro jokes, to the “midget” enemy subclass, whose high-pitched squeals induce extra winces than laughter. The sequence’ crass humor has at all times been hilarious to some and insupportable to others, and the brand new DLC is not any totally different; Good-looking Jack’s returning “Butt Stallion” is the right litmus check for locating out the place you land on the spectrum. Whereas I skilled extra involuntary eyerolls than I used to be anticipating, I did get pleasure from catching up with a number of the basic characters like Lilith and Brick.
Commander Lilith is one other strong DLC arc that matches proper at house with the earlier Borderlands 2 expansions, and it’s an effective way to arrange your self for the sequel. As somebody for whom Borderlands’ components has already worn a bit of skinny, nonetheless, Commander Lilith left me craving to see what enhancements Borderlands Three could carry to the desk, at the same time as I loved the moment-to-moment motion.