Frivolous Waste of Time

Sci-fi, fantasy and video games

Borderlands 2: Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt DLC for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC

I was very impressed by the first two Borderlands 2 DLCs, feeling that they offered a generous amount of content for the price, as well as fun new locations to explore, so it’s a shame to report that the third DLC, Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt, is a colossal step backwards.

This DLC brings the Vault Hunter to the swampy jungle continent of Aegrus at the invitation of the eponymous hunter Sir Hammerlock himself to hunt some of the bizarre, and massive, game which populates this continent. However, tt’s not long before the villainous Professor Nakayama reveals himself to the player and Sir Hammerlock. Nakayama, an obsessive fan of Handsome Jack, seeks to clone him and it is up to the Vault Hunter to stop him.

Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt features three large locations, which sadly all feel visually incredibly similar. I almost never enjoy swamps in games; I can see the sort of oppressive atmosphere that they’re going for, but it just isn’t right for Borderlands. There are some cool elements in the backgrounds; I enjoyed a giant monster skeleton in one of the areas, but by and large Aegrus is a lacklustre location.

Where Captain Scarlett and Torgue’s DLCs were full of new, fun and entertaining characters, Hammerlock’s DLC feels oddly empty and dull. Nakayama fails to be intimidating or amusing, with Hammerlock’s shtick not working quite as well as it did in the main game. Most of the amusement comes from the return of Claptrap, but it isn’t enough to redeem the lazy plot of this DLC.

This DLC has notably a lot less content than the previous two (for the same price). There are only a handful of missions, which is a shame as there was real potential for the ‘hunting’ theme to lead to some great monsters to fight. Instead, we have a handful of giant monster fights, which are never particularly interesting , with only a couple of decent bosses in the entire run. Where Captain Scarlett and Torgue’s DLC felt like slices of Borderlands 2 at its best, Sir Hammerlock’s DLC very much feels like Borderlands 2 at its worst.

The effort put into presentation in the previous two DLCs is also curiously lacking here, with unimaginative character and environmental design contributing yet further to the lacking feeling of this DLC.

Gearbox, a company once with a strong reputation among gamers, have fallen fairly spectacularly from grace in recent months due to the disastrous Aliens: Colonial Marines and the bellicose attitude of CEO Randy Pitchford. If Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt is an indication of the path of future Borderlands products, they could be in worse trouble than they may originally seem. This DLC isn’t bad enough for me to lose all faith in Borderlands 2 DLC, but it denies Gearbox a hat-trick of excellent DLCs which offer good value for money. hammerlock

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