Wednesday, February 24, 2010

First Look: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx

Last night we (Barry, Chuck, Ben, and I) took our first dive into the latest Borderlands DLC, The Secret Armory of General Knoxx. So far it's delivering more of that same feeling that made the main game so awesome, and it's definitely offering a more genuine Borderlands experience than the last DLC, Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot.

We're still waiting to see some of the new loot drops that were promised in a lot of the previews, but I have a feeling that will come with time. I think part of the problem is that we're using our Playthrough 1 games. This was not our original intent, but starting off with Playthrough 2 proved a brutal and foolhardy endeavor. One of the initial mission starts off with enemies IN the main city, T-Bone Junction, and on Playthrough 2 these enemies are Level 51 and clearly very upset with our adventurers. From there it seemed to just get worse as we ran into nothing but Level 51 and above characters on our way to the first mission outside of the "safety" of T-Bone Junction.

However, once we moved over to our Playthrough 1 games things started to move along a lot smoother. Our hope is that we can spend some time leveling up and then move over to Playthrough 2... perhaps on a second playthrough of the DLC, which is not at all a foreign concept to us. As I said before, this feels like Borderlands again, and is quickly washing away the bad memories of Mad Moxxi. We've already spent a lot of time dead at the expense of bad driving or the occasional land mine. We're still getting a feel for the lay of the land. It appears that there aren't many fast travel stations, and it's forced us to use the expansive highway system Gearbox has built for General Knoxx. I can't tell if this will ultimately add or detract form the experience. So far it's been fun to blast enemy drones along the way and to explore the Crimson Lance facilities that initially impede your progress.

Early on, Scooter shows up to assist by helping you assemble a new vehicle, The Monster. He's also there to add the same humor he did in the main game (you also get an update on his "friendship" with Lucky!). We had many laughs last night thanks to ol' Scooter. The Monster boasts a machine gun that thumps along with a more authoritative sound than the original and a cannon that shoots a cluster of heat-seeking rockets. We've also come across another vehicle called the Racer that is very similar to the main game's vehicle only faster.

We'll be getting back into it tonight, and hopefully there will be more good news to report. Barry has devised a graphical representation of wicked levels for our merry band (you'll have to click on it to get a clear look at it). As you can see, we're sitting in a good place right now. I hope that trend continues.

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