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Preview: Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep

Roll for Initiative!

It’s almost an understatement to say that I love inventive story telling techniques in games. We’ve seen a bit of a surge of games which play around with the narrative of late, from Call of Juarez: Gunslinger to Thomas Was Alone, although obviously you can’t drop it in everywhere; The Last of Us with an unreliable narrator just wouldn’t work.

For quite a few games it’s not that big of a stretch to get there, and in Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep we see Borderlands 2 making that stretch. I’m glad to say that the fourth part of the Season Pass absolutely oozes inventive storytelling, and everyone will be able to enjoy it.

Throughout Borderlands 2 you will have occasionally bumped into some of the Vault Hunters from the original game. Assault on Dragon Keep sees you playing as these characters as they play a game of Bunkers & Baddasses, the Dungeons & Dragons of the Borderlands universe. Basically the whole thing serves as a game within a game, with the in-game characters becoming players themselves. Tiny Tina, for better or for worse, acts as your dungeon master as you’re dropped into this new world.

In terms of gameplay, you pick up exactly where you left off in Borderlands 2. You run around with whatever character you have built up through that game, shooting guns and using abilities. While the original Vault Hunters are ostensibly in control of the characters within Tiny Tina’s world, you still actually play using the current classes from Borderlands 2. Beyond that, almost everything else has morphed to fit into this new fantasy setting.

You might still have guns, but it’s definitely a fantasy setting.

There are now quaint little fantasy villages and towns, mysterious and deadly forests, and there will no doubt be an appearance of the eponymous Dragon Keep. Similarly, though you’re running around with your existing weaponry, you’ll be going up against traditional fantasy foes, from bow and arrow wielding skeletons to orcs and dragons.

However, all along you have the decidedly fickle and unstable Tina meddling with the game, and playing around with what’s going on. She can change her mind about pretty much anything she wants, so one moment it could be lovely and sunny, and the next it’s eternal night, courtesy of the lovely day-night cycle being sped up. Or, you can be walking along quite happily, only for Tina to announce that you’ve been beset by attackers, who will spawn in all around you.

It even extends to inserting fan favourite characters like Mr. Torgue, whether they want to be involved or not. As you’d expect, these characters will bring their own brand of carnage to the proceedings. For example, In Torgue’s case, you could end up being flung off the side of the map, or told to blow up the ocean!

The main downside to all of this is that it’s still a linear journey, and one over which you have no direct control. It all just feels a bit limited when you compare it to a real game of D&D. As soon as you step off the boat at the start, with Tiny Tina having set the scene, it’s not you who decides that you are off to investigate the town, but rather the original Vault Hunters playing this game within the game, and mainly Lilith at that.

It also mostly seems to serve as a fresh coat of paint on top of Borderland’s existing game mechanics, which rely very heavily on fetch quests, wading through enemies and chucking endless amounts of loot at your feet.

These aren’t really problems, as long as you enjoyed Borderlands 2 and its particular brand of gameplay. This DLC serves as another lovely twist on the already well received story telling and characters from that game, something that will surely appeal to fans. It will call back many players’ favourite characters, give you a lovely new setting for the gameplay, and certainly has the ability to defy your expectations and get you laughing as you play.

So it’s more of what the fans want, and in this case it’s a DLC pack which is set to eclipse all those which have gone before in terms of scale and game time. Tiny Tina’s Assault may well be the perfect way to end the Season Pass on a high note when it is released on PSN, XBLA and PC on 25th June.

23 Comments
  1. yiddo
    Member
    Since: Jun 2010

    I still need to get Borderlands 2. I loved the first and it’s one of my only platinums. I’ll get it and maul it over the summer – providing it’s still active – co-op wise – by then.

    Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 13:08.
  2. KeRaSh
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    For some reason I had no urge to get any of the DLCs so far. I played BL1 to death but after finishing BL2 I lost interest. Tiny Tina is my favorite character from BL2 so I might pick this up at some point. Looks like a lot of fun!

    Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 13:53.
  3. Forrest_01
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    I actually really like the look of this – I love Borderlands 2, but haven’t bought a single piece of DLC for it (nothing new, didn’t with the first one either). But this looks really good (& different, but the same).

    I am guessing this’ll be about £8 like the rest then?

    Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 14:17.
    • theberzerka
      Member
      Since: Dec 2009

      I never really buy dlc but I have to say each instalment has tempted me. This making me want to make a purchase.
      Sorry bout last night. The family drama escalated and I’m usually moderator.

      Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 14:59.
      • Forrest_01
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        I am actually seriously considering getting the season pass & that is just so unlike me!! :D

        I am especially liking this though, as it just looks completely different to anything that has come before (in terms of locations, enemies etc).

        No worries about last night though – I just ended up watching a bit of BGT with the missus & continued to pound away at Tekken Tag 2 for the rest of the evening. I of course missed our little session, but its not like i don’t have plenty to be getting on with! ;)

        Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 15:31.
      • theberzerka
        Member
        Since: Dec 2009

        I’m also looking at the season pass. I got to play mediator last night. That was fun :/

        Depending how well the stag do goes this weekend I may well still have a hangover on Monday so I plan on staying in bed and playing games lol.

        Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 21:50.
    • teflon
      Community Team
      Since: May 2009

      Uh, that’s right, yes. The same price as the others, at $10 or 800 MS points. I can’t find confirmation, but the previous ones are all £8.

      Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 15:16.
      • Forrest_01
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        Ah, nice one – Thanks tef. Thought that might be the case. :)

        Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 15:27.
      • theberzerka
        Member
        Since: Dec 2009

        Oooooh the cold shoulder aye? That burns :( lol

        Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 15:31.
      • Forrest_01
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        Haha, no – As if i would! Just the response to tef was a lot simpler to write first! ;)

        Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 16:44.
      • theberzerka
        Member
        Since: Dec 2009

        Thank god for that. I don’t wanna come across needy but I would’ve been sad ;)

        Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 17:50.
  4. Wardy-77-
    Member
    Since: Mar 2013

    I have to say i like the look of this and wit of this i really need to play a bit more borderlands 2.

    Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 15:48.
  5. BadBoyBoogie
    Let There Be Rock
    Since: Mar 2009

    I’m really looking forward to this. Borderlands 2 is one of my favourite games this generation and I dread to think of how many hours that I’ve sunk into it already!! Plus this DLC looks like an interesting spin on the core game.

    Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 16:15.
    • Forrest_01
      Member
      Since: Jun 2009

      “I dread to think of how many hours that I’ve sunk into it already”

      Considering how often i have seen you playing it, i would say its safe to assume: Lots. ;)

      Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 16:42.
      • BadBoyBoogie
        Let There Be Rock
        Since: Mar 2009

        lol indeed. I’ve certainly got my monies worth out of it!!

        Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 17:07.
  6. bunimomike
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    “I’m glad to say that the fourth part of the Season Pass absolutely oozes inventive storytelling, and everyone will be able to enjoy it.”

    Liar.

    :-P

    Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 16:20.
    • teflon
      Community Team
      Since: May 2009

      *with a soul.

      Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 16:40.
      • bunimomike
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        *mispronounces “a soul”* You said it.

        Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 18:16.
  7. Forrest_01
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    Out of interest, does anyone know if the season pass is still available to buy & if so, how much it costs?

    Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 17:34.
    • Wardy-77-
      Member
      Since: Mar 2013

      Yes chief the season pass is still available in all good book shops, Oh and playstation store for 19.99. ;)

      Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 19:05.
  8. Sad Panda
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    Steams tracker says I’ve currently spent over 400 hours in Borderlands 2, and I haven’t finished playthrough 3 or tried Kreig yet. I might just topple the first games 512 hours yet.

    Comment posted on 28/05/2013 at 21:51.
  9. Germanos
    Member
    Since: May 2011

    Hope the GOTY version comes soon, can’t wait to play the game :D

    Comment posted on 29/05/2013 at 07:20.
  10. sg
    Member
    Since: Nov 2011

    I was hoping it was gonna be at the by hyperion base.

    Comment posted on 29/05/2013 at 13:40.