Borderlands: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx
After their adventures on Pandora, the vault hunters are now wanted fugitives in the eyes of the Atlus Corporation. Not only has their military wing, the Crimson Lance been dispatched to the planet, but their elite female assassins are also hot on your trail. Fortunately, one of their top operatives, Athena has gone rogue and with her aid you might just be able to thwart the plans of general Knoxx.
Gearbox had a lot to prove after the less than stellar offering from their second DLC, Mad Moxxis Underdome Riot but it would seem like they definitely listened to what the fans want from this installment. The Secret Armory of General Knoxx is packed to the brim with new goodies that will have Borderlands fans smiling. Firstly, the level cap has been increased to 61 which is something fans have been clamoring for. Next up is the “Pearlescent” weapon class found in the new loot boxes scattered about. Oh, and if that’s not enough for you, how about some new locations, enemies and vehicles?
The DLC starts you off at T-bone Junction where you will encounter the familiar faces of Markus and Scooter. Here you discover about the bounty on your character’s head and the nefarious plans that Atlus has for the planet. The town serves as the hub for this DLC and is connected with areas of interest by long stretches of highway, which makes vehicle travel a must. You get three new vehicles to mess around with, the Lancer, Racer and Monster, with the latter sporting some formidable homing missiles. It’s a pity that the highway sections are so tedious to navigate and littered with roadblocks and ambushes. There is no fast travel system in place which means you’ll be driving back and forth quite a bit. The maps are huge and I actually experienced some pretty significant drops in frame rate in certain areas.
Your main foes are the Crimson Lance, who now have solders with jetpacks as well as ones in hulking mech suits. Interestingly, defeated soldiers drop “Power cores” which bestow you with temporary bonuses such as increased speed or damage when picked up. There is some new native wildlife as well in the form of giant spiders called Drifters that roam the wasteland.
Bandits are common as well and there is a new variety of Skag riding midget to contend with as well. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for the loot midgets who have a nasty tendency to jump out of loot boxes, scaring you silly. Since the desert area was once covered in water, you’ll have to watch out for all the half-buried, but very active depth charges that litter the landscape.
Missions and side quests do not stray too far from the usual Borderlands fetch/kill affairs but are at least delivered with a healthy dose of humor. Moxxi makes a comeback, no doubt due to popular demand and you’ll even have the opportunity to wipe out one of her many ex-husbands. He resides in a jail area, crawling with appropriately themed bandits and has some of the best dialogue in the game. General Knoxx himself is also a very interesting opponent, but the stress of working for a very immature superior has definitely taken its toll on the poor man. It’s these memorable characters and scenarios that continue to breathe life into the game and expand the brilliant Borderlands universe. While the plot of the original game was very thin, this DLC really fleshes things out.
Depending on your level, the game can be quite tough and I found myself dying quite a lot. There is a new arena to test your mettle as well as a near invincible (optional) boss creature to take on if you are feeling brave enough. The assassin squads that pop-up from time to time will also keep you on your toes. Overall, this DLC has a lot of content and extends the lifespan of the game significantly. The music sounded very familiar and there are still no new battle cries, but the voice acting is once again of a very high standard. I found myself laughing out loud on quite a few occasions, especially by the echo logs that the general left lying about.
If, like me you were disappointed by Mad Moxxies Underdome Riot I urge you to check out this DLC. My only complaint is the lack of fast travel and some tedious driving segments. For the rest, this is a brilliant expansion that offers a lot of bang for the price. As always it’s best experienced alongside a few friends, but unlike the last DLC it’s worth it for a single-player playthrough as well. If you only buy one DLC for Borderlands, make sure that it is this one.
*Review originally published 2010.
- OS: Windows XP/Vista
- Processor: 2.4 Ghz or equivalent processor with SSE2 support
- Memory: 1GB System RAM (2GB recommended with Vista)
- Graphics: 256mb video ram or better (GeForce 7 series or higher/Radeon HD3000 series or higher)
- Hard Drive: 8 GB or more free space
- Sound: Windows compatible sound card