Borderlands: The Zombie Island Of Dr. Ned
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

The Zombie Island Of Dr. Ned is a good example of how to do DLC properly. With some nice new areas, a new visual palette and an interesting storyline this should definitely not be missed. Zombies have been done to death before (pun intended) but Borderlansd proves that there is still some life left in the undead.

Gameplay: A tighter story and lots of zombie killing action.

Graphics: A completely new look and feel for the game.

Sound: Good but would have liked to hear some new battle cries

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Borderlands: The Zombie Island Of Dr. Ned

Developer: Gearbox Software | Publisher: 2K Games | Release Date: 2009 | Genre: First Person Shooter / RPG | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

The first bit of DLC for Borderlands, titled “The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned” opens with Marcus Kincaid telling a bedtime story to his son. It seems that the milling town (yes apparently Pandora does have trees) of Jakobs Cove has fallen foul to an undead scourge. The corporation who owns the town obviously wants the situation taken care of which is where you come in.

Jacobs Cove and its twisted story are set apart from the main game and can be accessed from any fast travel station. While it is recommended that you finish the main story first, there is nothing preventing you from jumping right into the zombie slaying action. The DLC has a completely different look and feel to the main game with some spooky new scenery. The town and surroundings is bathed in the light of a full moon and you get to visit all the classic horror movie locations like a cemetery, hospital and pumpkin patch. The whole thing has a very Tim Burton look to it which fits the Borderlands humor perfectly.

As the name suggests you’ll be battling hordes of zombies but you can expect to run into some were-skags, tankensteins and other nasties such as the loot goon as well. Zombies are unarmed but some like the defilers will projectile vomit all over you which slows you down and obscures your vision. This is two handicaps that you do not want in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. There are also some cool new bosses for you to battle. You’ll be battling against hordes of zombies so it is a pity that this DLC does not increase your level cap. The areas are a lot more claustrophobic than those of the main game so unfortunately there are no vehicle sections. You cannot fast travel to other areas in Jakobs Cove either which means that there is a lot of running back and forth between missions. Since the zombies respawn all the time you will have your work cut out for you.

Apart from the story missions there is also a bounty board in Jakobs Cove with a few new side missions. These do not really deviate from the standard fetch/kill missions but at least they are quite funny. Be sure not to miss a very special zombie who has an optional quest for you! This DLC seems to be lacking any cool new weapons and features which are bound to disappoint some players. After completing everything I only had one new, marginally better sniper-rifle to show for my troubles. There are also no new skills for any of the characters, which is a pity. Even some new battle cries would have been nice as by now I’m quite tired of hearing the same phrases yelled during combat.

Those who found the plot of the main game uninspiring will appreciate the tighter narrative in this DLC. The humor is brilliant and Gearbox even pokes fun at themselves for re-using some character models. Shooting the limbs off zombies and watching them keep coming is a blast and a few of them even managed to startle me by sneaking up behind me. Turning around to see a suicidal bomber zombie bearing down on you is quite a sight and you’ll only make the mistake of using electrical based attacks on a Frankenstein enemy once before realizing what a bad idea it is.

If you enjoyed Borderlands then you will definitely want to check out this DLC. It took me just over five hours to complete everything it had to offer and I had a blast doing so. At this point, the best bet is to buy the “Game of the Year” edition which includes all four DLC which is perfect if you have yet to experience Borderlands.

*Review originally published 2009.

System Requirements

  • 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

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