Review: Borderlands – Secret Armory of General Knoxx

When I hit Level 50 in Borderlands, it was like someone had shot me in both kneecaps. I felt like after finishing all the quests and getting all the achievements, DLC was the only thing that would pull me through. But then I was killing all these enemies and not reaping any rewards, as I knew the experience was going nowhere. After playing Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot, I had almost given up, feeling that my Borderlands adventure had come to an end. But all of a sudden, like a Rakk Hive foot in the face, I bounced to my feet and skipped along the yellow brick road, as Borderlands had returned; bigger and better. Secret Armory of General Knoxx had arrived.

This content picks up where the story of Borderlands went off. Without spoiling too much, the Atlas Corporation are back; bigger and stronger and more annoying than ever before. They’ve brought with them all sorts of new tools to try and take down the Vault Dwellers and reclaim Pandora and guess what you’ve got to do? That’s right – kill them, kill them all and drive them off Pandora once more. The DLC expands the game to a whole bunch of new areas that will keep you interested and challenged throughout. Believe me when I say this piece of content is big and there is a lot to do.

The major selling point of this DLC is the raise in the level cap; no longer are you condemned to stay at Level 50, as the cap has been increased to Level 61, giving you 11 new skill points across the levels and increasing your health even more each time to the point where it hits 1000. But obviously with the increase in level cap, the enemies will be a lot tougher too. In fact, it is probably best you come well prepared when you start this DLC as even me; a skilled Borderlands player struggled at first to take on several of the upgraded enemies at first.

There are dozens of new enemies in the content that change the way you play the game in some cases. Different elemental specialist Crimson Lance troopers appear, such as the Lance Pyro and its badass counterpart. Lance Rocketeers will get on your nerves as they can fly raining death from above with rocket launchers – trying to land shots on these guys can be tough when they’re on the move. Huge new mechs called Devastators equipped with dual rocket shotguns can be a beast to kill and there are some instances where you will face more than one at once. Moving away from the Crimson Lance there are Skag Riders; skags ridden by midgets throwing dynamite at you. Oh joy. The list goes on and on but in short – there are loads of new enemies in the DLC that will keep you on your feet at all times, especially towards the end of the main storyline quests in the DLC.

A lot of getting around in this DLC will be in vehicles as once again, there is only one fast travel station, and that’s in the starting area. The DLC adds three brand new vehicles, the Monster is huge and its turret fires three homing missiles per shot – Monster indeed. Then there’s the Racer; it’s basically the original vehicle from Borderlands except with a massive turbo engine on its rear; when boosting it’s the fastest vehicle in the game and you will use it to do some pretty cool things in the content including a loop-de-loop and a jump across a canyon into a prison full of bandits. Finally, there’s the Lancer, the first and only vehicle in the game to seat all four people in one vehicle. There’s a driver seat, a turret firing a two-stage laser, a mine layer seat that throws mines everywhere for enemy vehicles to set off and explode and there’s the Blast Seat which sends a shockwave around the vehicle damaging anything that gets too close for comfort. It’s a good thing there’s a lot of vehicles as there is a lot of driving and battling to be done in them. The only downside is that you can’t use the new vehicles in any of the original areas from the game.

Characters from the original game make a return in the DLC, such as Scooter who has a bigger role to play in the DLC and even has his own place in the starting area T-Bone Junction called ‘Scooters’. Marcus is back with his own place too, and is intent on taking over the Secret Armory and using it as a warehouse goldmine. Mad Moxxi is also in the content; she’s got her own place too! It’s right next to The Underdome although you can’t access the Underdome itself even if you have that content. You’ll find out quite a disturbing connection between Scooter and Moxxi in the DLC, but I won’t spoil it. Even Claptrap’s back and he’s got his own place too; the Bounty Board! Well we can’t all be lucky. The main bad guy in the story is General Knoxx; he’s been put on the planet to take command of Atlas operations after the Steele “incident” and he’s annoyed. All he wants to do is finish the job and get off the planet. You’ll fight him in the end; it’s quite funny what happens beforehand. Borderlands never fail to impress on humour.

There are a total of 44 quests in the game to keep you occupied for a long time, and all new weapons too! There’s a new gun rarity called Pearlescent that is insanely hard to find and hosts some of the best weapons in the game. The most likely place you will find these is, surprisingly, not in the Secret Armory. A particular boss in this DLC, and it’s not General Knoxx, is the hardest boss in the game. He is a Level 64 behemoth of a boss and will require all your efforts and teamwork to take down. Also a surprise is that he’s got nothing to with the storyline of the DLC. Wanna face it? After completing the main storyline of the DLC, go to the Bounty Board and take on the quest ‘You. Will. Die.” the title pretty much sums up what will happen.

The Secret Armory of General Knoxx is the complete and flawless package, cramming so much content into 800 Microsoft Points than you can hours into Modern Warfare 2. With so much fresh content and very few flaws, despite the odd glitch or inconvenience here and there, this is one of the best game add-ons you can buy. An absolute must for any Borderlands owner.

Positives

+ Loads of new content

+ The new areas

+ The replay value

Negatives

+ Unable to drive vehicles in old areas

+ Some glitches can ruin the fun

+ Still no Ninja Claptrap

Score: 10.

Reviewer: Ben Gray

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About subjectxen

Tweeter, Xbox 360 Gamer, Gaming News Writer and Reviewer.
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