X360A Review: Borderlands 2 Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep DLC
Written Thursday, June 27, 2013 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
This it is then. Wave farewell to Borderlands 2. Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep seemingly marks the end for Gearbox's epic sequel, and whisks you away to the fantasy world of Bunkers & Badasses in what is undoubtedly the most entertaining Borderlands 2 DLC yet. This is thanks in no small part to Tina herself, who can alter the game's world on a whim as she narrates what's happening, keeping things unpredictable and dynamic. And funny. Always funny.
A humble gatekeeper can transform into Mr Torgue, an unremarkable building in the DLC's opening town of Flamerock Refuge can change into Moxxi's Girls 'n' Grog tavern in the blink of an eye, and dragons can attack at any given moment. Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep has a sweet centre too, as the action all builds up to a strangely touching and fitting conclusion for the game. And there are some great moments in here that you might not see coming. You've been tasked with rescuing the missing queen to bring order to the realm, while contending with Handsome Sorcerer and his minions. You are the all-conquering hero.
Retaining the series' trademark humour also helps keep things engaging too, with Assault on Dragon Keep bringing the funnies alongside the usual swathes of shooty action. In fact, this might just be the most shooty slice of Borderlands 2 DLC yet, with a whole range of new enemies based upon much-beloved fantasy tropes to introduce to the business end of your rifle, shotgun or whatever. Blasting orcs, basilisks, rock golems, knights, necromancers, Scottish dwarves, living trees and hundreds of skeletons is par for the course, as Assault of Dragon Keep romps from one fantasy nod to the next (expect references from Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and of course, D&D), leaving nothing safe from a lampooning. It's immense fun.
Not only is this the most enjoyable and absorbing of the Borderlands 2 DLCs, it's also definitely the prettiest, with some gorgeous orangey sunsets, sky high castles, dark forests and labyrinthine dungeons to explore. In fact if you like a bit of dungeon crawling, you'll love Assault on Dragon Keep. Once you've finished the DLC's main story, there's a whole range of side missions and treasure chests to discover, although you might want to be careful which loot boxes you open. Some of them have the capacity to surprise.
Some loot chests also have multi-sided dice to roll in order to open them up, and it's inside these that you'll find the best stuff. Playing at level 50 on True Vault Hunter mode however, we found very little worthwhile weaponry or gear that could compare to our current level 50 loadout. You might want to hit up Ultimate Vault Hunter mode if you want to snap up some good stuff, or perhaps face the DLC's fearsome Raid Bosses. The recommended level for playing? 30+, if you're interested.
Like any good dungeon crawler, there are also puzzles to solve (speak FART and enter), including a complex Rubik's cube-style conundrum that can only be solved by Brick in his own inimitable fashion. Actually, Brick comes up with a lot of the best solutions during moments like these, providing yet more smirks as you make your way through the add-on's vivid and brilliantly realised gallery of fantasy parodies. Blasting your way through Borderlands 2 has never been so exciting.
A big old chunk of DLC, Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep also doubles up on the gamerscore with 10 achievements rather than the standard trio of unimaginative objectives from the previous add-ons. There's no having to find every location and complete every side mission this time around. Instead the achievement list is actually a massively fun undertaking, and one that you'll want to complete in its entirety. Free of grinding and completing chore-like tasks, Assault on Dragon Keep is a massively enjoyable 250 gamerscore to pursue.
Seeing off Borderlands 2 with a bang – with a potential teaser of what might come next at the end – Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep is the perfect send off for the game and a great way to set up the inevitable and enormously welcome Borderlands 3. Funny, varied and entertaining, Assault on Dragon Keep is hamstrung only by a relatively short storyline. Post-story side missions and other objectives bolster the longevity however, more than making up for it. Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep is the perfect way to say goodbye to Borderlands 2. Fare thee well for now, Pandora! Fare thee well.