Borderlands 2: Captain Scarlett and Her Pirates Booty DLC review

Gearbox has wasted no time in getting post-release content queued up in the month following Borderlands 2 (opens in new tab)’s launch. First, the developer unveiled a downloadable fifth class, the Mechromancer; now, the game gets its first add-on content, in the form of the pirate-themed Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty. It’s available either as part of BL2’s season pass or as an individual download for 800 Microsoft Points or $10 (currency amount depends on your region). It’s a fun side story that should scratch that itch for more trigger-happy looting if you’ve already thwarted Handsome Jack and want something else to do as you strive to hit Level 50.

Watch gameplay from Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty

The episode starts in the desert ‘burb of Oasis, which has been overrun by bandits. After you spend a few missions clearing out the town and helping Shade, its off-the-deep-end sole inhabitant (and the numerous corpses hooked up to loudspeakers to simulate “talking”), you encounter Captain Scarlett and her merry band of Sand Pirates, who are on the hunt for the legendary Captain Blade’s Lost Treasure of the Sands.

Scarlett is, in every sense of the slang term, a “frenemy.” She openly admits that once you’ve discovered Captain Blade’s hidden loot, she’ll probably kill you for it (and her character bio caption reads “Will Stab You in the Back”). That ambience sets the tone for a series of great missions that are in the spirit of Borderlands 2’s irreverent take on post-apocalyptic loot-grabbing. Among the strange characters you’ll encounter include creepy stalkers, wacky pirates, and a censor-happy robot. All of them provide plenty of motivation to loot, shoot, rinse, and repeat, plus they’re all uniquely funny. One of the most relieving vignettes involves Scarlett quickly jettisoning any semblance of corny “arrrrrr” jokes to move ahead into the treasure quest.

The Captain Scarlett DLC opens up new weapons, enemies, and a vehicle that offer a fantastic diversion from the terrain seen in the core game. There are sprinklings of Return of the Jedi-inspired moments, like the sand skiff that you use to navigate this section of Pandora. There’s new currency–Seraph, pink crystals that you can use to buy DLC-exclusive items from a vendor in Oasis, much like the Eridium trading in the core game. Plus, the pirate characters are no slouch to fight, from the Goliath-like Anchorman and Whaler (both of whom use nautical weaponry) to the Badass Cannoneer. The enemy types resemble enemies in the core game, A.I. pattern-wise, but have some unique characteristics, in terms of weapon types. All of these elements combine well to enhance your existing Borderlands 2 game.

There are some caveats to Captain Scarlett. Like the core game, it’s best played with friends. You can solo through most of the content, but by the time you hit the colossal Leviathan in the latter section of the content pack, you will run head-on into a brick wall, unless you’ve got the right combo of weapons. It will behoove you to coordinate your purchase with your co-op buddies, or you’ll have to grind it out more to clear the content.

Watch the trailer for Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty

Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty is a great new addition to Borderlands 2. It boasts Gearbox’s clever writing and memorable characters, and it effectively adds some fantastic new additions to an already-sound game. As long as you keep in mind that it’s best played with friends, you’ll have a blast traversing the desert sands in search of more loot, lots of treasure, and (mercifully) a dearth of bad pirate jokes.

Our Verdict:

Buy it, especially if you can’t get enough loot and you want to spice up your Borderlands 2 experience.

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