hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Review: Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep

6:30 AM on 06.25.2013 // Chris Carter
  @DtoidChris

Delightful Dungeons and Dragons DLC

[Disclosure: Anthony Burch, the writer of Borderlands 2, was previously employed at Destructoid. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into the review.]

Dungeons and Dragons is a game of alliances, treachery, and triumph -- in short, the experiences and emotions you accrue as a result of various campaigns are very much real. The newest Borderlands 2 add-on tackles that concept, as Tina hosts her own very similar fictional game of "Bunkers and Badasse"s in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, and you're the star.

This isn't your typical DLC, as all gameplay takes place within Tina's fictional fantasy realm, ranging from medieval towns plagued by a dark sky, to underground dwarf cities, to eerie swamps filled with Orcs.

Gearbox really went all out on this one.

Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])
Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
Released: June 25, 2013
MSRP: $9.99, 800 Microsoft Points (Part of the Season Pass)

After teleporting to the unassuming Docks waypoint, you'll immediately trigger an even that whisks you away to Tiny Tina's made up topsy-turvy world, consisting of rainbows, magic, and of course, death. Tina is a dungeon master -- the overlord and host of a deadly tabletop simulation involving your character as the hero. The world is constantly evolving to fit Tina's ADD-riddled mind, with day becoming night, havens becoming hazards, and so on, on a moment's notice.

Now, Tiny Tina is a pretty polarizing character, so let me make this part clear -- she narrates nearly the entire DLC. While there are many moments of pure action and questing that involve no narrative whatsoever, Tina does have a marked impact on the story of the DLC, which transcends the fictional tabletop realm on occasion. While I'm not entirely fond of the character, I don't dislike her either, so I never found her to be particularly funny or offensive -- she's just kind of there, and the same goes for this DLC.

But the main hook isn't just Tina herself -- it's the really cool transitions where she changes the world around you to suit her story. As in, "bam," a magical flash of light happens, and all of your surroundings have changed. It's a neat mechanic that I wish was used more often, but the few times it is used for "wow factor" and as comic relief were brilliant. "Relief" is probably the best way to put it actually, as Anthony Burch's signature potty humor permeates through practically any serious tone. In other words, if you dislike fart jokes -- get out while you still can.

That's not to say the narrative doesn't attempt to get serious on occasion however, as the "B" plot so to speak deals with Tina and her inability to cope with a recent death in the game's cast. This event is only barely touched upon as the DLC gets underway, but by the end, the concept of false reality is abandoned, and the conflict is resolved. It isn't nearly as poignant as the team may have hoped, but it's a great way to tie this otherwise gaiden-esque story into the core narrative at large. You'll plainly see where both sub-plots are going very early on in the adventure, but you'll have a lot of fun getting there.

Besides the interesting concept and the unique set transitions, what excited me most about the DLC was the refusal to re-use assets -- which is usually a Gearbox staple tactic. As many people know, one of my chief complaints about the first Borderlands is the fact that nearly every enemy was either a Bandit, a Skag, or some kind of Dr. Moreau-ian hybrid of the two. But similar to Borderlands 2 proper, you'll take a break from the typical enemies you've become familiar with, as Skeletons, Dragons, Orcs, Wizards, Dwarves, and many more brand new enemies join the fray.

Heck, even the game's chests, posts and Vending Machines are re-done and re-worked, the latter of which look natural as stained glass arrangements. I also have to hand it to the design team for creating one of the most genuinely terrifying Mimics (a fake chest-monster) in all of gaming -- a creature that's Dungeons and Dragons to a tee, and will have you wary of opening any big chests.

The town of Flamerock serves as your last bastion of safety, doling out sidequests at your leisure. Sidequests this time are a bit more meta than usual, with one particular quest called "Fake Geek Guy" as a standout, involving Mr. Torque's desperate attempt at approval, and Lilith's cold insults and challenges of his "geek cred." While there's easily a chance for over-indulgence here, these quests manage to keep the message light-hearted, and within the tone of the game and the DLC -- in short, it's all good fun.

Assault on Dragon Keep is easily the longest DLC yet, trumping the other rather brief main questlines. In fact, Dragon Keep manages to go on for quite a while, nearing 10 hours of story content and 15-20 hours if you tackle everything. Thankfully, it just manages to not overstay its welcome as it culminates in one of my favorite boss fights in the series, which is always a good thing. Raids are also back, as are brand new weapons and items centered around the theme, so there's plenty to do.

Looking back, although I did enjoy Captain Scarlett and Mr. Torgue, neither of them were nearly as in-depth as this DLC, which is a benchmark for future Gearbox add-ons. Although they could have stood to have gone a little farther with the concept, if you can only choose one campaign, this is easily it.



THE VERDICT

9

Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Entrancing - It's like magic, guys. Time disappears when this game and I are together, and I never want it to end. I'm not sure if this is a love that will last forever, but if it is, you'll get no complaints from me.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

gajknight avatargajknight
Everyone's playing MGSV...and I've just arrived in Skellige in The Witcher 3. At this rate, I'll get 'round to MGSV when the PS7 arrives.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Currently learning Little Trinketry from Valiant Hearts: The Great War on piano. [youtube]http://youtu.be/40fulS_olU8[/youtube]
Retrofraction avatarRetrofraction
MGSV is literally the Skyrim of stealth. 15 hours 3%... #Sneaker'sdelight
ThinMatrix avatarThinMatrix
The Kickstarter campaign is now live for Socuwan – the quirky indie MMORPG created by the community, for the community! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1465468930/socuwan-the-community-driven-indie-mmorpg
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
Excellent video game OST's for the week (no particular order): 1) Super Stickman Golf 2 2) Lethal League 3) Crypt of the Necrodancer
DanteKinkade avatarDanteKinkade
Final season of Continuum is on tonight, featuring time traveling solders in power armor. I can't wait! https://carl9000.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/c15.jpg?w=842
Kallo avatarKallo
That moment when you look at your backlog of games...and it looks back and you and says "What the hell man? you have over 100 games on this list!". I feel guilty...
Steven Hansen avatarSteven Hansen
Idris Elba needs to be James Bond & heck to anyone who thinks otherwise
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
We need a Dtoid RPG that stars Mr Destructoid, Gardevoir, Macho Man Randy Savage, and MATT DAMON. The hub zone will be Nekro's dungeon.
Cynic without a Cause avatarCynic without a Cause
In the middle of discovering a bunch of Hirasawa Susumu's non-film related work. Currently listening to Planet Roll Call. Fantastic album!
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
*Looks at Battle.net* League of Storm Heroes. Magic: The Hearthstone. Diablo. Starcraft. World of Warcraft. Oh, pay $10 to unlock Tychus. ...Guys, is Blizzard evil? I mean really, despicably, EA-level evil?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Do you enjoy MOBA games such as LoL, Dota 2, or HOTS? Why or why not? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
The Witcher 3 is 30% off on GOG.com, if you thought it was a bit expensive at launch. You get store credit too.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Realized I've turned on my PS3 in the past month or two only to watch Mario cartoon DVDs. I really need to get around to playing something - anything - on it.
Perro avatarPerro
Listening to Studio Ghibli Collection at work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_WbO_LPXDo Reminds me that my dad really liked Howl's Moving Castle. He's retired military and serious most of the time but rather enjoyed its fanciful world.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Sorry for my inactivity... I've been lacking motivation and have nothing on my mind right now so i haven't blogged in a while. Still playing Grandia 2 anniversarry, getting annoyed by mount and blade warband's phantasy calradia mod and other shit...
CaseyCor avatarCaseyCor
Donkey Kong Land 3 Any% Speedruns, right now! [url]http://www.twitch.tv/caseycor[/url]
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Remember Black? That PS2 era shooter from Criterion? It has a REALLY good orchestral soundtrack. I'm gonna throw that in my MGSV iDroid. Why not.
CaseyCor avatarCaseyCor
Can't sleep cast: Donkey Kong Land Any% [url]http://www.twitch.tv/caseycor[/url]
ooktar avatarooktar
Defeated a sniper in MGS V by dropping supplies on his head. 10/10.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep


  Aug 29

Tiny Tina demonstrates the power of fantasy

New Borderlands 2 DLC trailer sets stage for adventure


  May 02

Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina DLC announced (Update)

Gearbox's Anthony Burch's tweet confirms title


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -