One of the main things I remember from the original Borderlands is the DLC. In some instances, $10 buys you an extra hour or two of supplemental gameplay, but each piece of Borderlands DLC added extra storylines, vast new areas and several hours of content to the game. The only sore spot was the second one, Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot, which was nothing but arena based fights that earned you no XP. The second DLC release for Borderlands 2, Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage, makes reference to the Moxxi DLC but does everything better, and it’s a fun campaign that’s a great addition to the game.
Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage begins with the discovery of another vault. The Torque Corporation has claimed the vault, located in the “Badass Crater of Badassitude”, and has formed a competition to find the #1 Badass to open the vault. You are quickly recruited and then betrayed by Piston, who owns the top spot on the leaderboard. In order to claim your prize (and your revenge) you’ll need to fight your way up the ranks, proving yourself as the #1 Badass of the land.
The campaign is primarily story driven missions, although there are a fair number of arena-style “go into this locked room and kill everyone” sections. The balance is good, and many of the arena type missions are optional, so you can take on the challenge for XP and loot, or simply skip them. In general, you’ll play a challenge once, and then be able to play it additional times on higher levels. While some of the early ones weren’t especially challenging as a level 34 Siren, after playing through a few, I unlocked challenges with level 50 enemies, so it’s certainly not a walk in the park.
Just like the rest of Borderlands 2 you’ll encounter some bizarre and colorful NPC’s along the way; some of them familiar, like Moxxi and Tiny Tina, and others are new, like Mr. Torque. I was really happy to see more of Tiny Tina, who was my favorite character in the main game, but Mr. Torque steals the show here. Loud and energetic, his character and dialog are the perfect mixture of insane and hilarious that defines the Borderlands universe. I laughed a lot at Torgue’s dialog, and overall, I found this to be the funniest section of the game.
In addition to the regular vending machines, Campaign of Carnage adds special Torque models, which specialize in selling Torque weaponry, all of it as explosive as the man himself. Those machines require Torque tokens, which you receive as payment for completed quests, or for taking down badass and boss characters. There are some powerful weapons to buy but they’re just normal weapons with explosive damage, so they don’t really add anything new.
Fighting my way through the badasses was fun, and each one has a separate area and style that set them apart. The fights were challenging but manageable up until the last one, the first part of which was completely insane. I’m all for a challenge, but a boss that is two levels below me shouldn’t have attacks that are essentially one hit kills. The setup is such that, rather than fighting head on, you can slowly grind it out from behind cover, but it’s hard to feel like a badass when you’re crouched behind a wall.
That complaint aside, Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage is a fun, funny addition, the main story of which took me four-five hours to complete. Aside from some shadow pop in it looks, sounds and plays as good as the main game, and Mr. Torque alone is worth the price of admission. It’s a little disappointing that, like the last DLC, this one doesn’t raise the level cap for players, but if you enjoyed Borderlands 2 and you’re looking for more of it, it’s a great pickup.
Review copy of game provided by publisher. Primary play on Xbox 360.