By now, you’ve most likely spent a great deal of time with Borderlands 2 and you may find yourself wondering whether or not Gearbox’s upcoming DLC, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep, is worth more of your undivided attention. After the disappointing add-on story content we’ve seen thus far, you’d be right to be wary, but I am here to tell you that my 30 minute hands-on with Borderlands 2’s newest DLC left me feeling optimistic and, more importantly, it made me laugh, which is something that previous campaign extensions failed to do.
Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep sees Brick, Mordecai and Lilith sitting down for a game of Bunkers and Badasses under the narrative direction of their Bunker Master, Tiny Tina. This D&D-styled campaign kicks off with our current set of Vault Hunters acting as pawns as they play out Tiny Tina’s attempt at crafting a well-though out journey, but her young age and immaturity lead to some comedic moments as the others call her out.
For my playthrough, I was given a level 32 Krieg with a maxed out Mania tree. A sunny and vibrant world built itself around my psychopath only to abruptly shift to a barren, dead and dark environment when Tiny Tina realized the happy-go-lucky surroundings didn’t quite fit. The three Vault Hunters participating in this game of Bunkers and Badasses didn’t hesitate to pitch in their two cents when Tina’s campaign became unfair or inconsistent. For example, shortly after beating the first couple groups of skeleton swordsmen and archers, a massive dragon appeared, one that easily overpowered my character. While I was slowly dying, the other Lilith explained to Tiny Tina that the campaign couldn’t begin with an overwhelming boss fight. She reluctantly agreed, restoring my health and changing the dragon into a more manageable opponent.
The adventure continued to a small town and the locals were just waiting to be probed for information. Turns out the dark forest was my point of interest, but I’d need to get past the gateskeeper, Delvin, to proceed. Delvin was more than happy to oblige. That is, until he froze in place because Tiny Tina’s phone started ringing and she needed to answer it. Her phone call literally put the game on hold. Delvin had frozen in place waiting for her to resume the story. Who was on the phone? None other than the eccentric Mr. Torgue. He was dying to be in the game of Bunkers and Baddasses. Tina accompanied his request and suddenly Delvin turned into Mr. Torgue. Mr. Torgue wasn’t about to let us through the gate until we blew something up. That guy and his explosions. So I went off to blow up blimps and punch people until they exploded because, well, that’s what Torgue wanted. His deconstruction of Tina’s narrative didn’t go unnoticed. He was eventually ejected from the game and the better guide Delvin returned. The moments like this reminded me of what Borderlands 2 is capable of achieving when they get it right.
The rest of my time with the DLC wrapped up fairly quickly, but it was nothing short of enjoyable. Orcs and killer trees were no stranger to the latter part of my demo. Whereas past DLCs were frustrating and had me forcing myself to progress, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep had me invested from the beginning and legitimately excited about what was around the next bend and what Tiny Tina would throw my way next. Look for more on Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep as we near it’s June 25th release date.