What is it?
Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty is the first batch of story-based DLC for Borderlands 2.
This new DLC adds three achievements/trophies, seven new regions, a collection of hilarious new characters (like the dreadfully lonely Shade), more loot to snatch, new enemies to kill, a brand new wheelless vehicle (the sand skiff), and a few challenges for your badass rank. You don’t have to have beaten the main game to access this DLC, but you will need a character at level 15 or higher. To begin the new content, head to a fast-travel station and select the (mostly) deserted town of Oasis.
This is a classic take on pirates but told on the world of Pandora, and the writing is just as funny and witty as gamers have come to expect from Gearbox. As usual, players are on a search for treasure (seeing as how they are vault hunters), but sadly, unlike the main game, the story falls a bit flat towards the end. On the plus side, though, the new characters still shine throughout the lackluster story.
The aforementioned Shade is the only resident of Oasis who hasn’t died of thirst. Partly to keep himself entertained and partly to feel less alone, he pretends that the other townsfolk are still alive. Once you set foot in Oasis, he doesn’t want to let you go.
Titular pirate Captain Scarlett is another great character. Gearbox (and Captain Scarlett herself) let you know as soon as you meet her that she will betray you eventually. She looks fairly intimidating but is often just as awkward as Lilith when interacting with Roland (her ex).
The new environments are fast-paced and provide plenty of places to explore, and the sand skiff proves to be the best vehicle featured in a Borderlands game to date. It is supposed to feel like something out of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and it is entirely successful on that front. The new enemies are welcome, and in terms of play time you really feel like you are getting enough bang for your buck, considering that this DLC adds roughly 8-10 hours of gameplay. After having poured a few hours into this side story, returning to the main game feels strange.
There is a mix of new foes to go along with the old, but many of the “pirates” are simply bandits in new outfits. The story fails to live up to the DLC of the original Borderlands – Gearbox had set the bar high, and weren’t quite able to reach it this time around. And while there are plenty of missions, there aren’t really new types of missions; its still “go here, find this, kill him/her.”
There are also times when you are given no direction at all. For example, when you first download the DLC, it is not immediately apparent that in order to access it, you need to go to a fast-travel station. Also, when Captain Scarlett announces that she would like to meet you, she tells you which region she is in, but not how to get to her.
Is it worth your money? That depends. If you bought the Borderlands 2 season pass (which costs $29.99), then you’re already locked in for this and the next three story DLCs. If you didn’t sign up for a season pass (yet), then this will run you $9.99, or the equivalent in Microsoft Points.
Hardcore vault hunters who have already beaten the game (possibly multiple times) will likely appreciate the added gameplay, while those who haven’t finished the game yet may not get enough out of the DLC for it to be worth it.
In terms of sheer amount of content, Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty might be a steal at $9.99. If you do play and enjoy it, spring for the season pass (as long as you can afford it). In comparison, the Black Ops 2 season pass also grants gamers access to four different batches of DLC, but will cost you $49.99 instead of $29.99. Think about it.
This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Borderlands 2: Captain Scarlett and Her Pirates Booty DLC by 2K Games and Gearbox