After having a go at the latest Borderlands 3 expansion, I’ve come across a realization: when Gearbox tries harder than usual, they really succeed.

As fun as Guns, Love, and Tentacle is, the comedy is still kinda forced. Borderlands 2’s Gaige is a welcome presence, but her writers really are trying to make “margs” a thing. She ends up being a talking joke box, for better or for worst.

Thankfully, the gunplay and scenic views are still fun and breathtaking. The icy planet of Xylourgos houses a number of challenging mobs. The alien wolves can get tough when the buff-giving Howler and the long-ranged Huntress come into play. The cultists you fight can get very annoying and challenging if you don’t kill the flying midget “sorcerers” quick.

Those tiny buggers can amplify their friends AND resurrect them into walking time bombs that deal significant damage when they explode in your face. It got so tough late-game, I had to tone down my difficulty from Mayhem 3 to 1 just to get a leg up.

Last Kings

And then you have the bosses, which is perhaps the DLC’s true highlight.

Halfway in the game, you’ll fight a powerful cult servant called the Empowered Scholar. At first, he summons more mobs and shields himself while regenerating at intervals; you need to shoot down the totem poles that power up his shield. Later, he then teleports to the far right of the map and regenerates while shielded. You need to march on there, jump on a few platforms, and then take down the totem poles ASAP unless you want to fight him at full armour AND shield.

To be fair, the Wotan The Invincible boss fight in the Maliwan Takedown is pretty awesome. He has shields you need to pierce through using the environments you have, and his endgame phase gets harrowing with all the high-level mobs spawning if you’re not careful. I’m actually glad that the difficulty for that is toned down so that I can actually solo it in Mayhem 4.

All I’m saying is that Borderlands 3 is at its best when it presents itself with creative boss fights like these. Still, it’s the new loot that will keep fans on-board with this expansion. So far, I’ve had a lovely time with my new Soulrender, a Dahl rifle that shoots ghosts, and the incendiary-tastic Flama Diddle shotgun.

For a full Legendary guns list, head here.







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