Unlocking the secret stash of General Knoxx, we head into the third episode of content for 2K Games addictive RPG-FPS, Borderlands.
Gearbox isn’t done with Borderlands just yet, and this is proven in their latest DLC, ‘The Secret Armory of General Knoxx’. ‘General Knoxx’ is a huge expansion for Borderlands, the game that keeps giving, with a whole assortment of new enemies, a continuation of the main storyline, and more lootastic goodies. More than a new adventure, Gearbox also address a number of qualms the community has had ever since the DLC started rolling out. Well it seems Gearbox has been listening, and ‘General Knoxx’ pumps out a number of tweaks to make exploring the desolate wasteland even more fun.
Knoxx - "Doesn’t Like Mondays"
Before I get to the upgrades, let us get into a little background info on 'General Knoxx'. Knoxx continues the storyline from the first game, which is a blessing for those who didn’t like the open-endedness of the original ending. ‘General Knoxx’ isn’t groundbreaking in its storytelling, but it gives you a good enough reason to head back into the fray to deal with the re-emergency of an old enemy, the 'Crimson Lance'. Lead by ‘General Knoxx’ – “Who Doesn’t Like Mondays”, the 'Crimson Lance' starts to re-establish their dominance of a little section of Pandora with the number one objective-- killing you! The General himself is the main-boss of the expansion pack that you will face after you complete a number of challenges leading to this epic battle.
Besides hunting down the General, expect to be running around in typical bounty-board style doing odd jobs for a number of returning characters from the original adventure. This includes so returning faces like Scooter. However, for those who haven’t been to the Underdome, you will get to meet the delightfully psychotic Mad Moxxi, who is my new favourite character in Borderlands. (I must have a soft spot for girls in clown make-up) ‘The Secret Armory of General Knoxx’ has 44 missions in the expansion that will give you countless hours of adventuring. This content is extremely fun with a group, or even alone.
The way the DLC works, is by placing the player in a new hub (a town called T-Bone Junction), and from there you have to jump in a ride and head out to your objectives via a large highway system. This is brings me to my main issue with ‘General Knoxx’, and that is the amount of travelling you have sit through before you get to a mission. You will not be able to teleport to each ‘section’ of the game, which means you will eat up several hours of gameplay by simply highway driving. To spice it up there are enemies on the highway, but it becomes so redundant that you won’t even bother fighting them. After a few hours driving becomes tolerable, but it is not the best way to spend you time in Borderlands. Aside from this minor issue, ‘General Knoxx’ has no other complaints to bring up.
Look ma, I’m level 61!
One of the main issues the community has with Borderlands is the level 50 level cap. Since Borderlands encourages multiple runs, it was cruel to cut off your level before you even finished the game twice. Well, included in the new DLC is a boost to the level cap that lets the characters grow their level 50 characters into even more lethal killing machines with a new cap of 61! Eleven new levels might not seem like much if you have never played Borderlands, or don’t have a level 50 character, but if you do this is like music to your ears. More than a simple number, progressing to level 61 means you can develop your skill tree a little further, and be strong enough to fight through most problems you face in your second Borderlands run. Not to mention, Gearbox added a new foe that has emerged in the wastelands of Pandora.
Meet Crawers, Now Prepare to DIE!
This new enemy I am referring to is the all-powerful Crawmerax! Interesting enough, the Crawmerax is not part of the main story. This giant monster is a side-quest that is available through the normal bounty board that will no doubt challenge even the most hardened Borderlands vet. What makes "Crawers" so challenging is that its level is set a 61, which means you will need to be up in the rankings with some serious gun power to put it down. Locked in a Cliffside battle, the Crawmerax was designed to quiet all those gamers who have been saying, “Borderlands is too easy.”
Aside from the Crawmerax, which honestly is an anomaly, ‘General Knoxx’ has a few other enemies who will be looking to take out Pandora’s number one loot seeker. This includes seven variations on Crimson Lance soldiers, giant power-mech suits, new wasteland creatures like the ‘Drifter’, new ‘Skags’, midgets, and more.
The most note worthy additions include; the ‘Lance Assassins’ who are swift female assassins who double-wield two plasma swords, and come out the sky (literally). The ‘Lance Rocketeers’ who are equipped with jetpack that allows them to take aim from above, and the ‘Devastator’ which is Crimson Lance powered armour. The Devastator has size, speed, and payload make them a tough battle in numbers, and will be the one enemy that makes you go “Whoa”, as you start your run-and-gun assault.
The New Loot
Fighting a new enemy means you will need some new firepower, and ‘General Knoxx’ not only provides you with more random generated loot (weapons, shields, class mods), but a new class of weapons-- the ultra-rare Pearlescent class. In my play-through, I did not find a pearlescent weapon, so imagine they are sticking to their name of being the most rare weapon type in Borderlands. This gives the most persistence players another goal to achieve aside from taking down "Crawers".
On top of all this, ‘General Knoxx’ introduces three new vehicles: the Monster, the Racer, and the Lancer. ‘The Monster’ is a monster-truck styled jeep armed with a homing missile launcher and a machine gun. ‘The Racer’ which is a quicker version of the ‘The Outrunner’ from the main game. Lastly, is ‘The Lancer’ a military tank like vehicle that is used by the Crimson Lance. ‘The Lancer’ is the only vehicle in Borderlands capable of holding all four characters, making it a welcomed and much needed addition to the multiplayer Borderlands gamer.
Compared to the other two DLC offerings for Borderlands, ‘The Secret Armory of General Knoxx’ is the one I would recommend for anyone who haven’t jumped into any of the new content yet. Not only does ‘General Knoxx’ expand on the ending of the original game, but it offers up a number of new tweaks that work in everyone’s favour. Gearbox did an excellent job by meeting several of the requests from the community, while creating some nice unexpected additions (I’m talking about you Crawers). Borderlands is the game that keeps giving, and you will likely enjoy the loot-grabbing extravaganza in General Knoxx’s secret armoury.
Final Score: 8.5
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 03.01.10
- Level Cap has been raised!
- More loot, including a new class of rare loot
- You wanted more of a challenge, you got it
- 44 New Missions!
- You know it, and love it, the Crawmerax
- New vehicles that can sit up-to four people
- Quick and nimble, some new enemies has arrived
- Continues the storyline from the first game
- More Moxxi is always a good thing
- Too much driving between missions
More Borderlands DLC: Claptrap Revolution (6.8) | Mad Moxxi (7.0) | The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned (8.0))