Gearbox is no stranger to game add-ons; the original Borderlands has four, with varying emphasis on new loot, stories, and character progression. The first expansion for Borderlands 2 was released on the 16th, and Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty was as self-explanatory a title as could be mustered. As with the other expansion packs, upon installation, a new fast-travel location appears. Should the player choose to travel to Oasis, a young orphan begins a tale of desert pirates, but is quickly interrupted by Marcus who takes over with a much more embellished introduction.
Without spoiling any of the story for you, I can tell you that this is a pretty stereotypical pirate's tale. All of the predictable plot-not-so-twists are there. The quests are entertaining but not particularly surprising after the exposition. There's a nice x-marks-the-spot style treasure hunt among the side quests, a total of five new areas to explore (all desert), and a lot of pirate-themed debauchery. The story is little more than a novelty, perhaps an excuse to have the player seek a large treasure that doesn't involve vaults. All of this isn't particularly well (or poorly) done.
There are a few nice things about this DLC, however. Shade is quite the interesting character, and he may have more character development over the eight-ish hours of this expansion than every character from Borderlands combined. Captain Scarlett provides a new flavor of humor to the dialogue, and pretty much tells you everything that's going to happen anyway. There's a new vehicle that actually maneuvers a little differently, but is only available in the new locations. Some of the loot is very nice, including a rocket launcher that shoots cannonballs and a slew of (slightly) cursed items for you to dig up. The final reward includes a new head customization for whichever character is being used, along with a bunch of guns to use or more likely sell. Oh and the final quest can be completed (and the rewards gained) as many times as you might wish.
The one thing about this expansion that I'm not sure how I feel about is the seraph crystal shop. In Oasis, there's a little shop similar to the black market in Sanctuary, but he only accepts seraph crystals for his extremely rare (pink) guns. These crystals can only be obtained from the two new raid bosses, which Gearbox seems to have taken quite the shine to. These near-invulnerable bosses can only be killed once per day each, for a maximum of sixteen crystals per day real time. For comparison, the market sells only one piece of gear for 50 crystals, the others are all priced at 120. If you're old enough to play this game competently, you should be able to do that math on your own.
All considered, I did enjoy this expansion pack. It was definitely worth the money I spent on it, as it added close to eight hours of entertainment (per playthrough) and some very worthwhile items. Some of the other features don't seem to be worth the effort, but can easily be ignored. It was fun and worthwhile, just not spectacular. For now I'll look forward to the raised level cap, while I give this expansion a 3/5.
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