Gearbox has always been good to me. Their games are fun, addicting, hilarious, and for the most part original. “Duke Nukem Forever” and the “Borderlands” series are both fun and funny and provide a welcome escape from the standard cookie-cutter gameplay. I’ve enjoyed everything they’ve released: some have been well-developed and enthralling, while others have been openly ridiculous and almost bad, but still undeniably fun. Still, the company has done a lot to keep their fans pleased without pumping out the same old content. Well, almost.
In every single other expansion I’ve played, the main plotline only provided a piece of the picture. Side quests tied together to provide something fun and semi-relevant for players when the main quest gets a little tedious or boring. New weapons provided interesting and, more importantly, useful effects to try out. The final bosses were epic and difficult but fun and their loot was at least extremely valuable, even if there wasn’t anything quite good enough to replace your equipment. The areas were new and exciting but not very confusing. All of this built into a wonderful experience with each release, and I’ve always rated them highly.
I’ve never been so conflicted about a game or add-on as I have been about “Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt” for “Borderlands 2.”
On the one hand, it’s fun and the new enemies are challenging. Witch Doctors provide a welcome challenge, and a few new creatures provide an exotic feel and their own combat tactics. It’s not bad, per se. Unfortunately, it’s just not what I’ve come to love from Gearbox. The side quests are nearly all one-offs and most are not only irrelevant but frustrating. Hunting down a giant crystalisk is cool, but I’m not going to spend three hours scouring the already-confusing landscape for eggs. The introduction of new characters is nice when side quests offer a little bit of story about them, but this time around Hammerlock and Claptrap provide the only moderately entertaining side quests while a couple added characters (with quests of their own) have little introduction and even less to contribute to the experience. As mentioned, the landscape is confusing (sometimes ridiculously so, and at one point the map is useless) and not quite as exciting as it could have been.
If anything, the whole experience is literally the most anticlimactic thing I’ve ever been through; anticlimax seems to be a motif for this add-on. Initially, players are led to expect big-game hunting and quality bonding, but it all quickly goes down the drain with the appearance of one of Handsome Jack’s underlings, Doctor Nakayama, who himself is the most pitiful, disappointed character in the history of the franchise. The new fan boat is similar to the sandskiff from the “Pirate’s Booty” add-on, just worse in every way. The final battle is the only truly original thing about this game, and provides quite a challenge on True Vault Hunter mode. Unfortunately that’s it. The final cutscene is the embodiment of anticlimax and the loot thereafter is the most disappointing I’ve ever picked up. I didn’t find a single useful weapon during the entire eight hour ordeal. Oh and in case you were looking for even more surprises, there’s another raid boss in this expansion.
I wanted to like this game; I really did. The first couple hours were actually pretty fun. Nakayama provided comic relief throughout (barely), and the fighting was fun. Unfortunately, after a relatively short time, the sense of wonder devolves into wondering what you’re even doing. The tone of literally every character turns to exasperation. Even Claptrap gives up on trying to make the game fun. I’m not entirely sure what Gearbox was trying to convey with this expansion, but all I got from it was disappointment.
Rating: 3/5 Elephants

"Could Not Retrieve any Tweets"