Borderlands 3 DLC Review

Considering at this point, there are six DLC options out (four story-based, two general add-ons), I'm going to keep them separate from the central review. That being said, I'm not going to deep dive them, but review them all at once with any high/low points to note.

Unlike BL2, which had progressively better story expansion releases (barring DLC 2), BL3 reverses the trend. The best one is the 1st, and they progressively get worse. So 3rd is okay, but 4th is meh.

Naturally, you can buy DLC packs individually or in bundles. If you are a BL3 fanatic, you will probably buy the season passes. That's fine; that's mostly what I did too. But if you're looking to be more selective with your time or dollars, read on for some recommendations.

Designer's Cut

This is the only way to get more Vault Hunter stuff since the devs said they won't be releasing any new VH's, just expanding their skill trees. I got this well after completing the game because it was released about a year later. If you are new to BL3 and plan on playing it a lot, I say get this DLC upfront. The 4th skill tree and new action skill for each VH just means more ways to play and explore builds as you progress. If you buy this near the end of your BL3 "life," so to speak, it won't get much value. Sooner the better. I don't think this is an essential purchase, but it's one of the best. (If you can swallow a $15 price tag.)

Not every one is a winner - FL4K's new action skill is pretty useless in any end game scenario - but still welcome. As an Amara main, I appreciated having access to Cryo and more melee builds. On the other hand, Zane just kinda gets more of the same stuff, and Moze gets a true alternative to being in her mech by summoning it as a cute and smaller version that followers her around instead.

There's also an entirely new game mode called "Arms Race," which is like a weird coop Battle Royale thing. I actually never played it, and many people say it's lame. But there is unique loot to be found if you bother with it, you can't get anywhere else.

Verdict: BUY!

Director's Cut

This is the one DLC I do not own, nor do I plan on buying it at this point. Other than a new raid boss, there's nothing of interest here to justify its asking price. If it was $5, I would probably get it, but at $15, it feels like a scam, and they have run out of ideas to put into DLC. It also puts the game's most widely hated character, Ava, front and center for the new missions. What were they thinking?

Verdict: NEIN!

Moxxi's Heist of the Handsome Jackpot

The devs came out swinging with this one. Heist is top-notch material and the best Borderlands DLC pack outside Dragons Keep. The level design is glorious, the story is compelling, the NPC's are great, and the various enemies and bosses are entertaining to fight. I'm highly considering replaying this one because it was so much fun. If you're only going to buy one story pack out of the four, this is the one to get!

This is my shortest review because it basically has zero problems, and I don't want to spoil anything. It's peak BL3, so just experience it for yourself!

Verdict: PLAY!

Guns, Love, and Tentacles

This pack has some of the most interesting visuals and effects. All the creepy tentacle stuff is a great change, and there's some really clever level design. If you aren't fond of Hammerlock and his partner, you won't be that invested here. But if you like them, there's a sweet arc to getting them married. Also, my favorite BL2 VH Gaige receives a lot of time here, which made me enjoy it even more.

After Heist, this is the best pack by far; there's also a very essential artifact called the Pearl you'll want as gear. I wouldn't recommend buying this standalone, but it's an easy play as part of the season pass. Make sure you do the side mission called "The NibbleNomicon" because it's epically absurd and glorious.

Verdict: Maybe...

Bounty of Blood

More of an experiment, this pack is interesting in that it has a Narrator with a mix of scripted and reacted voiceovers based on where you go and what you do. Thematically, they capture a Wild West "but in Borderlands" vibe, which was fun. There are some great side quests, and wonderful boss fights to be had. But the story is mainly uninteresting. The primary villain is compelling but gets very little screen time which dampens the effect. The NPC's were mostly obnoxious, and I wasn't invested in helping or saving them at all.

Like DLC 2, there are a few standout side quests, and boss fights that rival or exceed the base game. Make sure to do the one involving a guy stuck in a bubble bath. But it's not really enough to recommend still. Same advice as #2, don't buy it alone, but if you have the season pass for it, mine as well play it.

Verdict: Maybe...

Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck

How did Gearbox F this one up? It seems like it would be an easy slam dunk for Borderlands to go into the mind of a Psycho. While thematically interesting, they mixed severe and silly to ill effect, as well as featuring poor level and enemy design. Krieg and the FF reach high but fall short of the mark.

Without any particular explanation, somehow, you literally go into the mind of Krieg and try to solve his issues and traumas. While producing some of the wildest and wacky visuals you'll ever see in this game, that's about the only thing going for it. The story isn't interesting, the level design is atrocious, and the enemies are bland. They also spawn at 3-4x the usual number, so you are stuck fighting literal armies of enemies for no particular reason. Eventually, I realized I could just run past most fights.

Some heavy themes are going on here in the story. While I applaud anyone trying to show these kinds of things in a game, I have serious doubts that Borderlands is the place to do it. I'm not sure it's the space to discuss heavy trauma, suffering, grief, and healing fractured psyches. While these are important topics, and I like to see games tackling them, it's better left to more serious titles. BL3 is too full of absurdity to ever make it meaningful.

Verdict: NEIN!