Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage Review
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
You are an accomplished Vault Hunter who’s been travelling across Pandora and stopping the forces of Handsome Jack without breaking a sweat. After a while, fatigue may begin to set in; is this all there is to Borderlands 2? Luckily, Gearbox Software has you covered. They’ve been reliably releasing DLC for the critically acclaimed four-player co-op shooter since its release, starting with Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty, and then following up with Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage. Is it worth dropping the cash on the Campaign of Carnage, or is it just a waste of time compared to the main campaign of Borderlands 2?
The concept behind Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage is simple. Mr. Torgue is one of the many gun manufacturers selling their wares on Pandora, and he’s found another Vault. As always, there’s a catch to opening this particular Vault: the blood of a coward must be spilt by the Ultimate Badass. Torgue, who specialized in guns that create massive explosions, has taken it upon himself to find the Ultimate Badass by arranging a no-holds-barred fight to the death between competitors. You and your friends can participate in this fight any time after reaching level fourteen by travelling to the Badass Crater of Badassitude from a quick travel station.
The graphics in the DLC are the same cel-shaded, vivid visuals as the main campaign; where it differs are the environments, level design and characters. Torgue’s arena certainly has a crazed bent to it, where levels are designed to often have bottlenecked corridors or battlefields where enemies come in fast and furious waves, whereas the surrounding town has an Old West feel to it, and Flyboy’s fortress is an intimidating metal structure surrounded by lava. Torgue’s weapons are well-known for their penchant to explode, and the DLC features loud booms and bangs aplenty, where new weapons often crack and blast in a satisfying manner, and there’s often the growling of machinery and the percussion of gunshots in the background.
The Campaign of Carnage doesn’t differ from the main game in terms of gameplay or mechanics; in that respect, it’s simply more of the same great Borderlands fun. Torgue’s arena does offer new quests with tiers of difficulty, new achievements, a few new weapons, and most enticingly a new vending machine that offers strong weapons that can be purchased with Torgue-brand currency dropped by enemies through the DLC. Even veteran players will be tempted by some of these rewards, and there’s enough challenge involved in obtaining them that the DLC is fun without being boring.
Players will definitely have to earn their new gear. Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage will take you to new locales to compete with your foes. There’s eight hours of new content, and while some of it are quirky side-quests like participating in a battle royale bar fight, collecting glamour shots of Mad Moxxi, or racing bandits through dusty trails, other parts are much closer to the original Borderlands 2 campaign of gunning your way through waves of tough enemies in order to reach a target or complete a quest. While some of the new locations are well-designed and fun to explore, others are badly designed and unnecessarily maze-like; at one point, my friends and I spent half an hour killing our way through a gigantic, several-story high metal structure. We finally made it to the top floor after getting lost multiple times… only to find out that the quest marker was actually hidden down on the bottom floor and our efforts had been completely pointless. By the time we found the correct marker, the enemies in the structure had respawned and we had to complete the whole slaughter over again. While these flawed areas are few and far between, they manage to quash the fun.
Torgue’s arena isn’t all new and unfamiliar; the Vault Hunter can expect to run into some familiar faces from the main campaign. Moxxi and Tiny Tina are on the Vault Hunter’s side – which is fortunate, because the Campaign of Carnage is also packed with competitors and villains who want the Vault Hunter dead and gone. Mad Moxxi and Tiny Tina offer quests to increase your odds of victory, and you’ll need every ounce of help you can get; not all of your competitors fight fair, and you can expect shenanigans and back-stabbings aplenty.
You also earn an unexpected ally of sorts throughout your adventures: Mr. Torgue himself, who is impressed with your feats of derring-do. Of course, the main advantage of having Mr. Torgue around is that he will have a constant line of commentary and narration running on your ECHO log. This is where Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage really shines: Gearbox Software has some of the best character writing in the business, and Mr. Torgue is a never-ending font of hilarious quotes. It’s impossible to provide an example without butchering the humour, because Torgue’s humour relies on his delivery of the lines, which is done in such an over-the-top, completely insane fashion that even banal lines become laugh-out-loud funny. Torgue isn’t the only character who will make you chuckle, of course; Tiny Tina is always a source of humour (“These [chocolate chip cookies] are raisin! Why do bad things happen to good people?!”), and Moxxi works some rough chuckles, such as when she tells the tale of why things didn’t work out with her cannibal girlfriend.
Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage is a must-have for the dedicated Vault Hunter. This DLC perfectly balances keeping the same great Borderlands 2 feeling while bringing something new to the table, and the result is a near-perfect blend of hectic gameplay and over-the-top atmosphere. If you and your friends are aching for some new challenges, Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage is an excellent place to get your fix – and if you just want to see some stuff explode, there’s no better place to sate that urge.
Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage earns a 4.75/5.00.
About This Post