Sunday, February 14, 2010

MAD MOXXI’S UNDERDOME RIOT (Video Game DLC Review)


By Benjamin Dolle
I fell in love almost immediately with BORDERLANDS when I first played the Gearbox video game several months back-it’s quite a unique-looking and fun experience. Sadly, it also seemed to come to an end far too soon. So it was with unbridled elation that I read the news of fresh downloadable content for the game. ZOMBIE ISLAND OF DR. NED was a great romp through one of BORDERLANDS’ side stories, and the most recent add-on, MAD MOXXI’S UNDERDOME RIOT, ups the ante even further, with a variety of new challenges and play modes that will have you back on Pandora in no time.

The basic setup places you in one of Mad Moxxi’s arenas, each presenting a different challenge. Only one arena technically falls within the “underground” description, but they’re all fun, most involving fighting wave after wave of enemies while the rules vary from time to time. If you’ve played Horde Mode in GEARS OF WAR 2, you’ll have some idea of what to expect. There is a set number of waves here, though, so you can feel the accomplishment of actually finishing what you start.



Perhaps the best addition in the pack is the new bank that lets you store weapons and items, freeing up those slots in your backpack without having to give up one of your beloved objects. It’s the one element of this add-on pack that really should have been included in the original game; far too often, I previously had to make the choice of giving up a weapon that had been performing wonderfully to pick up a shiny new gun that may or may not have been an upgrade. No more worries on that score!

The biggest drawback here is that there are no experience rewards for fighting you way through the arena. If you enter at level 20, you’re going to leave at level 20, albeit likely richer, better armed and with a few extra skill points. There are advantages, certainly, but it seems like that much effort should at least come with the reward of advancing your character in more ways than loot.

Despite that, MAD MOXXI’S UNDERDOME RIOT is well worth its $10 price tag. BORDERLANDS is one of the best games to have come out in the last year, and anything that makes it a little more fun and extends your venture on Pandora should be considered a welcome purchase.

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