Following the not-so-memorable Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot DLC, and the much-improved Guns, Love and Tentacles DLC, it seems that third’s time the charm for Borderlands 3. With the latest Bounty of Blood, Gearbox Software has certainly delivered the best piece of DLC for the game, combining some great storytelling, interesting characters, an engaging world to explore and plenty more guns, loot, and fun to be had, making Borderlands 3: Bounty Of Blood an excellent outing for the Vault Hunters.
Taking players to the planet of Gehenna, it will be up to you to restore the balance in the old town of Vestige. As the nefarious Devil Riders, who literally ride dinosaur-like creatures known as the devils, besiege the town, players will have to take the fight to them and retrieve the Macguffin that is the Obsidian Stone. It is pretty standard fare for a Borderlands 3 adventure, but this DLC does it with a different kind of panache.
Throughout your adventure on Gehenna, you will hear a narrator known as The Liar that will guide you along the way. Narration in games can be a hit or miss, but The Liar works perfectly in Bounty of Blood, adding much-needed spice into the proceedings. The occasional hints and tips certainly help as well, and it makes one wonder why more games do not utilise this design feature more.
Jokes and humour tend to permeate the entire Borderlands 3 experience, whether appropriate or not, so it comes as a pleasant surprise to see it toned down a little in this latest DLC. Sure, there is still plenty of consistent material, but they are delivered in a more well-paced manner, which actually allows the series’ humour to hit home more often than not, and makes the time spent in Bounty of Blood more entertaining as a whole.
In fact, this proportionate pacing extends to the gameplay loop in Bounty of Blood in general, where unlike certain parts of other DLC or even the main game, going from mission to mission in this latest DLC is a hoot, and you will not feel like stopping. There is always something happening to push you along, and the hook always manages to keep your attention just a little longer. The Liar is instrumental to this cycle, and it is a joy to behold.
Alas, the same cannot be said for the sidequests. While a small selection is fun and interesting, most quests kind of falls into the boring fetch quests category. Although they still pack some of that signature humour, your actions and time spent can be better used elsewhere.
Thankfully, the combat is still satisfying, be it in solo play or in co-op. Enemies are smart enough to offer a challenge, but your overwhelming firepower should hold you in good stead throughout the 6-8 hours. Even the boss fights are tweaked to perfection, offering plenty of resistance and reward once bested.
As for the world, Bounty of Blood takes inspiration from both the Wild West as well as elements of Japanese culture. Gone are the usual architecture you would expect from Borderlands 3, and enter some truly awesome looking visuals and environments for you to blast through. It has been a while since the game warrants you to take a breather and just admire how great everything looks.
The different levels you will explore are humongous and ripe for exploration. Despite their size, there has been some clever design to ensure that traversing them is no hassle. Curiosity is almost always rewarded, and going off the beaten path in search of loot is always a Borderlands staple.
Of course, the loot game in Bounty of Blood remains as strong as ever. Throughout your stay in Gehenna, be prepared to get showered with powerful weapons and useful gear. There are plenty of toys to play with, and there is sure to be a gun for everyone out there. The cosmetics are aplenty too, so you can make your Vault Hunter truly stand out for the badass they are.
With Bounty of Blood, Borderlands 3 has arguably the best piece of DLC the entire series has ever put out. The delightful story the colourful characters, and The Liar make for a wonderful narrative experience, and the strong foundation of gameplay and loot makes everything even better. While the sidequests can largely be a miss, they do not take away from the bucket loads of fun that awaits.
Borderlands 3: Bounty of Blood is available on Steam for S$19.90.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
More fun, guns, and loot await in Gehenna and Bounty of Blood, as Gearbox hits a home run with the best DLC to date for Borderlands 3.
Gameplay - 9/10
Story - 9/10
Presentation - 9/10
Value - 9/10