Riding the unheralded success of Borderlands, Gearbox has released Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot for 10 dollars on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network respectively, as well as the PC. The content offers players an arena to engage in combat with increasingly difficult waves of opponents with ever changing game modes and modifications, but does it satisfy the cravings of Borderland junkies waiting for their next fix?
The answer, sadly, is no. Unlike the previous Zombie Island DLC, Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot fails to capitalize on what helped Boderlands become so beloved as it forces players to trudge through waves of waves of enemies while receiving little to no reward for doing so. All the weapon proficiency and experience points players would regularly receive from combat has been omitted for this DLC. While it makes sense as a way of preventing players from taking advantage and quickly raising their level, it also drains the game of any sense of accomplishment. Even with friends the arena’s and game modifications quickly become predictable and drab. Some little treats (an extra skill point, backpack slots) might draw some in, but it won’t keep them for long.
Another major issue I have with the DLC is the lack of an ability to save progress during an arena. If you are forced to leave (or are disconnected) the game during the match at any point, you will be forced to start at the very beginning the next time you play. This happening 2 hours into an arena is enough to turn anyone off from ever playing this DLC again.
Even if some of these things were fixed in an update, the entire focus of the content still seems misplaced. Not that Borderlands combat is bad necessarily, but it’s not what makes the game fun nor is it the games strong point.
All feeling of progression and the delights of rooting through loads of loot are tossed aside as the game attempts to beat you over the head with combat. Even the levels themselves don’t do much to show off the wonderful cell shaded style the game aught to flaunt at every chance. I would only (and barely) recommend this for hardcore and high level Borderlands players who are desperate for more time on Pandora. I’m scratching my head trying to find the logic progression that led from Zombie Island to the Underdome Riot, but I just can’t see it. It seems that wave based combat modes (Horde, Fire-fight) are all the rage lately, but this one just isn’t worth your money or time. It’s not a deal breaker in terms of purchasing DLC for Borderlands, but I sure hope Gearbox has something better up its sleeve.
[starreview tpl=46 size=’30’]