Gearbox Software are in the gaming spotlight at the moment because the highly anticipated sequel to their most popular franchise, Borderlands 3, is releasing in just a few months. So how do you get gamers to be even more excited than they already were? You release brand-new DLC for its seven-year-old predecessor. And pretty great DLC at that.
Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary is a brand new piece of 4-8-hour content released for Borderlands 2, to prepare fans for the Borderlands 3 release later this year. Considering that it’s free until July 8th, I wasn’t expecting a sizeable DLC since I assumed Gearbox would be far too busy finishing Borderlands 3. And yet, ladies and gentlemen, here we are, playing through a free DLC which is much better than it has any right to be, and offers a fair few hours of gameplay if you want to reach the new level cap of 80.
Following on immediately from the end of Borderlands 2, an unexpected enemy begins his lethal assault on Sanctuary. Regrouping with the beloved characters of the first two games, and some from the sibling entries to the franchise, you’ll explore the Pandoran wasteland and desert as you fight to reclaim Sanctuary from this new infectious threat.
Side quests offer closure to an open wound never properly sewed up, and illustrate what Borderlands does best: interesting missions with laugh-out-loud dialogue from the Crimson Raiders themselves, and fetch quests which never feel too repetitive. What’s more is the DLC in general offers the opportunity to remember what playing Borderlands feels like if, like most of you including myself, you haven’t played a Borderlands game in quite some time.
The locations look different enough that roaming through these few new areas is exciting. Not simply because of the fact that they are full of infectious plants that will bite your head off faster than you can say Claptrap, but also because of the audio logs found within them explaining lore with both characters old and new. Speaking of finding things; LOOT!
Not only has the level cap increased to 80 from the original 72, but there is a new loot tier also. Rainbow loot is more powerful and rarer than any other type of loot. It’s not like we needed further motivation/be given tools of obsessions to find the best gear going as it is.
Unfortunately, although the level cap has risen to 80, there aren’t enough quests in Commander Lilith to naturally raise yourself up, which is a bit of a nuisance since grinding is now that answer. Though I think Gearbox might have known this since they added a new raid boss who is, of course, as hard as nails.
Thankfully, you can look great whilst dying over and over against this new raid boss as there are new aesthetic options for your vault hunter and their vehicles. And Gearbox have been even more generous in providing a platform for new players to play through this DLC by offering the ability to instantly make your character level 30. I.e. powerful enough to play the fight for sanctuary from the get-go.
The story beats are far better than they deserve to be considering the scale of the DLC, and the main tale is satisfying because of the relatable villain and sense of threat, despite what we know about Borderlands 3. It sets up the start of Borderlands 3 nicely, and I’m even more excited to start shooting, blasting, and blowing my way across the galaxy to reach the vaults before those freakish looking twins do. And in my eyes, that makes the Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary DLC on Xbox One a great success.