Gearbox continue their impressive post-launch content support for Borderlands 3, this time with their 2nd DLC expansion: Guns, Love, and Tentacles: The Marriage of Wainwright and Hammerlock. And much in line with Borderlands’ fashion of being upfront and putting all the cards on the table, this is exactly how you should execute meaningful, extended new content.
Building upon the world created in Borderlands 3 with new enemies, bosses, locations, quests and, of course, guns, Guns, Love, and Tentacles brings all of these factors together alongside a welcome atmosphere of dark mystery to create a pinnacle of Borderlands content, setting a benchmark for downloadable content for most games moving forward.
Among the great things this latest expansion provides to the Borderlands 3 world includes the fantastic music, which does an excellent job of not just being unexpected and surprising, but serving the situations perfectly. It ramps up tense boss battles and difficult combat encounters whilst offering spooky melodies which help emphasise the disturbingness of the appropriately named main town Cursehaven.
What’s more is that, though the new enemies included here are similar in types, such as tentacle-fueled blood wizards and snail/tortoise monstrosities, they are all different enough to keep things interesting, feeling extremely satisfying to blow up, electrocute, corrode, and burn. Being strategic against these enemies is the key to your victory in Guns, Love, and Tentacles as the new content lets you confront challenging waves of enemies in interesting new areas. Yet these never overstay their welcome or feel like a buffer to get more time out of the player instead of serving the story.
GLT feels like a genuine extension of the universe of Borderlands instead of just stretching out what is already established. It does play onto our affinity with Hammerlock and Wainwright, but it uses that affinity effectively; everything new that it introduces does so with an air of permanence. I absorbed every inch of this new content across the 7+ hours I played through its campaign, side missions and collectables, as minute details full of effort helped the world become realised. Think of stuff such as tentacles for toilets and loot chests wrapped in mythic monsters to name but a couple of examples.
And even if you aren’t familiar with Gaige, the Mechromancer vault hunter from Borderlands 2, you’ll still find her delivery and sense of humour infectious, especially since the bad writing and voice acting issues from Borderlands 3 and Moxxi’s Heist seemingly disappear in Guns, Love, and Tentacles. Throughout your time here you can witness Gaige’s semi-jokes about serial killing and wedding preparation over an expansion which doesn’t skimp on length, yet never overstays its welcome.
It doesn’t quite hit the heights of the imaginary world of Tiny Tina’s dungeons and dragons-like DLC from Borderlands 2, but not many content drops do, since that’s one of the best expansions to hit gaming, period. Moreover, there is a sense of subtlety here, one that could’ve been well-used for the more emotional moments of the game rather than them hitting you square in the face.
I have loved every minute of playing through Borderlands 3: Guns, Love, and Tentacles: The Marriage of Wainwright and Hammerlock on Xbox One. It has the missing secret sauce that Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot unknowingly skipped on: atmosphere, a theme of horrifying star-eating monsters with ghosts, evil magic and a story with characters you really care about. This is one of the best Borderlands expansions to have released, and is a must-play for every Borderlands fan.