Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot is the first campaign DLC released for Borderlands 3. And if the rest of the DLC pieces yet to be released follow in the footsteps of this expansion, then the post-launch content for Borderlands 3 will be very satisfying indeed. With enough differentiation to make the package feel fresh, Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot is a very good start to the DLC roadmap for Borderlands 3. Admittedly, it shows that there is some room for improvement if Gearbox can make that jump in-between updating the game continuously and developing whatever next big project they’re working on.
Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot, as the name suggests, is the journey of you, the Vault Hunter, helping Moxxi take over the Handsome Jackpot casino: a space station made by Handsome Jack himself to trap gamblers across the galaxy by making them be in debt to the casino. You’re tasked with assembling a team to dismantle the current overlord of the casino, who began running the joint after the death of Handsome Jack. The Jackpot soon degraded after Jack’s death to tribal warfare between groups of gamblers, robot bouncers and security guards.
The DLC begins in typical Borderlands fashion with an impressive introduction video which sets the scene up nicely. We get to see what damage Jack’s legacy can and will do in this DLC, but we also get some resolutions for key Borderlands characters that we didn’t get in Borderlands 3. Mad Moxxi included. There is room as well for some new likeable characters and memorable old ones who make surprising cameos. Assembling this team is most importantly fun, not just because of their personalities, but mainly due to the great Borderlands loop which is of course still present here.
Unfortunately, there are some other elements from Borderlands 3 which carry over to this DLC and aren’t very good. The writing for instance does lack in substance and has some very unfunny jokes, but it does at least manage to make the new characters likeable. And this is made ever sweeter since the design of the Handsome Jackpot is interesting and different. Whether it’s the literal garbage of Trashlantis or the main casino lobby full of Handsome Jack tribute statues, the casino feels authentic and nostalgic compared with the memories of playing a game like Fallout: New Vegas.
Unsurprisingly the music is fantastic. It pumps you up when you’re in a great combat situation and creates atmosphere when you’re wandering the halls and alleyways of this rather vast floating casino. The new enemy types feel different enough to the main game that they are challenging, though facing them can get repetitive and they don’t differ drastically from the bandits and Hyperion robots of Borderlands 3.
Some sections of the casino, however, feel dragged out due to many waves of enemies being spawned in, leaving you feeling like there’s some unnecessary length as you play through this 4-7 hour add-on. Mind you, the final act is well-paced and you’re rewarded well throughout with money and loot galore, along with an excellent final boss.
A great start is made with Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot on Xbox One for the Borderlands 3 campaign add-on roadmap. It’s not perfect by any means, but is great fun and well worth your time and money if you’ve finished up with Borderlands 3 and need a reason to return to this addicting loop.