Borderlands: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned Review
Borderlands is undoubtedly one of my candidates for Game of the Year. Sadly for me it came out at such a time where I've been dragged away from the game a little sooner than I'd like, but I was more than happy to return to the world of Borderlands - now with Zombies.
The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned - places a new area slap bang onto your quick travel list, and travelling there will reveal a substantial new spooky looking land mass filled with zombies.
Upon arriving you'll run into a friendly Claptrap and some zombies, and from there you'll find yourself blasting zombies, collecting zombie brains and generally completing a bunch of all-new Borderlands quests in an all-new Borderlands map area.
You can head to the new area at any time after level 10, though the game's story presents the events in such a manner that makes them sound as if they take place after the main game. Enemies in the content will scale to your level, so regardless of if you're level 10 or level 50 there'll be an ample challenge here - no level cap rise here.
In that respect The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned feels like a very simple, stripped down add-on. There are no new levels to gain, and there are no new weapons to use other than the usual randomly generated loot. There are a few new key items for the story, but these are rather inconsequential.
The star of this downloadable content is the Island itself - a pretty looking new area that looks unlike all the environments in the main game. It feels new, fresh and different throughout, and it almost feels this was some Halloween DLC that slipped date, as it gives off that spooky but tongue-in-cheek feel.
The dialogue is funny and witty like the main game, but the only character you'll actually meet who speaks to you in any detail is the titular Dr. Ned - who is literally identical to the main game's Dr. Zed in every way but for a cheesy mustache - and that's even referenced a couple of times by the man himself.
The enemies are exactly what you'd expect - Zombies of varying shapes and sizes, with satisfying spurts of zombie blood upon death, guttural zombie growling and zombie brains as loot to collect for a series of quests. It's all pretty well executed, and they're believable, decent videogame zombies.
The zombies actually provide a bit more of a challenge, too. Though they do the traditional slow 'zombie shuffle' they can quickly swarm the player and get in close and deal crazy damage - and worse still, if they down you they'll continue to wail on you and actually make you bleed out faster as a result - something enemies couldn't do in the main game.
There are disappointing aspects of the Zombie Island - notably the lack of new items and one area which is a slightly edited version of an area from the main game. Despite these issues, the Zombie Island provides a fair bit of a challenge and has some fun new quests.
This downloadable content really is the definition of 'more of the same', which is definitely a bit of a mark against it. However, when the main game is as good as the original Borderlands, getting more quests to complete, more enemies to fight and more areas to explore is nothing to sniff at.
It works well as a first piece of DLC for those like me who finished the first game but found themselves hungry for more - but Gearbox must ensure the next expansion is much more substantial. If you found yourself wanting more Borderlands though, this is the answer to your prayers.