H.G. Well I’m Screwed: Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt Reviewed
So for all the Big Game Hunt has going for it, even experienced players might need to prepare themselves. To die, a lot, that is. I mentioned earlier that the DLC is geared toward people who’ve completed the main game, but that isn’t just in the story. The Big Game Hunt is noticeably more difficult than most of what you’ll experience in Borderlands 2, to the point I would heavily recommended that you start it only after you’ve leveled up to at least 36.
Mock me all you want, pro-level players, but I started it at level 35 and got my ass handed to me over and over again. Once I reached level 36 and unlocked a couple of new weapons, it got easier, but not by much. I honestly hadn’t seen that many enemies with skulls next to their names since before I passed level 10, and the result was a lot of wasted ammo and even more wasted money (note to self: just go to Claptrap’s retreat and buy the cheapest possible ammo whenever possible).
The DLC is particularly hard when you’re up against some of the new beasts, like seemingly immortal floating creatures who essentially live off the shock elemental effect; they lackadaisically float at you, giving them tremendous tactical advantage, can absorb a tremendous amount of fire, and do massive amounts of damage with every hit. The new human enemies, savage natives based very much on the Skull Island natives from King Kong, are also a be-eye-itch. They come in some neat variations, like the Witch Doctor, and also some rather roided out leveling as well (seriously, run fast from Ultimate Badass rank enemies.)
Really, as with all of Borderlands 2′s toughest moments, the easiest way to make it through in one piece is to play with friends.
Granted, some players might find a few things to complain about. Though it’s long enough that you’ll feel your money was well spent, I can’t help but wonder if the ramped up difficulty I experienced somewhat artificially extended the length of the game. You’ll also notice that non-story quests are a bit rare, and that Aegrus seems to have a lot of irrelevant space, making it feel a bit slower to navigate than anything previously seen in the game. Added to this is the continuation of one of Borderlands 2′s few terrible aspects, the inscrutable mapping system. More than anything else I’ve personally experienced in the game, I found myself frustrated, wandering around semi-aimlessly to find an objective. CONFIDENTIAL TO GEARBOX: for Borderlands 3, try making the path to objectives clearer.
Finally, I wasn’t bothered by it in the slightest, but if you were expecting nothing but a hunt quest-centered packet, you might be disappointed.
However, the fact is that the opening cutscene, done up to look like old, worn out, black and white film stock, immediately lets you know what kind of story you’re in for; a pastiche of The Island of Doctor Moreau and numerous other lost continent stories. And that’s awesome. You’ll love the new enemies, the new vehicles, and the chance to see yet another way in which Borderlands 2 completely improves on Borderlands. Plus, you get to spend a lot of time with Sir Hammerlock; his every smutty quip and flustered-gentlemanly outburst is more than worth any problems.
Just like the perfect AC/DC song, Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt might occasionally drag, but whenever it counts, it gives you exactly what you paid for. It’s enough to make you sad that the next planned DLC may be the last of Borderlands 2′s story-based DLC (4 story packs have been announced). Though when you realize how much money you burn through after all the times you’ve died, maybe that’s a good thing. Which is to say, play with friends. And make sure to beg them for money.
* Continues Borderlands 2′s storyline ably, expanding the universe without overexplaining it; continued adventures in the universe remain a must-have.
* New enemies are inventive, and challenging, and funny.
* Plenty of hilarity.
* Kick ass weapons, cool new vehicles, plus the copious violence you’ve come to love.
* Constant references to classic science fiction and horror films to keep even the nerdiest film snob well occupied.
* The difficulty, though challenging, might expand the DLC length-wise in an artificial way. (Definitely put in the time to level up before attempting.)
* Big, but containing a bit too much irrelevant space.
* Related to the above, you’ll spend more time than ever dealing with Borderlands 2′s often inscrutable mapping; prepare to wander aimlessly from time to time looking for objectives.
Final Score: 87/100
Struggling to defeat the nefarious cloning plot? Check out Game Front’s Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt Walkthrough.