Monday, November 10, 2014

Borderlands 2: How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day review


    While it's a bit late to be reviewing the Headhunter Packs for Borderlands 2, better late than never in my humble opinion. The Headhunter Packs are, basically, new maps for Borderlands 2 where the player characters get a series of adventures related to a holiday theme. How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day is the one related to Christmas (if you couldn't guess).

    And it is awesome.

The peaceful town of Gingerton. Filled with snowmen, toy-robots, and singing Psychos!
    Okay, maybe awesome is a bit much but it's pretty damned good. It's so delightfully surreal. Even by Borderlands standards. The premise is Marcus, morally ambiguous gun runner for Pandora, sends you to the frozen-over village of Gingerton in the mountains.

    The town has been taken over by evil snowmen who are out to steal their guns and ruin Mercenary Day! Mercenary Day is the corporate holiday when all mercenary operations are free! It's the most important holiday on Pandora!

    ...

    It's hard not to give the game a ten out of ten for the above alone.

Yes, you get a Critical for shooting his hat.
    I mean, you're shooting evil ****ing snowmen.

    EVIL SNOWMEN.

    Armed with candy canes!

    At one point, you fight a giant version of Frosty and the only way to defeat him is by stealing his magic hat! There's a bunch of toy-sized Power Loaders, delivered by the Hyperion Corporation, which try to kill the citizens of Gingerton.

    A bunch of Yeti are attacking the town. You must follow a trail of coal to determine what has caused the town to freeze over, only to be ambushed by Frosty's hit men! You must teach Marcus the spirit of Mercenary Day is killing, not stealing!

    Fun fun!

Stay frosty, Merc!
    This adventure would not be half as entertaining if not for how utterly insane it is. The thing is, evil snowmen with magic hats aside, it fits pretty well into the universe. Mercenary Day is exactly the sort of bizarre holiday they'd create on Pandora. We even get a little insight into Marcus' character and he regrets how his marriage to Moxxi disintegrated. The premise is played so straight, it's gut-bustingly funny.

    A lot of time and effort went into making this holiday bonus. Gingerton is beautifully designed, the writing is moving when it wants to be yet humorous when otherwise, and the monsters memorable. Even the music, something I don't usually notice in Borderlands, was excellent. It's Christmas-themed without being ripped off from existing songs. The Singing Psycho was great, too.

    In gameplay terms, the map adds about an hour and a half to Borderlands 2. There's exceptionally good-quality loot in Gingerton and fans will note there's a decent possibility for top-quality gear. The fact the final boss is repeatable along with the loot means this is the gift which keeps on giving. This is a great purchase and a steal at three dollars.

    10/10

1 comment:

  1. Mercenary Day, Wattle Gobbler, and Son of Crawermax were the best Headhunter packs.

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