Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – Claptastic Voyage DLC Review (PS4)

Borderlands; The Pre-Sequel - Claptastic Voyage

If you know me then you know that I just love Borderlands. I didn’t always love it as one point in time I refused to play it until it was pushed on me and I played it for the sake of playing it. I still really didn’t like the game at that point. It wasn’t until I was kind of pushed to play by myself that I began to appreciate it more and grow to love it. Now it’s in my top 10 list and it’s one of those games that I keep on my system and go back to play every now and again either to help out some random person or just to play a few missions myself. Anyway, this was one of those DLC’s for the Pre-Sequel that I was looking forward to because it kind of promised to be Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep story heavy. Unfortunately though it really wasn’t what I was expecting and this was just going to go on my I Never Finished list until my buddy @tjarvinen86 wanted to get the platinum for this game and to do that we had to do it right meaning we had to also get the 100%. So, needless to say I was able to get all of the trophies for this DLC so that means it’s time for a review.

In Claptastic Voyage, you can play the character that you were playing through the main campaign whether it be Athena, my personal favorite, Wilhelm, Nisha, Claptrap, Jack the Doppelganger, or Aurelia the Baroness. Taking place after the main campaign of the story, the DLC is narrated by Athena at the urging of Claptrap as he asks her to tell everyone the story of another mission that Jack sent them on. While each character will have their own motive for going on the mission, the main mission is basically for you to become digitized and go into the mind of Claptrap to retrieve the H source which will make Jack even more powerful than he is by the end of the game. The outcome will lead directly into the opening sequence of Borderlands 2.

As much as I’m a fan of this series, I’m not really a fan of this DLC. Although I will say that the story is a fun one as you get to poke around inside the mind of Claptrap, it in no way is comparable to Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep when it comes to the story. The story is there, but what makes this DLC lengthy is the mutator rounds which is basically just another Holodome Onslaught type of thing, not the story. Of course it tells how and why Claptrap is the only one of his kind left and I guess that was the main point of the DLC, but it could have been done in a different more interesting way. This DLC felt like a chore to play as the maps were difficult to navigate and if you were lost then you were kind of fucked. Whether playing alone or playing with a buddy, nothing made this DLC fun and after a while, the story of it just fell flat as you were running around constantly getting lost or having something random happen. I know that the randomness of this DLC was supposed to be like that because you’re in the mind of Claptrap, but it was still frustrating and made this one of the less enjoyable Borderlands DLC.

The playability of this DLC was the same as the game itself. Everything that was in the main campaign followed over into the DLC which was good because you were still able to do everything that you were used to doing during the main campaign. The big problem that I had with this game though was the maps for each area of the DLC. The maps were so difficult to navigate as sometimes you would use teleports to take you to a place only to find out that you passed the place up somehow and you had to do this section all over again to get it right. Then there were parts of the map that required precise jumping. Like that really happens in a Borderlands game. No precise jumping lead to a lot of dying and a lot of time just sighing and trying to finish this DLC.

The graphics for this DLC are the same as the main game and they aren’t that bad. They aren’t the greatest as this game was just a port from the PS3 version, but they aren’t the worst either. I’ve always held a fondness for the graphics when it comes to Borderlands because of how different they are. They take the comic book / graphic novel type of art and bring it to life in a game. I think it’s awesome and it’s something that this game does best.

Now onto the trophies for this DLC. There are a total of 10 trophies for this DLC and unfortunately there is one missable trophy that if you don’t get it on the first go around you’ll have to play about half of the DLC all over again either with a different character or on a harder difficulty in order to get it. I’m talking about the Wheely Fast trophy, which kind of turns you into Indiana Jones as you have to outrun a bolder. I have to tell you that the first go around when I originally played this DLC back in 2015, I missed this trophy and because of that I completely gave up ever getting this DLC done again because I didn’t feel like putting myself through this DLC again. When my buddy, @tjarvinen86, said that he still had this mission open in his game and we were getting the trophy, it motivated me to go through and cleanup the trophies for this DLC which are fairly easy as long as you don’t miss that one trophy. The rest of the trophies are of course story based and grindy, but nothing that can’t be done.

I’ve played this DLC alone and I’ve played it with a buddy. I have to say that I enjoyed this DLC a lot more playing with a buddy. This is one of those DLC’s where you should play with someone who isn’t always so serious and just wants to have fun because this DLC, just like the main game, isn’t meant to be taken seriously. It’s supposed to be fun and you’re supposed to be a jackass. I’ve played Borderlands a bunch of ways. I’ve played with real serious people where things had to be done a certain type of way, I’ve played by myself where I just did whatever the hell I wanted, and I’ve played with people who need to have certain loot drops and would save and quit when a loot drop didn’t happen. This was the first time that I played with someone who just wanted to be fun and it really made a huge difference. This DLC like the game was made to play in co-op and the servers are stable enough that you can do it so why not take advantage of it?

Overall I give this DLC a 3 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ If you ever wanted to go inside the mind of Claptrap to see what’s really going on in there, now is your chance. Spoiler alert, it’s just as crazy as you probably already imagined.
+ This is the final DLC for the Pre-Sequel and it leads up to the opening sequence of Borderlands 2 which is nice especially if you want to play in order. While it doesn’t have that huge Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep story, the story is there and it’s worth playing.
+ The graphics for this DLC are consistent with the rest of the game and it’s worth noting that for a huge game like Borderlands, the graphics are unique and interesting and really make the game.
+ While you can do this alone, it’s more fun to co-op this DLC because Borderlands was meant to be played with friends. Not only does it make the loot drops better when you fight the main boss battles, but it makes the DLC itself more fun.

What’s Not So Great:
The maps for this DLC are just horrible. You will find yourself getting constantly lost or constantly dying as you try to get from one part of the map to another. This makes the DLC become annoying and at times just unplayable as you want to rage quit.

While this isn’t the best DLC out there for a Borderlands game, it’s a decent DLC that deserves some recognition. It’s an expansion on the game, but just not what I really thought it would be. It’s kind of hard to top Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep and even though this DLC tried to do that, it really couldn’t. The story was there, but what made this DLC long was the Holodome Onslaught type of battle after the DLC was over. What was enjoyable was that it lead to the opening sequence of Borderlands 2, which was a nice little surprise especially if you played Borderlands 2 first. I would say that if you’re playing on the PS4, that you might as well play because you got this DLC for free. If you have to purchase this DLC for the PS3, I would probably say to pass unless you’re a diehard Borderlands fan like I am. This was a nice ending to the Pre-Sequel, as I now patiently await Borderlands 3 as I have been for the last 4 years.

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2 Comments

  1. I have to admit I haven’t really played the Borderlands games, but I have heard great things about them. It seems like the people who like them love them. DLC is a tricky proposition in general. Depending on the circumstances, they could add a lot of substance or be entirely superfluous. They usually work the best in relatively open-ended experiences.

    • Borderlands is a tricky universe to navigate. People who love Borderlands love it and the people who hate Borderlands hate it with a passion. DLC is tricky for any game, but when you set really high expectations by releasing a really awesome DLC, every other DLC that comes out after that has to reach that same level of awesomeness or it just falls flat.

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