natetodamax's The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned (Xbox 360) review

Zombie Island is a healthy DLC that won't disappoint

Hey, Borderlands is a pretty cool game. A stylish art style, loot, 4 distinct character classes, and more loot is enough to attract lots of people. But what are you going to do when you've completed nearly every side quest in the game and have gotten the best guns ever? The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned is a "healthy" DLC, meaning it offers enough to satisfy those that need more original Borderlands content while managing to not come up dry.
Zombie Island takes place on..... Zombie Island. It's run by a gentleman named Dr. Ned, who pretty much runs the place and takes care of everyone. You get there by fast traveling, which (oddly) you can do before you even unlock the fast travel ability in the main game. (You do, however, need to be at least level 10 to enter). Once you arrive, you are introduced to the Island through an introductory cinematic with Marcus Kincaid similar to the one at the beginning of the game. He tells you about the zombie crisis affecting the island, while at the same time verbally abusing a small child who he claims is adopted.
And that's probably the best part about Zombie Island. It's full of humor and references that alone probably justify the 800 points. You know the title card that you are presented with whenever introduced to a new character, right? Those are pretty funny in this DLC, and I literally laughed out loud at the final boss' card. Besides that, there are several references to popular culture, and Dr. Ned breaks the fourth wall at one point. It's probably a good thing that it doesn't take itself too seriously.

 Bark at the moon

The biggest flaw with Zombie Island is lack of originality. Yes, any chance of it being original was ruined when zombies became involved, but some of the situations you'll find yourself in will likely seem familiar. For example, there is a type of zombie called a Defiler that spits goo at you, which blinds you and slows you down. You'll find yourself fighting zombies in a graveyard in front of a creepy looking mansion with a giant moon in the background. There is even a location in the game called Dead Haven, which is literally Old Haven from the original game with an orange sky and some walls thrown up to prevent you from going certain ways. Despite these shortcomings, there IS original content to be found here. The environments and buildings (besides Dead Haven) are all new and can only be seen in Zombie Island. There are giant, crooked trees, busted up shacks, and mangled vegetation and walkways. It gives the Island a sort of messed up and gross feel, but it all looks nice. Some of the types of zombies are also pretty interesting. There's one that charges at you with a giant explosive barrel over its head that explodes when killed, and even a zombie that carries a loot chest on its back that you can open up when you defeat it.

The main quest in Zombie Island will probably only take you a few hours or so to beat, but thankfully there are quite a number of side quests to take on. Unfortunately, you'll find yourself doing pretty much the same tasks from the original game. There are some quests where you retrieve ECHO recorders, a quest where you light jack-o-lanterns which draws out a large beast, and other missions that frankly can be quite mundane at times. What's even worse is that there is no way to fast travel, and since Zombie Island is so large you'll be forced to do quite a bit of walking. This includes going from Jakob's Cove (the town in the game) all the way to the other end of the island for a quest and then having to run back. It gets pretty annoying, especially with those damn zombie birds biting your neck.

I should also note that there aren't any new weapons, shields, or anything Zombie Island. You could get lucky like me and discover a much better shield within minutes of starting it up, but don't expect much more than that.

With that being said, Zombie Island is in no way a disappointment. There is enough content to please those who need to get more out of the game, but if you weren't satisfied with the original game then there really isn't anything here that will make you want to come back. This DLC is packed with humor and zombie killing fun that it is worth the purchase.

Other reviews for The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned (Xbox 360)

    A tragic tale of a good concept going wrong 0

    For a DLC pack that was announced even before the original game was live, it's quite relieving that Zombie Island of Dr. Ned isn't just asset recycling. In a whopping 1GB package, Gearbox delivers a great deal of new artwork, funny writing and really excellent voicework, so at least in that regard, Zombie Island doesn't disappoint. The world and quests are once more filled with silly puns and pop-culture references, which continues the base game's tradition pretty well.  Everything else also doe...

    21 out of 30 found this review helpful.

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