Giant Bomb Review

26 Comments

Borderlands Review

4
  • X360
  • PS3
  • PC

General Knoxx is Borderlands' best addition to date, offering more terrain, new enemies, and most importantly, more ways to build your character.


 Knoxx just wants to wipe you out so he can get off this godforsaken rock.
It feels nice to make meaningful progress in Borderlands again. By raising the level cap to an awkward 61, The Secret Armory of General Knoxx is the best piece of downloadable content for Borderlands by default. Adding additional vehicles, weapons, and enemy types to the mix only further establishes this third add-on as a must-own for Borderlands aficionados looking for something meaningful that actually builds on the main game in exciting ways.

Knoxx is set after the events of Borderlands' main story. So the vault has been opened, and its contents have been dealt with. The new threat is the return of the Atlas Corporation. So most of the enemies you'll see in this add-on are new types of Crimson Lance troops, including medics, shock troopers, jet pack dudes, and so on. Though there are plenty of side missions, the core story missions point you in the direction of the disaffected General Knoxx, who's sitting on top of an armory full of weapons. At the end, you'll face the general and get to take a quick sprint through his weapon-filled vault, which will hopefully contain some goods worth holding onto. At the very least, you could always just grab stuff and sell it later, but considering you'll have finished the game and will probably be close to or above the level cap at this point, money probably hasn't been a concern for you in a very long time. Still, the characters are interesting, the game is still quite funny, and the additional enemies make combat fun again. The new Lance enemies--though incredibly susceptible to corrosive weapons--can be tricky. In fact, I probably died more playing through General Knoxx than I did on my entire second playthrough of the main game.

Between the core missions and the side stuff, you could easily spend another 10 hours or more going through General Knoxx. That's a bit longer than it probably should be, though, since there aren't any fast travel points to be had. Once you warp into T-Bone Junction, the central town area where most of the magic happens, you'll have to drive everywhere else. All of that traveling gets pretty tedious over time, and it eventually led to me simply quitting the game and restarting it to "fast travel" back to town to cash in quests.

And he's got a big robot suit that'll make dusting your party significantly easier. 
While the more challenging combat makes for a satisfying set of quests, there are still some things that don't quite work out according to plan. Take, for example, Crawmerax. This giant enemy crab is meant to be the hardest fight in the entire game, and he's only available after you've defeated the poor general and seen the end credits. He certainly can be tough, but small ledges around the edge of his arena give you a space to take cover, and if all of the players hide out long enough, the crab gets locked into an animation loop, making him almost totally harmless. Of course, beating that thing without using the exploit isn't much fun, either. There's also a set of arena-style challenges where you have to face off against huge waves of enemy troops to proceed. In one of these, an enemy seemed to spawn in the environment, making him impossible to kill and forcing the players to quit and start again.

Of course, this stuff is fairly easy to overlook if you're already so into Borderlands that you'd do just about anything to get more meaningful content. After the lackluster Mad Moxxi add-on, just about anything would be more meaningful. But at $10, General Knoxx goes beyond most other DLC packages. It feels larger and gives you more to do than most other paid add-ons out there, and in spite of its handful of shortcomings, it feels like a great deal for fans of the main game. Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
26 Comments
Posted by masterpaperlink

huh i thought this was reviewed already, anyways i want it.

Posted by Jaytow

2nd.

Posted by InFamous91

FINALLY!!!

Posted by Rolento

Agreed about the driving getting tiresome.  That definitely dulled my enjoyment of this expansion a bit.

Posted by amir90

Looks good Jeff, thanks for the review.

Posted by ScottishGamer

Knoxx doesn't like Mondays???!!!!  
 
KILL HIM!

Posted by ZeroCast

'bout time!

Posted by MasterOfPenguins_Zell

Forgot this even needed to be reviewed still.

Edited by lhaymehr

Seriously, this DLC deserves no less than 5 stars. Even the glitches have charm in BL.

Posted by Yummylee

I did the exact same, using an improvised ''fast-travel'' by quiting the game to return to T-Bone Junction. The lack of any actual fast travel posts is the only fault I could point out for General Knoxx really. Some of the best DLC in ages.
Posted by DukeTogo

I was looking for information in regards to solo play vs team play.  Jeff illustrated quite well  in the QL that this DLC is no joke when solo, and later on in a Bombcast he admitted to needing other people to clear it out and take on the boss.
 
This review doesn't really cover that, and being a person that only plays this game solo, I'd like to know if I'm wasting my time (and $10) trying to progress.  The first missions so far promptly kicked my ass, even to the point of draining my money down to a few million after dieing several times in a row due to bullshit spawns and no way to get away.  I had to do the quit method to escape and go farm the old areas for money and better guns.
 
Now I'm back at $9999999 with some better gear and lvl 51, but I'm worried that those fucks will scale and it will be even worse.

Posted by Damian

This is one of the best DLC packs I've bought. But I still wish Gearbox would find a way to enhance the original game instead of making isolated maps the way they have. I'm sure balancing all this new content while not breaking the original game would be really, really hard, especially online. But I'd like to be given more excuses to visit the original areas of Pandora. In stead, each pack has made it less fun to be in the maps of the original disk, which is at this point bitter-sweet.

Posted by JonathanMoore

Good news.

Posted by DarknessMyOldFriend

 It is HIGHLY recommended that you run through Eridian Promentory once or twice between jumping into Knoxx.  You'll come away from that at about level 54.  If you don't do that you won't find enough xp early on in the new content, and very quickly you will find yourself a level 51 facing 53 and 54 badasses, which is very bad for you staying alive.

Posted by Trilogy

I'm very close to the end of playthrough 2 on my siren so I'll definitely be downloading this soon. Borderlands has a lot of quirky issues throughout, but it just keeps growing on me. I think it says something about a game when you can look past its annoying shortcomings and get hooked in to playing it over and over. 

Posted by Milkman

I never realized that we had a concept page for "giant enemy crab".

Edited by bybeach

to duke togo. everything seems doable, except crawlermax mabe? I tried the ledges myself, at least on the side i start out on, I saw them for myself. But I keep buying it, anyways. Also those waves of lancers in the arena do get tough. Those are my last two missions though. Knoxx-doable on SP. Too bad, except for his last thought about Pandora, i found him almost a sympathetic charactor. 
 
Otherwise, jeff basically tells me what i ended up doing myself., including exiting for fast travel. I'm almost suprised he gave this 4 stars, though like him I do believe, i love the game. And this was a very nice dlc for the money..Yeah, 4 stars, he be right.
Posted by BraveToaster

Knoxx was fun, I hope they release more DLC.

Posted by spookyfaust

While I love this DLC, it would have been nice if they had included the gun storage option (bank / locker) from Moxxi. 

Online
Posted by Demyx

I just can't play anymore Borderlands. maybe in a bit.

Posted by OneKillWonder_

Nice review, but I'm kind of surprised Jeff didn't give this 5 stars. The size and the amount of quality content in this DLC negates any problems it has. Can't recommend this enough.

Edited by jaks

This expansion lacks fast travel points on the other side of the highway segments and thus doesn't deserve 4 stars IMO. I am so sick of my weakass truck getting reamed by those stupid drones every time I quit and come back later.
 
And yeah I'd like to have a bank in T-Bone Junction.

Posted by FunExplosions

Agree with it all. I finished the dlc yesterday morning and loved almost every part of it. The pc load times are really short, so I was frequently exiting the game, then loading to get back to T-Bone Junction. The whole way through, though, I was just amazed at how much content was in this. It goes far beyond my expectations for any dlc available, and seems to be the only worthwhile dlc for any game to date(most dlc sucks dick. Admit it.)
 
Gonna go use that exploit now.

Posted by Turbo_Toaster

You hit just about every point I've thought to myself at one time or another, that score is accurate. I remember a couple times a friend popped by for a few minutes and each time I was on that highway for the duration. I noticed the amount of driving in general but it wasn't until somebody else was watching where I realized how much there actually was. I had to keep re-assuring him that there was infact more than just highway.
 
Also, maybe it was just me but the road blocks that you destroy kept alternating between being cleared and not (seemingly at random), which means I had to get out and run/phasewalk for big chunks of highway. Then they'd be cleared again the next time I had to go through. Lil bit aggravating.
 
I don't want to be too much of a downer because I definitely felt like I got my money's worth for the most part. =D

Edited by SandwichApoc
ScottishGamer said:

" Knoxx doesn't like Mondays???!!!!   KILL HIM! "

My thoughts exactly.
Posted by JesusFrankenstein

 Un-equivocally, the best game i've played IN 2010, but a tie with arkham asylam for the best game of '09. Roll on additional DLC