Borderlands topped my favorite games list for 2009, but I never imagined almost a year ago that I’d still be playing this awesome shoot-and-loot game in October 2010. Gearbox has been fantastic about pumping out great expansions, though, and the newest one succeeded in bringing me back to the wastelands of Pandora once more.
Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution picks up after the conclusion of the main Borderlands game, so there are some potential spoilers that I’ll be talking about here. Be warned, anyone who hasn’t seen the original adventure through to completion.
Claptraps are affable and boxy robots that roll around Pandora handing out missions and generally getting themselves into trouble. At the very end of Borderlands, we see a happily dancing Claptrap suddenly topple over. His blue “eye” turns red, and he pops back up, now somehow programmed to be CL4P-TP: Interplanetary Ninja Assassin. This new expansion reveals that the ninja Claptrap was sent by the Hyperion corporation to get rid of the treasure hunters who are no longer needed on Pandora now that the Vault has been opened. After roaming around the planet for a bit, however, this new breed of Trap sees his kindred as downtrodden slaves to the humans. He throws off the Hyperion shackles and leads the other Claptraps to revolt against Hyperion.
The Claptraps, now under CL4P-TP’s leadership, infect the denizens of Pandora with biotech, effectively turning the old and familiar villains of Borderlands into revamped cyborgs. Psychos, skags, and even a roster of familiar boss baddies now sport mechanical doohickies on their heads and bodies, and they’re back with new abilities and powers, bent and determined to wipe humanity off the planet. Hyperion brings the treasure hunters back into the action in a bid to save themselves and whatever money and loot they can scrounge.
As you fight your way through the new revolution, you’ll encounter loads of crazy battles and some fantastic writing that lets Claptrap lampoon everything from BioShock to Terminator to the Xbox 360’s hardware.
The gameplay in Robot Revolution follows Borderlands‘s tried-and-true formula of killing things in spectacular ways with awesome weaponry in order to level up and discover even more awesome weaponry to use for killing even more things. Thankfully there’s not as much driving and traversing required here as there was in the previous Secret Armory of General Knoxx expansion. Knoxx was a great add-on, but the endless driving sequences became a bit much after a while. Robot Revolution relies instead on a hub zone with several new areas to which you can travel more easily and directly.
The robot story unfolds through 20 new missions spread through six new zones. The loot you’ll find throughout the expansion is fantastic and quickly trumps anything you’ll find in the other add-ons. In addition to new guns, you’ll also be able to add six extra storage slots to your backpack and two skill points via SDUs. The expansion does not increase the level cap from 61 (last raised with the General Knoxx expansion), but a free title update for Borderlands soon will raise the level cap to 69 for all players, regardless of what DLC has been purchased. As of this posting, the level cap update is due to hit anytime, so it likely already is in place by the time you read this.
Between the assortment of new and altered bad guys, the opportunity for more and better loot, and the chance to make your undoubtedly crazily powerful character even more crazily powerful, Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution is a must-buy for any fan of Borderlands.