Another campaign DLC for Borderlands 2 is out. Let’s see if it’s good. WARNING: Minor spoilers ahead.
The plot elements are the strongest part of Mister Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage. Mister Torgue (who is a surprisingly nice fellow) has found a new vault that will only open when the ultimate badass kills the greatest coward. Naturally, your goal is to kill everyone between you and the vault full of loot. The plot itself is basically an affectionate parody of professional wrestling. I’m not a fan of pro-wrestling, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I suspect there may be a second layer of jokes for pro-wrestling fans hiding behind the ones I understood, but if they are there they don’t detract from the experience. A number of jokes come from pro-wrestling tropes and plotlines being forced on the real world. Mister Torgue ruins an ambush by commentating about how it’s obviously trap, a number of quests are about getting sponsors and smack talking your opponents before the fights, and so on.
The new content is a little… meh. There are some Torgue specific slot and vending machines. These use Torgue tokens that occasionally drop from enemies. Another unique currency was not really what Borderlands 2 needed, but it is kind of cool. If you don’t like Torgue guns, you’re out of luck there. If you can get one, grab a triple barreled Torgue shotgun; that’s what convinced me Torgue guns were awesome. The maps are kind of generic, with no real standouts like the underground oasis in the Captain Scarlett DLC. None are really bad, like the one in Captain Scarlett that killed your frame rate, but the lack of “wow” moments is a disappointment. I’m reminded of the lack of environmental variety from Borderlands 1.
Unlike the Captain Scarlett DLC, there is no new vehicle, which is a disappointment, considering how awesome the skiffs were and all the motorcycles present. I really feel there was a wasted opportunity there. There’s a series of racing missions, but you use the runner for them.
A minor annoyance is the games inability to tell what character the player is, or how many of you there are. Playing solo as Gaige, I was referred to as he, they and him or her. The inconsistency is the weirdest part. Speaking of Gaige, there’s no acknowledgment of her existence. A quest has you putting up each of the Vault Hunter’s posters to show how badass you are, but Gaige doesn’t get a mention. Disappointing, really.
The core gameplay of Mister Torgue is you going around fighting guys in arenas. You kill dudes to get the things you need to access the arena, you kill dudes to get to the arena, and then you kill dudes in the arena. The game does mix it up a little with the aforementioned racing missions and some other interesting sidequests. I like the arenas in Mister Torgue more than the ones in the base game; they seem less… exhausting. Not sure what it is (my best guess is that they’re simply shorter), but it works out well. The arenas themselves have some variety. There’s a few in stadiums, but there are more interesting ones, like the one in a giant metal tower made mostly of scaffolding surrounded by lava, or one has you start a bar fight with a bunch of not-yet-hostile NPCs.
In terms of amount of content, Mister Torgue is about the same as Captain Scarlett. It feels slightly smaller and shorter, but has more stuff happening. The environments are a little blander, but the characters and dialog are excellent. If you like Borderlands 2 and the Captain Scarlett DLC, you’ll like Mister Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage.