Borderlands: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC First Look

We get an exclusive first look at the new content for 2K's funky first-person shooter.

It has been roughly five months since we were able to roam through the alien world of Pandora in 2K Games' first-person shooter Borderlands. The open-world shooter was developed by Texas-based Gearbox Software and cast you as a fortune hunter who wound up saving the universe on a quest to find a mysterious vault of alien artifacts. Since the game's initial release, 2K and Gearbox have released two downloadable content packs, The Zombie Island of Doctor Zed and Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot, which have offered more things to do in the rich world created for Borderlands.

The content packs' positive reception from fans has led 2K and Gearbox to bust out yet another pack of downloadable content, The Secret Armory of General Knoxx. The promising new content pack ditches the experimental approach seen in Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot in favor of the more mission-centric approach of The Zombie Island of Doctor Zed. We had the chance to play around with some of the new content and are happy to report that The Secret Armory of General Knoxx is shaping up to be a fun, promising addition to the Borderlands experience.

The action in The Secret Armory of General Knoxx fits into the game's continuity and picks up shortly after the ending of Borderlands. After you discovered the alien vault and dealt with the universe-threatening contents, things don't go quite as you'd expect. There is no Pandoran equivalent of a Star Wars-style Ewok celebration with much rejoicing in the wake of your actions. The Atlas Corporation, the company that was pretty clear that the vault of alien goods was its property, is irked and has ensured that your fortune-seeking quartet has been marked as wanted. To drive home that point, the corporation is upping its presence on Pandora and unleashing its Crimson Lance forces to find you. Thankfully, a new character named Athena, who appears to be a disgruntled Atlas employee, taps you to help her take down her former employer. This, of course, leads to a bucket of shenanigans that will involve much shooting, questing, and skag murder.

The new content in TSAOGK (we're done spelling this one out) is being billed as the biggest piece of downloadable content for Borderlands yet, and based on what we got a look at, we're inclined to agree. The content pack will feature several all-new areas to visit, complete with new enemies, weapons, and vehicles. On top of all that, Gearbox is implementing a new level cap of 61 that extends to players and gear, as well as upping the capacity of your backpack via some quest rewards. Finally, you can expect a new dose of achievements and trophies to nab. All told, there's a bunch of sexy stuff that should please fans.

We got a look at one of the first areas, called T-Bone Junction, which is a nice showcase for just how different the content will be. The new area is a town that was built on the water in Pandora. Unfortunately, time and local weather have done away with any moisture and have left the settlement elevated off the ground. We started to get a leisurely peek around the town, but that didn't last long, because a drop pod full of Crimson Lance assassins eager to stab us to death plopped in front of us. The dual-blade-wielding femme fatales and their leader, Vulcana, were short on small talk and big on slashing. The character we were using was armed to the teeth, so the stabby ladies didn't pose too much of a threat, but we could see how they could be a real problem if you're not packing firepower, due to their speed.

The assassins were a continuing issue during our stroll through town, where we got a chance to look at two of the new vehicles in the game: a monster truck and an APC. While the monster-truck-style vehicle is in line with the vehicles from the first game, the APC is a welcome new set of wheels that should please co-op fans in the game. The sturdy new vehicle is a four-seater that comes packing a weapon for each rider to man. The weapons array includes the familiar machine gun and rocket launcher as well as a minelayer and a concussive blast designed to take out anything that gets too close to the car. In addition, you'll be able to use a new homing missile weapon, which will be key in defeating the new Lance Probe enemies designed to take out vehicles if left unchecked.

The vehicular enemies are an important part of the TSAOGK gameplay, because vehicles will play a bigger part in the experience. T-Bone Junction and the other new areas will be connected by a system of roadways that, while technically possible to hoof it across on foot, are best traversed on four wheels. This point was underscored by the third new car added to your vehicle options: the racer, a lean set of wheels designed for speed. The catch to the new vehicles is that they aren't freebies; you'll earn them through quests where you build them and scan them into the network. For those keeping tabs on quests, the vehicle quests will be part of the more than 40 new missions coming in the DLC pack, which should offer plenty to do.

The next area we checked out was a new tollway location you'll come across while zooming along the roads. The area showed off some new enemies that are sure to cause problems: heavy shocktroopers that pack a painful electric punch with an arcing electrical blast; jetpack-wearing flying enemies that seem to show up when they are least wanted; and what is likely to be the most hated new addition to the bunch, the Lancer Medic, a jerk who pops out and heals enemies at the worst times. The silver lining to the hateful mobs of foes is a new treasure chest that will hold more stuff, including some high-quality weapons that are going to be very handy.

Threats come in all shapes and sizes in the next Borderlands DLC adventure.

The last area we tried out was the ground-based run up to General Knoxx's armory, seen in the distance from our starting point. The segment we played let us hear from the general himself via the game's ECHO communication system and gave us a glimmer of the quirky humor that had been pretty thin in our demo up to that point. It's clear Knoxx would rather be just about anywhere but Pandora. He's bored, a little bitter, and a little defeated, but he's going through the motions like a good soldier, which leads to some chuckle-worthy dialogue.

The signs of humor continued into our demo as we worked our way through a valley toward the armory and encountered more new enemies. We expect fans of the original game will be torn between these new foes. On the one hand, we think fans will be amused by the logical combination Gearbox has created. On the other had, we expect the masses to recoil in horror at the unholy union that made its presence known to us: skag-riding midgets. The way Gearbox reps tell it, it only makes sense that the midget population on Pandora would domesticate skags. While we appreciate this, it doesn't quite soften the blow of being mobbed by skag-riding midgets who shoot guns and throw explosives and/or knives. To add insult to injury, the ghastly combo basically counts as two enemies: kill the skag and the rider pops out at you with full health, flinging pain; kill the rider and the skag is still intent on goring you.

In terms of presentation, TSAOGK looks sharp and shows an adventurous sense of art direction and level design that helps the content feel fresh. The areas and enemies we saw all fit the game's aesthetics but expand on the work done in the core game. The non-player characters are livelier, with more animation, and don't come across as stiff, which is a nice touch. On the audio front, you'll hear a good mix of new and familiar effects. As far as voice goes, Athena and Knoxx are good additions to the cast and add more personality to the action. You'll hear some familiar voices as well, thanks to the presence of Scooter and some other favorites who come along for the ride.

Borderlands' largest DLC pack yet will also feature new vehicles to drive.

If you enjoyed the special brand of mayhem and item collection that the original Borderlands experience offered and you were taken with the inspired lunacy in The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, then The Secret Armory of General Knoxx looks to have a lot to offer. The array of content we saw and played left us with a good feeling about the upcoming downloadable pack. We're curious to see how the story plays out and where it's going to land on the humor scale, which was a big part of the Zombie Island DLC's appeal, and we have to say we're excited to see how it's going to come together. The Secret Armory of General Knoxx is set to be available in the near future for the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

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183 comments
G-R-I-F-F-I-N
G-R-I-F-F-I-N

hey i think its kinda mean of them to make the 11 lvl cap increase only for the DLC. Also they have put teasers in the original borderlands game by adding lvl 54 weapons that pown but cant be used. A bit mean cause some poeple cant aford these add-ons.

Kiriyama12
Kiriyama12

looking good, gonna finish it up first.

PhiSchmo
PhiSchmo

Excellent, I am so hyped about the new pack and glad I didn't jump on-board with the others so quickly. The 'Armory' pack is more like and estention of the game with level upgrades and skill upgrades. Glad I waited.

pieham
pieham

great looking dlc - one question .. how do you get to it???

HackerSP
HackerSP

T-Bone Junction keep up the innuendos they keep people laughing while they are killing XD

1penance1
1penance1

this is proly the hardest dlc i have eva played. Proly cuz im on playthrough 2 but thats besides the point. Good story and action

sagameister3
sagameister3

This new dlc has the difficulty of Moxxi with the story driven part of Dr. Ned mixed in one, only better :D

QtrArt
QtrArt

i love this DLC...:)

MoLt1eS
MoLt1eS

I need more DLC's :P More The Better

Ahsan_ga
Ahsan_ga

exited for this bcoz i like borderlands so much......gr8 game......And the character berserker is a gr8 gr8 and gr8 character.................

itchyflop
itchyflop

nice!! great developer, loads downloadable content , new stuff and stories, great origional concept in the first place. they ultimately have the right idea, other developers could learn something from these guys, listen to your audience (players)......

Havokk
Havokk

Obviously I am a fan because I think midgets on skags is awesome!

Chronicles-Lore
Chronicles-Lore

Yes Borderlands is a fantastic FPS/RPG, I played it like crazy when it first came out and now that theres new DLC I think I'll dust the old baby off for some more self-shaded action.

Barighm
Barighm

You guys who normally don't like slim DLC, don't worry: Knoxx is huge. It's an actual expansion. Maybe not the biggest in the world, but definitely longer than Zombie Island. That said, there's a major bug in it that clears your entire list of teleportation locations, save the default ones, plus the DLC is way too big for the great lack of teleportation points. I'm hoping the DLC will get pulled to address these issues, then re-released.

raidenishere
raidenishere

i just got borderlands and already im addicted to it, it rocks cant wait to get the d.l.c's

JFHansen
JFHansen

Theres no good reason not to get bordelands, it rocks !

SamVD
SamVD

should i get borderlands, i'm kinda not sure

No_asylum
No_asylum

I just downloaded it... cant wait to play it.

eaglesblades
eaglesblades

Looks kind of cool, and much more high tech than any of the other games. I guess ill get it.

Dragonknight0
Dragonknight0

Yup time get me some more guns! BANG BANG! Who the hell did that! (touching top heading making sure dint get blown off)

Barighm
Barighm

I see it on Live right now.

joelgau
joelgau

I saw something in another thread just now where someone said it is on xboxlive right now. I can't check myself but will have a look after work. Can't wait! This game is awesome!

joelgau
joelgau

Looks like it was postponed until Wednesday instead of today. This is per eurogamer.net.

na1lraw
na1lraw

awesome, and any tips when its coming out today?

Warghost2k
Warghost2k

I'm still holding out until I can drive and shoot a vehicle's weapon at the same time. And I have heard vehicular control is bad in this game.

meatchild
meatchild

This is going to be awesome. :D It's nice how the developers are still adding more and more new content. The game as a whole would've been better though if we were given more control over character customization--i.e. not have to choose from pre-created characters. Character customization basically revolves around the guns.

annex07
annex07

Shooting, leveling up More shooting and more leveling up Can't wait for this one

razorfett147
razorfett147

Underdome was a complete bust. Just alot of grind. Hours and hours of gameplay for middling rewards. The banking option was its only redeeming feature. At least Zombie Island had atmosphere and humor. Blasting endless zombies just never seems to get old. Looking forward to this next one......looks like a proper expansion this time.

jacim91
jacim91

It looks great but there is one thing missing that every RPG must have and that is armors.

Virtual_Erkan
Virtual_Erkan

These new enemies and vehicles must have been in the original release! Damn!

Psy_m_on
Psy_m_on

some grass n green plz :p

chechak7
chechak7

omg ,ok how much borderland expansion is there ? can't keep up !

LorDofGod
LorDofGod

bordelands is a game who is evolving too fast!

Fumanchu2
Fumanchu2

ZIoDN was decent. What I saw of Madd Moxxi was not great. This one looks great though.

Ced_Quijote
Ced_Quijote

@Sergeant_R7 one was, the other wasn't. or, in my eyes, they were both great, only, one was a bit more bang for you buck, whereas the latter one was a wet fire-cracker for people with crappy characters and no decent guns (let alone skill).

Sergeant_R7
Sergeant_R7

@blix2006 I do not know where you got the "widely criticized" from, the dlc was great and was fairly priced for what it had to offer imo.

LittleBigDawg
LittleBigDawg

@Toropore i saw new cities and all that, but all of it in wastelands :/ lets hope by "unique" they mean something completely different, rather than new but similar.

-HCMF-
-HCMF-

Good stuff, good game