We Just Played Borderlands DLC

We try out The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, the upcoming downloadable content adventure for Borderlands.



If you didn't get enough of the loot-and-shoot gameplay of Borderlands, 2K Games is gearing up for the game's first downloadable content release, which will be called "The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned." The content is a full-on playable adventure that takes place concurrently with the original game's story and can be played whether you've completed the game or not. As in the original game, it will also scale the difficulty of its critters to your character's level.

This new adventure will take place in Jakob's Cove, which is essentially a spooky forest full of gnarled trees that are being grown by the Jakob weapons concern for its wood--which apparently enhances the performances of certain weapons. However, it seems like the folks at the Jakob company aren't exactly big on being eco-friendly nor have they been particularly careful about cultivating the trees. The growth of this forest has, in fact, turned the area into a gloomy swamp, and the maintenance employees have also been slightly affected by the environmental changes, causing all of them to contract a minor case of being-turned-into-mindless-zombies-that-attack-you. Yes, this is going to be a spooky zombie hunt that might have missed the end of October to commemorate Halloween, but it seems to have plenty of holiday spirit, from the hordes of zombies and the dank swamps to the scenery and bosses (one of the five new bosses is named "Pumpkinhead" that leaves Jack-o-lanterns lying around his territory).

However, there won't be much holiday cheer in this DLC adventure. It'll be much more about stomping zombies that will rise up out of the ground from out of nowhere and generally rush at you rather than fire weapons from cover. If this sounds tough, we'll tell you that it can be, especially if you're all alone and happen to get surrounded by the DLC's new varieties of zombies. These include not only standard shambling zombies that simply charge you but also "defilers" who spit goop at you that obscures your vision and slows you movement, as well as "tankensteins," which are giant zombies that hurl explosive barrels at you. They'll also pound the ground to create shockwaves or simply bum-rush you. A new variety of Borderlands' crowlike rakk, the corpse-eater, will also make its debut here.

Standard zombies seem to be most vulnerable to headshots and take regular headshot criticals, like the original game's basic bandits and soldiers (you'll actually find zombified versions of both in Jakob's Cove), while tankensteins are most vulnerable if you can hit the fiery barrels strapped to their backs. (And if you're lucky, you'll also find "loot goons," which are basically tankensteins that, instead of flaming barrels, carry red treasure chests on their backs.)

While you'll stomp a ton of zombies in this new adventure, you'll also take on about 50 new missions given by "Dr. Ned," who denies being Dr. Zed (the medic you meet at the beginning of the original Borderlands), despite sounding exactly like him, being dressed exactly like him, and looking exactly like him (aside from his obviously phony mustache). These missions will give you more chances to gain experience points and, of course, hunt down new randomly generated loot items. All told, the DLC should offer some six to 10 hours of gameplay and is scheduled to launch on November 24 for the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. 2K has not yet announced what plans are in store for the PC version.

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