We were invited to check out the new DLC for about an hour last week. Any Borderlands player worth his weight in Slag will sense an odd familiarity at the heart of Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage almost immediately. While it is a story-driven narrative full of fetch quests and one loud sassy mouth in your earpiece, these instances are tied together with arena battles reminiscent of the many hours I spent in Moxxi's Underdome.
That's the sense of familiarity, perhaps not the ideal thing to read considering how abrasive the Underdome DLC was in the first Borderlands; however, Gearbox shows a much more learned execution in the early moments of Torgue's Campaign of Carnage. The big thing is I never felt like any of my time was wasted, perhaps my single biggest complaint about the Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot DLC. I wasn't able to explore that much of the DLC's plot, nor would I want to spoil it for those anxious to pony up at the bar and slam down another tall glass of DLC. But what I took away was Gearbox's dedication to making Mr. Torgue a memorable character, a loud and manly dude whose quips were on par with the dry, threatening sounds of Handsome Jack.
Mr. Torgue is much more irreverent and fun, and often enjoys breaking down the third wall to engage in some meta humor with the player. He's more likeable than Jack, but then again he wasn't billed as the bad guy almost immediately. There are places to go and things to see and Mr. Torgue plays the role of sidekick quite well, bringing levity to every situation.
And all of my progress wasn't for naught. A big problem with Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot is how none of your progress transcends that DLC prison – once in the arena, you don't get experience points and level up. Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage chooses to sidestep that rule and doesn't force you into a series of claustrophobic arenas – it mixes things up by sending you to completely new areas in-between the arena battles.