Borderlands 2 add-on Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage opens with a broadcast from Pandora’s resident nutcase, Patricia Tannis. She announces the discovery of a new Vault, located in a crater in the desert of the planet. The catch? It’ll only open when fed the blood of the ultimate coward. The broadcast is swiftly overtaken by Mr. Torgue, who announces (while screaming in capital letters) that he’s going to hold a tournament to find the “number one badass” on Pandora to open the new Vault. All you have to do is head to the Badass Crater of Badassitude and begin the cycle of shooting and looting once again.
Welcome back to Pandora, ladies and gents.
Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage is the new downloadable addition to the already quite awesome Borderlands 2. Clearly, Gearbox thought it wasn’t awesome enough. Enter Mr. Torgue, the man who takes the role I’m going to call “ECHO buddy” (a title previously held by Handsome Jack in the main game of Borderlands 2 and Captain Scarlett in her DLC pack). As your ECHO buddy, Mr. Torgue will partake of several things: motivating you, screaming in your ears, somehow speaking in capital letters, and being yet another amazing character in the series. To get a good image of Mr. Torgue, imagine the Macho Man, make him sixty years old, give him a do-rag, and introduce him to an explosive obsession (literally). Mr. Torgue is all about explosions, and it shows; things like the “expleriod” (an explosive period, for those of you who dislike portmanteaus), explosives set up all over the Badass Crater, and his explosive methods of speech (that’s a pun) express this extremely passionate man in ways that no mortal man can truly explain. Returning characters include Tiny Tina (who continues to remain incredibly annoying) and Mad Moxxi (who hassles Torgue for the control of his arena). Their presence in this Borderlands 2 DLC pack is nice, but never really felt necessary – it could have been just as good without them.
Upon entering the Badass Crater of Badassitude, you’ll be told to sign a waiver to enter the tournament. Turns out, the machine doesn’t work. Cue explosion. You’ll immediately hop into a vehicle to drive around the crater, where you’ll notice an immediate difference from the previous game’s arena-centric DLC: there’s an open world to explore, not just a hub for arena fights. Arena missions are still present, however, allowing you to slaughter enemies to your heart’s content. It’s a little disappointing to see that these survival missions are so basic at their core: while there are objectives to complete on the side (kill the badass enemies to win, for example), there aren’t any interesting mutators like there were in the previous game’s Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot. With survival being the core concept, it’s quite disappointing to see that the missions themselves are also quite short. Luckily, these missions are plentiful, and there are a lot more interesting side quests present here, too. From driving around a raceway while slaying motorcycle-bound bandits, to massacring the staff of a games journalism website (because Mr. Torgue didn’t share their opinion), to ending the life of yet another exciting raid boss, there’s a lot of content here.
The story of this Borderlands 2 DLC pack is predictable, and yet it never seems to grow tired. Running through the main story along will last you about 3-4 hours, and quite a bit happens along the way. Seeing as the focus is becoming the “number one badass,” most of the missions have you ending the lives of those who stand in your way. If you’ve played No More Heroes, it may sound familiar. While the concept isn’t exactly original, the bosses you face are colorful and funny to listen to. Battling these unique bosses is sadly not as interesting as the characters themselves. They wander around the arena, shooting at you as they go, while you hop around putting bullets into their heads. It’s a dull payoff to an exciting buildup.
Mr. Torgue is a hilarious addition to Borderlands 2, but it never feels like an expansion. Rather, it’s a couple of hours of side quests and shooting bandits in their faces while you work your way to a very anticlimactic conclusion. As appealing as a gigantic, fire-breathing robo-tyrannosaur sounds, the battle is underwhelming. If you’ve got that Borderlands 2 itch, this’ll sate your hunger for a while. But if the idea of paying $10 for more side quests and another brown desert doesn’t phase you, skip it.