‘Borderlands 3’ Bounty Of Blood: Big Booty, Average Story DLC Review

Like Clockwork, Gearbox has been releasing meaty DLC releases for Borderlands 3, one of the few remaining series with “traditional” DLC, though it has been paired with live events and other games as a service.

One unique thing about Borderlands 3 has been that its DLC so far has been stronger than much of the base game content, between Moisti’s Heist and Love Guns and Tentacles. So how does Bounty of Blood stack up?

While Bounty of Blood is probably the weakest of Borderlands 3’s three DLCs so far, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, and I would still recommend it to any active player. All Borderlands DLCs have clear themes, and we’ve just gone from a Lovecraft horror heist movie to a combination of Seven Samurai and the Magnificent Seven.

I mean literally a combination. The aesthetics of the new planet Gehenna combines the Old West and feudal Japan. We all know that most westerns were stolen from old samurai stories, and Borderlands 3 relies on that for the aesthetics here.

One unique thing about this DLC is that Gearbox really delivers what they promised, as this is an experimental DLC not linked to any of existing, new, or old franchise characters. The entire story here is 100% based on new characters, including the two most prominent, Juno and Rose. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say no, you shouldn’t be waiting for some surprise reveal from a long-lost fan favorite character or something, that won’t come (although we already know the next DLC is about Krieg, and I think who shared that early for this reason).

So, How They are the new characters?

They are fine. Rose is probably the best new character added to the game since BALEX (not funny, just a little rough), and I’d like to see more of her in the future. But I know the Borderlands crowd and in fact they are going to be quite eager not to recognize any NPCs for the entire duration of this DLC. And I think characters like Moxxi, Timothy Lawrence, Hammerlock, Jakobs, Gaige, and Claptrap added value to the last two DLCs, and the absence of any familiar faces is a little jarring here.

The story is a little difficult to explain without getting into spoilers, as there is a big change early, but ultimately there is a gang called Devil Raiders that terrorizes a local town, you go in and hunt down their leaders. And naturally, at some point there are some different giant monsters involved.

While some of the areas in the DLC are a bit bland, I really loved an early crafted bath area, and I’ll generally say that boss fights in this DLC are creative and well-executed, along with new types of enemies like the bad guys who fight dinosaurs and these well-designed weird stick-legged forest deer aliens.

How’s the loot? That may be the most important question that all Borderlands fans want to know, and the answer is that it goes from trash to being completely overpowered and likely going to be imminently nerfed. There are a lot of weapons here, although unfortunately there are no new artifacts or class modifications, and I don’t think I’ve seen a new shield or grenade either. Some of them just don’t understand what they do and they look terrible. Others, like a VOC acid spell or a Torgue that explodes around AR, are very obviously strong. But there is a sniper, the root of the Maliwan complex, which is so good that it is broken, and makes every encounter with the boss of Mayhem 10 useless. I can kill the final boss of Bounty of Blood in about eight seconds with him, and with any moderately good anointing, it’s just a terror. I’ll probably have a separate article about it later.

Playing Bounty of Blood is not just reviewing the DLC, but also the patch that came with the DLC.

This has raised the level cap to 60, and I think I am speaking for most players when I say that it is not worth invalidating three additional skill points to toss somewhere all the level 57 gear you have, including some that You literally can’t get like the Weapons Cartel. A very small handful of level 57 still feels acceptable at level 60, like your double damage Monarchs and such, but obviously you still want to … cultivate a level 60 one with higher damage and the same print run.

I had no problems with Mayhem 10 at level 60 and I think for any hardcore gamer this is the “correct” difficulty to play. Some promised changes seem good. There is a new Guardian Rank ability that increases your melee damage to 25% of recent damage you have dealt, and it can be very substantial. Grenades feel better and don’t tickle enemies, though they may need some work.

However, I was disappointed with the new scale action skills. Gearbox was supposed to increase action skill damage to scale with level, but as hard as I tried, I could never do an action skill-based build that felt really powerful. I tried the FL4K mascots, Zane’s super clone, and Moze’s Iron Bear, and they all felt outdone simply using normal weapons with good anointing. No they’re not that outrageously Terrible like before, but unless I’m missing something, they still don’t feel strong, and the 20% action skill damage modifier you can use in class mods now isn’t enough to make a real difference. This was disappointing. TO UPDATE: Alright, for whatever reason, at least the Iron Bear damage wasn’t escalating to Mayhem 10. They just put a hotfix on, and now it’s ummm completely broken. I’m talking about shooting almost everything. I’m going to check the other action skills.

One thing that struck me as odd about this DLC is the amount of time it spends on mechanics that ultimately doesn’t seem to have much of a purpose. There is a new type of motorcycle vehicle you can use, and yet there are actually no missions involving it, and it’s just another way to get from point A to point B, but only on this planet. There are new plant-based jets propelling you, which are like … normal boosters in the base game. There’s a different plant than your melee that shoots exploding things, but doesn’t do enough damage to enemies that it’s worth it (although when a boss uses it on you, naturally you can be all at once). The most interesting mechanic is another type of plant that you shoot to mentally control a nearby enemy for a time, and yet the fights are so chaotic that it almost never seems remarkable. It’s just a huge amount of time spent on mechanics that ultimately does very little.

Overall, I’d rate the story and character interactions and level design worse than the last two DLCs, but probably better than most of the base game. I’d rate the loot as probably best The last two DLCs, though I’m concerned that this godly sniper will probably be killed here in no time, so get it while it’s hot. However, there are some other good choices besides.

If you are a fan of Borderlands and have enjoyed the last two DLCs, play this one. I hope that now that we have reached level 60, we are done with these small capitalization increases for quite some time and can safely grow. But with one more major DLC to come, who knows. It is a good adventure and will load you with a good loot. What else do you need? And don’t expect a surprise cameo from Salvador because you won’t get one.

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