DnD in Borderlands 2? Heck yes! (Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep Review)

So Gearbox released its new Borderlands 2 DLC earlier last week, and it was something else. Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep brings the playful action that the series is known for, while intermingling a deeper story that drives the campaign along. It brings out the essence of what it means to play and be a part of Dungeons and Dragons, while still cutting into the adrenaline thumping action cake that is Borderlands.

Now Tiny Tina, the one and only demolitions expert, is hosting a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Mordecai, Lilith and Brick are the players, while downstairs, the four compatriots from Borderlands 2 are interviewing a Hyperion spy. These characters are the ones in the DnD campaign being played as well. Tina narrates the story with quips from the other “players” as well. While most of it is comedic, there’s a darker undertone with Tina grappling with the fact that Roland is dead (spoilers by the way), and the same goes for Bloodwing. She constantly says that they should wait for Roland before they go ahead with Lilith deflecting the comments. She does insert him into the campaign as the white night, which is pretty sweet. Mordecai simply makes snarky comments about how he doesn’t want to be there, and Brick just wants to punch every living being in the face. At one point the Dwarf King—the one meant to help you beat the game with his army of dwarven warriors—is punched in the face by the player’s character. Because Brick says so. It’s actually really funny.

The story actually mirrors the game’s actual campaign pretty well. Handsome Jack is the evil sorcerer who captures the princess (which, by the way, is the absolute best part of the entire DLC) and your characters, through Tina’s guidance, are able to fight through Orc hordes, skeleton armies, dank dungeons full of sorcerers, dark castles with paladins and knights defending it, the dwarven mines with great rock golems defending them, and end up getting to the big man himself. Oh yeah, you fight dragons as well. The game pulls jokes from the legendary game DnD, whether it be snipes at rolling for initiative, chests that make players roll a “D20″ to see what loot is inside and a particularly good one about not having to re-roll for the player’s character after he or she is resurrected.  The best, however, would have to be when the game makes the player destroy the darkness, the level 59 darkness…come on; that’s good stuff.

The story is riveting, it’s fun, and it segways perfectly into the next portion of the Borderlands mythos. After the campaign is finished and Tina is forced to accept both Roland and Bloodwing’s deaths, some important information is leaked from the Hyperion spy and the next DLC is revealed. So fans beware, and those who haven’t played: do it. This game add-on is fresh, creative, and just plain fun.

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