Borderlands 3 may not have set the world on fire with its story when it popped out of orbit last year, but there’s no denying that Gearbox’s crunchy loot ‘n shooter still had plenty of attitude pumping through every cylinder of its core engine as players got a chance to flex their muscles across a quartet of deadly new vault hunters.
In many ways, Borderlands 3 was essentially the same game that had kicked off in 2009 but given a healthy injection of quality of life improvements to further streamline the experience. Ain’t nothing wrong with that! Sticking to its legacy, Gearbox sold the game with a promise of good things to come long after the end credits had rolled, with a brand new selection of adventures to tackle in the form of downloadable content.
Borderlands originale featured such content, Borderlands 2 raised the bar for DLC with its final offering in the form of a Dungeons ‘n Dragons romp through Tiny Tina’s emotions and even the maligned Borderlands Pre-Sequel tugged at the heartstrings with the surprisingly magnificent Claptastic Voyage. So how does Moxxi’s Heist of The Handsome Jackpot stack up then? Not too badly at all, as this brief trip back to Borderlands 3 offers sharper writing and a surprisingly tender nip of a dangling thread which dates all the way back to the days of the Elpis moon raid.
You son of a bitch, you bet I’m in for this one!
It’s a tale as old as time that kicks off Moxxi’s grand heist: Head of a galactic corporation murders his way to the top, unlocks ancient alien knowledge and goes completely jerkass with power as he builds an inescapable gambling prison that is home to high-rollers and the walking debt who’ll do anything to escape.
That’s where you come in, as Moxxi plans to reclaim the casino happens to require a team of heist-ready specialists. The casino itself is essentially a gigantic death zone peppered with colourful characters and murderous gamblers while you work your way across the space station. There’s a whole lot to see, all beautifully rendered and showcasing some terrific level design. From the flashy gambling dens to the seedy underbelly of Trashlantis, Handsome Jack’s alluring death-trap has plenty to offer across its four to five-hour runtime as you assemble a crew and prepare for your heist.
It’s also a reminder of just how fantastic Jack was as a villain, as even after death his various post-mortem video promos and sneering public announcements designed to remind you of just how rich the greatest villain in video games truly was. In addition to that, you can even try your luck at Handsome Blackjack chests which offer some high-level loot if you’re ready to go all-in on a game of 21.
There’s not much more to Moxxi’s Heist of The Handsome Jackpot, but as a quick diversion with Gearbox’s unique Borderlands flavour it certainly hits a sweet spot. The homages to heist movies are fun, the ending is surprisingly tender and the action is double or nothing mayhem that is still satisfyingly meaty to wrap your thumbs around.
Last Updated: January 6, 2020