There’s a reason why Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is a polarising game. Some folks love the more detailed characters. Other people hate the iffy level design. The Zero-G combat is pure fun, provided that you can make it past the various bugs in the game. It’s a game that doesn’t hit all the right notes, but it is a Borderlands game that is important, thanks to the story that fleshes out the events between Borderlands 1 and 2. In the Claptastic Voyage however, the game goes somewhere few vault hunters have had the courage to explore. Prepare to enter the mind of…Claptrap.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel’s single piece of big DLC may not be a game-changer along the lines of Borderlands 2’s Tiny Tina’s Assault On Dragon Keep, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t charming. For years now, Claptrap has been the mascot of the series. He’s been a helpful reminder of quests that need to be completed, an assassin in disguise and a playable character in the previous Borderlands game. Claptastic Voyage however, fills in the gap between The Pre-Sequel and Borderlands 2, as players find out how Claptrap fell out of favour with Hnadsome Jack and came to roam the frozen tundras of Pandora who greeted players in the first sequel.
To do that however, requires being shrunk down and digitised within Claptrap, ala Innerspace. Vault Hunters need to track down a mysterious packet of code that contains the hidden secrets of Hyperion, which happens to be buried deep within the mind of Claptrap and guarded by his various insecurity forces. Aspects of the Claptrap program roam his mind, while his ever-present consciousness tags along to help you out as you explore his deepest secrets and hidden history.
And that’s something that Claptastic Voyage does get quite right. While the writing isn’t of the variety that’ll have you guffawing your sides apart, Claptastic Voyage is a bit darker than your usual Borderlands adventure, with a fair amount of heart and predictable plot twists as well. It’s actually a great story in total, one that is bolstered by some more imaginative level design.
Claptrap’s inner core can be explored, from his network protocols through various memory hubs, while the game takes the chance to nail you with literal pop-up ads and new enemies. Once you get the chance to explore further into Claptrap’s memories, you’ll soon unlock new areas which revisit old locales but dress them up with new physics and broken code.
Insecurity bots, glitches and various other bits of malware all stand in your way, and so does one bastard of a final boss fight, which will take you around 20 minutes or more to work through if you’re around the mid-30s in your character progression. Seriously, that’s one fight that goes on for far, far too long and illustrates perfectly how 2K Australia can nail some aspects of Borderlands and completely overlook some other crucial aspects at the same time.
But as a piece of story-heavy DLC that focuses on the beloved mascot and brings the tale of Claptrap full circle, it’s pretty solid. It’s not exceptional, but it does do a fine job in the end.
Last Updated: April 10, 2015