In May 2019, rumors started to circulate about a possible Borderlands 2 DLC explaining what happens before Borderlands 3. Now, five years after the last form of Borderlands 2 DLC, we get another piece of DLC for the game. Titled Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary, and bridging the seven-year (in-game time) gap between the second game and Borderlands 3, is finally here. The best part of this is that it's completely free to PC players who own Borderlands 2 and console players (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) who own Borderlands: The Handsome Jack collection.
Accessing the new content in-game is also simple. Visit any Fast-Travel station and teleport to the new "Fight For Sanctuary" location. Playing through the Fight For Sanctuary content does come with some personal recommendations, though. Firstly, I recommend you play through at least the Borderlands 2 base game, as the DLC chapter does contain endgame spoilers for that game. Secondly, your hunter should be at least level 30 before attempting the content, as it is rather challenging. Thirdly, if you don't mind spoilers and don't have a level 30 character, you can create a brand new level 30 hunter and jump in immediately.
If you are so inclined, jumping into level 30 also allows you to play through previous Borderlands 2 content, kudos to Gearbox Software for allowing us to do so. With all that out of the way, let's dive into Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary proper.
Oh, and before we really really start, fears of this being some run-of-the-mill mini-DLC to resurge the player base should be thrown out the window immediately. This DLC contains proper, pay-worthy content for Borderlands 2. New areas, new items, a raid boss and a solid dozen or so hours of story plus side missions. If you choose to only play through the main story arc, you will still get a respectable 4 hours out of the DLC. But this being Borderlands, we want all the goodies on offer.
Okay, for real this time. Let's start with the content. There's a new bad guy in town and his name is Colonel Hector. His plan to take over Pandora involves infecting everything and everyone with a virus which turns its hosts into flora-like creatures. Hector's soldiers offer a nice challenge, especially with their damn medics healing them. The infected bandits, though largely the same as previous iterations, can now buff their pose to deal more damage. If all of this sounds a bit overwhelming, rest assured, our hunters also have an ace up their sleeves. During the course of the game, select hunters of previous installments join the fray. Slaughtering groups of enemies with an NPC hunter of yore truly strums hard on the nostalgia strings. The story sets up Borderlands 3 in a fun and unique way, and answers some lingering questions of the previous titles. The true depth of the content, as with previous Borderlands games, comes from the side content. This is where the DLC offers the most true-to-form Borderlands fun.
Let us not beat around the Elpis, we only came here for the loot. Thankfully, the DLC offers some sweet gear. The most talked about being the Effervescent rarity gear. This new tier, which is of a higher quality than the Pearlescent rarity of old, are fantastic. The offer improved stats and loads more elemental damage, but ultimately feel a bit flat. If like me, you've spent hours grinding for the perfect weapon in the GOTY edition, some of these Effervescent weapons might feel underpowered. They do, however, come in weapons, grenades, shields, and skins, so the choice is yours on what to use and what to ditch. Jumping in at level 30, looting great weapons, and steamrolling through the DLC content might not be as easy as you think. Even with the previously mentioned milestones, the content feels difficult. Not unfair, because everything (except the raid boss) is doable solo with just the right amount of challenge.
In closing, Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary is more Borderlands 2, which is always a good thing. Playing through the content has really hyped me for Borderlands 3. The new weapon tier is cool but feels a bit superficial. The new raid boss is an absolute beast and should absolutely not be attempted alone. Everything that made the previous games so fun is present here, and more. If the mechanics and features in Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary is anything to go by, we are in for a real treat come Borderlands 3 in September. I really wasn't that excited for Borderlands 3, but after a few hours into the DLC: I'm pumped. For free DLC I highly recommend this, I mean, it's not like you have anything to lose. So, go on, you Spiderand. Download and play this content already.
Kingdom Hearts devotee, From Software fanboy and aspiring Audiophile (the good kind that believes in FLAC files). Vincent enjoys writing about games almost as much as playing them.
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