The original Borderlands was one of my favorite games. It was rife with colorful dialogue, crazy characters, and enough weapons to annihilate a planet! Borderlands 2 improved a lot on the wit and formula of the original, and its most recent DLC for has you squaring off against a turkey.
Borderlands 2 was developed by Gearbox Software, and was released for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler is a Thanksgiving-themed DLC, and the second Headhunter add-on.
Our Vault Hunters venture to Gluttony Gulch, where they once again meet Torgue, a loud, ripped, muscle-bound announcer with sunglasses. After you witness the explosion of a lone survivor, Torgue informs you that there is a contest to defeat the Wattle Gobbler; however, the Torgue Board of Directors have made the Gobbler invincible. The contest is rigged to become a blood bath, just so they can up their ECHOnet rating! Thus, the task of poisoning the Wattle Gobbler falls to you.
Borderlands, for those unfamiliar with the franchise, is a first person shooter unlike any other. You begin by choosing one of four vault hunters. There’s the phasewalking siren, Maya, the crazy gunzerker, Salvador, the sword wielding assassin, Zero, and the clean cut, handsome commando, Axton. You can also download the robot loving Gaige, and the masked psycho, Krieg. Each has their their own specific skills, skill tree, and perks. You lay waste to anything standing in your path, with an arsenal of weaponry, from standard machine guns and pistols, to rocket launchers, and elemental shock blasters that spew fire, electrify, or corrode your enemies. It’s intense, in the best of ways.
Borderlands 2‘s art style uses cel-shaded 3D models mixed with hand-painted textures. Everything, from the environments to the zany cast of characters, looks ripped right out of a comic book. There are thick lines, bold shadows, and sketchiness throughout; it’s a stylized, visual treat.
Right! The Thanksgiving DLC. So, Torgue asks you to poison the Wattle Gobbler, in order to make it vulnerable enough to kill it. The greatest line in this DLC, maybe the whole of Borderlands 2, is when Torgue says, “You gotta get into the kitchen, kill everybody, and poison the Gobbler’s food. Once the poison takes effect, you can kill him. Also I want him dead so I can EAT HIM! He looks DELICIOUS!” Those are the lines, verbatim. And the delivery by the voice actor takes it up to a whole other level.
You venture beyond the stage, and into the kitchen. This kitchen is huge, with spinning blades, ovens galore, and meat hooks on the ceiling. You need to poison three lumps of meat, hanging from several hooks. But this is Borderlands, so you can’t simply waltz in and poison them, no. One does not simply walk into the kitchen. You have to blast your way through baddies, of course. Not just any baddies, but chef-themed baddies!
You work your way through the kitchen, and eventually concoct a poisonous meal for the Gobbler. Then, you have to fight off waves of psychos while it cooks. This is easier said than done, since enemies can rush past you and shut off the oven. When the meal is ready, it’s time to head off and fight against the monstrous turkey.
There’s a lot about The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler DLC that I liked. First of all, Torgue, guys. Seriously. He’s the best thing about this whole DLC. He’s so loud and over-the-top that it’s hard not to like him. Torgue is my new hero!
The chef-themed enemies were fun – I ran up to each one, just to see what their title was. I encountered Stir Fry Cooks, Brawny Butchers, Bloody Slaughterhouse Psychos, The Rat in a Hat, and Chef Gouda Ramsay. That last one made me smile. There are also Tributes – fast, furious enemies that come in pairs, capable of wailing on you until you die.
The Wattle Gobbler was a fun, intense fight. First, there were Tributes and other psycho contestants on the attack, while you attempt to avoid the enormous turkey’s feather darts and purple egg bombs. It’s also really fast; you need to stay on your toes, or die. And if you die, the Gobbler’s health comes back, alongside resurrected enemies. The music for this boss fight was great!
There’s a new head exclusive to this DLC called Fowl Play, which is pretty nifty. Looks like a demon turkey with its jaw ripped off. Extremely ugly, but looks like it’d be fun to wear at parties! If I went to parties. If I had friends. Anyways…
As much as I enjoyed this DLC, the final segment was a bit… odd? The final two missions involve talking with Torgue’s Grandma. She had some great dialogue! I enjoyed listening to her stories… but then she kept going, and going. And going. I think it was supposed to evoke that feeling when you come face to face with that one relative, you know who I’m talking about. The one you see only during the holidays. You try not to make eye contact, but they talk to you anyways. You’re too polite to just walk away, and they end up talking to you about endless, boring nonsense that you don’t care about. Yeah, just like that!
And if you walk away in this instance, the mission ends, you fail, and you have to listen to her all…over…again. They managed to capture that uncomfortable moment, perfectly.
While I loved the overall theme, the enemies, and the Wattle Gobbler, there was something sorely missing: themed weapons. Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep has the gun that fired swords, and I was hoping that The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler would have had something along those lines. You know, like a rifle that shot turkey feathers. Or a cornucopia that looked like the standard horn-shaped table decor, but shot flaming fruits of death! But there wasn’t, which was disappointing.
The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler is a wonderful DLC, with a finale that will remind you of why you tend to avoid family get-togethers. It’s short, and I wish there were themed weapons, but it’s still a fun romp through Gearbox’s twisted world. So bring out your guns, slay a Gobbler or two, and have a happy Thanksgiving with Borderlands 2!