Should you buy Borderlands 3: Guns, Love, and Tentacles?
What's so good about Guns, Love, and Tentacles?
This latest expansion takes us to the world of Xylourgos for the wedding of Wainwright and Hammerlock. Why did they choose an unmapped, backwater planet teaming with occultists and hazardous wildlife? Well, that's exactly why. Wainwright and Hammerlock didn't want their wedding venue to be a tourist trap. This comes back to haunt them when Wainwright is possessed by an evil spirit and the player has to go on an adventure to save him.
Guns, Love, and Tentacles is more of the same Borderlands that we've come to know, but I never think that's a bad thing. Throughout the opening mission I kept thinking about how much I liked this expansion more than the last one (Moxxi's Heist), and that feeling stayed with me all the way through the end. The Lovecraftian aesthetic oozed from every corner — loot boxes had tentacles adorned on them and enemies would spawn out of glowing green portals. Everything about the color palette just hammered home the vibe Gearbox was going for.
I mentioned how I enjoyed Guns, Love, and Tentacles more than Moxxi's Heist, and that's not to say that Moxxi's Heist was bad. That's to show just how good this one is. Moxxi's Heist felt very much like I was walking through the remnants of Hyperion once more in Handsome Jack's casino. Guns, Love, and Tentacles lets me experience something new and exciting. The planet of Xylourgos just felt more alien, for lack of a better word. It's also a testament to how well Gearbox made this snowy map because I normally hate snow in video games. Most of the time the environments are bland and boring, no matter how realistic the graphics look. The tundra in Borderlands 2 was my least favorite location and I avoided it like the plague. The snowy maps on Xylourgos were designed in such a way that the snow wasn't their defining characteristic, which made them more exciting and dynamic to play on.
Thanks to the co-op loot drop event going on, which increases the chance of loot drops during co-op play, I found myself almost swimming in legendaries. I can't judge the expansion on this since it's a separate event that just happened to coincide with its launch, but it did give me the opportunity to try out a couple dozen of the new weapons, and I love them. One of these is an SMG that switches elemental damage upon every reload. Another is a Maliwan shotgun that absolutely tears through enemies with each bullet exploding on contact.
Guns, Love, and Tentacles also dropped at the same time as a significant level cap increase, bumping it all the way to 57 from 53. This gives players four new skill points that could be crucial in unlocking an ability in your skill tree that completely changes the way you play.
On top of all that, this expansion gave Gearbox the opportunity to bring back Gaige and Deathtrap. While Gaige was a little underused as the whole "wedding planner" and only chimed in over Echo occasionally, Deathtrap was actually integral in a few missions. Guns, Love, and Tentacles certainly had more character and heart than Moxxi's Heist did, especially in regards to Wainwright and Hammerlock. After all, this whole expansion revolves around their wedding.
What's bad about Guns, Love, and Tentacles?
To be honest, there's not a lot to dislike here. I played a majority of the expansion in co-op with fellow Windows Central writer Samuel Tolbert, and we both agreed that a few of the bosses bordered on being unfairly tough bullet sponges, but that's about it.
The main villain, Eleanor, was also nothing special. A previously normal woman who was corrupted by an otherworldly beast, her sole goal is to transform someone else into her dead husband Victor, who had gone mad researching the beast years prior. Unfortunately, Wainwright Jakobs is the unlucky man he she tries to transform. After she completes that... who knows? Her reasoning was confusing at best, forgettable at worst.
Should you buy Borderlands 3: Guns, Love, and Tentacles? Yes.
Anyone who loved Borderlands 3 will love Guns, Love, and Tentacles. It's nothing special in terms of an expansion, but Gearbox knows what it does best. A couple of frustrating bosses don't completely drag an otherwise great expansion down. And if you're just looking for some new content to play to level up your character, it's the perfect answer.
Gearbox has always done well with Borderlands' bigger expansions, and this one is no different.
Xylourgos and its crazy inhabitants await
Guns, Love, and Tentacles is a worthwhile expansion that Borderlands 3 players are bound to enjoy. The planet of Xylourgos adds a wonderfully eerie aesthetic with tons of new enemies to fight and legendary weapons to collect.
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