As a prerequisite to the latest DLC, Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot was the first content pack to drop for Borderlands 3 on December 19th 2019. As most of us have massive backlogs of wonderful games to play, we were delayed in writing about this content until now. Following this review will be an examination of the proceeding DLC: Guns, Love, and Tentacles, released on March 26th of 2020.
To me, the Borderlands games and Gearbox Software (published by 2K) has always had a talent for doing DLC right. Standout examples include Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, and the Claptastic Voyage. Let’s dive into the Handsome Jackpot and see if they struck gold again.
Now, how one derives fun from a product tends to be highly subjective. Therefore ALL forms of review are opinionated, and should be taken with a grain of salt (this included). So let’s review Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot through the lens of more objective metrics such as; Graphical fidelity, characters/story, content/length, controls & gameplay, then finally, sound design & cinematics. This product was reviewed on a launch model PS4.
Much of the visuals in Moxxi’s Heist maintain Borderlands 3’s aesthetic and stylistic choices. Visuals are still the bright multichromatics that we’ve come to expect from Borderlands. This is with the exception of tonally-themed areas making use of specific colour pallets. Such areas might include the dreary greens and greys of Trashlantis, or the contrasting vibrant purples, reds, and golds of the main casino floor. It also introduces new enemy models that may look familiar to longtime fans. Behold – the return of Hyperion loaders, surveyors and constructors. Additionally, ‘mimic’ enemies have been introduced, as well as unique chests, and ‘V.I.P. Rooms’.
During the onset of arrival at the Handsome Jackpot, one thing players may take notice of is both the exterior and interior attention to detail. Jack’s casino oozes style and extravagance – personifying his long dead, partially manifested legacy.
Characters & Story
The DLC introduces some fresh faces for players. Moxxi’s Heist brings new characters to the franchise including but not limited to, Digby Vermouth, Freddie, Ember, and our new villain: Pretty Boy. Additionally, the heist also includes familiar faces such as Moxxi herself, Jack’s Doppleganger Timothy from the pre-sequel, and the undying remnants of Handsome Jack himself.
Now, I understand that new classes were always separate from previous Borderlands DLCs. However, With Paul Sage stating the lesser likelihood of them even existing, I feel it should be noted that Moxxi’s Heist includes no new classes or playable characters. Maybe there are future plans to follow the trends set by previous titles and add more playable characters in Borderlands 3. Though, in its current state the non-inclusion is to its detriment, when compared to a standard previously set themselves. By the end of Borderlands 3’s DLC I hope to have six playable vault hunters, just as 2, and The Pre-sequel did.
Moving on to plot, the story entails vault hunters investigating and overtaking a Handsome Jack themed space station casino on behalf of Moxxi. That sounds simple enough, right? Well, the death of Handsome Jack in Borderlands 2 had the subsequent effect of putting the flying space casino (and everyone in it) on lockdown. It’s nothing too wild or plot-essential, but a lighthearted bit of comedically driven fun that fans have come to expect. While not being anything massively impactful, the provided story and accompanying characters are quite a compact delight. Avoiding spoilers, the story is fairly risk-free, but presents players with a great excuse to rampage around a Jack-themed Hyperion casino for hours on end.
I’d also like to focus on the inclusion of a Handsome Jack themed Casino as the central premise of the DLC. Handsome Jack became known as the greatest villain of the Borderlands franchise. Due to this, even postmortem Gearbox creates ways to bring Jack back into the story – Tales From The Borderlands being an example. It feels as if: because of the less-than-warm reception fans gave The Calypsos, Gearbox tried to draw them back in with their favorite villain. Well, it worked but it does feel a little cheap. Jack is great, I just hope they don’t over use him as a fallback plan when things get rough. At least they didn’t bring him back from the dead, that would have been too cheesy.
Content & Length
As some unit types and models have been recycled from previous titles, this particular segment may prove divisive for some older Borderlands fans. However, they were critically missing from the Borderlands 3 experience, therefore Hyperion enemies were definitely a welcome addition. It was a strange realisation that I’d played an entire Borderlands game without destroying a single loader bot. Considering how integral Hyperion had been to the Borderlands universe and its subsequent gameplay, it felt like Borderlands was missing a part of its identity. Until Moxxi’s Heist re-introduced players to the classic enemy type, we almost forgot what we were missing. There’s also casino bots, and V.I.P enemies, but they’re nothing too standout.
Moxxi’s Heist offers players an entirely new main storyline, and a multitude of new side missions in the never before seen Handsome Jackpot. Now, the Handsome Jackpot is a multi-level space station with tonnes of Borderlands madness packed inside. Players also will have access to new loot drops, including weapons, relics, shields, grenade, and class mods. Lastly, the boss fights were plenty fun and moderately refreshing, thought I won’t spoil them. It will take players approximately 6-8 hours to complete the DLC, and up to 10 hours for a more completionist run. As always, this content is highly replayable and players will more than likely spend dozens of hours in the Handsome Jackpot.
Considering the asking price and replayability of the provided content, I’d give Moxxi’s Heist a thumbs up here.
Controls & Gameplay
For the most part, this section remains identical to our Borderlands 3 Review. There haven’t been any major changes outside of tweaks and updates since launch that effect how the game is played. Specifically in regards to drop rates in this Moxxi’s Heist, some legendary drops were exorbitant. Looking at you: Heartbreaker shotgun that I have enough to juggle with.
Gameplay is simply more Borderlands, if you’re playing the DLC you know the deal by now. Shoot things. Get that sweet loot. Level up. Shoot more things.
Get sweeter loot.
Sound Design & Cinematics
Let’s start from the very beginning with this section as the DLC opens with a captivating cinematic (after accepting the corresponding quest).
How’s it goin? Handsome Jack here, your best friend.Handsome Jack
As per usual with Borderlands DLCs players get a few cutscenes to pad the experience. The first of which, I found exceptional. It got me excited to delve back into the universe of Borderlands, and efficiently laid out the framework for context. Effectively portraying intended effect, the cinematics were both inspired and creative. They are also used for the introduction of a variety of characters, in classic Borderlands style.
In regards to general sound design, the casino is bursting with the sounds of slot machines, bots, V.I.P’s, psychos, and plenty of Jack. It should also be noted that many of the sound glitches apparent at launch have been fixed. The voice acting is nothing less then excellent – a Borderlands standard in this category. Particularly, with Pretty Boy who sounds like an 80’s gangster – Earl Fisher nailed his vocal role.
All in all, I’d consider Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot to be a worthwhile kickoff to Borderlands 3’s repertoire of content. It’s nothing outstanding or game-changing, and not going to shake up the tried and true formula. But it’s exactly what it needs to be: solid add-on content that offers more activities for players. Gearbox has maintained consistency in the quality of their DLC content for Borderlands 3, so far. I give it a solid 8.0, consistent in quality, though it won’t have you picking your jaw up off the floor either. For those looking for any more Borderlands, this will do nicely.
What did you think of Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot? Let us know in the comments. We’d be glad to hear from you. If you enjoyed this content, why not check out our Division 2: Warlords of New York PC Review.
Remember to stick around Any Button Gaming and as always, don’t forget to like and join our Facebook Page/Group, and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with all of the latest News, Blogs, and more. And if that’s not enough, why not follow us on Twitch or Instagram as well.
A solid first step for DLC content
- Overall - 8/108/10
+ Fun New Enemies, Weapons, and Gear
+ Fantastic Environments
+ More Borderlands Sense of Humor
– Lots of Repeated Drops
+/- Return of Hyperion Enemies, Nostalgic – Yet Unoriginal
Just a Canadian dude who’s passionate about gaming, and the industry as a whole.