Synyster Graves

Borderlands: The Zombie Island of Doctor Ned

by on Oct.29, 2010, under Xbox DLC

As Halloween is approaching, I thought I’d do some quick-fire reviews of some of the best horror based games which are available. The first is the first DLC released by Gearbox for Borderlands. Now those of you who read my Borderlands review, you will know that I was quite a fan of the original Borderlands game. It was addictive, fast paced and well polished. I was definitely intrigued reading about the intended release of this as being a huge fan of zombie media, I did decide to fork out the 800 Microsoft points to purchase this. I’m not sure if the release date was intended to coincide with the release of Left 4 Dead 2 as considering the hype of the previous, this was relatively ghosted under the radar. Being a Borderlands nut, I got this straight away while I was procrastinating over buying the new Left 4 Dead.

Zombie Island starts with warping to a macabre island which unlike the rest of the Borderlands universe is dark and spooky. The music is very atmospheric and immersive and immediately you feel like you’ve been thrust into an old horror movie. Without warning even before you manage to reach the objective settlement, you come across a giant horde of zombies ambling in a mire. Upon noticing your prescence, they charge at you 28 Days Later style and attempt to overwhelm you. This kind of zombie is more from the Left 4 Dead type running zombie rather than the slow stupid brain eating undead like in Dead Rising. As a fan of  corrosive weapons, I was left at the mercy of a horde lusting after protagonist sandwiches as caustic weapons have no effect of the surging undead. Naturally undead lore kicked in and you find very swiftly that your very survival relies on flammable weaponary. Flaming shotguns certainly became the order of the day.

Unlike most survival horrors, Borderlands sticks more closely to its “bazillion” guns mantra as ammunition is still rather plentiful and you end up cutting through waves with a hail of bullets. A very satisfying experience. There are new enemies now with the classic Frankenstein style monster who drops a whole gun chest upon his demise to get you new weapons and there’s new flying creatures like bloodwings. Another nice touch is the zombie dropping collectable heads when you successfully pull off a headshot.

All in all, this is a very good DLC and I played it through in co-op which just doubled the amusement. Maybe a little steep to ask for 800 Microsoft credits as the whole gameplay will last about 3-4 hours of play but as usual Gearbox exercise their collection mission fetish by asking you to collect about 250 brains!

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