Borderlands DLC - The Zombie Island Of Dr Ned Review
Posted by Staff on Feb 8, 2010 14:36 v2.0 - European Gaming Site - -

Written by: Mark
Downloadable Content:
Call me cynical but I am one of those who feels that the majority of games that release additional downloadable content are somewhat milking the gamer for additional cash. I appreciate that this is not always the case as there has been several games that release some excellent additions. However for each of these there is always a couple of titles that bring content out at a pretty high price that sometimes simply adds very basic things such as additional weapons and costumes etc.
When I first heard that the excellent and somewhat surprise hit game of 2009 "Borderlands" was to bring out content to download I was quite excited by the prospect particularly after hearing that this would feature a whole new island to explore complete with zombies.
Being a fan of games featuring the undead this appealed to me and even more so when I found out that it would be released for a very competetive 800ms points.
It would be fair to say that in the Borderlands game most of (if not the only) criticism was around the slightly weak story and the main success was down to the excellent presentation and over the top action. "The zombie island of Dr Ned" follows this tradition as the action takes place in Jakobs Cove which is the home of Jakobs Corporation whom made some of the excellent weaponry in the game.
Borderlands DLC 1 X360 screenshot #1
Jakobs cove is full of wasteland populated by all kinds of the undead only this time the island is being controlled by Dr Ned who is simply Dr Zed from the original game sporting a crazy false moustache.
You can tell from the start that the developers are following the tradition of the full game in this expansion by offering a huge amount of tongue in cheek humour and this starts with the narration which sets the scene well and actually explains in a comic way that Dr Ned is not actually Dr Zed in disguise. Following this we are told that the reason for so many of zombies is infact that the Jakobs Corporation workers are being kept alive with zombie juice and it is your job to keep the remaining workers alive by taking down the variety of undead creatures whom are planning to take over the full island.
It would be fair to say that the storyline in this expansion is a little hit and miss and the story rarely excites, however like the full game the main success is all about presentation and action.
The whole graphical presentation of Borderlands was nothing short of superb and in The zombie island of Dr Ned the developers have done yet another superb job of making the onscreen action look superb.
Jakobs Cove is very well animated and gives an eerie feel whilst maintaining the look of a B-movie horror and again this fits well with the whole Borderlands feel.
Borderlands DLC 1 X360 screenshot #2
The variety of enemies again are where the game stands out with some very well animated zombies and in particular the variety of huge over the top boss characters.
Whilst The zombie island of Dr Ned takes a bit of a diversion away from what is on offer in the full game it certainly maintains the overall excellent presentation of the full game. But how does it play?
The first thing that stands out is that this expansion can be accessed at any point during the main campaign simply by visiting one of the fast travel points found throughout the game. By using this method you are instantly transported to Jakobs Cove and the real beauty is that you can do this as often as you like without disturbing the main quest.
Like the full game there are a wide range of missions to be tackled which certainly adds longevity and it would be fair to say that Jakobs Cove is pretty sizable to explore which makes it even better value for what is essentially a cheap price.
As you progress you will find that there are countless enemies to battle against and these attack with a nice regularity to keep the action pretty intense however it would be fair to add that if you try and tackle this new island with a character that has been levelled up to a pretty high standard then this can be slightly on the easy side.
Borderlands DLC 1 X360 screenshot #3
Unlike the main campaign this new island seems to contain no vehicles to assist you. Whilst this may disappoint some it does add a nice amount of run and gun and whilst this may lack the intensity of the Left4Dead games it is still pretty good thanks to the well presented and tense environments.
It is clearly obvious from the outset that The zombie island of Dr Ned is very similar to the main game in that it simply designed to entertain with some excellent gameplay which neverintedns to take itself to seriously. There are not too many games currently available that strike a good balance between both and Borderlands and this additional content is one that most certainly does.
Undoubtedly one of the most successful aspects of Borderlands is the multiplayer and you will be pleased to hear that this new expansion also supports the excellent co-operative play.
Borderlands DLC 1 X360 screenshot #4
Obviously with the main focus being on zombie blasting action it is bound to draw comparisons to Left4Dead 2 and whilst the multiplayer in Borderlands does not rely as much on working together in intense situations it is still a very enjoyable experience which gamers everywhere should at least try and I guarantee that you will almost certainly enjoy what you are playing.
To sum up, Borderlands' first DLC "The Zombie Island Of Dr Ned" offers a nice diverse new territory to explore and whilst there are only slight gameplay differences the action does not offer as much variety as the main quest however for 800ms points I would highly recommend downloading this expansion as it is certain to offer plenty of fun to the already excellent Borderlands experience.
+ A beautifully presented game
+ Offers more content to the already excellent Borderlands
+ Nicely animated environments
+ Can be accessed at any point without disturbing the main quest
+ Good value for money
- Some gameplay differences from the main game
- Can be on the easy side with a levelled up character
- Not much story