Republished on Wednesday 26th January, 2022: We're bringing this review back from the archives following the announcement of February 2022's PS Plus lineup. The original text follows.
Just in time to gear us up for the 2022 launch of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, one of the best Borderlands expansions ever is back to dazzle with all its D&D delights yet again. Repackaged by 2K as a “One-Shot Adventure”, Assault on Dragon Keep returns as its own standalone release. But who exactly is it for? We ask because it’s ostensibly the exact same loot-shooter experience, complete with local/online four-player co-op and the same Borderlands anarchy, in addition to all the high fantasy trimmings.
In fairness, it’s more than believable that this bite-sized adventure may have passed some people by. If you played and enjoyed Borderlands 2 but didn’t dip for the DLC, for instance, or completely skipped out on Borderlands: The Handsome Collection on PS4, there’s a lot here to love. You’ll be gunning down dragons, skeleton archers, and countless orcish monsters in the effort to complete titular Tina’s fantasy-themed tabletop campaign. Having her narrate over events almost the entire time and unpredictably swap out characters and events as you go is still a cool spin as far as D&D adaptations go. You can see why the concept will soon be promoted to a full game.
All four of Borderlands 2’s main vault hunters are here, alongside the Mechromancer and Psycho classes released post-launch. This only being a 4-5 hour journey, however, developer Gearbox has wisely sped up the rate at which you level up, gifting you two points (rather than one) to pour into your skill tree so as to keep things moving at a pace. The expandalone also bundles in a Platinum trophy, something neither the original nor Handsome Collection versions had, so there’s every excuse for hardcore Borderlands enthusiasts to venture back.
Is this One-Shot Adventure an essential replay? Absolutely not, but as a nice primer for the upcoming leap into Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, this chaotic dose of cell-shaded action-fantasy is well worth the short return trip.