I won't lie, I had a blast playing Borderlands when it came out last month but I did wish the story was a bit more fleshed out.
Almost a month after its release, we now have some downloadable content (DLC) that solves the problem and adds to the fairly bare wasteland environment found before. The Zombie Island of Dr Ned is 800 MS points, or US$10 on the PlayStation 3, and completely worth it if you enjoyed the main game. Not only does it have a better told and very funny story but also the new enemies (zombies) do a great job of changing up the gameplay.
As soon as you download the DLC you will be able to travel to Jakob's Cove from any of the travel stations. This is where the story is set up and you find out how this island - once the base of operations and living area for many workers of the Jakob's company - turned into the home of the living impaired.
In typical zombie fashion they do not carry guns - they need their hands for brain eating after all. So you only have to worry about them if they get close enough to be intimate. This would be fine if there were only two or three of them, but as everyone knows zombies like to travel in big groups. This time you will be fighting large groups of slow moving enemies who will surround you as they come from every direction. Some of them will also spit bile at you which can do some pretty nasty damage and cover your screen with green stuff, blinding you for a bit.
Of course, you won't be just fighting zombies; there are also Wereskags, Tankensteins and some of the cooler boss battles the game has to offer. The new environment also brings something different from the main game which did not really have much diversity in its areas. Yes, a lot of the same level assets are used here which is a shame, but at least there are different colours and trees (not to mention pumpkins with moustaches) to break things up.
This is all a welcome change of pace from the main game and a lot of fun. While playing this with four friends will not be the same experience as Left 4 Dead, it is the best way to play, especially as you share some of the funnier moments in the story.
Developers Gearbox have really outdone themselves here. While the main game had plenty of great gags, they were spread out over a pretty lengthy campaign and none of the characters were truly used as much as they should have been. The experience is very different here, as the jokes will keep coming. Either from Dr Ned - who is totally not Dr Zed's made-up brother from the main game - to some tape recordings you find that give you a glimpse into the adventures of zombie hunters who came before you.
The one downside can come with the difficulty scale, because if you are already at level 50 (or close to it) you may find this a bit too easy. Unfortunately it skews based on your progress in the game and not your level. So if you are finished with the main game most of the quests will be around level 43. While this was a strange decision by Gearbox it is not the end of the world - sure, you won't be getting any great new loot for your higher-level characters but it will be great for a newer character. Besides, you really should play this for the hysterical story and different enemy types anyway.
The Zombie Island of Dr Ned is a great start for Borderlands DLC and hopefully it will only get better from here. It adds something new to both the gameplay and environment, it is funnier than the main game, the story is better told and more interesting and it has a good amount of content to keep you busy for many more hours.
Next time, if they boost the level cap and give us some new awesome loot to find, Borderlands could easily become a great platform for regular new DLC adventures.