Borderlands expands again with its second major DLC release, Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot. Unlike the original game and the first DLC, The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, Underdome Riot is focused solely on surviving wave after wave of CPU enemies. What you'll face in this DLC is not unlike the Horde mode from Gears of War 2 or Firefight from Halo. Underdome Riot also includes a new weapons storage bank that can be upgraded, but seasoned players looking for a new level cap or new quests won't find that here.
The Onslaught..bring friends
Anyone that has played Borderlands knows that it's best played cooperatively with friends. Of course, that was Gearbox's intention in the first place, and it was something they pulled off very well. That same design goes into Underdome Riot, where players will face wave after wave (aka riots) of increasingly tough enemies. This is meant to be very difficult, so strap in.
Underdome Riot is split up into three different arenas, including the Hella Ruins and Angelic Ruins. Each arena has a unique look to it. Mad Moxxi calls the shots (hey, it's her dome afterall) from a platform above the battle. She dons a megaphone to announce the upcoming challenges which are made up of rounds and waves. Each round has fives waves, and each wave has a name like Badass Wave or Horde Wave. You won't see any new enemies here, just recycled ones with improved shields and new names and the like. The fifth wave of a round is made up of old bosses too, so naturally you can expect a staunch challenge there.
After the first round, Mad Moxxi mixes things up by inducing random modifiers. These modifiers change gameplay settings by doing things like increasing shotgun damage, reducing gravity, or accuracy, or lowering the damage some of your weapons deal out. The modifiers will either help or hinder you, but their random nature spices things up nicely.
In between the waves, or riots, players can catch their breath and restock on supplies. Should you die during a riot, which is very likely, you'll be forced to sit out of the action for a little while, not unlike a penalty box in hockey. You aren't completely out of the game however as you can still get some shots into the field of play to hopefully help out your friends. However, when playing alone, failure in wave four, for example, means starting back at wave one. As you can imagine, having to restart the entire round when you die gets frustrating in a hurry, but this wasn't meant to be played alone.
Without a new level cap or quests, I was interested to see what reward awaited my friends and I after completing a round. Turns out, Mad Moxxi gives you a weapon for your troubles. This DLC requires the player be at least a level 10 to play, and if you're not much higher than that, the gifted weapons can be quite nice. Higher ranking players however may not find much use in what Moxxi drops, leaving only the challenge and cooperative play as a reason to play (which certainly may be enough).
Earned weapons can be stored in the other addition that Underdome Riot brings to Borderlands: a storage bank. The bank begins with twelve slots but can be upgraded to thirty-nine. This is great for gifting weapons to other friends or just storing more of your gear.
For gamers that enjoy teaming up with friends to take on stiff CPU challenges, Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot will offer at least several additional hours of time in Pandora. If you don't have at least one other person to play with though, I'd recommend holding off on visiting the 'dome.
To the summary...