Borderlands: Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution
The Secret Armory of General Knoxx appeared to be the final piece of the Borderlands experience until Gearbox decided on releasing one more add-on. The result is an episode starring Borderlands’ adorable, de facto mascots, the claptraps. As the fourth and final add-on, Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution offers more of the same with little deviation from the tried-and-true formula.
As per custom, once the add-on is installed, a new area becomes available for fast-travel and a short cutscene introduces some exposition. The claptrap robots, under the leadership of the Interplanetary Ninja Assassin claptrap, have organized an armed rebellion against their fleshy overlords with the goal being to take over Pandora. Viewing this as a potential PR snafu, the Hyperion Corporation contracts the vault hunters to put an end to the revolution, promising payment in the form of cash and loot.
Tartarus Station serves as the central hub for the add-on as it’s where you’ll find shops and characters to dole out quests. Beyond that are the usual trappings that define the scenery of Borderlands: desert terrain, rocks, and a junk heap or two. It’s a tad disappointing that Gearbox didn’t experiment more with the landscape, instead offering sights we’ve already seen a hundred times over. The only difference is posters written with slogans line a few walls and humorous propaganda blares from overhead, extolling the virtues of metal over flesh.
Quests are rather by-the-numbers even though some effort has been spent on having NPCs talk at length about the mission, even though it typically boils down to “go here, kill some stuff, maybe flip a switch, and head on back for your reward” with some technobabble thrown in to sound like you’re doing something complicated. There’s even a quest lifted right out The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, only instead of gathering a ridiculous amount of brains it’s gathering ridiculous amounts of claptrap parts.
Enemies from previous encounters have been recycled too. No, literally—they’ve been turned into cyborg slaves in service of the claptrap army. Everything from skaggs, soldiers, and bandits now have circuitry and vacuum tubes jutting out of their bodies but the change is purely cosmetic as these are the same baddies you’ve put into the ground many times before. The only true new enemies are the claptrap variants and the final boss. Claptraps come in a few different varieties—melee, guns, and kamikazes that blow up—but they’re easily beaten even if there are a lot of them to deal with at once.
Recycling is the operative word here as the add-on just feels like a repeat of things players have already experienced without much payoff. There’s no new level cap and there are no truly memorable weapons or items to speak of. Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution fulfills the primary function of an add-on: it expands, giving players more to see and do albeit without offering a new experience.
As the finale to Borderlands‘ DLC escapades it’s underwhelming—it isn’t the huge expansion that The Secret Armory of General Knoxx is nor does it have a unique setting like The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned. It is head and shoulders above Mad Moxxi’s Underdome, but that’s damning by faint praise. Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution offers no surprises, and it’s really only for Borderlands players that are looking to get one last bit of mileage out of the game.