1 min spoiler-free review
Moxxi’s heist of the handsome jackpot is the first story campaign add-on for Borderlands 3. You can enjoy this as a (very long) side quest or as end-game content as the level difficulty scales based on your progress. This DLC brings back fan-favorite characters but also introducing new ones. It’s a fun experience, I enjoyed myself a lot with this DLC. It’s also GBXs troll DLC as they introduce some surprise elements that can totally jump scare you. But it’s also noticeable in the level design, writing, and mission design that they are out to get you. There are various clever and wacky things throughout the DLC that create entertaining experiences. I definitely recommend picking up this DLC.
Moxxi’s heist of the handsome jackpot has a good story as Gearbox pulls back from events that happened prior to Borderlands 2. Back in the day, Miss Moxxi and Handsome Jack were dating however that relationship didn’t last long. In the meantime, Jack stole Moxxi’s plans for a casino and made it his own. Now Moxxi calls on you to help her to settle the score. This all starts by picking up the handsome Jack poster in front of Moxxi’s bar on Sanctuary 3. Here you get introduced to Jack and his luxurious casino. But once you made your way over there you find out that you are stuck just like the other passengers. By taking over the control of the Handsome Jackpot you can accomplish Moxxi’s request and free yourself. However, the casino is under new-management that requires a plan. Here you can see the ocean’s eleven influence as you are dropped into specific scenarios that push the plot. While the overall play style is as you expect from the game. There is a brief section near the end, as you are about to execute your master plan, which you have been working to set up throughout the DLC, that has a few rapid pace tasks. I didn’t see the twist coming, which I won’t spoil but plans don’t always work out.
You probably have seen Timothy Lawrence in the trailer. He’s one of Handsome Jack’s doppelgangers. You meet up with him pretty early in the DLC. As a long-time fan, you expect a lot of Evil Jack from him but the broken mask on his face says it all. He is broken and I kinda felt bad for him. I expected him to be a strong man but Moxxi walked all over him. Throughout the DLC you learn more about the time that Moxxi and Jack were dating. And while Borderlands is dark, I enjoyed the “happy” ending of Timothy.
Moxxi’s heist on the Handsome Jackpot was not only designed for our enjoyment but also for Gearbox Software’s pleasure. Through certain mission or level designs, you just know they are trolling you. For example, you can open these VIP rooms. You need to pay money to open the door. I think it’s halfway through the DLC that you can open a ‘More VIP’ room in the VIP room. However, in that VIP room is another door that leads to another VIP room that’s even more luxurious. Every time you do this the rooms keep getting bigger and shinier. Once you think you hit the jackpot there is one more door you can choose to pay for…. and it’s… the toilet room. Thanks, GBX jokes on me. Another example is needing a registration form to pick up that thing you needed. So you need to go to this desk clerk to help you out, however, he says you need to get that from the other counter. So you go over there and ring the bell to find out that that same clerk is also running that counter. You need to go back and forth between the 2 counters to find out you have the wrong form… YEAH, GBX is trolling you!
Then there are also the “surprise” mechanics. Yes, I’m talking loot boxes because before you know it, you get jump scared by a mini loader bot jumping out of the chest. And those are not the only jump scares throughout the DLC. I already told you that the casino is filled with slot machines. Well… there are bots that MIMIC those slot machines. They look fun to play with until you come close and they start attacking you. THANKS, GBX… THANKS!
Moxxi’s heist on the Handsome Jackpot takes place on this space casino. The environments look great. It’s everything you would expect from a luxurious casino. Tons of slot machines and neon signs. It’s absolutely beautiful. I think Gearbox did a good job of creating the various environments that each look and feel different from each other. While the overall theme stays the same, you are visiting different parts of the spacestation. This keeps things interesting so you don’t get bored with constant repetition. Another great thing is the sound design. I also enjoyed the background music, it gave me the good vibes.
The theme of getting stuck in the system can be felt throughout this DLC. But you aren’t the only one that’s stuck in a system that is designed to scam. Even up to the final boss fight you see this theme take effect.
Fun Stuff to Do
There are new crew challenges in this Hansome Jackpot DLC which will reward you with legendary loot. You need to destroy Mr. Torgue’s explosive hot sauce because of reasons. These can be a bit hidden but aren’t very difficult to find. Shooting these small bottles is satisfying because they will set off a nuke. Another crew challenge is setting fire to these statues. These sometimes require you to traverse the terrain. For the 3rd crew challenge, you need to take out a bunch of badasses.
Throughout the DLC you can find these blackjack chests. They can often be found in VIP rooms. Before you open up these chests a holographic card dealer will show up forcing you to play blackjack. You get 2 cards from the start and need to get 21 points for the best loot drop. Each turn you can choose to hold or to deal a card, however, if you go over 21 the chest will spawn 3 grenades. So choose wisely.
Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot adds a bunch of new legendary items. You can farm specific bosses in the DLC in order to get them but they can also world drop from any enemy. I got a few of them from the VIP enemies.
I had a lot of fun playing Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot. It’s always great to see Gearbox just have fun with their games and create something like this. The story was satisfying and they introduced some new stuff. There weren’t a lot of armored enemies in the main game, so having those loader bots was great. If this DLC sets the requirements for the upcoming DLCs than we are in for a treat.