Borderlands 3: Bounty of Blood is a great DLC that breaks some of its own series own conventions and adds new game(play) mechanics that can push the franchise as a whole further.
Bounty of blood: A fist full of redemption is the third DLC for Borderlands 3 and is part of the season pass. This story campaign add-on is inspired by westerns and therefore brings you to the desert planet Gehenna. You are drawn to this location to go bounty hunting as you find a poster in front of your room on Sanctuary III. The sheriff of Vestige needs your help to take care of a group of outlaws, the Devil Riders. As you make your way to the town, you stumble upon the first new NPC, Rose. Her design looks awesome, you got that Western meets Samuari mix going on there, really badass. Just like Gaige did in the ‘Guns, Love, and Tentacles” DLC, Rose will guide you to the first town and helps you defeat the wildlife on your way. During this segment, Rose will bring you up to speed how things work around here. Just before you enter the town Vestige you two part ways but your roads will intertwine throughout the DLC.
At the entrance of the town, you are welcomed by Titus. At first, I thought he would be a generic NPC that was needed to escort you to the real objective. I wasn’t impressed with his design nor that of the sheriff and later on Juno. However, by the end of the DLC, Titus and Juno have grown onto me. Throughout this story campaign, you will learn about their story and me changing my mind about these characters means the team over at Gearbox Software did a good job getting me captivated in their story. I can’t say the same about the sheriff…
The Impact of Your Choices
In this 3rd DLC, your choices impact the town. The first choice I encountered was a wounded sheriff. You have the option to revive him or let him be. Because I triggered a story event and therefore forgot to revive the sheriff in time… well… …he died, oops! This is the moment I realized that Matt told us during the Borderlands Show that our choices would be reflected in the main town. At this point, I’m overthinking the whole concept as I played a lot of Deus Ex where every choice has consequences. Therefore, I started to feel guilty about the sheriff’s death as I wasn’t content with the outcome. Which is stupid as I’m still early on in the DLC and you aren’t that invested into the new characters at that point yet. That said, throughout Bounty of Blood you will get several more of these types of encounters that leave their mark on the town and its people. While they aren’t as impactful as in Deus Ex they are neat details that make the world come to life and they show your actions an impact the world itself. I would love to see more of that in the Borderlands franchise going forward.
New Gameplay Mechanics
Bounty of Blood also introduces 4 new objects that you can interact therefore change up the way you play through this DLC. Because you will unlock the abilities to interact with these objects throughout the story campaign you have new things to discover going back to previous areas. It also mixes up the combat as you can utilize some of them during combat. You have these plants that you can melee and they will shoot out these explosive seeds. You can use these to inflict damage to your enemies but also open up new areas. There is a plant that let brainwashes enemies and lets them fight for you. There are crystals that are used to block off areas or hide secrets as they can blend in with the environment. The most noticeable thing is the Tellezapper. These portals let you instantly travel to other locations on the map. They let you reach different sections of the map but in some cases they teleport you across the room, giving you the ability to launch sneak attacks at your opponents. I kinda want to make notes on the in-game map so it’s easier to trackback if you found stuff that was inaccessible during your first run and you want to come back to later on.
What would a Western be without Bounty Hunting? Therefore you will stumble upon these wanted posters throughout Gehenna. It’s “on theme” with the whole Wild Wild West that’s going on but it also gives Gearbox Software the ability to add a lot of dedicated loot sources. Because this is a bit of an issue in the main game. There are a lot of legendaries but they don’t have a dedicated loot source for themselves. With Bounty of Blood, Gearbox Software is adding a bunch of new legendary weapons and while most of them can world drop they all have their own loot source.
Taking about the new legendary weapons in Bounty of Blood, there are definitely a bunch of cool weapons that challenge the current meta. Some others need a boost. I was surprised that there aren’t any new legendary mods, artifacts, or grenade mods in the DLC. There are a few new purple rarity items that do interesting things.
Besides having to hunt down outlaws you will also be hunting down dangerous wildlife and lost treasures. These are all different Crew Challenges that you get to do during the DLC. While I got most of the hidden stuff on my first playthrough there is definitely stuff I needed to go the extra mile to find them.
The Final Showdown
The main antagonist throughout this story campaign add-on is great. I enjoyed the backstory and how things come full circle at the end. I love how the game ramps up near the end of the story and how you get to discover what has been going on on this planet. I wasn’t a fan of seeing more dessert at first but Gearbox did a good job add creating areas with different styles. Especially at the end of the DLC, the environment is gorgeous. I love the area where you go into this facility. The VFXs in this DLC are also amazing, dare I say; world-changing. The encounter with the antagonist is great, I really enjoyed the final boss fight and how you need to make use of the newly added gameplay mechanics.
Borderlands 3: Bounty of Blood isn’t the black sheep of the Season Pass as it doesn’t rely on established characters to drive the narrative. This story campaign add-on can stand on its own with a brand new cast of characters. It adds new gameplay mechanics that push the Borderlands franchise as a whole further. There is sooo.. much I want to talk about but I don’t want to spoil it for you. It’s a great DLC and I definitely recommend you picking it up!