Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt represents perhaps the biggest shift in visual tone for the game since it has been released, and that's much appreciated. It goes a long way towards making the game's enemies and weapons feel new and fresh again, something that does the heart well after pumping over 100 hours into the massive game. Clearly, a lot of effort was put into the design of the new enemies. Facing down the tribally terrifying Witch Doctor or the tricky Floating Spores is always a blast.
The new area called Aegrus is based on a sort of ’30s Hollywood view of Africa, but although it’s all clearly meant to be a joke – an attack even, on the romanticising of colonialism – it doesn’t quite work. At the end of the day you’re still shooting stereotyped natives dressed in loincloths and voodoo masks, which is not the same sort of distasteful we usually expect from Borderlands. The add-on’s best jokes are still all smutty innuendo and pop culture references. And so rather than purposefully trying to make you feel uncomfortable it instead feels more like the developers themselves started to get cold feet halfway through.
What they are entirely comfortable with, however, is creating another memorable guest star in the shape of Professor Nakayama, an evil scientist in the making who's both cripplingly aware of his own shortcomings and woefully unprepared for the task of world domination he's given himself. An enthusiastic acolyte of Handsome Jack, the dark Disney prince of Borderlands 2's central campaign, Nakayama's hit upon the idea of cloning his psychotic hero, thus taking control of Pandora. The storyline that unfolds is fairly compact compared to those of the previous two add-on episodes, but it's still stuffed with a series of decent boss battles, a truly stellar final joke, and an armory to raid that, for me at least, offered some of the best loot I've ever netted in a single session.