Video Game Review: ‘Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage’ is More of the Same with Sprinkles on Top

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – I sat on my porch in balmy 56 degree December weather. It was windy for New England, but having spent years in Chicago it felt mostly like a light breeze. Truth be told, the real windbag was to my right, spouting off about the number of times he’d been to rehab, boasting about his “Shaolin” training that made him a human weapon, verbatim copying Louis C.K’s stand up material as his own, his obsession with Hunter S. Thompson, how his mind works *just like* Sherlock Holmes’, and how he could totally be a journalist if “the bastards” cared about “Dharma”. This is all fine and good - everyone’s allowed to sound like an angsty teenager from time to time - but he had been going on about these things for two hours and this was his second time at my house rambling on about these very things. A little variety never hurt anyone, ya know?

HollywoodChicago.com Video Game Rating: 4.0/5.0
Video Game Rating: 4.0/5.0

Which brings me to the far-more-believable world of yet another “Borderlands 2” DLC expansion: “Mr Torgue’s Campaign Of Carnage,” now available for purchase in your friendly neighborhood XBLA Arcade, and, surprisingly, unlike my angsty friend above, an offering that changes up the details of experience just enough to keep you invested the whole way through.

While “Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate Captain’s Booty” was centered around a pirate theme and featured two well-meaning Johnny Depp knock-offs, “Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage” amps up the testosterone and introduces you to Mr. Torgue, who’s more than just a wink and a nod in the direction of the late “Macho Man” Randy Savage.

Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage
Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage
Photo credit: 2K Games

The plot (such as it is) revolves around the discovery of a new, locked, Vault, that happens to be directly under a battle arena located in the subtly titled “Badass Crater of Badassitude”, and Mr. Torgue makes a call for all the warriors in the land to come duke it out. But fret not, the DLC isn’t just an arena-based fighting expansion. There’s campaign missions, three huge areas to explore, and, of course, tons of new weapons, loot, and trinkets to collect to satiate your kleptomaniacal needs.

So, what’s different here? After countless hours of shooting, looting, and selling in “BL2” - surely some gamers have had their fill of the rapid-fire acid-trip rampage the main gameplay mechanic provides. Well, that whole rinse-repeat mechanism is shaken up a bit via the inclusion of some new currency, “Torque Tokens” which are used to feed a special vending machine that has several unique and high-powered weapons. Some of those weapons feature kind of wonky firing patterns too - such as a grenade launcher that hits the ground and explodes in a side-winding pattern. You’ll be shooting those weapons at some new enemies - some palette swapped, others entirely new, and the game packs a challenge if you’re going solo. Additionally there are a few boss fights that take place in vehicles, and the Arena combat is an interesting diversion (Especially since it’s not the entirety of the release and provides good replay value). To complete everything you’re looking at around 8 or so hours.

Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage
Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage
Photo credit: 2K Games

Audio / visually the game is great too, though some glitches occur in terms of floating chests and enemies getting caught in the scenery - but if you’ve playing “Borderlands 2” enough to desire its second expansion, these glitches will be gleeful quirks, and not annoying bugs. Audio-wise, the performances of Moxxi, Tiny Tina, and Mr. Torgue, keep you engaged and laughing the entire way.

But the real shining star here is the humor. Mr. Torgue is a riot. Over the top, bombastic, loud, and roided up beyond belief, Mr. Torgue is worth the price of admission alone. For a series that has a relatively hard to follow story (Due to all the chaos) the folks at Gearbox Studios have made up for it tremendously with “Borderlands 2”’s humor, and it is in excellent form here. Between Torgue, Moxxi, and Tiny Tina, you’ll find yourself powering through missions for the reward of more zany dialog and characterization of these somehow-human-feeling caricatures.

Speaking of caricatures, eventually I had to excuse myself from the conversation with the gonzo-journalist/drug addict/Shaolin master/super-genius above before I fed him to the neighbor’s hamster. Somewhere between the banal Hunter S. Thompson worship, him saying video games and self-mutilation were his “life saving addictions”, that he was 346 dollars in debt (but somehow amassed *70* PS3 and Vita games), and claiming that Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Gary Oldman, were both 100 percent officially confirmed for the Justice League movie - despite my assurances that they weren’t (and I like to think I know a thing or two about movies), I had given up. At this rate, the guy belonged in a video game.

And I knew just the one.

“Borderlands 2: Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage” was released as DLC for “Borderlands 2” on November 20, 2012. The version reviewed was for the Xbox 360 but the expansion pack is also available for the PS3 and PC.

HollywoodChicago.com video game critic Paul Meekin

By PAUL MEEKIN
Video Game Critic
HollywoodChicago.com

Tom's picture

thanks

I started playing this game at the age of 12 and even now I am diehard fan of this game. Many games evolved after this with almost the same theme and effects but none could win its place. Thanks for an interesting post on Mr. Torgue’s campaign of Carnage.

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