I enjoyed the hell out of Borderlands 3 when it first released and have since played every DLC, maxing out my character level and collecting every achievement in the base game. When I heard its final expansion was to focus on Krieg, I was excited to see where Gearbox would take it. While I have to say that it did a good job exploring his backstory and character, the package as a whole did not live up to my expectations.
Because I primarily played Borderlands 3 on my Xbox One X and the review code I received for this DLC was for the PC version, I used a level boost provided by Gearbox so that I started the DLC out at Level 13. Missions started out around this level and eventually increased to around 20 near the end of the expansion.
I’m never one to say no to more Borderlands, so when Tannis says I need to go inside the mind of Krieg to figure out what makes a psycho a psycho, who am I to deny her?
As we come to find out, Krieg’s consciousnesses has split between his sane personality and his psycho personality. In order to unlock Vaulthalla, we need to journey throughout his mind and gather three parts to a statue. These three parts take us through three different sections of his brain: Castle Crimson, Sapphire’s Run, and Benediction of Pain. While I liked some of the level design — piles of meat and bone really sold the “psycho” landscape, and launch pads were great for traversal — the locations mostly tended to be uninspired, especially when we get to Krieg’s time being experimented on by Hyperion. One standout section looks like it was pulled right from from the work of M.C. Escher.
Despite some misses when it comes to level design, I did enjoy story. It certainly wasn’t as high stakes as previous expansions, but I think telling a more intimate tale was a smart move. We’ve had more than our fill of gargantuan battles for the universe. Let me just help out a friend this time. In this regard, it almost feels like Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep. We learn a lot more about the inner workings of Krieg’s mind and his personality thanks to Sane Krieg, and it’s sweet to see how much Maya still means to him.
Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck What I don’t like
I was hoping to encounter a greater variety of enemies than I did. For the most part, they’re reskinned enemies that can be found in the base game. Spiderants, varkids, psychos, loaderbots — that’s pretty much all there is. For what was supposed to be its final big expansion, this feels like a missed opportunity to introduce something new.
And for all Vaulthalla was cracked up to be, it wasn’t that impressive. After the final boss fight — the first half of which is incredibly tedious and boring — you finally get to collect your riches. Compared to DLC in previous games like Captain Scarlett and General Knoxx, and even The Handsome Jackpot for Borderlands 3, you feel cheated out of a better reward. One lasting thought I had was, “that’s it?”
Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck Should you buy it?
Gearbox usually saves the best for last when it comes to Borderlands expansions, but I found this wasn’t the case for Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck, which isn’t as fantastic as its name would lead you to believe. It already had a lot to live up to given that Borderlands 2 went out with Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, and The Pre-Sequel had Claptrap’s Claptastic Voyage — not to mention Borderlands 3’s previous DLC were quite fun as well. Instead of going out with a bang, Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck went out with a whimper.
If you already have the three previous expansions and just want to play more Borderlands 3, you should absolutely get this DLC. For anyone who is on the fence and wondering if this is the expansion they should finally pick up, the answer is probably not. It’s not bad considering Borderlands 3 was already fun to begin with and this is just more of that same fun, but I also felt like it didn’t live up to its full potential.