Jeremy Jastrzab
27 Mar, 2010

Borderlands: Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot Review

360 Feature | Riot only included when you bring a friend or three.
If you didn’t think that shooting and looting could work, you obviously didn’t play Borderlands. A breath of fresh air in two occasionally tired genres, we quite enjoyed our play time across the desolate treasure trove that was Pandora. While it can be difficult to get excited about DLC, The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned showed just how good and just how much it’s possible to add to a console game across an Internet connection. The 2nd piece of DLC for Borderlands, Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot, goes even further in providing something new and different.

Well actually, that’s only true to an extent. While Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot is certainly a different experience to what you’ll find across the rest of Pandora, it’s a familiar concept in a lot of recent games. Shooters games, to be precise. You see, Mad Moxxi’s Underdome doesn’t add anything to the story of Borderlands, and it’s not its own little spin-off like the The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned. No, what it does is actually add an entirely new mode to the game. A mode that’s in the same vein as Horde from Gears of War 2, Firefight from Halo 3: ODST, Mercenaries from Resident Evil 4 and 5 and Survivor from Aliens Vs. Predator.

Moxxi will Roxxi your Soxxi.

Moxxi will Roxxi your Soxxi.
Essentially, Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot is a co-op arena shooter mode, that pits you against waves and rounds of Pandora enemies. There are three different arenas to choose from, and you’ll come up against five waves of enemies across five rounds. The final wave in each round has you coming up against a boss. You can decide to tackle solo, or as a team and you’ll be playing for high-scores as well as completion of challenges. So if you liked modes such as Horde and Firefight, and you liked Borderlands, you’re in business, right? Not quite.

From what we’re about to say, you shouldn’t get the impression that this is a bad piece of DLC. On the contrary, it’s very good and enjoyable, though primarily under certain conditions. All enemies in the Underdome arenas will be the same level as you. Presumably, to stop players from resorting to using the Underdome as a grinding facility, you don’t gain any experience points from playing through the challenges. Furthermore, you won’t receive any loot either. You will only get ammo and health drops between waves. This gives you the feeling that you shouldn’t be playing through this unless you have reached the level-cap, because otherwise it feels like a waste.

The biggest problem you’re likely to come across with Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot is if you play solo. It’s extremely difficult to progress in the Underdome on your own. Each wave takes a very long time to sift through, making it tedious rather than tense. However, the killer is the time-out box. If you die, you’re put into a time-out box and need to sit out the penalty. In a team, your challenge ends either on completion or when your entire team is in the penalty box. When solo? Basically, your challenge is over if you die. So, playing through the number of challenges is extremely difficult to do on your own. As a team? Let the riotous co-op arena shooting fun last long and may you have a merry time.

It's all happening at the Underdome!

It's all happening at the Underdome!
The one useful aspect for all players though, is the addition of a storage facility to the game. You’ll now be able to store some of your goods and weapons as you head back out to Pandora to loot and plunder some more. While it’s difficult to justify the content just for this feature, it’s certainly a welcome addition to the game.

Simply put, Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot is of little value to anyone who only plays solo. The challenges take way too long, and it’s way too unforgiving when you’re playing on your own. And you won’t even have any levels to show for it. On the other hand, if you and your friends jump into the content all at once, you’re much more likely to have a better paced and more enjoyable arena experience. Even if it does sometimes feel like it’s tugging on the coat tails of games that have already done this. That, and you’ve still got the now staple Borderlands humour to keep you amused. So, the only riot that you’ll have in this Underdome, is if you come with friends.

Worth buying? Maybe


Downloadable content ratings system

We've given a 'buy' rating of 'Yes', 'Maybe', or 'No'.

Yes means that the content is either great value or brings some substantial additions to the game, or possibly both.

Maybe means that the content may be fun while it lasts, but may either be too short or not enough to fully justify the price tag.

No means that we don't recommend downloading this insubstantial content.


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Borderlands: The Secret Armoury of General Knoxx Review
29 Mar, 2010 This is how to go out on a high.
Borderlands: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned Review
29 Nov, 2009 Who is totally not Dr. Zed in disguise.
4 years ago
Any chance of a review of the newest DLC? Not sure if I will grab it since I downloaded this disappointing DLC last year.
4 years ago
Absolutely, it's been written and should be up tomorrow icon_smile.gif
4 years ago
Jeremy wrote
Absolutely, it's been written and should be up tomorrow
Awesome, hopefully it's more than just a level cap upgrade
4 years ago
If only you could get refunds on DLC...
4 years ago
I would run riot in her underdome, if you know what I mean...
4 years ago
No, please elaborate.
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Australian Release Date:
  23/10/2009 (Confirmed)
  Take 2 Interactive
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