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Review: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned (DLC)
by Jacques Hulme
DLC Information

Basic information
The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned
DLC for Borderlands
Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
Released: November 2009

PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
So here we are, back in business! And it seems a perfect point to carry on from where we were before. Regular readers might remember that we were very impressed by Gearbox Software’s Borderlands here at GGTL and, wouldn't you know it, now there's the developer has released a DLC expansion to the already-great original.

The break from Gamer’s Guide to Life gave me a perfect chance to catch up on those few games I hadn't quite got round to completing yet. However, it also gave me the opportunity to explore some games I had finished in a completely new fashion, namely through newly-released Borderlands DLC, 'The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned'. As you can imagine, the expansion contains those ever-popular Zombies on an island. There’s a doctor too; another obvious hint of the title. But does the downloadable content live up to the impressive 9/10 we gave Borderlands?

You arrive on the island via one of those snazzy fast travel stations familiar from the original release, and are greeted by eerie green waters and gnarled trees - surely a pleasant environment for any intrepid explorer? It’s a bit of a change from the normal Borderlands feel, and is spiced up later in the story with impressive set pieces. The visual style unique to Borderlands is maintained through this DLC release, as is the humour.

This, of course, is great for the experience of Dr. Ned. It provides a way for people to relax, even when they're on a zombie infested island, and also provides the player with a way to connect with the game and story. I've always felt it's very important for developers to find ways to break through the barrier of the screen and get into the mind of a player – it has the sort of affect on the player which means players are chatting with each other about the release, even when they're away from the game.

So it looks good and sounds good, but what about the actual story? Well, it's pretty good actually – it’s no Uncharted, but then it is a DLC release, so strong story is probably not why you'll buy it. You'll have purchased it because you want more Borderlands, and the Zombie Island provides plenty of it. Some great twists make it something you will want to finish, and not just to see the ending. It really gives you a sense of wanting to achieve completion.

In terms of addition to the Borderlands universe, Dr. Ned provides more loot for the Border-explorers on Pandora, alongside more side-missions. The most notable of these side-missions is 'Braaaaaaaaaaiiiiins' which, as you may have guessed, involves collecting juicy zombie brains. One thing that makes it a little different is that each time you complete it you get it again only with a longer title and more brains needed.

With ‘The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned’, you get a modestly nice story which provides extra travels and loot for Vault Hunters. It's well-polished and -rounded and, seeing as Borderlands hasn't been out a year yet, the perfect addition if you get a bit bored of the main story. Gearbox have done what is best for DLC releases - they've kept all the mechanics that sold the original, namely the comedy and story, and fiddled around a bit, just to make an already impressive gaming experience even better.



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- Jacques Hulme

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