REVIEW: “Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck” — ‘Borderlands 3’ (PS4)

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Psycho Krieg - Borderlands 3 DLC

Borderlands 3 has released its 4th DLC to date, “Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck.” This one follows the pattern of the previous DLC, “Bounty of Blood,” and opens up a new planet—if you can even call it that—for Vault Hunters to explore. Published by 2K Games and developed by Gearbox Software, players will take a deep dive into Krieg’s psyche to find out what makes psychos tick.

If you’re not familiar with the character, Krieg the psycho is a playable character in Borderlands 2. Although Gearbox has made it a tradition to jam as many characters from past Borderlands games into its newest game, Borderlands 3 has yet to see heads or tails of everyone’s favorite psycho, until now.

In “Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck,” Tannis, the resident Sanctuary scientist, wants to know what makes psychos bloodthirsty and otherwise deranged. She theorizes that psychos are all driven insane by their knowledge of a mythical place dubbed “Vaulthalla.” Ever inquisitive, Tannis has tried to ascertain the location of Vaulthalla from Krieg but his exclamations of “Butchery for juicy weasels!” is little help. Subsequently, she hires your Vault Hunter to climb inside the mind of the man that arguably brought us the most memorable quotes in Borderlands 2 to find out the true nature of Vaulthalla.

Climbing inside a psycho’s mind isn’t a walk in the park. Players will have to befriend both sides of Krieg’s psyche: the sane consciousness that tries to make sense of Krieg’s murderous thoughts and the screaming, chaotic murder machine that the world sees daily. Vaulthalla’s doors can only be opened after players find three items in Krieg’s mindscape, so with the help of Sane Krieg and the forgetfulness of Psycho Krieg, your Vault Hunter will have to take the plunge into the gristle and bloodshed that make up Krieg’s memories.

The hellscape that is Krieg’s mind is a surreal and wacky place where the laws of physics are forgotten entirely. Psycho Krieg’s worldview is butchered by his insanity but also by his traumatic memories; players will find that human decency is oft forgotten in this place and it’s just best to go ahead and expect the unexpected. From topsy-turvy stairs to psychedelic blood to meat (So. Much. Meat.), the DLC brings a crazy experience you will not be able to forget any time soon.

Long-time players will likely pick up on some of the unexpected nuances to find in the story, particularly in Krieg’s twisted view of other prominent Borderlands 2 characters and the series’ running jokes. The explanation of Krieg’s background and evolution into the psycho we know, and love, will also hit veteran players the hardest. On top of this, Jason Douglas continues to voice Krieg, so there are few, if any, vocal incongruencies between this DLC and Borderlands 2. Despite pandering to long-time players, new players will still appreciate both the slapstick and dark humor that makes up Krieg’s very existence and the plethora of loot to collect.

Psycho Krieg - Borderlands 3 DLC

Although this DLC is riddled with the typical Borderlands’ brand of comedy, there are some serious moments that as a long-time fan of the series I couldn’t help but feel for, especially in some of the revelations revolving around Krieg and Maya’s relationship. Players will not only find out just what makes Krieg tick but also what makes Krieg want to become a better man.

As is typical with Borderlands’ DLCs, the introduction of new content includes some new guns, cosmetic items, and side missions. Although the guns and cosmetics were well worth the trek through insanity, the side missions were both a bane and a boon. Most of the side missions centered on arguments between Sane Krieg and Psycho Krieg which were fun and entertaining by themselves, but few of these missions provided any real challenge, even while playing on Mayhem 10. Given that I usually play Borderlands more for the story and the characters over the combat experience, these side missions were right up my alley. However, I can see where other players may find a problem with them because of this.

My one bellyache with the DLC was with the bosses in the main missions. Although the bosses were unique and wacky—I never thought I would fight a demonic train that played Portal across the map—they failed to provide a real challenge. Understandably, there are only so many new mechanics you can introduce to a game to keep it fresh, but there were more novel experiences to be had running around the map than fighting the bosses. Other than being bullet sponges, the bosses weren’t particularly hard which made for some really unexciting combat.

“Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck” was by far a fun DLC. It brought back a few Borderlands 2 characters, including the “meat bicycle” man himself, Krieg, and the humor was nonstop. Gearbox has a wonderful talent for developing characterization through humor and dialogue and it continues to show in this DLC.

Borderlands 3’s DLC “Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck” is available now on PC, Xbox One, and PS4.


Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck DLC
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

“Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck” was by far a fun DLC. It brought back a few Borderlands 2 characters, including the “meat bicycle” man himself, Krieg, and the humor was nonstop. Gearbox has a wonderful talent for developing characterization through humor and dialogue and it continues to show in this DLC.