'Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty' is the first DLC pack for Borderlands 2, adding several new pirate-themed locations, side quests and challenges, as well as all-new guns and vehicles that can be later reintroduced into the world of Pandora.
The thought of pirate-themed content might initially feel creatively bankrupt, but trust Borderlands 2 to make it a little more unique than simply slapping on an eye-patch.
Instead of oceans teeming with ships and lush green islands, Pandora takes away the high seas and replaces them with barren wastelands, and while their ships are left high and dry, pirates continue to run amok in search of treasure.
Vault Hunters are lured here to help pirate leader Captain Scarlett in her hunt for Captain Blade's mythical treasure, which will be lost forever in the bone-dry landscape without the aid of several compass pieces, forming the bulk of the main story content.
The first port of call is Oasis, a dilapidated town constructed of brightly coloured apartments reminiscent of a sun-bleached holiday resort, albeit with a gigantic ship hanging above it, threatening to drop at a moment's notice.
You're greeted by Shade - an eccentric, fast-talking and particularly needy resident who's turned mad after being left alone for so long. With the nearby Catch-a-Rides all out of service, you're marooned in this town until you can repair the nearby 'sand skiff' - a hovercraft that can quickly take you across the desert.
Shade guides you in the direction of various engines parts, most of which have been 'hidden' away by his deceased friends. Once the hovercraft has been repaired, you can create one at any Catch-a-Ride in the game, and finally make your way to see Captain Scarlett in person.
Meeting Captain Scarlett
Travelling away from Oasis, you need to manoeuvre through craggy cliff faces pocked with shells and seaweed before coming to a new area, Wurm Water, a more barren and sparse location infested with worm-creatures that emerge from the sand.
Scarlett's ship is located inside the bowels of a large cavern, and after taking care of a convoy of bandits commandeered by her arch-nemesis Sandman, she trusts you to join her quest for booty, and to hunt down Sandman yourself to retrieve his part of the mystical compass.
This leads players to another area, Hayter's Folly. While the previous areas are barren locations scoured by the sun, this series of underground caverns is a tropical paradise filled with fruit-bearing trees and cool springs that bounce light onto cavern walls. Not only is it a welcome respite from the harsh outdoors but it's possibly Borderlands 2's prettiest locale yet.
Pirates both friend and foe
Fighting your way through Sandman's den also highlights how the pirate theme has tweaked your adversaries. Like the core game, enemies are the same few types pre-purposed with a different theme - there's still the scurrying midgets and giant, intimidating bruisers, now adorned in pirate get-up and with cute names like Swabbies and Grogmasters.
Side quests - which appear to come in steady supply as you chip away at Scarlett's quest - are also cleverly pirate-themed.
Messages in bottles lead you to hidden bounties, Shade's cadavers need to be dressed with gold teeth and fake legs, Scarlett's men request fruit to fight off scurvy, and a particularly smelly prisoner needs dousing in condiments before he can walk the plank and be fed to the local worm population.
As well as adding stacks of new missions and loot to find, 'Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty' is perhaps Borderlands 2's strongest thematic location, playing heavily into the pirate theme but twisting it in a way that feels suitably tongue-in-cheek for it to fit seamlessly into Pandora's mad world.
Borderlands 2: Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty is available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC this week for 800 Microsoft Points / £6.99 / $10.