Borderlands 2 Campaign Add-on: Mister Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage Original Soundtrack

 

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Review by · March 30, 2014

With Mister Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage, we have perhaps my least favorite of the Borderlands 2 soundtracks. The campaign itself was hilarious and over-the-top, and if nothing else, the tunes do complete the 1980s-Thunderdome-meets-hair-bands-rocking-and-shooting-each-other-in-the-face vibe that the DLC itself was going for. In that regard, this album is certainly a success, but it’s rather forgettable when placed in the context of its peers.

Series regular Jesper Kyd is joined here by Kevin Riepl, most notable to me for his work on the Gears of War and Unreal Tournament series, and while Riepl absolutely captures the right tone for the setting, it’s with mostly serviceable rather than memorable tunes that, at least for me, don’t quite reach the heights of some of his work on the Unreal Tournament franchise.

Dirty industrial sounds define all of Riepl’s work here, and the biggest bright spot by far is “The Forge Combat,” with its dark bassline and distorted melody eliciting emotions both evocative and unnerving. However, I found the rest of his tunes a bit harder to dig into. Muddy bass underscores what is easily one of the more understated Borderlands 2 combat tracks, but that doesn’t help “Badass Crater of Badassitude Combat” from being far less engaging than the locale it frames.

Kyd’s tracks have a kind of playful Quentin Taratino-style western flavor to them that hearkens back to the main BL2 soundtrack, but with a dirtier, more frontier-sy taste. However, this isn’t the composer’s best work on the series. “Return to the Arena Ambience” has a great bit on the guitar towards the end of its runtime, and is definitely one of my favorite songs from the album, along with its brother “Return to the Arena Combat,” but I struggled to really latch on to anything else.

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This music isn’t bad, but it’s more in line with the somewhat forgettable, if passable, tunes from the original Borderlands. It’s functional, it serves the action well, but it’s not especially engaging. If you’re looking for something a little more interesting from your favorite loot-and-shoot RPG, I’d recommend any of the other Borderlands 2 albums.

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Stephen Meyerink

Stephen Meyerink

Stephen used to hang out here, but at some point he was either slain by Rob or disappeared after six hundred straight hours of chanting "I'm really feeling it!" while playing Smash Ultimate. (But seriously, Stephen ran RPGFan Music for a portion of his six years here, and launched our music podcast, Rhythm Encounter.)