Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is truly an amazing set. Coming in at an impressive 37 Gig, the set not only includes remastered versions of Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel but also all the DLC, additional characters plus a few extra surprises.
So what is all the fuss about? The collection takes what is already two great games and brings them to the Xbox One by delivering a smooth 60 frames-per-second (in single player mode) and at a gorgeous 1080p, which finally rivals the original PC version. The games themselves haven’t changed in any shape or form, including the same one liners, comments, carnage and some absurd weaponry that made the original release of Borderlands 2 so popular (and a must own game in my eyes). The Collection is indeed similar to a lot of remastered games coming to the Xbox One, but it has a great trick up its sleeve – four player splitscreen co-op.
Borderlands 2, released back in 2012, was the typical example of how to make a sequel to a game. Much like a movie, it was bigger, better, with refined gameplay dynamics and so many guns. This was also the first time we saw the well-groomed villain Handsome Jack. To read our thoughts on Borderlands 2 when it first came out check out our review here. With all the expansion packs available, you are looking at over 100 hours of gameplay. Every character has a unique skill trees to explore and unlock, plus there’s so much loot and rewards to find that you won’t know where to store it all, while the DLC delivers four substantial story based expansions – you’ll be kept mighty busy with this game!
The Pre-Sequel is also included in the collection and was the first game in the series not to be developed by Gearbox – 2K Australia were at the helm of this one. Having only released last year, the game is very much run of the mill Borderlands 2 but based on the moon. This introduces new dynamics and gameplay including low gravity, which I would have expected to see simulated in some other game releases that featured the moon but it didn’t (not naming any names). There’s also jetpacks, ice and laser based weapons, and an extra six characters to get your grubby mits on – this gives the game a sizeable extension to its longevity and will be something to immerse yourself in for weeks on end.
So what are my thoughts? let’s start with the negatives. As I said earlier, the single player hammers along at a gorgeous 60 frames per second but when you start co-op it drops to half this. Add to this the slight screen tearing and texture popping I noticed while playing, and you’d think that maybe this portion of the game had been rushed. Don’t get me wrong, Borderlands 2 seems to cope really well, but the Pre-Sequel is where you will notice it struggling, with the more people you have playing, the worse it gets. Also, there are problems with the menus where you can only really use them if the screen is zoomed right out. Otherwise you only see half of the menu and options as they are off the screen. It’s a shame as the rest of the original content plays beautifully.
There is one huge positive – the amount of content you are getting for your money. Even though there are a few issues with the Pre-Sequel, there is still enough content with Borderlands 2 to keep you playing for months on end. I’ve ploughed tons of hours into the game and yet I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. Another great feature is the ability to use your last gen saves, which comes as a relief to hardened Borderland 2 players. Finally, the ability to split screen co-op is a welcome addition to this fantastic game and I think it makes the combat so much more fun (if that was possible).
In summary, The Handsome Collection is excellent value for money, it looks brilliant and will keep you busy for many moons, even if it does have a few problems with the pre-sequel. It also serves as a great introduction to the world of Pandora for people who are not familiar with the series and want to try it out before the next one arrives. Despite its faults, this is something definitely worth considering for your Xbox One collection, even if it is purely based on the amount of gameplay and content you’re getting.
Thanks to Xbox for supplying TiX with a download code
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