2K Games recently released a whole bunch of games from their catalogue, bringing with it a whole bunch of value for hours of gaming. The latest in these games we got to look at is Borderlands Legendary Collection, which arguably holds the most value in sheer amount of game. But how does it stack up in terms of quality?
Once again, we’re not really looking at the gameplay, features or story, but rather the overall performance and value of games in the package.
Welcome to Pandora… again
If you didn’t know, the Borderlands series is a first-person, looter co-op shooter set in a connected open world environment. You and potentially three of your friends can go about on a series of missions and quests where the main goal is to level up and get us much loot and guns and possible. Pandora is filled with all manner of creatures and crazy denizens that will all try to kill you as you work your way to the mythical vault.
There are multiple classes to play as such as a Siren, a Commando, and Ninja and a Tank, with each game having some variation on this formula. The first Borderlands came out in 2009 and from a technical standpoint the game looks and runs incredibly well on the Nintendo Switch. The graphics look crisp and clean, the framerate holds up and the network features seem to work well enough, for the most part.
Unfortunately, the game itself aged about as well as the crude and juvenile humour that is peppered across the series. It is a very accurate port of the original game, and thus have some horrible shooting and controls we’re just not used to over a decade refinement. The gameplay is rather dull, especially when playing alone, which I’ll get to in a moment, and the controls feel floaty and outdated. The sound and weight of the guns are not very well implemented and dated and the gameplay loop feels bland and repetitive.
These complaints are mostly directed at the first game in the series, Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition, and I strongly believe it’s got nothing to do with the quality of port but rather just how the game aged. If you manage to play it with friends or are just a massive fan of the series, these things won’t bother you, but it might a deterrent if you’re new to it.
The sequels are a much more handsome experience
I’ve always felt that Borderlands was a stepping stone for the real first game in the series, Borderlands 2 as Gearbox took everything they learned from the first game and improved on it. The game runs better, its got a much more coherent story, better-written characters and overall a much more fun experience.
Guns have a lot more punch to them, the abilities you have are more fun to use and the environments are a lot better designed. The controls also feel a lot tighter, especially when driving, which has always been a bit of a miss with the Borderlands games.
The Borderlands series is always about playing with friends or online, but playing alone with Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel is a much more enjoyable experience. I didn’t have the opportunity to play with friends, but playing online with random others was easy and enjoyable enough. The only issue I had was once again with Borderlands GOTY Edition, which had a very strange input lag while playing with another host. I didn’t experience this issue with the other games, or if somebody joined on me.
As is the case with the other 2K Nintendo Switch ports, the games run very well, even in handheld mode and are arguably the best experience I’ve had of a shooter on a handheld console. I didn’t see any issues with framerate drops and tearing and loading wasn’t excessively long. While the humour might not have aged that well, the visuals hold up very well. The only issue you might have it texture pop in and draw distances not being that great, but it’s not that noticeable if you’re not looking for it.
A lot of value for money, even if you buy just 2/3s of it
My honest opinion is that Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition is a bit of a relic and doesn’t translate that well today’s gaming environment, a lot of it feels dated and it just doesn’t quite hold up in 2020. Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel, however, are pretty solid experiences and can be seen as a lot of value for money.
You can actually buy just those two, which is called The Handsome Collection and is available on almost every other platform as well. It feels like a lot more value for money and will definitely be worth it if you are new to the series. Getting Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition, or the Legendary Edition for that matter should be reserved only for the hardcore fans.
Still, there’s a lot of game here, The collection includes all the DLC and expansions of all the games released, which means you’re looking at well over 100 hours of entertainment and shooting fun. If you can get a friend or two to tag along, you are in for a very enjoyable time.