2009 was an exceptional year for gaming. It saw the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Uncharted 2 and Batman: Arkham Knight and they all set benchmarks for games of those genres to follow. Gearbox came at us with a brand new IP that didn’t really promise to change the way we perceive RPGs on console. Nope. They created a game that would be so different yet so familiar at the same time, and deliver it in a graphical package that set it apart from just about anything else in that year. And it’s quite cheeky of them to re-release it 10 years later with GotY in the title. This time they’ve upped the resolution, done some tweaks here and there to balance performance and, surprisingly so, made it possible to relive the same experience in higher fidelity all over again.
More! More meat for me!
When getting off the bus and being welcomed by the eternally humorous Clap Trap, it feels almost intuitive to start planning your Vault Hunter class build, the specific loot you’re looking to equip, the order in which you’re going to complete missions. It feels comfortable, familiar, and just right. Nothing seems out of place or changed to an extent where it’s no longer recognisable. Everything is where it’s supposed to be with some additions here and there, coupled with the dynamic colour range with HDR enabled.
The best feature has to be in the inclusion of the minimap in the top right of your screen, as some would remember only made an appearance in Borderlands 2. It might just be me, or the fact that the first time I played it was on Xbox 360 and a 5.1 surround sound system, but there seems to be some audio tinkering with this version. I remember struggling to hear
Strip the flesh, salt the wounds!
With that said, there were instances where
Picking up loot from the ground is also somewhat responsive which could be due to tweaks to mechanics, or the more powerful platform the game has been built on. A button press does what its meant to do and does it well. The only crack in the near flawless package that becomes noticeable when trying to blast everything to kingdom come around you, is horizontal screen tearing when spinning around from one compass heading to another. The visuals don’t slow down to a cringing stutter, although a slight drop in frames is visible now and then, but the horizontal slicing of the image does bring your head to a questioning tilt wondering how that could be possible on this day and age. It doesn’t happen while making directional shifts at a normal speed (I play on very high sensitivity), so the overall experience is just dandy. It does rear its head when you try and do a 360 no-scope on a Skagg while jumping off a cliff though.
Vehicle physics was never one the game’s strong points and remains virtually unchanged. It could be the control scheme thats just hard to get used to though.
Come on, catch a ride!
All the DLC receive the same treatment, and even Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot, which used to be hard to stomach due to the performance drops when the screen is filled with enemies and explosions going off everywhere, is an enjoyable experience. The same goes for The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, and Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution. All polished up and ready for chaos.
For anyone looking to get into the Borderlands series, this is a great starting point. This is the best version of the first instalment of the game, both visually and technically. A great way to get you ready for the much-anticipated release of Borderlands 3 on 13 September 2019.