Borderlands: The Handsome Collection Review (Xbox One)

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When I heard about the Handsome Collection announcement, I was skeptical and excited at the same time. It was a mix of emotion, on the one hand I feel like remakes and remasters slow down this generation, on the other hand, I freaking love me some Borderlands and I realised that people who never got to experience this phenomenal game before, on last gen, will get to play it and fall in love with it now! The great thing about this collection, is that there is so much content as Gearbox love to release their DLC!

I personally didn’t play any of the DLC to Borderlands 2, despite loving the game to death and have only played part way into Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. So when I heard about this collection for the next generation¬†with ALL OF THE DLC I was super excited to jump back onto Pandora and beyond. There was quite a bit of critically aclaimed content that I didn’t get to play, such as Tiny Tina’s DLC that I’m now looking forward to trying out! So much stuff to do, so little time!

So not a huge amount has changed in terms of story or feel to the game, you’ve still got Handsome Jack’s smarmy retort, as much loot as you can shake a stick at and the wide world of Pandora(looking slightly more crisp), but the jump to 1080p and 60 frames per second absolutely makes the world of difference. It is like a whole new experience for people coming from the last generation to this generation, and boy does it feel smooth. If you want an in-depth look at the games, there are plenty of reviews out there looking at the mechanics and ins and outs of the game, as not much differs from their last gen counterparts.

For those of you who have never played a Borderlands game, who maybe don’t have a lot of money and need a game that will last you a good few months, this is the collection for you. Allow me to give you a quick run-down of the game. We have a charismatic bad guy, 4 players looking for “the Vault” know as Vault Hunters¬†(oddly enough), quests along the way to kill him, and epic loot. Oh, and lots of raid bosses, and if you’re like me and enjoy grinding for awesome gear, these bosses will be where you spend a lot of your time when you finish the hundreds of hours of other content.

Another big draw to this game is the loopy and crazy skill trees. After you pick your class, you can browse through your skill tree and look at how you want to spec your character. You can really change the fine details of your tree. I love it when games do this and make it so that no two characters are the same, even if they are the same class. They also have a great customisation feature which is directly incorporated into the loot system to further make your character your own. Just smash those Bullymong refuse piles and cross your fingers!

There are some added bonuses for returning players too. In addition the nostalgia and just generally loving the series being able to transfer you’re characters across, as well as new skins and heads, and transferring your badass rank across is a great addition, and all of the DLC’s will be sure to keep you playing for hours. With so much content and Borderlands being a game that has so much replay value, there really is no reason not to pick it up, even if you’ve already played it! The call of danger and loot is not so easily resisted!

My only minor annoyance with this collection is the occasional frame drop, usually in the Pre-Sequel but it does happen in Borderlands 2 as well, and the inability to switch between the games on the fly. You have to close down one game and open the other, which although is a minor inconvenience, is the only other small issue I can find with this wonderful collection.

Overall, The Handsome Collection combines 2 of the best shooters from the last gen with touched up graphics and framerate and all DLC’s for an extremely reasonable price! If you have played the game before, then you shouldn’t need me to tell you how great this game is and how replayable it is, but if that’s not enough there’s also that sparkly graphical upgrade and enhanced framerated. If your a new Vault Hunter, this is the best place to start. I envy you if you haven’t had your first experience of a Borderlands game yet! So grab some buddies, and let the mayhem ensue!

My Verdict

8.5/10

+ Graphical Enhancements
+ Framerate Improvements
+ A ton of content (Including all DLC’s)
– Not a whole lot for returning players

George Seymour