When Borderlands the Pre-Sequel was originally released I was disappointed to see that it wasn’t on the PS4 or the Xbox One. However it is now clear with the release of the Handsome Jack Collection as to why that was, they were waiting to launch it together with Borderlands 2 in what had to be one of the most highly anticipated releases on the new gen consoles. It did still leave a little taste of disappointment in my mouth though because rather than having its own Borderlands title, we have just seen another case of a game being re-released for the new gen consoles when really it wasn’t at all necessary. I’m all for reviving classics of a bygone era for example; Abe’s Oddyssey and Grim Fandango, but to re-release games which are less than a decade old is just kind of lazy in my eyes. Still let’s see what the Handsome Jack Collection has in store for those who decide to purchase it.
Well as for stories, those of you who have played the games already will know how this all works. Borderlands 2 was released with the story of some vault hunters liberating pandora by taking on the evil Hyperion corporation which was being led by Handsome Jack. Then came the pre-sequel, the story of how Handsome Jack got to where he did and it turns out that he wasn’t always the annoying evil son of a bitch we thought he was, although he was just as cocky about his good looks. Now the stories haven’t changed with the new releases, but for those who didn’t splash out for the DLC on these two games you will have all of it available to you which will bring you many hours of more Borderlands fun.
What is also nice about the Handsome Jack Collection is that it comes with all additional characters that were released as DLC as well, meaning you get Gaige, Krieg, The Baroness and The Doppelganger. These all offer new skill trees and abilities that make replaying the game so much fun, and it does take some of the repetitiveness out of going through the entire game again. Personally my favourite of the characters is The Doppelganger from the pre-sequel who is a Handsome Jack look-a-like. His special ability allows you to generate two more clones of Handsome Jack who fire what look like lasers or balls of plasma at any enemies nearby. Now their health constantly drops but luckily they just keep respawning until time runs out on your ability. What was disappointing though was that Handsome Jack gets this cool laser weapon which resembles that of Buzz Lightyears laser weapon, even your clones from your ability do, but the Doppelganger doesn’t. Even if it was an adapted version for the melee attack it would’ve been good, but unfortunately that is not the case.
It would’ve been nice to see some kind of new character or a new exclusive DLC for both games as well to reward players for buying the new gen console version, sadly that wasn’t to be the case. That said it isn’t as though they ignored the fact that gamers may be dubious about re-buying a game that was only just released; they thought better than just giving us what is essentially a game of the year edition of both games, they also came bearing gifts in the form of new skins and heads for characters and also golden keys, something that can help you unlock the best loot in the game. It isn’t just a case of a couple of keys like the Shift codes you find on their social media pages, you get enough to pretty much allow you to buy a weapon for almost every time you level up, but I’d advise against this and wait until you have developed your character up to a higher level for more effective weapons.
The devs have also made sure that for those of us who may have not completed the previous games, that you can transfer your save data across from previous gen consoles to the new gen versions. Unfortunately you can only do this from consoles of the same family, so the PS3 to PS4 and from the Xbox 360 to the Xbox One. Not sure why this was the case because Diablo 3 managed to do it for cross platform so those who may have switched allegiances in the console war could continue playing on the other console family. This for me was a little bit of a let down as I have more friends with this game on PS4 than the Xbox One but all my save data is on the Xbox 360, so I can’t copy across my levelled up Claptrap to joining my fellow buddies. Instead I am left waiting for a friend to be let off his girlfriend’s leash (not often that happens) so we can play it locally which is a nice feature but with friends in other parts of the UK and even in Malta, having local play doesn’t help ease the pain.
So is this a game worth getting? Well if you don’t have either of the games, or maybe you have one of the titles but not the other then yes it probably is worth getting the game because you have hundreds of hours of entertainment for the price of one game. If you’ve played both before and completed them then honestly there isn’t enough of an upgrade to the game for me to justify you going out and buying it all over again. Add to that the fact that if they were going to release a Borderlands bundle, I’d have liked to see all three games together with some new content for each or even the ability to use characters from one game in another. Instead you just have two of the three titles and what is simply a game of the year edition for each which is nice but nothing special. Overall it’s just a wasted port in my opinion but at the end of the day it is still a good solid game.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.