At one point or another, it’s very likely that most of us have come across one of the games in the Borderlands franchise. Personally, I’ve always been quite taken by the cel-shaded visual style, bonkers weapons, and humorous writing and characters. Recently I’ve been wondering more and more what it might be like to play Borderlands on a handheld such as the Nintendo Switch. After having that opportunity with the Borderlands: Legendary Collection, I can say that I’m actually quite pleased with the result.
The Legendary Collection consists of Borderlands, Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Not only the base games though, but also all of the DLC ever released for each game.
The first Borderlands is obviously where it all began. Taking place on Pandora, you play as one of four Vault Hunters who are in search of a, well, Vault, which is said to hold a cache of alien technology. Rumour of its existence spreads all over Pandora, gaining the interest of many. As soon as the story begins, you are guided by a Guardian Angel who put you on the right path to the Vault. It’s not so simple, however, and you’ll clash with many different parties who want to find the vault just as much as you do.
The port that’s included in the game is based on the Remastered version of the Game of the Year Edition, which launched during the course of 2019. It features a number of changes such as new weapons, an actual mini-map, and also integrates the SHiFT Rewards Program, which allows you to unlock rare gear with Golden Keys.
Borderlands 2 features a new set of Vault Hunters, but this time has a clear antagonist in the form of Handsome Jack. President of the Hyperion Corporation, he has taken over Pandora and hopes to open a second vault in order to unleash ruin upon the planet. Your mission is simple, to put a stop to Jack once and for all.
This sequel was a nice step up from the original game. Not only did it introduce one of the best villains in gaming, but it flowed it better, there were more gun variations and ultimately more interesting guns. Hell, there were even guns that scolded you for using them to kill enemies. It really felt like they hit the sweet spot with Borderlands 2.
Finally, we have Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which takes place after the first game and before Borderlands 2. It focuses on the Handsome Jack’s rise to power; from low-level programmer to the president of the Hyperion Corporation. It also shows the player a different perspective since you play as a Vault Hunter that works for Jack and aids him with his plans. This one doesn’t take place on Pandora itself, but actually on one of its moons called Elpis.
The Pre-Sequel isn’t as groundbreaking as the jump from the first game to its sequel, but it’s still a lot of fun and manages to introduce new weapon types, some new gameplay mechanics such as low gravity, oxygen management, and butt slams. Yes, butt slams. Not only that, but there are some new enemy types, plus we get a good look at who Jack was before he became the villain that threw everything at us in Borderlands 2.
The gameplay in the series is a combination of a First-Person Shooter and RPG mechanics and progresses via a mission-based structure. There’s also a big emphasis on loot as there’s a plethora of different guns and gear to equip, each with their own stats and perks. While it sounds pretty simple, it’s incredibly exciting finding a new gun with great stats that complements your play style.
At the beginning of each game, you’ll be able to choose Vault Hunter and that’s the character you’ll be using to take on what Pandora has to throw at you. Each Vault Hunter has an Action Skill and depending on whom you choose at the start, this will determine the skill you’re able to utilise and also which other abilities you can pour your skill points into every time you level up. The abilities you unlock and upgrade help shape your Vault Hunter for your kind of playstyle. This is especially important when playing co-op, as your style needs to support that of your teammate.
Speaking of co-op. Each Borderland’s game in the collection features the ability to play the entirety of the campaign with a friend thanks to its drop-in/drop-out co-op. It’s honestly the best way to play the game since it’s more enjoyable, but also provides an extra challenge, which can lead to better loot. It should be noted that a Nintendo Online subscription is required to make use of this feature.
Performance-wise, I’m happy to report that Borderlands: Legendary Collection runs incredibly well on the Switch. It’s a smooth ride from start to finish and even maintains the framerate even when the screen is littered with enemies. There’s some texture pop in here and there, but it’s never present for too long and doesn’t cause much of an annoyance. The controls can take some time to get used to, but this is alleviated somewhat by the aim assist. Additionally, there’s the option to make use of motion controls, which makes the aiming significantly more precise.
Borderlands: Legendary Collection is fantastic on the Switch. It runs so well and it’s great to just pick up and play wherever you go. I was initially concerned about playing a First-Person Shooter on the console, but thankfully the aim assist and motion controls make it much more accessible. There’s just so much content in this package and it’s been fantastic to revisit it on a new system, especially one that’s handheld.
You can purchase this collection from here for £39.99.
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Borderlands: Legendary Collection
Get three times the mayhem, three times the loot, and three times the action with the Borderlands Legendary Collection! Kill bandits and beasts, collect powerful weaponry, and maybe even save the universe in Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, along with piles of bonus add-on content for each game, adding 100+ hours of gameplay at an incredible value
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 39.99
Product In Stock: SoldOut