A recent invite to visit the 2K offices for a preview of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection was something we were never going to turn down. Coming to Xbox One and PS4 on the 27th March 2015, The Handsome Collection brings together Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and all related DLC to the new generation of consoles for the very first time.
Having played the original game to death and throwing many hours into the sequel, is the upgrade worthy of a purchase?
If the preview is anything to go by, the answer is a resounding yes.
With over £100 worth of content all available for a relatively decent price of £49.99, The Handsome Collection thrusts Borderlands into crisp high definition for the very first time, including a rather superb four player split screen multiplayer co-op.
I was lucky enough to spend a few hours with the local co-op across both The Pre-Sequel and indeed a fair bit of Borderlands 2. A veteran of Borderlands 2 (at least until a corrupted save around fifty hours in curtailed my progress), I was pleasantly surprised at the joy gained from meeting old friends and enemies once more on Pandora and whilst the gameplay was exactly as I imagined – it is of course a direct switch to new gen – the visuals on offer were more than pleasing on the eye.
It was however the four player local split screen multiplayer that was the real star of the show thoughout. Playing with three complete strangers, it wasn’t long before we were teaming up well in order to navigate Pandora’s Moon; taking in Handsome Jack’s rise to power and trading, swapping and discarding weapons and gear between us in order to fully succeed. You could be forgiven for believing that the inclusion of four players on one screen at one time could see a distinct reduction in visual quality and gameplay prowess but at no point throughout the few hours we were with it did anyone notice any lag or reduced clarity. Even with the screen split into four quarters, each and every visual detail on display to each of the four players was gorgeously represented. Yes things would get a bit hectic at times, but this is Borderlands and the whole general feel of the game is frantic by nature.
Things were no less favourable when checking out the the gravity defying, oxygen hunting antics in The Pre-Sequel. With it originally releasing on old generation consoles, just when the new gen experience was really kicking off, it was something that unfortunately passed me by. With that in mind, it was great to get to grips with some new weapons, new enemies, new fully explorable areas and new gameplay mechanics, alongside three others. With the choice of numerous new characters, including the opportunity to play as that loveable little ClapTrap for the first time ever, the depth to The Pre-Sequel seems to be perfectly built for its excursion onto Xbox One and PS4.
Whether you’re an old Pandorian legend, or brand new to the franchise, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection certainly looks to be something more than worthy of your time. The fact that previous Xbox 360 players can magically transfer all Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel saves direct onto the new console just enhances the experience that little bit more. Bear in mind though, if you’ve fully exhausted all the content previously, I’m not sure what extra joy The Handsome Collection will bring…especially if you don’t have three friends to enjoy it with, because that is where it really exceeds.
Handsome Jack is nearly ready. Don’t make him wait!
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection releases March 27th on Xbox One and PS4.