The Borderlands franchise has grown in insane ways ever since its launch in 2009. Two sequels (kind of), a gob-stopping amount of DLC, and even a Telltale inspired game. The Borderlands: Handsome Collection brings together the games that tell the story of notorious villain Handsome Jack, and also manages to be one of the vest values out there.
For those unfamiliar with the world of Borderlands, The “Handsome Collection” derives its name from Handsome Jack, the villain whom you’re trying to stop in Borderlands 2, and the budding protagonist who is trying to open up his first vault in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Borderlands 2 throws you into the chaotic world of Pandora as one of six (DLC included) vault hunters hired by Jack. On your journey, you discover you must stop Handsome Jack from basically ending the world as you know it.
A weird love child of the FPS and RPG genre, Borderlands 2 specializes in some of the most fun co-op play you could have in a game, enough guns to make sure you never find them all, and internet meme-esque humor that is very exclusive to the franchise. If you want a more in depth look at why this game is so great, check out our review.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel takes place in-between the first and second game, and has you playing as a quintet of vault hunters (even Handsome Jack, via DLC) hired again by Handsome Jack, although this time he is trying to climb the Hyperion ladder by opening up a vault of his own. To do that, you have to go to Pandora’s moon, Elpis.
Core gameplay hasn’t changed in The Pre-Sequel, although you will now have to carefully manage oxygen as not to suffocate. The small change has a surprisingly big ripple, as you can’t just run around the moon’s surface as freely as you’re used to.
There’s very few bad things I can say about this collection, but it is a bit disappointing that it didn’t include the original Borderlands. It would’ve been nice to have all three games recreated in one massive bundle, but due to the sheer size of what’s in the package, I can’t complain too much. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is stuffed to the brim with content. The game obviously includes Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, but it also comes loaded with all of the DLC available for both games as of now. If you didn’t already know, that is a LOT of content.
While The Pre-Sequel wasn’t released so long ago that the graphics and textures updates were awe inspiring, the work done to Borderlands 2 is impressive. Textures are smooth and the games both look absolutely incredible in 1080p. Frame rate didn’t seem to be too much of an issue in 2, but I did find that certain parts of The Pre-Sequel were a bit inconsistent. Selecting between games could’ve been a bit smoother as well, as the only way to switch is to close the game and reboot.
Although there may be some issues with the game, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is an incredibly good deal. Offering up two extremely fun games and enough DLC to count as a third game, you’ll be entertained for hours and never be left wanting more, because Gearbox has already given you everything. Make sure you give yourself some time to get out on Pandora (or Elpis) and start kicking some ass.
This review of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is based on a digital copy for the PlayStation 4 provided by Gearbox Software.