Borderlands: The Handsome Collection PS4 Review

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection. 2K Games

Time to go back to Pandora with the spectacular “Borderlands: The Handsome Collection,” now available for the PlayStation 4 at a ridiculously great price. My choice for the best game of 2012, “Borderlands 2”, has been remastered and accompanied by last year’s PS3 offering “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!”, my least favorite of the three full “Borderlands” games but a pleasurable, must-play experience nonetheless. Below average “Borderlands” is still better than most PS4 games you can buy. And, yes, this means we’re back to tell you that one of the best games you can buy on your new-generation system is a last-generation game. Joining titles like “The Last of Us”, “Tomb Raider”, and “Grand Theft Auto V” (even the remaster of “Sleeping Dogs” is kind of a must-play), “Borderlands 2” has gone from one of the best PS3 games to one of the best PS4 games. It may not be that visually remastered—this is not a game of shadows and skin tones like, say, “The Last of Us”, which make its HD quality easier to discern on the PS4—but this gamer who has spent DAYS of his life in the world of “Borderlands 2” can confirm that there is a notable difference.

It mostly comes down to smoothness of play and definition in the comic-book-style lines of the graphics here. Reloads seem smoother, the motion of your enemy looks cleaner and more organic, and even the landscape looks a little more detailed. They’re minor changes but they make a great game even better.

Perhaps the biggest draw for “The Handsome Collection” in an era when people are concerned about getting the most running time for their entertainment dollar is the fact that for around $60 you not only get the two full games that once cost that much a piece but ALL of the DLC for each of them, including the new “Claptastic Voyage” for the “The Pre-Sequel!”. I wish I could comment directly on the success or failure of “Voyage” but I played “Pre-Sequel” on the PS3 and it doesn’t kick in until level 29 on the PS4, and I just don’t have time to level up that high. If it’s anything like the DLC for “Borderlands 2,” I’m sure it’s fantastic. The folks at 2K Games have set the standard for DLC, releasing high-quality expansion packs for “Borderlands 2” for well over a year, many of which were better than some of the full games released during that time. A few of my favorites are “Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty”, “Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep”, and “Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre”.

The toughest part I think will be for new players to know when to access these DLC campaigns as it looks like they’re all available via Fast Travel from minute one and some of them will have enemies that are impossible to kill until you level up.

“Borderlands 2” is almost three years old now and Gearbox said at the end of last year that they weren’t actively developing a third game right now, much to the heartbreak of fans of worldwide. I have a little trouble believing that and would be stunned if there wasn’t a “Borderlands 3” somewhere in our joined gaming future, but that could be 2017 at this point, especially if rumors that they haven’t started development are true. And yet it’s clear that 2K Games knows there’s an audience for this world, these characters, and their adventures, launching “Tales from the Borderlands” with Telltale Games and trying to keep fans happy with releases like this. I’m still happy, and I’m sure I will be as more “Pre-Sequel!” DLC hits the PSN, this time for the PS4. But don’t make us wait too long. Just go ask “Fallout” fans how quickly anticipation can turn to animosity. Get that “Borderlands 3” team up and going. We’ll play “The Handsome Collection” until you do.