Release date: May 29, 2020
Platform: Nintendo Switch
ESRB rating: Mature
Developers: 2K Games · Gearbox Publishing · Turn Me Up Games
Publishers: Take-Two Interactive · 2K Games
Link to Purchase: https://amzn.to/3gfWrSl
My history with the Borderlands franchise has always been on and off ever since the original release in 2009 on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. I remember picking up the original and playing it with my college friends back in the day and having the time of our lives trying to defeat the marauders and the nefarious “Badass Skagg” who kept stomping mudholes in us. The game was a unique concept with it being one of if not the genesis of the “looter-shooter” genre and went on to spawn a incredibly successful franchise.
With The Borderlands Legendary Collection coming to the Nintendo Switch; this is not only the first time all 3 classics have been made available in portable form in one collection but also makes the first time the franchise has come to a Nintendo platform. The question many Nintendo Switch owners will have is does the game live up to the hype and worth their while or are these ports of old games that should stay in the past and on other platforms? Let’s find out
The story of the Borderlands games revolves around several vault hunters on the planet Pandora that are looking for a vault, literally. Both Borderlands 1 and 2 take place on Pandora with Borderlands 2 focusing on your fight to survive and rise up against series antagonist Handsome Jack. The Pre-Sequel is just as its name implies by being a sequel to the first game and a prequel to the second game where you are on the moon of Pandora seeking out a vault and learning more about Handsome Jack and learn how he becomes the tyrant he is in Borderlands 2. The stories are rather fun and enjoyable and are one’s I suggest you get into yourself.
The collection of games are all looter shooters meaning its all about you killing enemies to gain new weapons and equipment and level up to progress through the games on your own or with friends in co-op either locally or online. Along with typical RPG fashion, your attacks do a set amount of damage based on your level and the type of weapon that you are using along with certain areas you hit will end up doing more damage and at times critical damage such as head shots on some enemies.
The collection gets you 3 classics with Borderlands Game of The Year Edition, Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition, and finally Borderlands The Pre-Sequel Ultimate Edition.
In Borderlands GOTY Edition, the game doesn’t have as much focus on the narrative as it does being an open-world sandbox with shoot and loot mechanics being the main draw so if you are expecting the story to take you on a trip then you’ll be disappointed. The GOTY Edition gives you all the DLC for the game and all the enhancements that were included in the release of the game from the 2018 rerelease on other modern consoles. While you have a lot to explore in Borderlands 1, the downside is you are stuck to one area and ultimately feel like you’re on a large fetch quest that never feels like it ends on top of massive difficulty spikes and a nagging need to grind to level up. If you can get pass this and just want a game with some good, albeit, poorly executed ideas and fun classes and game play then Borderlands GOTY is worth jumping into to see the genesis of the franchise.
The best entry here is none other than Borderlands 2 GOTY as that game has aged like fine wine with not only how graphically well it holds up due to the art style but also in how the story unfolds with the game being fully voice acted and the gameplay being stepped up tremendously. Borderlands 2 has a better sense of exploration in an open-world environment where the game has you feeling like you are always progressing forwards and rarely feeling like you are stuck in the monotony of the first game with it’s back and forth nature of fetch quests. There’s so much more customization for your load outs, class upgrades, and more! You get all the DLC that comes for 2 with the exception of the DLC that connects 2 to 3.
The final game on the collection here is Borderlands The PreSequel which takes everything that was done in 1 and 2, removes the bulk of the issues with both those games and takes it to a new level focusing even more so on the narrative to build up more of the background of Handsome Jack and the lead up into Borderlands 2. The game introduced low-gravity environments, oxygen tanks, freeze based weapons, and more all while taking the established formula from 2 and tweaking it a bit. All expansions released for the game originally have been included in the Ultimate Edition.
What’s cool is a feature added to this version exclusively is that you can turn on gyro aiming which work really well and adds new layers of depth to the fun combat system.
Last thing to bring up and it’s one that has always been in the franchise is the fact that your can do split screen local coop allowing you and friends to get into this wonderful set of games together and thankfully on the Switch it doesn’t stress the console running in split screen coop.
The games all look phenomenal and just as good as they do on the other consoles (with the exception of PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, and Steam at higher resolutions above 1080p) with a capped 30FPS on theSwitch both portably and docked. I generally think that the reality of 2K having the game in a cell-shaded art style has allowed this game to continue to look amazing year after the game’s original releases. While I did have some worries of the games looking worse because of them being ported to the Nintendo Switch given how a lot of games being ported do not look good often and especially with how bad the PS Vita version was done; safe to say that all that was put to rest as 2K definitely took their time to port this game over in a great way and has little to no hiccups.
How’s the audio? This collection has series mascot Claptrap but also one of the greatest villains in gaming being Handsome Jack who’s so well voiced that his threats and taunts just feel and sound amazing. Environments, enemies, NPCs, and more all sound solid and appropriate. The game’s humor has been criticized heavily by many reviewers’ years after the releases, yet I find it still awesome as it’s always been an edge lord-esque Internet forum style bad humor that just works.
So, what is the downside of this collection? Well They came to the Switch years after the original rereleases on other platforms for one and secondly it’d be the file sizes if you decided to get this collection digitally as if you rely solely on the internal storage of the Switch then this will eat up all your storage with PreSequel alone or Borderlands 1 and 2 combined. A lot of people may not like the idea of another last gen port coming to the Switch yet I have to ask those of you who complain about that where were your complaints when this same game collection was released on other platforms?
The Borderlands Legendary Collection offers you hundreds of hours of content with the core games and their full DLC sets so……..how can you go wrong with this collection? This is not only the first foray of the franchise on the Nintendo Switch but also one of the must robust and feature packed gaming experiences you’ll ever have. If you have a Nintendo Switch and you like Looter-Shooters then this is a game that YOU NEED in your collection!