It’s always tricky reviewing a collection that plays host to one awesome game and one average one. On one hand, Borderlands 2 is a perfect 10 while The Pre-Sequel is no more than a 6. Does the collection suffer due to that, or does its value increase?
Borderlands: The Pre-sequel! was not the followup to the franchise that fans like me were looking for, and failed to capture the essence of its preceding two games. Many reasons led to that result, chief of which being that the game was not developed by its parent studio Gearbox but by the now-defunct 2K Australia. Was Pre-Sequel their final nail in the coffin, or was it their swan song on their way to folding? Unfortunately, we’ll never know.
It’s not that the game was inherently bad, it was still a Borderlands experience complete with its zany characters, random events and crazy artillery, but the structure and gameplay took a backseat to the attempt at novelty that is the close-to-maddening Australian accent that truly had no place within the canon of the game. Subjective? Probably, but ask any fan living outside of the land down under and you will more than likely receive the same feedback.
The Handsome Collection includes The Pre-Sequel and all its DLC’s, as well as Borderlands 2 and its DLC’s. The lattter is probably the best reason for you to acquire this collection. BL2 is still, far and wide, one of the best co-op experiences available in the ever-changing realm of videogames, and where its past console iterations were limited to two player split screens, you can now play in four player split screen, albeit at a loss of FPS, dropping from 60 to 30; When you are having so much fun, quality takes a step back in lieu of smooth and awesome gameplay.
A questionable version of the Handsome Collection was released, packing an RC Claptrap that can move and talk, which cost a ridiculous $400. 5,000 pieces of this collectible version were released–they probably thought if Activision could pull it off with COD, why can’t they?–whose total value would have equated $2 million. Gearbox obviously wanted the fans to fund this whole edition, a shameless tactic in my books. Rather than bank on their existing fanbase and respecting them, they took the money-making path and threw all credibility out the window. What am I talking about? Of course they’d do that; they are, after all, behind the Aliens Colonial Marines fiasco of which Sega were allegedly suing them for…wait a minute.
But I digress. The Handsome Collection, though not including the first Borderlands probably because porting it would not have been as easy, is a decent bundle of gaming that will take well north of a couple of hundred hours to go through in its entirety. The addition of BL2 alone is worth the money, and is possibly the sole reason why I’d recommend new-comers to acquire this collection. If you have never played any of the games, this is the best way to get yourself on the hype train for the eventual release of the much-awaited follow-up Borderlands 3.
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is available on the PS4 (reviewed) and Xbox One. A review copy was made available to us via 2K games.