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By Jessica Brister On 18 Apr, 2015 At 10:49 AM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe trend of porting or re-mastering games for newer consoles has been something that’s been going on for awhile now.  Some ported games can definitely be labeled as, “Skip this one.”  However, for fans of the Borderlands franchise, The Handsome Collection is an absolute must have.

The Borderlands franchise began with the original Borderlands in late 2009 with developer Gearbox.  The game had the signature cartoon-like look with the cell-shaded graphics, and the story and characters were just as goofy.  However, Gearbox had a bit of work to do with the game.  When Borderlands 2 came out in 2012, it was a runaway hit, spawning many popular DLCs and a “Pre-Sequel.”  The game play was greatly improved and the cell-shaded graphics started to look great.  The franchise earned a lot of die-hard fans with the four player cooperative play and dark satire.

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After the last-generation of game playing started to die off, many Borderlands fans tried to look for a new game to play on their new console.  Games like Destiny seemed like a good option, but for many, it just wasn’t the same.  Luckily for Borderlands fans, Gearbox decided on a port for the this generation, but not just a normal port: it’s the ultimate port for any Borderlands fan.

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection contains everything that comes from Borderlands 2.  It contains all of the DLCS, skins, characters, and even the Pre-Sequel and all of its that just came out in October of 2014. That many sound tempting to Borderlands fans or even someone interested in finding a new online cooperative game, but is it worth it?

The answer: yes!  Here’s why:

It’s amazing to play Borderlands on a current gen console.  After playing on the latest console, whether it be PlayStation 4 or XBox One, it is a little painful to go back to a last-gen console.  The latest generation has a much better set up, including better party chats and social media connectivity.  With a much faster processor and more memory, the game doesn’t feel as “clunky” as it did on a last gen console.  I also found that my digital download copy had faster loading screens for the game, which is important for Borderlands when a player is popping in and out of areas.

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Also, since the game is running on a more powerful console, the graphics look really slick.  The signature cell-shading graphics actually look really decent at times.  Unfortunately, there are some major screen tearing and graphics issues with the Pre Sequel that have yet to be fixed, including monsters that glitch on the screen when they die.  However, Borderlands 2 is amazingly well-done and is probably is the game that most Borderlands fans will play.  I think of the Pre Sequel as a “nice add-on” at this point because compared to Borderlands 2, it just doesn’t match up.

There is something for Borderlands players to really be happy about: for former Borderlands 2 and Pre Sequel players who don’t want to start over on character that they spent hours and hours on,  Gearbox made it incredibly easy to port characters back and forth.  It does require the player to have their last generation console, but it works very well.  There is no need for USB sticks (the old way of transferring, particularly on PlayStation 3).  All a player has to do is complete the update for Borderlands 2 and the Pre Sequel on their older console, go into the game of choice, and select “Cross Save.”  From there, a player can upload one character at a time into the cloud and download it onto the newer console from the game.  Players can also take a character from the newer console and download it back to the older one.  It’s an incredibly easy process that will make it the decision to upgrade Borderlands 2 much easier.

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One of the most appealing aspects of this port is the price.  For sixty dollars or under (depending on the deal that the consumer gets), a player can have Borderlands 2 and the Pre Sequel, plus every DLC for both games.  That’s two full games with their DLCs.  That includes characters and skins that were sold separately when they were available a few years ago. Though the Pre Sequel isn’t that great of a game, for many fans, Borderlands 2 and its DLCs are worth the price just by themselves.  Throw in the Pre Sequel, and it’s an amazing deal.

Sadly, for someone looking for a great online cooperative, there are not many good options for the current generation of consoles.  There probably should not be a need for a Borderlands 2 port, but unfortunately, there is.  Happily, fans of the franchise should love it.  Players unfamiliar with the game, but want a decent cooperative game will probably want to jump on this as well.