Borderlands: The Hansome Collection further swells the unnervingly large catalogue of last-gen games that have been remastered for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
For this bumper package, publisher’s 2K Games have included two polished up games- 2012’s Borderlands 2 and last year’s Australian developed Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!
To be fair, the last-gen version of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! – released only six months ago, well into the current-gen cycle, looked a bit tired alongside its AAA new-gen contemporaries.
Playing both these great games, newly-endowed with crisp PS4 visuals, is delightful. It’s great to finally, enjoy them as intended, instead of being distracted by the sadly dated graphical fidelity of the Xbox 360.
As well as scrubbing up the visuals, the package also includes all the DLC and bonus content from the last-gen releases. There’s also the opportunity to port over save files from the last-gen versions of the games and continue where you left off.
The glaring omission is the absence of the first Borderlands game from the package. Personally, I don’t miss it, as I think its successors are far better games. Still, its absence is strange. Being branded the Hansome Collection, kind of justifies the inclusion of just Borderlands 2, where Hansome Jack is the antagonist and The Pre-Sequel, which is Jack’s origin story.
Essentially, the Borderlands games are first person-shooters with an emphasis on collecting loot and customising your load-out using variety of increasingly powerful weaponry. The result is a hugely tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top gaming experience that’ll likely have you grinning ear-to-ear.
Players choose a character - a vault hunter - from a selection, each of their own class with their own skills. The games can be played solo of co-operatively with up to three other players. Whilst the original release had online multiplayer, this re-release includes an upgraded four-person split-screen capability. This allows players to engage in some old-school couch-based multiplayer like we did in the good old days before the internet.
In Borderlands 2 players take on the role of a vault hunter looking to secure a fortune on the planet Pandora. As the Hansome Collection includes all the DLC, there are an additional two characters to choose from on top of the original four.
After their train is destroyed by Hansome Jack, the self-appointed overseer of Pandora (who overlooks the planet from his fortress on the moon), the vault hunters are awoken by a small and somewhat insane utility robot designated CL4P-TP, but known as Claptrap.
Guided by a strange ethereal apparition players must, with the help of Claptrap seek out the city of sanctuary and find Pandora’s second vault before Hansome Jack does something diabolical.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! Starts after the events of Borderlands 2 but then flashes-back before it as vault hunter Athena recounts her ill-fated mission to the Helios moon-base to three of the protagonists from the first game. The plot introduces Jack, a lowly programmer, who will one day cause all the problems in Borderlands 2.
The Pre-Sequel offers a change of setting, swapping the planet Pandora for its moon. The low gravity means lots of high jumps and the lack of oxygen outside adding an extra layer of strategy to the games.
Both games are quest-based with players undertaking tasks from a main quest line to propel the narrative. They are also packed with side quests giving players potentially hundreds of hours of gameplay between them.
The polished up graphics look absolutely superb. They are clean and virtually indistinguishable from an animated cartoon or graphic novel. It’s not just the game’s looks that have benefited from the update. The movement is silky smooth, giving players the premium versions of two already impressive games.
Borderlands: The Hansome Collection is a great jumping in point for new players that may not have played the games before. Not including the first game is a bit strange, but this is still a great package, especially will all the DLC included. This may be another double-dip remaster, but if you’ve not already shelled out for the games on last-gen this really is a great value package.