My, that is a handsome package!
Surely the day when the likes of Claptrap and Handsome Jack arrive on the new generation of consoles is a day to rejoice. It seems that for every new game that arrives on the PS4 or Xbox One, there is another remastering of an older, last gen title to grab the interest of new gen gamers. As someone who plays far too many games, these remasters really have to be something special to make me part with my hard earned cash, and there are very few games as special as Gearbox’s Borderlands 2.
Bringing Borderlands 2 to the Xbox One and PS4 would be a wonderful thing in itself. However, 2K Games are not satisfied with just inviting players back to the planet of Pandora with the promise of 1080p and 60fps. Oh no, The Handsome Collection is far more of a vault hunters dream than that. This remastered bundle for the PS4 and Xbox One not only manages to pack in the mighty Borderlands 2 and all of its substantial collection of DLC, but it also includes Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel from 2K Australia and all of that games’ DLC. To really appreciate the amount of content that players will be getting their sweaty hands on with The Handsome Collection, a list is needed, along with a moist towel -
- Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty (campaign add-on)
- Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage (campaign add-on)
- Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt (campaign add-on)
- Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep (campaign add-on)
- The Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack (level cap increase)
- Gaige the Mechromancer (playable class)
- Krieg the Psycho (playable class)
- Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2: Digistruct Peak Challenge (level cap increase & challenge arena)
- Creature Slaughter Dome (challenge arena)
- T.K. Baha’s Bloody Harvest (Headhunter Pack)
- The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler (Headhunter Pack)
- How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day (Headhunter Pack)
- Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre (Headhunter Pack)
- Sir Hammerlock vs. the Son of Crawmerax (Headhunter Pack)
- Character Customization Packs
— Collector’s Edition Pack
— Commando Madness Pack
— Commando Supremacy Pack
— Commando Domination Pack
— Siren Madness Pack
— Siren Supremacy Pack
— Siren Domination Pack
— Gunzerker Madness Pack
— Gunzerker Supremacy Pack
— Gunzerker Domination Pack
— Mechromancer Madness Pack
— Mechromancer Supremacy Pack
— Mechromancer Domination Pack
— Assassin Madness Pack
— Assassin Supremacy Pack
— Assassin Domination Pack
— Mechromancer Steampunk Slayer Pack
— Gunzerker Dapper Gent Pack
— Psycho Dark Psyche Pack
— Psycho Madness Pack
— Psycho Supremacy Pack
— Psycho Domination Pack
— Siren Glitter and Gore Pack
— Commando Haggard Hunter Pack
— Assassin Stinging Blade Pack
— Mechromancer Beatmaster Pack
— Gunzerker Greasy Grunt Pack
— Psycho Party Pack
— Siren Learned Warrior Pack
— Commando Devilish Good Looks Pack
— Assassin Cl0ckw0rk Pack
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
- Handsome Jack Doppelganger Pack (playable class)
- Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack: The Holodome Onslaught (level cap increase & challenge arena)
- Shock Drop Slaughter Pit (challenge arena)
- Claptastic Voyage
Damn, really? That’s a whole lot of DLC, from full campaign add-ons and new playable characters to simple customization items. Realistically, the only way that 2K could have improved on this package would be to include a real working Claptrap. What? They did that as well in the slightly pricey, extremely limited Claptrap-in-a-Box Edition? Wow, I need to sit down.
Moving on from the remote-controlled Claptrap robot (which I don’t have, dammit), that is a massive amount of DLC included in The Handsome Collection, enough to make a second visit to Pandora, and its moon in The Pre-Sequel, certainly appealing. There is a great replayability with both of these games, especially with all of the DLC, so even those who have enjoyed playing Borderlands 2 or The Pre-Sequel on the previous generation will be able to find many more hours of entertainment here. In fact, there is even the chance to import save games across the same family of consoles, so previous players really are catered for.
But what should the newcomers to Borderlands expect on their shiny consoles? Well, an interesting visual style, a combination of shooter and action RPG, plenty of proper grown up humour and bizarre characters, and more guns than you would ever need in a lifetime of Bullymong shooting.
Borderlands 2 sets the player as a Vault Hunter on the search for a hidden vault on the planet of Pandora which houses a dangerous ancient technology. It just so happens that the delightfully evil Handsome Jack, president of the Hyperion Corporation is in your way. The Pre-Sequel is set before Borderlands 2, happens to be set on a moon with low gravity and lack of oxygen, and allows players to witness the rise of Jack and what made him so evil. Both stories are surprisingly enjoyable, and the cast of characters really makes each of the games shine.
Of great interest to me, a self-confessed couch co-op addict, these remastered versions of the games have had their co-op capabilities boosted. Borderlands 2 was always a firm favorite to sit down and play with a friend locally, but with The Handsome Collection on PS4 and Xbox One, that couch co-op has been expanded to allow four players locally, along with the usual four player online option. Of course, this means I will have to find more friends to share my couch, but never mind.
When it comes to the quality improvements for the new gen consoles, things are perhaps not as shiny as they could be. Don’t get me wrong, the 1080p visuals look gorgeous for the most part. They didn’t look half bad in the previous gen versions of the games. However, it seems that problems such as texture pop-in, which were also around last gen, have found their way into The Handsome Collection as well. Basically, if it was an issue before, it is still an issue now. The games both look great, but they don’t seem polished as much as they could have been. Despite this slight disappointment, The Handsome Collection remains supremely playable and enjoyable.
It could be said that The Handsome Collection serves only the purpose of reminding gamers on the Xbox One and PS4 that a new Borderlands game is on the way. Well, consider me reminded and excited. But also, with The Handsome Collection and its very generous amount of content, consider me well and truly entertained while I wait for the new Borderlands. The Handsome Collection is an essential purchase for Xbox One and PS4 owners, even if they have played the individual games before. This is Pandora, and its moon, at its best!