Borderlands: The Handsome Collection review for PS4, Xbox One

Platform: PS4
Also On: Xbox One
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Gearbox Software
Medium: Blu-ray
Players: 1-4
Online: Yes

As far as collected, current-gen ports of previous gen titles go, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection offers up a ton of content for the $60 price point. You get both Borderlands 2 and the more recent Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, plus all the additional DLC that?s been released for both titles. Considering the base games alone can take dozens upon dozens of hours to fully complete, adding in all the additional content is just icing on the cake. If you?re like me, and held off on playing The Pre-Sequel because you had a hunch that such a collection was in the works, I can?t see any real reason not to jump on The Handsome Collection.

That said, if you?ve played both titles before, I don?t think you need to be as quick on the draw when it comes to checking out The Handsome Collection. Yes, it?s a step up from a visual perspective when compared to the last-gen releases for both titles. Both games have been upscaled to full 1080p output, but surprisingly both titles seem to struggle with maintaining 60 frames per second. I played this review copy on PS4, and noticed definite drops at heavy action moments in both titles, which was certainly surprising, and of course disappointing. Thankfully, that?s the biggest technical issue I can level at both titles, but the drops are significant and frequent enough to be noticeable.

borderlands handsome 1On the plus side, both titles feature the ability to carry over saves from last-gen, provided you?re on the same system family, like PS3 to PS4, or Xbox 360 to Xbox One. It does require an update to be done via the original game, so you?ll still need to possess a copy of either/both games on PS3 or Xbox 360 to make this work. But the transition is apparently flawless, outside of the fact that achievements and trophies will not carry over.

Online play and matchmaking is just as solid here as it was in the original versions of the game, with the added benefit of 4-player split-screen co-op, a feature missing in the previous gen versions of both games. I didn?t personally get a chance to test this particular feature out, but I know it?s something that the fanbase has wanted to see for quite some time, so it?s great that 2K and company have managed to finally implement it for this release.

borderlands handsome 3Also worth noting is that while The Handsome Collection on PS4 and Xbox One is clearly a step up from the the PS3 and Xbox 360, it still pales in comparison to playing on a PC, simply due to the framerate. Visually, both games seem to be on par with the higher settings for both titles on PC, minus the Nvidia PhysX effects that are not present on consoles. There?s also some slower texture loads on the console side, most notably when booting up the game, where you?re almost guaranteed to see your currently selected character in muddy detail before the assets full load to render outfit, gun, and face textures. This is sort of a negligible complaint, since it?s a lot less noticeable while playing, but something that anyone playing the game will still take note of.

All in all, this isn?t a bad collection of two fun titles from last-gen, but it hardly feels like a must-have upgrade for anyone that?s played through both Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel already. For those that haven?t, I can?t see any good reason not to pick this up, considering all the DLC that?s packed in with it. The only caveat is that if you have access to a PC, and are a bit more susceptible to being bothered by frequent framerate issues, then the PC releases for both titles wins here. But for everyone else that?s moderately interested in Borderlands, and haven?t already spent a significant amount of time playing both titles featured, I?d certainly suggest checking out The Handsome Collection.

Grade: B-