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Borderlands Legendary Collection review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Gearbox/  Turn Me Up Games / Behaviour Interactive
Medium: Digital/Disc/Cartridge
Players: 1-4
Online: Yes
ESRB: M

After playing the three games that comprise the Borderlands Legendary Collection, I’ve come to a conclusion: I don’t think I like Borderlands.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the series, either. I’ve certainly played these games on enough platforms — including the Vita! — that I’ve got a good idea of what to expect when I boot one of them up, and in the right circumstances (i.e. when I feel like doing a bunch of shooting and looting), they’re perfectly fine.

The thing is — as this Collection makes abundantly clear — they’re all kind of the same. As I played both Borderlands and Borderlands 2, I realized I had mixed them up pretty thoroughly in my memories, since so much of what you do is the same. This is possibly my first time playing Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, but it says a lot that even after sinking a fair amount of time into it, I can’t quite recall if I have memories of playing The Pre-Sequel or memories of playing one of the other games in the series.

To be fair, you could just as easily flip that on its head: the good thing about the Borderlands series is that it’s consistent. Over the course of dozens and dozens and dozens of hours, the game achieves a pretty consistent level of quality. If you want to shoot up tonnes and tonnes of interchangeable bad guys, these are your games, and if you want to collect more loot — guns, money, ammo, health backs, what have you — than you can possibly imagine, you can do that here, too. The quantity of each seems to increase in each new game, so you wouldn’t be able to accuse the games of resting on their laurels, at least on that front.

What’s more, the games have always been pretty visually striking. The cel-shaded comic book style is done to perfection in each of these games, and it adds to the over-the-top, cartoon-y atmosphere Borderlands goes for. Part of the reason I mix all these games up in my head is because they all look so wonderful, and they shouldn’t be penalized for having an aesthetic and sticking to it.

The Legendary Collection also performs pretty well from a technical perspective. I wouldn’t have thought this would be a concern — Borderlands 2 ran on the Vita, after all, even if there were a couple of hiccups here and there — but seeing as the pretty much identical Handsome Collection apparently had some issues, I guess it’s worth noting that the games here all run pretty smoothly, with no noticeable glitches or problems.

The thing is, as my colleague Dustin noted in the review I linked in the last paragraph, these three games — and Borderlands and Borderlands 2 in particular — have graced seemingly every platform available for the past decade. Sure, this is the first time they’ve graced a Nintendo platform, but that only means that if you’re in that elusive “Nintendo-only gamer who likes shooters” demographic, you owe it to yourself to pick up the Borderlands Legendary Collection. For everyone else, though, it’s harder to see the value proposition. Pick it up if you want these games on the go, but be aware that you’ve had up to ten years to play some of these games on other platforms, and this doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

2K Games provided us with a Borderlands Legendary Collection Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B+