BORDERLANDS: LEGENDARY COLLECTION / DEVELOPER: GEARBOX / PUBLISHER: 2K / PLATFORM: SWITCH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Borderlands has been a near-constant presence since its first Xbox 360 / PS3 release back in 2009. Now encompassing four main standalone games, an enhanced virtual reality edition of BL2, a spin-off graphic adventure and a bunch of mobile spin-offs, the series has appeared on almost every imaginable platform with great success. One minor stumbling block has been the transition to portable devices, with the only attempt so far – the Vita version of BL2 – not quite managing to achieve its potential. Seeking to rectify this, the first three Borderlands games are now available on the Switch – the first time any of these titles has been released on a Nintendo console.
The new Legendary Collection bundles the 2019 remastered version of the original Borderlands with 2015's Handsome Collection which includes Borderlands 2 and its follow up, The Pre-Sequel. All three games are complete with every piece of previously-released DLC (apart from BL2's 2019 Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary add-on, which was never included in the Handsome Collection anyway), so you're really getting a vast amount of shooting and looting for your money. A quick note for anyone planning to purchase the physical edition – only BL1 is included on the cartridge. You'll find a Handsome Collection download code inside the box, which you'll need to redeem on the eShop and download onto your console, so make sure you've got a hefty chunk of space on your SD card.
By now, most of us are familiar enough with the series that we probably don't need to go into the ins and out of what the games involve (but, just in case you don't know, it's pretty much non-stop shooting and looting on a hostile planet, with tons of potty-mouthed humour thrown in). The big question, given the less-powerful hybrid nature of the Switch, is whether or not the games perform as well as their home console counterparts. The answer, put as simply as possible, is yes, they absolutely do!
In the 30 or so hours we've played so far (roughly 10 on each game, mostly handheld), there hasn't been a single stutter in sight – no noticeable dropped frames, no pop-in, no sound glitches, everything doing exactly what it's supposed to do. It might feel like there's a slight lag in turning / aiming, and some unbalanced audio (especially in handheld, where levels are a bit all over the place), but it's nothing that a quick fiddle around in the menus can't solve. As a welcome bonus, motion control is available in all three games for those who enjoy that sort of thing. Connecting to other players for some co-op action currently doesn't seem to be too sturdy though, which is a bit of a shame.
Overall, if you've been on the fence about double (or triple, or even potentially quadruple) dipping based on whether this version would be as solid as the others, there's absolutely nothing at all to worry about. It's the very same Borderlands we all know and love, and now you can take it on the go. What's not to enjoy about that?