The Handsomest Collection
Is it? Is it really worth the money if you've already played Borderlands 2 and Pre-Sequel to death, picked up all the DLC that's available and put more hours than humanly (or inhumanly) possible into both games. The short answer is probably not, since you're unlikely to want to complete the game again and again...
Of course you can transfer your characters and Badass Ranks (you'll need to spend those points again) across to your console family of choice (Sony or Microsoft). After a few hiccups at release, that part of the process is working. It means you need to hang onto your BL2 and Pre-Sequel PS3 or 360 discs since you need to export those characters to the cloud, one at a time.
It works though, so my Siren who was max level could ride again in the remastered version of Borderlands 2. My Gladiator from Pre-Sequel was only around level 7 and I'd barely started the game.
I did get some loyalty rewards and a hefty chunk of Badass Rank, along with golden keys. So that owned.
Is it worth it, if you've never played Borderlands 2 and Pre-Sequel, or perhaps never played Pre-Sequel...?
Yes. Right up front I won't say that the game's a Must Buy, it's recommended though, it's a fun game with friends and the remastered versions are certainly jam-packed with good stuff. You get all the DLC from both games, getting to the level cap of 72 in BL2 and 70 in Pre-Sequel is a lot of gameplay hours for your money.
There are a few issues, chiefly that whilst the new shiny graphics are very new and shiny indeed on the Xbox One and PS4 versions - there's a noticeable texture load that plagues the game and detracts from all the new-gen horsepower. A fault that I believe lies with the iteration of the Unreal Engine used to power the game, Gearbox are aware of the problem and there's supposedly a fix incoming for the issue.
Apart from that it's Borderlands 2 with every bit of costume, silly head and story based DLC they can throw in. Including the best DLC: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep. I played Borderlands 2 to death, especially as Maya my Siren so I thought it might be a bit of a slog to go back to the game for this review - it wasn't though, I was soon having as much fun on the new-gen version as I did back in the day doing some of the DLC I missed.
I also tinkered with the Mechromancer class and found that to be pretty neat too.
The highlight of this collection for me though is Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, an Australian toned tongue-in-cheek, yet dark look at the events that created Handsome Jack. There are lots of cameos to behold in this one, and plenty of gags and comedy. Some of it hit, some of it miss, but for the most part it's a lot of fun and that's what matters.
3x more fun if you add in 3 friends to your little Borderlands group. The good news is that you can play 4 player same-screen action with this version, so if you have a big enough TV and 3 other friends over (with 3 gamepads) you can really get stuck in!
So the rest of this review will talk about just how awesome the Pre-Sequel and some of the new features are. So it's more akin to RPS' excellent: Wot I think articles.
I'm drawn to the Pre-Sequel because it is set on a moon of Pandora, named: Elpis. This brings in low gravity, space lasers (don't let Torgue hear you say that) and oxygen kits as new mechanics to the Borderlands mix. Along with 4 new and interesting Vault Hunters you get new vehicles and a fresh take on the Borderlands story.
Not bad at all for a Pre-Sequel.
Combat feels fresh too, the AI has been tweaked so the enemies are a little smarter and more ruthless. The loot is slightly different too, since it feels harder to acquire some decent kit at the start compared to the previous Borderlands titles, there's a lot more in the way of lower rarity items to begin with so you can keep some favourite guns for longer.
Talking of loot, Pre-Sequel handles selling loot slightly differently too. There's no 'mark as junk' there's just an intelligent: mark as favourite, sell all non-favourites set of options. Simple, effective and better by far than Borderlands 2.
Oxygen is a commodity for you to keep an eye on in Pre-Sequel, it allows you to you know, breathe. Unless you're Fragtrap, in which case you're never going to have to worry about running out of air. Oxygen also powers your Death From Above (Buttslam) attack and air boosting ability. The former slams you down atop your hapless foes, and the latter lets you make bigger jumps by sacrificing some oxygen from your Oz Kit.
You can also cause enemies to asphyxiate and die if you headshot them and zap their air bubble. FUN!
Willhelm - the Enforcer
Fragtrap - the ... yeah
Nisha - the Lawbringer
Athena - the Gladiator
Out of the four of them, so far, Athena is a favourite of mine with her Kinetic Aspis (shield) that lets her absorb damage and then dish it out Captain America style. Willhelm has a pair of drones, Nisha can shoot rapidly and lock on to target after target and Fragtrap has experimental software that might just be malware, whatever it is, it's pretty cool.
Mastering four new Vault Hunters is great fun as an old hands at Borderlands/Borderlands 2. They play differently from the usual character classes and have a lot of fun mechanics to sink your teeth into regarding builds.
New locations, new mechanics and a brand new story are huge reasons to get this Handsome Collection even if you've played Borderlands 2 to death. Pre-Sequel is WELL worth it.
The bottom line is: this is worth the money, worth the time, worth the effort and worth the punt. For someone new to Borderlands, it's doubly-worth it since you get everything you could ever want barring the original Borderlands of course, which really is remade in Borderlands 2. There are the issues with texture pop-in at the moment when you load from one area to the next, or reload a previous save... issues that will be fixed.