Announced at the end of March during a “surprise” Nintendo Direct, the Borderlands Legendary Collection marks the debut of the series on the platforms of the Japanese giant with a collection that includes the first two chapters, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and the full range of DLC published for these three titles except for Lilith and the battle for Sanctuary, distributed free of charge as “bridge content” for Borderlands 3. A big package, enhanced by a well-made porting job that takes full advantage of the hardware features of Switch.
There are many reasons to love the Borderlands saga: his brazen and irreverent writing , constantly poised between tavern humor and pop genius, that senseless space western imagination, where every life is worth less than the bullet that cut it, and of course the titanic amount of loot that characterizes each iteration of the series, ready to trap players in an addictive cage.
In this regard, Borderlands was the franchise that definitively codified and brought to the attention of the general public the sub- genre of the “looter shooter” , after the unfortunate debut of the two main pioneers of this vein, namely Hellgate: London and Tabula Rasa. Welcomed with great warmth by the public and critics, the epic of Brick, Mordecai, Roland and Lilith marked the first step of a memorable journey, which only three years later brought a simply exceptional sequel to the shelves.
In 2012, Borderlands 2 delighted the audience with a big mount of improvements that led the serie formula to shine with an unprecedented intensity, in riot of vitriolic jokes, unforgettable characters and lead storms. Among the strengths of the second chapter there was also an antagonist as charismatic as unbalanced, destined to become a real icon of the brand: Jack the Beautiful, competition psychopath and CEO of the powerful Hyperion.
Although well packaged, and with some intriguing novelties, the subsequent Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel failed to satisfy the expectations – now stellar – of the videogame audience as well, also due to a story less inspired by the previous ones , of a world with sometimes poorly thought-out design and a playful recipe without great flashes of innovation. Quality decreases aside, we are talking about a trio of productions of undoubted value, who have contributed greatly to modeling the role of role-playing shooters, projecting the players among the meshes of campaigns dotted with moments of pure insanity and intense shootings, generally accompanied by DLC of remarkable workmanship, capable of enriching the narrative universe of Borderlands with brush strokes of madness always new and with some of the best missions in the series.
A universe that the Legendary Collection collects almost entirely (as anticipated, the third chapter is missing), to offer the users of the Nintendo hybrid over one hundred hours of intergalactic massacres, with which to accumulate experience, levels, skills to be exploited on the field and, of course, an avalanche of mouths at different levels of rarity. A proposal that fans of the genre should take seriously, especially in the case we have never spent quality time under the scorching sun of Pandora.
Let’s move on to the key point of this discussion: how does the compilation of ballistic frenzy, overwhelming loot and over-the-top humor put together by Gearbox and adapted for the occasion by Turn Me Up Games behave on Switch?
Very well indeed. With the complicity of the graphic style typical of the series, rather resistant to the passage of time, the first three titles of the saga are still absolutely enjoyable on the Nintendo Switch. Although the debut chapter shows deeper wrinkles, even on the playful side, the package manages to offer dozens of hours of furious fun, without requiring players to take special tolerance exercises.
Each of the three titles runs at 1080p in docked mode and at 720p in portability , with a frame rate always firmly anchored to the 30 fps threshold: a value that does not show significant fluctuations even in the most exciting stages. The size of the Switch screen makes the difference in resolution substantially unnoticeable by switching from one mode to another, while the peculiarities of the Borderlands gunplay, modeled to match the limits of the last generation of consoles, do not make the lack of double the frame rate of the Handsome Collection.
It goes without saying that the use of the Pro Controller completely eliminates the aforementioned difficulties, while limiting – at least in relative terms – the portability of the experience, which remains one of the strengths of the package. During our game sessions we noticed some small problems of pop-in textures (surfaces that appear blurry for a few seconds) and clipping (enemies or weapons that end up below ground level or beyond walls), but we can confirm that – in general line – the technical sector always proves solid and performing.
Considerations that we feel we also extend to the local multiplayer sector, limited to two players but extremely stable from the point of view of performance, and the same goes for the online side, net of some occasional uncertainty. In particular, we liked the choice to keep the in-game voice chat intact, which can be used simply by connecting a headset to the console, without having to rely on external apps.
In general, Borderlands Legendary Collection is a perfect addition to the Switch line-up of shooters and a must-play if you never had the chance to play any (or atleast the second) game of the franchise.
Borderlands Legendary Collection is an amazing collection that you need to play if you missed any of the games in the past.