Borderlands Legendary Collection Review
Not every game that is released on major consoles requires a port to the Nintendo Switch. While we fully support the expansion of gaming – and giving players on Nintendo Switch an opportunity to play games originally launched on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 – not every game ports well to the system. With that being said, when Take Two announced that three bundles would be coming to the Nintendo Switch, I was definitely excited and had high expectations for one of them – Borderlands Legendary Collection.
We have reviewed and written about the Borderlands games at length on GamesReviews.com, including full reviews of each title. You can find that all here. A copy of this game was provided by Nintendo of Canada for the purpose of this review.
Over the past year or so, I’ve found myself playing less and less on my Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and more and more on my Nintendo Switch. This isn’t because I dislike the other two consoles, but rather, that the Nintendo Switch provides me the flexibility I need in my gaming life to play wherever I want. Because of that, despite being a huge fan of the Borderlands franchise, I sadly had to pass on Borderlands 3 since I knew I wouldn’t find enough time to get my money’s worth. If only the franchise could find it’s way to Nintendo Switch – it would be the perfect fit.
And after beating Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, dabbling in Borderlands Game of the Year Edition, and Borderlands 2, I realized something instnatly. As of today, Borderlands is best played on the Nintendo Switch. Because of the graphical nature of the early titles – and their original release dates – not much (if anything) is lost bringing the game to the Nintendo Switch. So often, titles ported over lose a bit graphically to make them work on the Nintendo Switch system, but for the most part, the cell-shaded graphics of Borderlands pop just as much on the Switch as they did on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
So why do I argue that this title is superior to the re-releases that came out on Xbox One and Playstation 4? It’s simple really – accessibility. In a house with my wife and three kids, TV time is at a premium. I would assume this the reality in many homes, but even if it isn’t, we all lead busy lives that keep us on the go. Having the ability to walk around with Borderlands, or dock it to my TV, trumps the ability to just play it on the TV any day. And without the game taking a graphics or performance hit – a solid 30 frames throughout, in our experience – means you aren’t actually playing an inferior product, which is often the case with Switch ports.
The only downside to the Switch experience is that without using auto-aim, you quickly realize that Joy-Con controllers, and to an extent the sticks on the Nintendo Switch Lite, are not built for first person shooters. They are more than adequate for sure, but don’t have the travel that a normal controller stick will have, which means a fairly decent adjustment in how you play, compared to other shooters. That being said, this isn’t a game breaking issue, nor one that I would even consider when recommending this title to friends.
There is one major way that the Switch port of Borderlands Legendary Collection doesn’t live up to the releases on the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, and that is with environmental pop-ins and lackluster draw distances. Pop-in isn’t that frequent – a handful of times over my 20ish hours with the experience – but the draw distances will definitely be noticeable in certain areas. Thankfully, anything within sniper rifle distance will come in normally, but things far off in the distance won’t load as crisply as they will on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4.
So now it comes down to price, value, and whether or not it’s worth playing again. At this point, most people have played one or all of the Borderlands titles, but I truly believe it’s an experience that can be enjoyed time-and-time again. Reliving these titles on Nintendo Switch has brought so much pure joy during this time of quarantine, and it is an easy recommendation for anyone looking to play these games, whether for the first time, or the 5th time. Take Two has done a tremendous job bringing these titles to the Nintendo Switch, and I can only hope that Borderlands 3 will be making an appearance as soon as possible!