PAX East 2015 – Borderlands: The Handsome Collection Hands-On Preview (PS4)

March 8, 2015 Written by Mark Labbe

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I attended a somewhat small off-site Borderlands event yesterday after PAX East 2015, and was able to play Borderlands: The Handsome Collection with a group of three other players on the PlayStation 4. Unfortunately, although the game still features incredibly fun shoot-and-loot gameplay, there were a few big issues I had with it.

First off, it is only fair to note that the version we got to play was not the final version, which is due out on March 24 for PS4 and Xbox One, so that could be a reason for some of the issues I faced. Secondly, for those of you that might not know, The Handsome Collection essentially just features remastered versions of Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! with all of their downloadable content. No new content has been added, although it will include any new DLC that is set to come out for The Pre-Sequel. These pieces of DLC will be available for download, assumedly the day the release for the original version of The Pre-Sequel.

Updated Visuals?

With no new content, that means The Handsome Collection really has to rely on upgraded visuals for players for current-gen console owners to want to experience the two Borderlands games all over again. Sad to say, the graphics don’t really seem to be improved much. Upon first look, it might be hard to tell the difference between the PS4 version and the PS3 one. Yes, everything appears somewhat sharper and brighter, but no huge changes are evident. It essentially looks like the same game, although I did notice that some of the elemental effects, like flames, do look much better on the current-gen version.

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Split Screen Chaos

I also noticed that during four-player split-screen, the frame-rate drops dramatically. The was mostly evident during The Pre-Sequel, and at times it actually made the game hard to play. With the ability to do four-player split screen so heavily advertised by 2K, it was slightly disappointing to see that it is rather unplayable on The Pre-Sequel. The remastered version of Borderlands 2, however, maintained a fairly consistent frame-rate, although I have no idea why that is.

It is tough to say if getting Borderlands: The Handsome Collection will be worth it for people who have already played the games on last-gen consoles or PC. Like I said, we did play an unfinished version. Keep a lookout on PSLS for our review of the finished version of the shooter, which will be coming out in the next couple of weeks.