The character you choose to play as in Borderlands 2 can say a lot about you as a person. Maybe you like playing as the Siren Maya, wielding a wide variety of powers ranging from reviving teammates instantly, trapping them for beatdown opportunities, or simply just setting people on fire. Maybe you like playing Zer0 because you too live your life in haiku form, and you really like big, big numbers caused by precision shooting. Personally, I play as Gaige, which probably requires a lot of megalomania and says bad things about me as a person as I sweep over Pandora, a never ending quest to maintain my Anarchy stacks as I discriminately murder everything in the pursuit of power. Oh, and giant robots. Chicks dig them I hear.
The point is that now you can play a well written, hilarious and genuinely thought-provoking multiplayer experience on current generation consoles, making it ever more likely that my PS3 will be retired to ‘box in the garage’ status. Borderlands 2: The Pre Sequel joins an ever increasing number of games who have regretted coming into existence shortly before a leap into the next generation, meaning that they have to deal with the frankly bafflingly common experience of no backwards compatibility. The solution as it turns out is to develop a current gen edition of the game in question, with graphical updates, then charge you anywhere upwards of £30 to buy a game that you very probably already own. Hence my decision to title this article after a Spaceballs quote.
Some companies have managed to avoid this cash grab however. For a while, Final Fantasy XIV offered PS3 players the option to have their edition updated to the PS4 version completely free of charge. The catch was that you couldn’t then go back and play the PS3 version; once you made the jump, you couldn’t go back, though speaking personally, the difference is like night and day and why you would want to is entirely beyond me. It’s more appreciated still because a MMORPG doing a remastered edition is one of the rare cases where this makes sense. Investing in a remastered MMORPG means a better experience, and the assurance of continued new content. A different matter is porting a game that’s gone through its development cycle and that no new content will come out for; it’ll be much harder to convince a gamer to pay out the full price for a game that they already own.
Fortunately, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection offers considerable value for the discerning individual. For starters, not only will it include both Borderlands 2 and The Pre Sequel, but all of the available DLC for both games at the time of release. That’s all of it, expansion pack missions, new characters, new heads and outfits, level cap increases – the whole shebang. Players of either game on the old consoles can rejoice, because Gearbox have assured us that your saves will also transfer, along with all your Badass Ranks, game progress and character levels. That’s very nice you’re probably thinking, but what kind of crazy can I buy if I really want to shill out some money? Well, in the very strictly limited context of buying for this game, you can also be one of five thousand people who purchase the Claptrap-in-a-Box Edition of the game which gives you… well, Claptrap in a box. Yes, for the low price of $400, you can have your own remote-controlled Claptrap unit that you can command with your phone and have it spout classic Claptrap lines. Now Claptrap is your minion instead of the other way around! I can’t vouch for real life Claptrap’s invincibility in comparison to his game counterpart though. Nor can I assure you that he won’t randomly screw you over with a poorly-timed class action.
In short, this is the sort of remastered edition I’d like to see. It’s pretty decent value for money and worth picking up even if you have both the component games, and I hope it gets more people interested in what is a particularly finely-crafted narrative about a guy who calls you to brag about his living pony made of diamonds and EXPLOSIONS. Welcome to Pandora kiddos.