The story of the exterminator finds a new home on the Nintendo Switch with everything that goes with it. In the Legendary Edition we get the Borderlands-GOTY-Edition, the Borderlands-2-GOTY-Edition and the Ultimate Edition of the pre-sequel. So all additional characters and expansions are included from the start, except for the recently released Commander Lilith DLC for Borderlands 2. The Borderlands 3 released last year is unfortunately not in the package.
But how well does the Switch implementation of the three classic shooter do? We found out in our test.
Source: PC Games
In Borderlands we come to Pandora as exterminators, a kind of treasure hunter. The evil Atlas Corporation stands in our way. Part 2 is all about the opponent Handsome Jack, who has not been absent from any list of the best video game antagonists to date. And in the pre-sequel, between the other two games, we're fighting on one of Pandora's moons alongside a younger Handsome Jack, bringing us closer to the villain's exciting backstory.
All three games are classic loot shooters, which means: we shoot, gain experience points and loot objects from the defeated enemies or from treasure chests. Since the weapons are randomly generated in Borderlands, there is an incredibly large variety, especially when looting, and you look forward to the hard-won loot after every hard boss fight. Only with friends could there be a dispute over who can claim the equipment they have won. Because of the crazy battles on Pandora, we can either fight in pairs in local split-screen mode or with up to three other players in online co-op. For the online features, however, a paid membership in the Nintendo e-Shop is necessary.
A game with a lot of character
Source: PC Games
In Borderlands we have a choice of four different characters, each with a unique special ability. Borderlands 2 and Pre-Sequel each have six different characters. As if that wasn't diversity enough, each character also has three different talent trees in which you can unlock new buffs and skills during a level-up. Some of the skills that can be unlocked here also have an impact on the co-op experience. So the gameplay largely depends on the choice of the character and our decisions when leveling. In Borderlands 2, for example, if we want to play as a sniper and ambush enemies, we'd rather choose Assassin Zero.
If we want to brutally shoot everything with one weapon in each hand according to the Rambos model, then Gunzerker Salvador is our choice. Or maybe it should be a bit more tactic after all? Then Axton is our man with whom we can place a turret that will fire at our opponents. Or you can choose the siren Maya, which can keep even the toughest enemies at a distance with a stun and is prepared for every situation with elementary skills. But don't panic: regardless of the character you choose, any firearm can still be used by anyone and can be placed in one of the four equipment slots. The same goes for the shields and grenade mods. Only class artifacts are always tied to a specific figure, as these improve their own special abilities.
Source: PC Games
Given the origins of the series on Xbox 360 and PS3, the switch version did not have to be dramatically cut in terms of technology. In addition, the graphic style of the three titles is timeless anyway thanks to the Cel shading look. Only occasional edge flickering and unsightly flickering light and shadow effects disturb the overall picture. In return, it stays at a steady 30 frames per second even during heated battles and in larger and more detailed environments.
In handheld mode, on the other hand, the shooter works only partially well. Visually, the game is crisp, but due to the many HUD elements, you can quickly lose track of the fighting during the already chaotic battles. In the first part it is not that bad because of the simpler graphics, in part 2 and in the pre-sequel it goes pretty quickly up and down, not least in dark interiors.
Pro controller for the win!
Source: PC Games
It is probably the oldest controversy among shooter players: controller or mouse and keyboard? The control with the fiddly Joycons of the Switch is once again a discipline in the case of Borderlands, and not just in the already vaguely controllable vehicle passages. If you can, grab necessarily to the Pro Controller. The imprecise movement and imprecise jumping behavior in the weightlessness of the pre-sequel is particularly cumbersome. If you want, you can also use motion control via gyro sensors. Unfortunately, the feature was not implemented as well as in other shooters on the Switch, in terms of precision, the feature offers little added value.
Lots to do for stragglers
Source: PC Games
As already mentioned at the beginning the Legendary Collection all Borderlands games except the third part, including all DLCs, additional characters and visual customization options. We definitely get a lot of play here for comparatively little money and can look forward to countless hours of work. The bundle is perfect for switch players who still have to catch up. If you want, you can also buy the games individually for 20 euros each in the eShop. However, if you already know Borderlands inside out, nothing fundamentally new is offered here.
Anyone in the mood for the next round?
By playing the Legendary Edition I got really excited about Borderlands 2, which I think is the best part of the series (this also applies to the DLCs). As a long-time fan of the series, I find it ideal to be able to experience all the fun quickly in between or on the go. Although the motion control and I no longer become friends, I was able to get used to the control with the Joycons very quickly as a PC player. All in all, I had a lot of fun with Borderlands again and can only recommend the Switch version to anyone who still has some catching up to do.
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Borderlands Legendary Collection in the test: How well does the switch version do? (Source: PC Games)
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