Borderlands Legendary Edition Switch Review – The Best Place for the Best First Person Shooters

Borderlands has dropped on Switch, not just Borderlands but Borderlands Game of the Year Edition and the Handsome Collection consisting of Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition and Pre-Sequel Ultimate Edition as well as the Legendary Collection containing all 3 games. That’s a whopping 100+ hours of gorgeous cel shaded first person shooting madness in the palm of your hands including all the DLCs. Now you might be thinking but I already own Borderlands on 5 different platforms, however only Borderlands 2 was previously available on a handheld system and as amazing as it was it was handicapped by a poor resolution, massive frame rate drops being choppy at the best of times, only 2 player online and constant crashes later in the game that actually stopped me completing it on that version. 

Looking mighty fine on Nintendo’s handheld.

For those who remain uninitiated in the ways of the vault hunter, Borderlands is a first person loot ’em up similar to Diablo with guns. There are literally hundreds of combinations of gun parts across various gun types so you’ll be constantly looking for that next gun. The games let you choose one of a few unique vault hunters that level up RPG style each with skill trees for you to mold your character to your preferred playstyle. The games feature huge almost open world maps with large sprawling interconnected areas and the best cel shaded art style known to man along with very crude humour that keeps me laughing throughout the twisting turning stories that’ll keep you on your toes. 

Get awesome upgrades from 3 skill trees.

As someone who sucks big fat floppy donkey… ears at first person shooters and generally doesn’t like them, I absolutely love the Borderlands games, from the carnage and crazy weapons, the elemental effects adding tactical gameplay, the skill trees giving replay value with different characters and diversifying the gameplay, the RPG level system, the story, the carnage to the humour, it’s all amazing.

Good ole Claptrap.

The performance of all the Borderlands games on Switch are a silky smooth 30 FPS all throughout, even when there’s tons of enemies on screen and all hell is breaking loose. It stays smooth in sanctuary which has caused frame rate drops in previous versions and stays locked into that 30 FPS in online multiplayer, I didn’t even encounter any jerkiness in my comrades movements.

Online is hectic and still locked at 30 FPS.

Many people say the Borderlands games are best enjoyed multiplayer and thankfully here the multiplayer is excellent with 2 player split screen even handheld. Online is up to 4 player with open games so people can randomly join or you can set it to Switch friends only, you can also invite friends to your game. The only issue I have with online is that while it’s great you can play split screen online both accounts need Nintendo online not just the main account playing. Even Nintendo’s own Mario Kart doesn’t have that restriction allowing a second player to join in the action when only player one has Nintendo online and it still saves both players progress. Hopefully 2K will realise this and an update will sort it out.

You’ll need a family membership if you want to play split screen online.

Despite some holding the view that Borderlands is only worth playing multiplayer I prefer single player. That’s because the world of the Borderlands games are huge and loot is everywhere. I like to go at my own pace and explore every nook and cranny whereas online people generally just rush in like a swarm of locusts not allowing exploration or tactical play as you barely take part unless you join the swarm. 

Wouldn’t have the time to do this playing onlone.

I firmly believe the Switch is the best place to play the Borderlands games as playing handheld with gyro controls is perfect for fine adjustments or if you turn the sensitivity up for doing all the aiming with gyro. For me this really adds to the immersion compared to playing on a home console with a controller. Plus those without lots of free time can easily just dip in and out putting the Switch on standby rather than have to sit for one long session.


With the Handsome Collection also available on the Epic Store for free at the time of release on Switch, I don’t know if that was a master stroke by 2K games as people can be reminded just how great these games are for free and then decide that the Switch is a better home for them as portability is king, or if it spells the doom of these fantastic ports as £34.99 is a lot more monies than free. What I can tell you is these games are worth every penny and £39.99 for 100+ of good times is excellent value even if the three games can be had a lot cheaper elsewhere. The biggest issue here is the size of the games with the three taking up around 45gb, even if you buy physical it’s only an 8gb card, a whole lot of archiving had to happen for me to install them but they do install individually so you can buy the Legendary Collection and only have one of the three games installed at a time. I don’t know if they are old enough to be called classic shooters but I can say three of the finest, best looking, lengthy and value for money first person shooters have found their perfect home, if you’ve missed out on these in the past then don’t hesitate to pick them up now on Nintendo Switch.

A huge thank you to 2k games for providing the review code. Borderlands: Legendary Collection is available now both physically (an 8gb card with all 3 games plus additional downloads needed) and digitally on the Nintendo eShop for £39.99, the Handsome Collection for £34.99 and Borderlands 1 for £24.99.

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