Since its 2009 debut, Borderlands has become a gaming staple, mixing all the fun components of role-playing with intense first person shooting. On top of that, the series personifies customization, letting you maximize the potential of your Vault Hunter a number of ways while choosing from literally a bazillion guns.
Unfortunately it will be a while before developer Gearbox Software turns its attention to the newest chapter in the Borderlands saga. Luckily, 2K Games will give us something in the meantime with Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, set to debut on March 24th for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
While the original Borderlands is nowhere in sight, The Handsome Collection includes two games in the saga – the 2012 release of Borderlands 2 and last year's follow-up, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Both games will be re-mastered so they'll look about on par with the PC versions, save for frame rate.
In addition, 2K Games will also include all of the released DLC, including the story add-ons like Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty and Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, as well as other packs like the Commando Madness and Mechromancer add-ons. The additional characters, including Gaige the Mechromancer and Krieg the Psycho, will also be included. Borderlands the Pre-Sequel will see additions as well, including forthcoming packs that have yet to be released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game – for no additional charge.
That's plenty of value, but Gearbox realizes how important the multiplayer component is, as players team up for loot-fests and boss fights. Along with online support for both Borderlands 2 and the Pre-Sequel, the games will include an extra ingredient that's sure to encourage local couch sessions, four-player split-screen co-op.
Like the Nintendo 64 games of old, this mode will divide the screen into four quadrants and allow players to work together to battle enemies both big and small. While the games may lose some detail to make this happen, it’s a promising addition that's sure to draw plenty of interest.
We saw a bit of this mode in action at a recent Gearbox presentation at PAX South, and while it was oddly devoid of enemies (it was just a quick show-off piece), it showed the capabilities of what you can do.
Best of all, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection promises full cross-save functionality with previously owned versions of the game. If you leveled up your Vault Hunter in either Borderlands 2 or The Pre-Sequel, you can jump back into your progress without starting from scratch. Obviously it'll work with Xbox 360 data being uploaded to Xbox One, and PlayStation 3 and/or PS Vita data uploaded to PlayStation 4.
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection seems to have something to offer to everyone. Newcomers can jump into either game and all the DLC without having to worry about additional downloads, avid multiplayer fanatics can play online or locally through the split-screen set-up and pros can work with their leveled-up characters right off the bat and keep looting. We'll see how this plays out when the game arrives March 24th.