BORDERLANDS GAME OF THE YEAR REVIEW

Nearly a decade ago were we first introduced to the madness of Borderlands. On the surface, it looked like your average First Person Shooter, but it plays like a Dungeon Crawler with guns, lots and lots of guns. It was a refreshing change upon the style and maybe one of the best.

The game also used the Cel Shading style technique, to any art lover is pure eye candy. Mix in a unique comedy style and you got yourself a winning formula.

Something tells me we ain’t in Kansas no more.

Now that we have the remaster, let’s see how it stacks up against the original.

WELCOME TO PANDORA…AGAIN?

If you are looking for new story content, you won’t find any here, Borderlands Game of the Year is exactly the same as the 2009 original. Same scenes, same characters (Oh, Hi Marcus) and same Clap Trap banter, which is still hilarious to listen to. So this is for the fans that are a bit late to the party, beginners to the series or if you like me, an Achievement Hunter when the mood takes me.

Borderlands’ story is worth playing through again, solo or with friends, but mostly as a nostalgia trip. On my Xbox 360, I played through the story twice, maxing out my Soldier, tinkering my inventory about what to throw away and what to keep. I swear the total amount of time I spent in the menu can easily stack up to 2 hours. I always had my go-to guns, but still played around with different variants, Fire, Shock, Explosive and Corrosive.

The base game of Borderlands being already pretty huge, plenty of areas to explore and quests to take on, the remaster includes all four DLC packs, The Zombie Island of Dr Ned, Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot, The Secret Armory of General Knoxx and Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution.

If you don’t feel like starting over but have a fully leveled up character from the original, just export it to the remaster and carry on playing.

SO WHAT’S NEW, SCOOTER?

The first new change you will notice is the brighter and sharper visuals running at 60fps. So far my only concern is that screen-tearing is quite prevalent and shouldn’t be present in a remastered title from the previous generation. It can be easily overlooked once the action starts, but it is something I would rather not have there in the first place.

I jumped onto Borderlands on my Xbox 360, and when loading up the Start Screen I could feel my eyeballs being dragged across jaded pixels and bleak colours. I’m kidding, it wasn’t that bad, but the difference is like chalk and cheese. So I was happy with the frame rate improvement.

I also booted up the game via backwards compatibility on my Xbox One. While the game was running at 30fps, it was more consistent than the Xbox 360. The game appeared brighter too with a slight boost in general image quality.

Besides the buttery smooth frame rate, Borderlands GOTY borrowed a few things from Borderlands 2.

When I jumped onto the original, I noticed my mini-map was missing. Looking for the option in the settings menu with no luck, it hit me. Did I play the entirety of the game WITHOUT a mini-map?! It felt strange yet rewarding, but at the same time giving me more appreciation of the mini-map in the remaster.

The item menu layout is also changed, which is far more accessible than just a long list of item names. Trust me, you end up with a ton of guns, grenade mods and artifacts.

Shift Codes that started in the sequel, did a 180 and went to the first game, albeit it is the remaster. Same as before, you get the codes that give you keys to unlock the chest with all the good stuff.

There is some character customization in the form of colour changes and head design. Basically what hairstyle or hat and a matching colour pallet selection. It’s not much but it gives some character when playing the game in online co-op with friends.

Oh, my ultimate favourite, Auto Pick-Up. You won’t believe the number of times I have pressed the X Button while playing the original, it is a wonder it didn’t die on me, so my controller is very happy and thankful for that little tweak. Chests and other boxes’ offerings have to be manually picked up.

There are several other little improvements that gives the game a fresh look.

WHAT DID YOU FIND, CAPTAIN?

Borderlands Game of the Year Edition might be ten years late, but is still the great game I remember playing on my Xbox 360. With only subtle design changes, and some borrowed, the manages to take you back a step and have some good fun.

As a remaster, I will rate it at 7 out 10 as being a full package with all the DLC, there is nothing new on offer. If this was a new game, 8.5 out of 10.

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