Score: 9/10 | First-Person Shooter | RPG | MULTIPLAYER
“The remaster gives the First-Person Shooter RPG hybrid a good tidy up while still keeping it’s classic overall look and feel.”
Being the first installment to what’s now one of the biggest selling game franchises in the world, it’s surprising it’s taken this long for Gearbox Software and 2K Games to remaster Borderlands: Game Of The Year Edition. 10 years after it’s initial release, the remaster gives the First-Person Shooter RPG hybrid a good tidy up while still keeping it’s classic overall look and feel.
By now most of us know the Borderlands story, but if you don’t here it is in a nutshell. You’re a Vault Hunter in search of a legendary vault which is believed to be filled with many many treasures. However the vault is in an unknown location and can only be opened every 200 years. And you’re not the only one who wants a share in the valuable loot either.
Fresh off the bus that’s brought me back to Fyrestone once again, the world of Borderlands: Game Of The Year Edition looks exactly the way I remembered. But now in hi-definition. Environmental and character textures are a lot sharper than in the original release making it easier on the eye. However this was the only upgrade made in regards to the games environments. It’s a well known fact that the world of Pandora in the first Borderlands stuck to one main earthy colour scheme with only a few splashes of other colours here and there. Unlike it’s sequels, it lacks any real variety in its environments remaining monotonous until the last few locations. But with that said, it would have felt like a completely different game if they didn’t stay true to the original by tweaking the colour scheme. The HD overhaul made the dusty baron lands of Pandora easier to look at while I navigated my way around. And navigation couldn’t have been made any easier thanks to the added mini-map that wasn’t introduced until Borderlands 2. If you want the true Borderlands: Game Of The Year Edition experience however, you can easily disable it and use the original compass to explore Pandora with.
Along with the in-game visuals, the overall look of the menu system has been given a mere polish over as well. Whilst looking a little sharper, they’re left exactly the same as the original. It was a reminder of just how much they visually improved the game overall between Borderlands 1 & 2.
Gameplay on the other hand has been mostly left untouched. Overall combat and interactions in-game felt very smooth most of the time. Being able to instantly pick up loot instead of selecting one at a time also made gameplay feel a lot faster. One of the clearer memories I have from the original Borderlands was the final boss, The Destroyer, and how easy it was to beat. Whilst still pretty easy if you know what you’re doing, the developers have made some slight tweaks to the fight to keep you on your toes. I died a couple of times, but I personally didn’t feel like it was too difficult of a fight either. It does however reward you with a BOSS level of loot compared to what was given in the original.
Other notable changes to Borderlands: Game Of The Year Edition include some cool features available in the sequels that weren’t in the first game. Each character now comes with 5 changeable head cosmetics that are available from the start. SHiFT key support has also finally been included too and you no longer need an online match to bring your whole squad of vault hunters together with split screen play now supporting up to four players. I like how they’ve included all these features into the first game, making it feel slightly more universal to the rest of the series.
All the DLC packs are included as well making it the perfect excuse to pick this up if you only ever played the base game and want to check them out.
I had a lot of fun reliving the moments that started my love for the franchise. If you’re yet to play the first Borderlands or you haven’t played it in years, this is the perfect chance to grab some mates and go back to where it all started. It doesn’t bring awesome landscapes that we’re used to from Borderlands 2 and beyond but it’s not about how it looks. For me it’s more about the addictive gameplay that has sparked my love for this game.
Borderlands: Game Of The Year Edition is available now on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC and I give it a 9 out of 10.