Borderlands Legendary Collection review friv game for Nintendo Switch - Pandora in your pocket.

The end of May was a very generous month for Nintendo's hybrid console. Continuing the glorious tradition of porting friv games from PC and "big" consoles, the publisher 2K made a great mark. On May 29, three collections totaling seven games were released on website Friv2Online, each of which was and still is a hit on all platforms. And we will tell you about the first such collection - Borderlands Legendary Collection - in our review.

The collection includes the most complete editions of three games of the franchise: Borderlands Game of the Year Edition, the full edition of Borderlands 2 (but without one DLC - Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary) and Borderlans Pre-Sequel, also in the full Ultimate edition. Porting to Switch with as much additional content as possible is becoming a good tradition - the same way was done with Pillars of Eternity, Divinity: Original Sin 2 and even The Witcher.

A lot of content is always great, so this approach can't help but please. Separately it is worth noting the price. Against the background of the general whining about "expensive games for Switch" the whole collection - three full games - costs 2999 rubles in eShop, and physical copies can be found even cheaper. Of course, it's not as favorable as the Steam bundle, which includes the third part, but it's quite reasonable.

The Borderlands series is far from new - the first part is over a decade old, and the last one presented in the collection, Pre-Sequel, is dated 2014. This is basically typical for ports like this - after all, it takes some time to port all the content given the Switch's technical limitations.

In some ways this has been an advantage, in some ways a disadvantage. On the one hand, the target audience of the collection is not quite clear - for all these years, all the fans of the series and those who simply want have long passed even the third part, released in 2019. On the other hand, it allowed the realization of a very good port on Switch, which will surely please those who wanted to revisit Pandora and its satellite - which is quite possible, given the good replayability, a large number of different style of play Vault Seekers and support for co-op. Or visit them for the first time, if you haven't already.

That's why there's practically no sense to tell here the features of the story and setting - they've been common knowledge for a long time and haven't changed a bit. There was no new content specially for Switch either, but it was expected. In my opinion, the main thing about this port is its portability. Hardly anyone will seriously buy the Switch version of Borderlands in 2020 to play in dock mode (though who knows...). And being able to relive the adventures of the Seekers on a device you can hold in your hands is great.

The quality of the port is very high indeed. Even such a sore spot for many games as fonts are done here, if not perfectly, then very well - at least, you don't have to break your eyes to read everything you need on the console screen. This is true for all three games of the collection - in general, often characteristic for such collections the impression of "playing as one game" is absent here, but a certain integrity is observed.

Progress is also visible - from the first part to Pre-Sequel (in order of release) the graphics become better, clearer and more beautiful. Sel-shading helps a lot - the deliberately bright and "cartoonish" picture doesn't look "soapy" at all, for which Nintendo's console is often scolded by detractors.

The first part is noticeably different with much less luster and a somewhat old-looking interface - but it's definitely worth discounting the age. Although a full remaster with a rework of the interface in the same style as Borderlands 2 and Pre-Sequel would look very cool. I watched the opening cut-scene for Pre-Sequel with a sagging jaw, not fully believing that this is even possible on a handheld console.

The control deserves special praise, or rather one of its features - motion control. You can aim by moving the console itself. I'm glad that the developers were not lazy to use one of the key features of the new platform. How much they managed to do it is a separate question, I personally didn't like this control: it's not always convenient to wave the console when playing, for example, in the subway, but from a purely technical point of view it's perfect.

The trademark gameplay of the series - looter-shooter with RPG elements and "bazillion guns" - has been completely preserved. Fun, dynamic, beautiful, perfectly playable in portable mode - I must say that the portable edition has significantly changed my attitude to the series for the better, although the shortcomings in the form of an empty world and some monotony of tasks also did not go anywhere.

Maybe it's the fact that the game has grown a lot in 10 years and more balanced expectations - you shouldn't expect RPG depth from a shooter. But as shooters these games are really very decent. Let's not forget about the co-op, it also remained - up to two players in split-screen and up to four online, with free entry and exit. There is no crossplay, when it will appear and whether it will appear at all - it is unknown.

Of course, there are no perfect games (Dragon Age: Origins is an exception, but it's not available on Switch yet). This collection isn't without its annoying little flaws, either. The first of them has to do with the aforementioned co-op. From the very beginning, the system knows for sure that you won't be playing alone, and from the very beginning it tries to connect to the network, tells you that you need a paid subscription to Nintendo Switch Online, and makes it difficult to immerse yourself in the process as quickly as possible. Of the three games, only Pre-Sequel didn't have this problem.

The second problem is that the technical implementation isn't as perfect as it seems at first glance. Yes, the picture quality does not cause absolutely no questions - but occasionally you encounter FPS drops below 30. Borderlands 2 is especially sinful - there they occur from the first cut-scene. It seems to be not critical in terms of gameplay, but I have a certain point on "brakes" in console games. A friv game released under a known iron simply has no moral right to run below 30 FPS.

And the last point, often important for many post-Soviet gamers - there is no Russian-language localization in the collection. No voiceovers or text at all. For the generation that often learned the language from Day of the Tentacle and Baldur's Gate, this may seem like a small thing, but in today's realities this fact is worth noting. To be fair, there is no official Russian language support even in Steam, but this problem is easily solved there with the help of fan patches.

 

The return to Pandora, if you turn a blind eye to a number of minor flaws, was truly triumphant. Borderlands Legendary Collection is a perfectly executed port. It not only looks on equal terms with the versions for "older" platforms, but also claims a new approach to the familiar friv game mechanics.

Quality and quantity are not lagging behind - it's not one, but three games, and with all the additional materials you can easily play for a hundred hours. And all this - at a price of less than a thousand rubles for each friv game. Must-have for all the fans of Borderlands series, who got the opportunity to carry Pandora with them at all times, and fans of first-person shooters, which are becoming more and more numerous on Switch.

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