The day has come Borderlands fans, the Handsome Collection has arrived on next-gen. Regardless if you’ve played either Borderlands 2 or The Pre-Sequel before, I have some advice about why you should play the games in a certain order. Both titles have their own merit and deserve your attention for different reasons. Having played both titles rather extensively I want to outline why I think the Pre-Sequel should be where you dive in first.
It’s Shorter & Slower
The difference in size between the two games is pretty significant because the DLC offerings for Borderlands 2 are greater in quantity as well as quality. The four pieces of extra content that come with The Pre-sequel are pretty meager in comparison. But since they are automatically included with The Handsome Collection nobody can really complain. What The Pre-Sequel lacks in content and pacing, it makes up for in storytelling and character development. Even though the beginning of the game gets off to slow start, as things progress, the weapons and environments become more varied and exciting and ultimately it all starts to feel more like Borderlands. This does highlight the weak point in the title, as you roll the game over into a second or third playthrough it can feel like a big down shift because the last half of the game moves at a better clip and is very exciting and challenging. But the game is shorter, which allows you to complete it as well as the extra content in a shorter amount of time than Borderlands 2. My fear would be the size and scope of Borderlands 2 would give you a full and satisfied feeling, which isn’t a bad thing, but it would probably turn you off to The Pre-Sequel. If you complete The Pre-Sequel and then make the jump to Borderlands 2, the pacing and bigger size will be exciting and fresh, allowing you to enjoy both games equally and for different reasons.
The Classes and Story
The available character classes are so unique and fun, they each serve as a distinct piece of the identity of The Pre-Sequel. Rather than bypass these fresh and crazy additions to the Borderlands world, just slow down, enjoy yourself, and let Borderlands 2 wait for you in the distance like a stout dessert. Fans of the franchise will enjoy the back story of one of the greatest villains and voice actors of all time: Handsome Jack. And while I have an issue with a few liberties that were taken with respect to Jack’s face and significant pieces of story that seem like they would have been mentioned in Borderlands 2, I think the story and character development for Jack is brilliant. The humor and dialogue between the characters and the NPC’s and Handsome Jack is well worth at least one playthrough.
Borderlands 2 is the best
The saying, “Save the best for last”, exists for a reason. Some would argue the first Borderlands is the best, and they may be right, and hopefully it gets ported in the future as Randy Pitchford continues to hint at the possibility. But within this context and content offering, Borderlands 2 is far and away the better of the two games. So, save it for last, and get your money’s worth out of The Handsome Collection by enjoying the mayhem, dark humor, and insanity of The Pre-Sequel. I’m thoroughly enjoying starting over with the Baroness, and her action skill is crazy fun and great at controlling a crowd. I’m also enjoying picking up where I left off with my Handsome Jack Doppelganger at level 50. And if you need a quick guide for how to move your Xbox characters, both your live account and any local profile saves, just watch my video here.
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