I’ve been having quite a blast playing Borderlands 1 again, I have to say. There’s some nice improvements all around, but the PC version still has quite a few issues that I feel could be addressed. I’ll be starting from the worst issues in my opinion to minor ones, then to the good parts of the remaster.
The main issues I’ve been having are quite annoying. The first being that I can’t play the game through LAN. Considering it’s Unreal Engine, this shouldn’t really be a problem and if you had full access to the command console it actually could be worked around. The main reason this is an issue is that my ping just seems to be absurd at times, it’ll barely be playable, and I have a wired ethernet connection. The online system seems to be the actual source of these ping issues, as I’ll keep a perfect connection to Discord and other services while playing. So tl;dr LAN multiplayer would be sweet.
The second main issue is actually the mouse options. By default, aim assist is on, which shouldn’t be on by default in a PC game, and the actual sensitivity options are absurdly sensitive. I have to turn down my mouse DPI while also having all of the sensitivity options at the minimum in order to be able to control the camera. Of all of the things that got improved, I’m not sure why this was something that wasn’t looked at, I recall various topics being posted around about how to work around the mouse sensitivity. A good way to approach this issue could be to just have a general “sensitivity multiplier” option that goes from values like 0.1-2.0 so that you could have a very easy time controlling your mouse sensitivity. For the Unreal devs out there, I found my preferred mouse sensitivity is actually 2.8 in engine.playerinput, so if that were possible under the custom mouse sensitivity system in BL1 that would be a very nice improvement.
The third and final main issue I have is just general framerate issues. I understand that it’s an old version of UE3, and still has all of the old PhysX components and overall less polish and optimization, but it is a little jarring. Some areas just seem to not do enough occlusion culling (Fyrestone comes to mind), and a good few other places in the game. Along with that, skag ragdolls in particular are tanking my framerate, oddly enough. At least 6-7 active ragdolls brought my framerate down into the 30s, not sure why. It isn’t an issue for bandits and the like so far so I’m not entirely sure what’s up.
And now onto the minor issues, this’ll be brief.
Not all settings are saving, such as voice chat being enabled, push to talk, off, etc, Anisotropic Filtering keeps resetting to zero, refresh rate seems to work but the setting in the settings menu doesn’t remember what it was set to the last run, and various other settings.
The prerendered videos have extremely compressed audio: Borderlands GOTY Enhanced - EXCESSIVE LOSSY COMPRESSION FOR AUDIO STREAMS IN BK2 VIDEO
Some of the textures don’t seem to have been redone or it’s the result of a texture streaming bug?
The model is pretty hi-poly by the way so it just looks kinda funny with such a low-res texture lol.
And lastly the camera animations are still really jank, and I’ve still seen some complaints of people getting dizzy from them. Could be cool to have an option to disable camera animations and view bobbing for people that dislike/need them, but it may be a hard issue to approach depending on how they’re implemented.
Onto the pros of the remaster:
It’s 64bit and running in DirectX11, instead of the original’s 32bit DirectX9 release. This is great for performance on new systems.
The FOV slider is very, very welcome. 120 degrees seems a little small for people with Ultrawide monitors however so the limit should probably be increased.
Seeing an option to turn off dynamic shadows (a very common tweak for very low powered systems) was very welcome as well. I don’t have a system that would ever need to use this feature anymore, but I did actually do this in Borderlands 2 back in the day when I had a fairly bad computer that didn’t really put out a good framerate.
The texture and model edits are very nice looking. You can catch details like brushstrokes in many of the environment textures, it looks very nice. Were these the original textures in full resolution or were they all remade from scratch? I’m curious.
The general gameplay changes make playing the game a lot less awkward, I like the features that were backported from BL2, the game now feels pretty intuitive to play overall compared to the original release.
All in all, great improvement, just needs some more refinement and I think it’ll end up being a perfect fix for the original game’s flaws. Glad to be having more fun in Borderlands.
Also it’s seriously a nice treat that this was a free upgrade to those that owned the original. Thanks for that.