hen it was first announced Tales from the Borderlands Sounded like some kind of miss fire, how could a loud mouthed shooter RPG hybrid that’s all about loot and gun variations worked as a Telltale Game.
Well after playing all five episodes it’s clear that it’s one of the studios most entertaining efforts yet. Set some time after Borderlands 2 Tales from the Borderlands doesn’t place you in the shoes of a gun touting vault hunter but instead as you playing Rhys, a Hyperion middle manager that just got shafted out of a promotion, he and his buddy from accounting come up with a plan to get back at their new boss that that feels straight out of office space, there completely out of there element in the ruthless bandit towns on Pandora.
When Rhys crosses paths with two con artists sisters you’ll get to play from there side of the story as well, controlling the older sister Fiona. There is back and forth between the two main characters that continues through out each episode, and because you are experiencing the story that they are telling they will have to go out of their way to alter events and make each other look bad, long story short plans on both sides goes horribly wrong, and they end up stuck with each other through a series of dramatic adventures that are perhaps even more exciting than that of the bad ass vault hunters in the main games.
Like many Tell Tale Games, Tales from the Borderlands can feel somewhat light on game play at times consisting largely of split second decisions, conversion choices and quick time events that have you dodging, targeting enemies and mashing buttons. Sometimes these moments happen so quickly that you are not even sure whether you have successfully hit the target in time, the first episode in particular is a rollercoaster ride that rarely give you time to stop and catch your breath, but as the series progresses the game lets you off the leash to let you explore more regularly, when you do get the chance to wander puzzles aren’t too taxing either but each character does have their own approach to situations. Rhys can scan key items with his Echo - Eye to uncover more and often humorous details, and likewise Fiona has an eye for loot and she can find stashes of cash that gives you a few opportunities to spend it along the way on things like new outfits.
While your interactions maybe simple the game is full of energy, stylish introductions set up each episode and the crew gets themselves in one spectacular mess one after another ,there’s a fantastic cast of actor’s present including Troy Baker, Patrick Warburton, Laura Bailey, Nolan North and others. The script improves upon the snappy and sarcastic Borderlands vibe and does a great job developing its characters and attaching you to some of the either minor players.
Perhaps one of the things that it does best sums down to how firmly the presentation matches the Borderlands style, but with far better character animation, familiar elements are clearly lifted from the earlier games but everything that’s new feels equally at home, even things like menus and the HUD are clear matches and at times the game throws winks to Borderlands gameplay systems like upgrading your vehicle even though it probably doesn’t matter in the end.
Like any Tell Tale Game though much of the fun doesn’t come down to your decisions, or they aren’t always life or death, seemingly small choices can impact the course of your story in the end, Even how much money you spend or say can be important. There are times when your options all look like bad ideas prompting you to pick your poison, and of course you get to see a chance of what other choices players made at the end of each episode.
Tales from the Borderlands is a significant departure from Tell Tales formular but it’s much more light hearted than the grim worlds of The Walking Dead, or Game of Thrones. It’s fun and funny with plenty of great payoffs for Borderlands fans.