Tales From the Borderlands is an episodic adventure game developed by telltale games in collaboration with Gearbox Software. Telltale Games is known for its popular titles such as The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among us. Does this new installment of the Borderlands universe live up to its counterpart? Lets find out.
Tales From the Borderlands – Episode 1: Zer0 Sum
Unlike the Borderlands shooter style gameplay, Tales is more of a story driven point and click adventure where you as the player get to make decisions that change how the story develops, There are many twist and turns depending on how the player makes his decisions. Mainly using the mouse and keyboard as controls players will be able to use weapons, pick up loot,and react to situations. Some Situations will loop, others will have a timer in the form of a depleting bar, the player has to react quickly enough or most of the time the event will end in gameover. The game is forgiving though since if you are defeated, the player is put right back into that scene and get a chance at a do over.
The Game is centered around two main characters that you alternate between. Rhys, a Hyperion business employee working on helios a space station, who was the victim of a hostile takeover by Vasquez and was demoted to executive vice janitor and Fiona a con artist with a strong mind and a tough as nails persona. Both the main protagonist are always in close proximity of one another once they meet up for their own reasons. Other characters like Vaughn who is Rhys best friend who is smart and easily frightened and Fiona’s Sister Sasha who is very cunning and has an obsession of guns. The plot consist of Rhys and Vaughn stealing Vasquez 10 million dollar deal on Pandora for a vault key. the other side of the deal involves Fiona and Sasha but is the deal really going to go down smoothly that is up to the player. There is a quote from the game Everything in Pandora always leads to a vault” A vault is a treasure trove that is priceless that is what the story centers on. They both share their sides of the story to a third party (unknown) and they may over exaggerate and lie at points. Depending on the player’s decisions they both catch each others lies and that leads to some interesting humor.
Everyone has their own personality which makes this game very versatile in terms of character development. No two people are the same. Certain Situations force this group of people to work together which makes for an entertaining and humorous story. How the side characters act towards the player is up to the players decisions in the progression of the story.
You also get to use the main character’s abilities. Rhys has an implant in his eye which leads to him being able to scan items for clues and he gets to build and customize his own loader bot with weapons. Other Cybernetic implants allow him to hack systems to find hidden information on the opposing side that may benefit his entire group of friends. Fiona on the other hand has a bank account and a single shot pistol. The bank account ability lets her utilize money she finds throughout the story to purchase items that will help the player significantly. The gun is only used in dire situations so use that shot wisely.
Telltale’s version of Pandora, the planet this story unfolds on has stunning visuals the Cel-shaded design is a perfect fit. Telltale really has outdone themselves on the visual plain that is Pandora. Just like the original borderlands though Pandora does not lack excitement and is full of dangerous creatures and insane people. The visuals are not the only beautiful thing about this game, the audio is amazing as well. Dialogue moves at a fast pace and has that slightly bit of dark humor that we all know and love from the original borderlands. Sometimes the jokes are a bit corny but the wit is there, along with other creative gems. Telltale nails the humor of the original game to a key which is basically what borderlands is all about humor and chaos.
Next lets discuss the soundtrack. Tales from the borderlands musical score is simply brilliant it feels like it was taken right out of the original game. They kept to the source material but, added their own key ingredients to make a great musical score. Telltale doesn’t hold back anything back on music making you feel ready for action. All of this brings the game together to create a masterpiece worthy to hold true to the borderlands name. The game plays like a movie and feels like a movie and you’re the main character. The movie is in your hands you decide the way it is written and the outcome it will have.
Telltale’s take on the borderlands universe has served it justice, creating a game that is both masterpiece and an inspiration from its predecessor.Tales from the Borderlands is a Borderlands game, But Telltale’s take on Gearbox’s Pandora is something you can’t see in the shooter genre. Through the Exploration of the small guys struggling to survive in a world full of danger you gain deeper meaning of exploring the world of Pandora.
In conclusion, The Telltale’s Tale from the Borderlands has it all from great story, amazing visuals, musical ingenuity, The dark humor we know and love, and great audio all comes together to form a masterpiece. The pros outweigh the cons hands down. The cons being Some of the jokes are a tad bit corny and cringe worthy, some decision timers are a tad bit fast, and the game has had a few shortcomings like delayed episode installments. All in all it’s a new take on the Borderlands universe something you can not get just shooting creatures and bandits in the shooter genre.